Saturday, October 03, 2009

[IF Competition] The Hangover

Instead of writing nonsensical stuff in order to fill the obligatory spoiler space, I'll just post some lines by Thomas Hardy. Here is:

The Ruined Maid (1/3)

"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?"
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.

"You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!"
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.
Next two parts in my next two reviews. With this out of the way, here is a review of The Hangover.

Let us read the opening text of this game:
"You have a horrid hangover and no asprin in the apartment. This is your bedroom. Your ill-loking bed takes up most of the space. You have a closet and a bath robe on the floor. you should really take your robe and put it on. Its a good place to store things. To the east is your bathroom and to your west is the rest of your apartment.

Also here is your bathrobe."
At this point, Red conine, you will have lost at least half of your readers, before they even typed in a command. I have highlighted only the most glaring errors, and they are enough to show that (a) this game has not been proofread or tested, and (b) you have been utterly careless. If you don't care enough about your game to take out simple spelling errors like "asprin" for "aspirin", "loking" for "looking", "its" for "it's", and so on, then why should we care about your game?

You're making a text game. In a text game, the text is important. You should spend some time polishing it. Even if you are really bad at grammar and spelling, pasting the text into a word processor and letting it spell check it would have solved three of the five highlighted errors.

I actually did play a few moves, but it was hard to enjoy a game with prose like this. What also didn't help was:
  • The extreme hinting: "You should pick up your bathrobe." "You should look at your toothbrush."
  • The bad parser. Why can't I refer to the two-dollar bill with the word "bill"?
  • Abusing the player as an attempt at humour. If the protagonist lives in an incredibly dirty place, that is fine. Tell me about it. Describe it. But don't say things to me like: "I suppose because you have your toothbrush here on your sink and a... my god thats a toilet! I couldn’t tell. You might want to look at your sink. Your proud of this?" and "I’m pitty you for the sole fact that you actually sleep there." Because when I take on the role of the protagonist in your story, I'm not doing so in order to be abused by you. Abused by an NPC? Ok. Abused by the author? No.
  • Bad implementation. I cannot even examine the toilet you have just told me about.
So I quit after a few moves.

I am guessing that Red conine entered the competition with completely wrong expectations about what constitutes a good/acceptable entry. I am also guessing he or she is quite young. So, don't get too discouraged by the inevitable storm of negative reviews, and try to form more realistic expectations next time.

1 comment:

  1. Actually, I played a bit more than you. But I didn't find a way to give the two-dollar bill to the waitress. The game really made me wonder why the author put work in it in the first place.

    Bob

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