IFComp 2007: Deadline Enchanter   2 comments

Review after the jump.

So, as I was saying…this knight…the Feast of Daggers…we met on a violet-strewn avenue. Of course, that night ended in dessicated corpses, the great Purge, when the Faux attempted–perhaps drunkenly–to protest a desecration of honor. What that was, few knew, but things spiraled out of control. I helped him escape through these very tunnels…I hid with him in Fauxtown, trying to understand how my people could overreact so cruelly.

I suspect this game is meant to be like Andrew Plotkin’s Lighan ses Lion from the Telegram Comp — where the intended puzzle is simply to understand what’s going on.

On the walkthrough trick Theoretically speaking, it was interesting to have a walkthrough given as a part of the game. In practice, I found myself wishing I had just read a transcript of the thing instead. While the sketchiness of the rest of the implementation did seem intentional

>x tenements

knowing this fact didn’t make the experience any more enjoyable.

On the writing Elegant overall; I like the “voice” of the narrator. Occasionally the choice of words seemed off. For example:

You’d think that the Folk would like to use these deep tunnels for, I don’t know, torture chambers, but I can assure you that they like to build upwards for their donjons.

I needed a dictionary for this. Donjon: a massive inner tower in a medieval castle.

The word is almost right — is it implied the City is a castle? — but I also get the sense that the author picked the word simply because it sounded fantasy-like.

How I played it the second time My first go I ran through the provided walkthrough, letting the experience flow and getting highly confused. The second time I made myself a word-association graph when a new term came up (Nishapar<->human<->The City<->burned-down Old Navy). There is a genuine plot here and it is understandable.

Posted October 20, 2007 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

2 responses to “IFComp 2007: Deadline Enchanter

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. My first thought when I finished this game was that people’s critiques and scores would be all over the map. It looks like I wasn’t quite right, as the trend seems more like this game is getting bad to middling responses (while I happened to love it). Maybe the setting isn’t clicking with everyone? Or does this game break a lot of people’s accepted play conventions? Like Carl Muckenhoupt wrote,

    So it’s all very postmodern, and enigmatic in an ilovebees sort of way, but is it good? Well, it really isn’t much of a game. It’s a kind of the opposite problem from the other walkthrough-intensive games I’ve been describing. Getting stuck because you don’t understand things isn’t a problem here, but that’s because you’re not expected to understand anything. Whichever way it goes, the player is deprived of the opportunity to participate in any meaningful way.


  2. I am still in contemplation of this myself. I could give equally strong arguments for a high rating or a low rating.

    Part of the issue isn’t just a game convention being broken, it’s the game itself is broken. Intentionally, but does that make it better? Intentionally bad writing shows up in literature, but from my experience there is “good” bad writing and “bad” bad writing.

    Likely an entire essay could pour out of this. I may at least make a secondary blog entry later.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: