Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November Update!

Okay, so I've decided not to review EctoComp 2014 games, at least not yet, since I've entered the comp myself.  I've been a bit busy, though.  I released a short steampunk game recently and I made the above Let's Play video.  Thanks for stopping in and enjoy the vid!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

IFComp 2014

For those checking in,
I've decided to hold-off reviewing any of the IFComp 2014 entries since one of them is mine.  See you during Ectocomp 2014!

Friday, July 25, 2014

IntroComp 2014 - "Bridges and Balloons" by Molly Greene

Okay, this review will be short but that is only because the story/game I just traversed, "Bridges and Balloons" by Molly Greene, was very short.  It was not, however, short on quality.  In fact, this is a very promising choice game.  It seems to feature a cast of mice characters, but this could be made a bit clearer for thick-headed pot smokers like me.  I think it's only mentioned once and through the rest of the descriptions and action, it is made a little clearer.  If I'm wrong and there are no anthropomorphic mice characters in this story, then I apologize for getting that high.

The writing is witty and the dialog is a throwback to gentlemanly upper-crust types; the kind that smoke cigars over brandy.  The character whose narration you steer is a captain of a merchant ship who takes upon an urgent shipment for a colleague.  The rest is high adventure and the story reads like a fun young adult's novel.  I enjoyed playing/reading this one.  Again, it's the shortest offering of the comp, I think, but once it is expanded, concluded, and the color and layout sharpened, it will be a strong effort that might steal a good amount of votes this year.

IntroComp 2014 - "Mount Imperius" by kaleidofish

This will be a short review.  Not that I dislike this game.  I dislike Twine.  It's just not for me.  So I'm not going to spend any time trash-talking Twine because it's just not meant for me.  It would be like me trashing Justin Beiber.  I'm not his target audience, so I shouldn't even complain really.  Twine isn't for me because, as a writer of interactive fiction, I need to allow my players to have real agency and a feel of immersion in a world.  Twine is good to immerse yourself in a story.  There's zero agency in it if you ask me.  But, again, that's not what Twine is for.  So I needed to place that line of thought firmly in my head while trying to get through "Mount Imperius" by kaleidofish.

I'm a big fan of Michael Crichton.  I'm a big fan of having a group of intelligent or skilled protagonists encounter a mystery or overcome obstacles that threaten life and/or limb.  "Mount Imperius" reminded me of a Michael Crichton novel.  That's a good thing.  You learn things when you read a Crichton novel because of his meticulous research and I learned a few things about mountains in kaleidofish's story.  (One has to keep in mind when Crichton's books were written and one must remember he was an author and not a scientist and must therefor take his information with a grain of salt.)

The reader plays the part of Rosa Sanchez; a mountaineer who is on an expedition to climb the eponymous protrusion.  She has a number of foul-mouthed but scholarly colleagues who are all part of this trek.  The writing is competent and I do like how I was able to peruse the story and its tangents and sidebars at my leisure and pretty much in the order I pleased.  Wait a minute.  Maybe Twine does allow a sort of agency when navigating a story, if not inhabiting a world.

Anyway.  I'm not a fan of Twine in general but this was a competent story told well and implemented almost perfectly for an intro.  I'm sure it will yield some votes.