Design and documentation journal for my interactive fiction (text games); also reviews and other miscellaneous stuff.

Friday, October 8, 2010

IF Comp 2010: The Bible Retold: The Lost Sheep

I'm a big fan of retellings of myths and fairy tales and legends and literature.  I am a huge, huge fan of Jonathan Goldstein.  I am also acutely sensitive to evangelization, so I hope this isn't preachy.  Every so often, myths need to be recast to make sense, and given that there really aren't many sheepherders anymore, this could probably do with some updating.  I also like the recursiveness involved.  Even if you take Jesus as a historical, actual dude, we're essentially dealing with an interactive game based on a translated account of a retelling of a story by a guy who was making a point some 2000-odd years ago.  Which is kind of weird, actually.

Oh, hey, spoilers.

---The Bible Retold: The Lost Sheep ---

Typo in the first sentence.  Ouch.  I think I need to adjust my expectations downward a bit.  On the other hand, the game is (theoretically) always winnable.  Good.  After Oxygen, I need a confidence booster.

>count sheep
(your herd of sheep)
That is either not quantifiable or not of significant quantity.


>kill sheep
(your herd of sheep)
You love them too much: you couldn't bring yourself to do it.
. . . shepherds *do* know what happens to the sheep at Ye Olde Slaughterhouse, right?

"A herd of buffalo lumbers towards you from the east."

. . . the fuck? 

I had already tried taking the tree/branch/etc. when I went by, but clues did not lead me to climb, or to believe the sticks up above might be drier.  

"The sheep - who was in the  bush - yelps and jumps from the bush, clutching a black section of its wool, where you burnt it."

It's . . . clutching?  HOW?  WHAT?

Okay, so I found the cowering sheep, and carried it home on my shoulders.  I'm happy, but the sheep seemed happier romping around on its own.  There's probably something snarky I could say here, but I'm going to let it stand for itself.

I dunno.  It was fine.  There were a couple cute bits.  (I particularly liked the response to >FOLLOW SHEEP.)  It was kind of hard to forget that I had a whole flock of sheep that could, even as I rode buffalo and set things on fire, be wandering off a cliff or something.  I mean, didn't I have a backup shepherd somewhere?  Also, I was sad I didn't ever get to pull anyone around with my crook.  It felt more like an intro piece than a finished game - you're introduced to the way the world works (peculiarly) and then thrown a couple softballs, and then - it's over.  Which is fine, it's just not what I expected.  Also, the main character came across as kind of a jerk, and I don't know if that's intentional or just the way I played and read him.

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