Stuga: Map tension   5 comments


I’m nearing the end and a new feature has hit (I don’t know exactly when it happens, but I’m guessing when your score reaches a certain point) where map exits start closing off. Two examples:

You are in a room with an upward escalator and a door forward.


Just as you’re approaching the escalator, it stops and a man runs in and closes it.
You are in a room with an upward escalator and a door forward.
The escalator has been closed by Cottage’s highways department.


You are in the Studio.


The lock of the door has jammed so you won’t get out that way!
Your keys don’t fit the keyhole.
You are in the Studio.

Mind you, there’s still a way to get where is necessary, but it starts to be more circuitous as the game goes on. The portions of the map that involve (more or less) random travel start to get more appealing.

This led to a welcome kind of tension, lending a modicum of atmosphere and the feeling of other presences, rather like when entering the trapdoor from Zork it gets closed and barred from the other side. It’s not exactly a horror tension (the game is too silly for that) but more of a strategic tension.; I felt like I needed to do some actual planning.

Posted January 17, 2013 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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5 responses to “Stuga: Map tension

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  1. I think the reason why both of these exits close off, is that you are carrying the diamond when you try to use them.

    Yes, I know, it doesn’t make much sense. Like the rest of the game…

  2. Just checking — is this as far as you’ve got with Stuga? Do you plan to come back and finish it, still?

    • Eh, pretty much. This one was painful to play and poking around the source code I could tell I wasn’t missing any other content. However, this is the only place where my “I don’t have to finish” rule is applied for something other than technical reasons (or in the case of MUD1, because there wasn’t an ending) so I might tie this loose end in the future.

      • Fair enough. It seems you’ve already gone far past the point that duty requires :-)

      • I did a very thorough “map out and document every possible gameplay detail in Stuga and document it, with full source code insight” project some years ago. I was thinking of editing it to a reader-friendly form and posting it online, but other projects took over and it hasn’t happened yet.
        There are so many strange details in this game (but that is true for many of these IF games obviously) and the combination of mischievous game design, randomness and coding errors(?) lead to such a (partly) chaotic game that I really like. This is as a “game explorer and cartographer” with access to source code though, when I just *played* it in the 80s, as a child and without access to source code, it was initially quite interesting but later became highly frustrating because of the chaotic aspects.
        I am very grateful to Fredrik Ramsberg and other people involved in finding the old BASIC source code and making it available!
        Did you ever go further with Stuga after this post?

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