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[C32 Comp] Mini-Reviews

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Anonymous
December 15, 2004 4:18:34 PM

Archived from groups: rec.arts.int-fiction,rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

I haven't done any formal reviews for IF before and probably won't start
now... but I did take some notes on the games played during the C32 contest.
Here are my personal observations from the contest - the games are listed in
the order I ranked them (from lowest to highest). I do want to thank all of
the authors for their submissions - there were another 4 or 5 "potential"
entrants that didn't get in an entry into the contest - so even the last
place finisher deserves credit for putting the effort into supporting the
contest! The 32K limitation is fairly restrictive - with a decent library
taking up 2/3 of that space, that left only about 12K of actual game-code
and text. Some of the offerings under those constraints were really great!

..
..
..
..
..

NOTE! There are a few very minor spoilers below... be warned...
..
..
..
..
..
..


Paparazzi
-----------------
It took me a while to understand that I was outside the courtyard and
outside the bar area. My camera didn't seem useful and I didn't know what to
do with the bike. Clearly this was an NPC driven game - but a single high
quality NPC can eat up all your code space and that leaves very little left
for the actual setting and descriptions. In this case, the NPCs seemed very
narrow minded - only responding to a few select topics. I got the prince's
girlfriend and the princesses boyfriends to leave the courtyard area - but
then couldn't find them again. Asking the chauffer about them produced
different endings, but I'm not completely sure why one gave me a 'win' and
others did not. There was a bug that allowed me to continually ask the same
question to the first NPC and my score would go up by 1 every time (so I
ended the game with 10 out of a possible 3 score!). In the end, an NPC
driven game is difficult to pull off given the minimalist limitations.
Rating 2.

Zombies!
-------------
I loved the theme! And the writing was very competent and reasonably clever
in spots. But there were lots of technical issues with the game. A extra
blank inventory problem. Spacing problems throughout the descriptions.
Shooting the door was somewhat painful - lots of guess the verb issues. I
like how the author tied in Mac later (the voice _was_ driving me nuts!).
In short, a decent attempt but needed some betatesting to polish it up and
add a few more verbs (this game was one of the few that came in under the
32K so there was some coding space left). A few newbie author mistakes as
well:

>search boss
You search your boss' jacket and find $.73, a few toothpicks, and
some 9mm pistol ammo. You take the ammo and change.
>search boss
You search your boss' jacket and find $.73, a few toothpicks, and
some 9mm pistol ammo. You take the ammo and change.

At this rate, I'll be rich! Rating 5

Downtown Train
----------------------
Essentially one large logic puzzle. Very well implemented, the puzzle
solution reveals lots of tidbits of seemingly disjoint information and a
decent "surprise" ending. My main problem was that I couldn't piece
together the bits of information into something coherent. Yet I spent more
time outside of the competition thinking about the game - and maybe that's a
good sign that I should have rated it higher, but in the end
I wasn't overly fond of the puzzle since it involved a lot of trial and
error. Still... I can't help but feel that I should have rated this higher.
Sings softly: "...on a downtown train". Rating 6. (ps: This game was the
most polarized - receiving 8's and 9's as well as 3's and 4's).

Endgame
-----------------
Our contest winner! Not my personal favorite of the contest but clearly
well written with multiple endings, good writing and interesting interaction
with the NPC (the egg soon-to-be demon). My main problem with the game was
that it took place in a single room and so it could afford to concentrate on
the single puzzle (with multiple solutions). I'd have preferred to see the
game have a few additional locations to explore once out of the main room -
there was some programming room left (this was almost 2K under the limit).
But overall, a solid effort and one that deserves praise. I recognized the
room from the description - clever. There was one weird bug:

>xyzzy
The large egg disappears!
An instant later, the large eggWarning: @test_attr called with
object 0 (PC = 51ad) (occurence 1)
reappears, suspended in the air. Before it can start to fall, it disappears
again!

However, most the coding was very clean. Rating 7.

Turning Point
-------------------
This was ever-so-close to my favorite game of the competition. It almost
edged out the entry below, but it was really very close. Writing was very
good. There were plenty of areas to explore in the ship. Good use of the
computer NPC - having it be not only useful but without sacrificing the
other half-dozen or so areas in the game. There was a TON of text here - I
did an infodump and it was amazing how much was crammed into this game. I
didn't mind that you couldn't explore the lower areas of the ship - it was
nice that it was mentioned and that a clear message was given as to why you
couldn't explore further. There were a few issues that dropped this below
my top spot: Vents were problematic... couldn't close them even with the
control panel until such a time as it was required for me to close the one
vent dealing with the captain:

>close a11
There is no need to close it at the moment.
>open a11
That's not something you can open.

Other small issues:

>throw kloz at ramnork
(the kloz lump at the Ramnork)
You throw the kloz at the Ramnork.

Yep, that's what I said! Then again, these are small issues and the game
was really very enjoyable for me to play through. I didn't need any hints
but it did take me more than an hour to complete (I got stuck twice, but
there were enough clues to get me unstuck). Nice job. Rating 8.


Amusement Park
-------------------------
My favorite game of the competition. I've been told the author is not a
native English speaker but it would be hard to tell from the game. A few
minor typos (e.g. "It seems to stuck to the lever.") but overall good
writing. The game is "huge" for a C32 game. That's what impressed me the
most. That, and the feeling that I was actually in an abandoned amusement
park complete with half working rides and slides. Lots of description for
even the smallest items mentioned in the description. Lots of replaced
library messages. Once, I typed listen and was told something about the
silence. Then, later, after there was some background humming I did the same
command:

>listen
Apart from the humming you can hear nothing.

Great attention to detail. Nice handing of score as well:

"You have scored 90 out of 100 (finishing 7 out of 7 playthings), in 232
turns."

Overall, I felt this was the game that made best use of the 32K limitation.
Lots of areas. Well distributed descriptions - giving most things just the
right about of flavor text. Lots of puzzles and tasks to accomplish -
though some of the puzzles were a little same-ish (e.g. the Ferris Wheel and
Merry-go-Round). This one really packed in a lot of adventure into a tiny
package. Rating 9.

--
Dave Bernazzani
The C32 contest has ended... See results at:
http://www.gis.net/~daveber/minform/c32.htm

More about : c32 comp mini reviews

Anonymous
December 15, 2004 4:23:49 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

"Dave Bernazzani" <dber@gis.net> wrote in message
news:32bdb1F3d9o9cU1@individual.net...
>
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
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> .
> .
> .
>
> NOTE! There are a few very minor spoilers below... be warned...
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
> .
>
>
> Downtown Train
> ----------------------
> Essentially one large logic puzzle. Very well implemented, the puzzle
> solution reveals lots of tidbits of seemingly disjoint information and a
> decent "surprise" ending. My main problem was that I couldn't piece
> together the bits of information into something coherent. Yet I spent more
> time outside of the competition thinking about the game - and maybe that's
> a
> good sign that I should have rated it higher, but in the end
> I wasn't overly fond of the puzzle since it involved a lot of trial and
> error. Still... I can't help but feel that I should have rated this
> higher.
> Sings softly: "...on a downtown train". Rating 6. (ps: This game was the
> most polarized - receiving 8's and 9's as well as 3's and 4's).

Once I figured out how the puzzle worked, it just took a while to make note
of the results. I did find this part frustrating, but in the end, I really
enjoyed it. And it did receive at least one 10. :) 

> Endgame
> -----------------

>>xyzzy
> The large egg disappears!
> An instant later, the large eggWarning: @test_attr called with
> object 0 (PC = 51ad) (occurence 1)
> reappears, suspended in the air. Before it can start to fall, it
> disappears
> again!

Hmmm.... I didn't encounter that (and just checked it again). I was using
WinFrotz 2002. It must be something specific to certain interpreters.

