IF Comp ’08: Piracy 2.0 (spoilers)

i’ve spent most of the day aimlessly surfing the web and levelling my fishing skill in World of Warcraft. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting tired of IF, or because I’m unexcited by the prospect of this game. It should be cool, right? Space is cool. Pirates are cool. But… meh.

Oh well. I should give it a fair shake.

If it turns out the space pirates are stealing software and mp3s, I’ll grant an extra point. I will take it away if there is a space parrot, or a space pegleg. (Space eyepatches I’m assuming to be a foregone conclusion.)

> x me
As good-looking as ever.

Why does hardly anyone ever change this default message? It seems like such a natural and easy place to put some character development. At least tell me what my United World Command jumpsuit looks like, or something.

> look under bed
Which do you mean, the upper bed or the lower bed?
> upper
You find the lower bed.

Because they’re bunkbeds. That’s pretty funny, actually.

> put battery in panel

No response, and I still have the battery. Tsk.

By the way, does it strike anyone else as poor brig design to have an important electrical access panel inside the cell?

Just now remembered to check >about, and OMG OMG! Feelies! I goddamn love feelies, I designed the feelies pack we did for Kingdom of Loathing, and if these are at all good you’re getting bonus points, Sean Huxter.

Okay. These are pretty nice. Only the two, but you did a physical widget too, which is impressive, and I hope you still have some left. Two points. And thanks, coz I totally never thought of dying acrylic like that.

What does it say about me that the feelies map was plainly marked with an ominous skull south of the duct, and I went there anyway? Well, >undo makes such things pretty trivial I guess.

If the game map is in the feelies to represent the fact that I know the layout of the ship intimately, then it probably shouldn’t include room contents that I wouldn’t expect to find in those locations. Like a pistol in the freezer. In fact, the blueprint is probably all you really need, under the circumstances. Maybe do, I don’t know, a security dossier on this Whitehall guy instead? With a copy of the transfer orders or something…

> shoot pirate
You shoot at the pirate. You hit him, killing him. He falls dead to the floor.
> x pirate
You can’t see any such thing.
> x corpse
The body of a pirate you killed.

More description, plzkthx.

I’m used to there being a Self-Destruct command. Even a command to separate the main bridge from the rest of the ship. But “Flood Ship With Sleep Gas”? That’s a new one.

>read paper should work.

Well, I nuked the pirates and got home with a final score of 80/100. I like the idea of variable endings based on… wossnames discovered. Plot points, or whatever. I will probably go back and play this again for the best ending later, which I have to say is a pretty big thumbs-up. I never did find out what the dust everywhere was, or play with all those tools.

Summary: Writing is competent. Implementation is pretty good — I didn’t notice any real bugs, and with a couple small exceptions, the descriptions were reasonably complete (though of course you can always have more descriptions). The enviroment was well-realized, particularly the computers. The plot is pretty simple, but you could also call it straightforward, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And feelies! Glee!

Good stuff. High marks, Sean Huxter.

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