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

Monday, October 4, 2010

IF Comp 2010: A quiet evening at home

I feel like this title is a setup for something awesome.  Like the end of the title is something impressive: "A quiet evening at home . . . with HITLER."  "A quiet evening at home . . . on the surface of the SUN."  It's got potential to be really 1950's-y, or really 1950's pulpy.  I'm hoping for a sort of MST3K-tastic "Date with Your Family" type deal, myself, full of quiet WTF-ery. 

Fingers crossed! 

-- A quiet evening at home --

. . . this is the most depressing opening paragraph ever.  Man, if this wasn't comp, I'd go find something else.  Please, please don't let the point of the game to be finding and using the bathroom.  I know compelling drama is supposed to be about the small conflicts in life, but please don't let this game be about pee.  I can't go from the surface of the SUN to urine.

Missing period in the first paragraph.  Nothing makes me feel better about the next 2 hours of gameplay than that! 

-- Interlude of deep breaths and happy optimistic thoughts --

What's a half-staircase?  Is it like a short staircase, or does it only go halfway to the basement?  Also, if you describe the rooms in terms of what's on my right, and then don't implement those directions, things get confusing.  Also, capital letters at the beginning of sentences are your friends.

Okay, I can't find my can opener.  Who takes their can opener out of the kitchen?  I am the worst housekeeper in the history of the world, and even I can find my can opener, unless it's migrated to the kitchen sink and is hidden under a bowl or something. 

I don't have the faith to fiddle around on this - straight to the walkthrough! 

. . . oh.  Well.  That's . . . how do I say this in a positive way?  Oh, right.  A non-linear progression.  In other words, completely illogical.  And reading the rest of the walkthrough, I get to take out the trash *and* put the hamster back in the cage!  Wow.  That's . . . great.  I will complete those steps just to say that I did.

I dreamed about being an alien spy, which is indeed more awesome than taking out garbage.

I have nothing very nice to say about this game.  It's basically a My Apartment exercise.  Which is competent, but not very exciting.  That's really the nicest thing I can say about it, so I will just mention that the architect was doing crack, because the long axis of houses should be east-west, to get full southern exposure from the sun, rather than north-south, which gives you a short period of sun in each room (unless you're in an urban environment.  The only room in this game that would get consistent sun is the Foyer, and that is deeply sad.

Oh, and everyone should implement "about", even if it's just to give people your email address.  How can we all follow Conrad's suggestion to send our transcripts if we don't know where to send them?


  1. I think of a half-staircase as...

    Huh. Let's see if I can do this.

    Upper floor
    Front door

    So, basically a half-flight; the staircase in general turns the way a staircase often does, but instead of a landing you have whatever's between the two half-staircases.

    A search for "half-staircase" mostly yields descriptions of split-entry homes.

    ...and that's all I have to say about this game.

  2. ASCII art fail, and I just noticed that there is a Preview button. Sorry.

  3. Oh, so you enter on floor 0.5, and can go up or down a half-flight? Interesting.