> Amusement Park
> -------------------------
> My favorite game of the competition. I've been told the author is not a
> native English speaker but it would be hard to tell from the game. A few
> minor typos (e.g. "It seems to stuck to the lever.") but overall good

Algol went through several revisions of the game. The first beta had a quite
a few text problems, ranging from the use of the term "a pliers" to the name
of the ferris wheel being "the big wheel" (kept making me think of one of
those big plastic kid's tricycles). I don't think I quite caught everything,
and I didn't want to suggest over-edits. I was very impressed with the final
product.

> Overall, I felt this was the game that made best use of the 32K
> limitation.
> Lots of areas. Well distributed descriptions - giving most things just
> the
> right about of flavor text. Lots of puzzles and tasks to accomplish -
> though some of the puzzles were a little same-ish (e.g. the Ferris Wheel
> and
> Merry-go-Round). This one really packed in a lot of adventure into a tiny
> package. Rating 9.

Although I thought the text was spread a little too thin, it rated highly
with me as well. It just seemed like the kind of game that would earn its
price tag if plopped down on a 32k cart and sold for the mythical C32. :) 

---- Mike.
December 16, 2004 7:37:21 AM

Archived from groups: rec.arts.int-fiction,rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

On or about 12/15/2004 12:18 PM, Dave Bernazzani did proclaim:
> Endgame
> -----------------
> Our contest winner!

First, I'd like to say "Thank-you" to the Dave Bernazzani for making all
of this possible. This is the first piece of IF that I've actually
finished writing, so winning was a real surprise to me.

> Not my personal favorite of the contest but clearly
> well written with multiple endings, good writing and interesting interaction
> with the NPC (the egg soon-to-be demon). My main problem with the game was
> that it took place in a single room and so it could afford to concentrate on
> the single puzzle (with multiple solutions). I'd have preferred to see the
> game have a few additional locations to explore once out of the main room -
> there was some programming room left (this was almost 2K under the limit).

Well, I decided that I wanted something similar to a sliding block
puzzle, where there would be lots of manipulations of lots of objects to
achieve the final result. In that light, I felt that having multiple
rooms would eat up too much text. Even so, my first clean compile
turned out to be way over the 32K limit. I took an axe to the code and
got it down to 33K before realizing that turning off DEBUG would save an
additional 3K.

> But overall, a solid effort and one that deserves praise. I recognized the
> room from the description - clever.

The room started off littered with objects, but they got eliminated
during code shrinkage. I do miss the oyster (or is it a clam? I never
was much good at identifying bivalves) that I had as part of the
original solution, and wish that I'd had the time to put it back into
the game.

> There was one weird bug:
>
>>xyzzy
>
> The large egg disappears!
> An instant later, the large eggWarning: @test_attr called with
> object 0 (PC = 51ad) (occurence 1)
> reappears, suspended in the air. Before it can start to fall, it disappears
> again!

I'm going to track that down and fix it in my post-comp release. I
discovered much too late that the default setting of my usual
interpreter ignored that error. I also noticed one spelling error that
I want to fix.

> However, most the coding was very clean. Rating 7.

I think that Sally Fields said it best in her Oscar acceptance speech:
"I feel it and I can't deny the fact you like me. Right now, you really
*like* me!"
Anonymous
December 16, 2004 8:13:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.games.int-fiction (More info?)

In article <5b0wd.107$2_4.75@okepread06>,
Mike Snyder <wyndo@prowler-pro.com> wrote:
>"Dave Bernazzani" <dber@gis.net> wrote in message
>news:32bdb1F3d9o9cU1@individual.net...
>>>xyzzy
>> The large egg disappears!
>> An instant later, the large eggWarning: @test_attr called with
>> object 0 (PC = 51ad) (occurence 1)
>> reappears, suspended in the air. Before it can start to fall, it
>> disappears
>> again!
>
>Hmmm.... I didn't encounter that (and just checked it again). I was using
>WinFrotz 2002. It must be something specific to certain interpreters.

The error is in the game file, but only some interpreters bother to
report it. Your interpreter may have an option to turn the warning
on or off.

--
Magnus Olsson (mol@df.lth.se)
PGP Public Key available at http://www.df.lth.se/~mol
!