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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:44 am 
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@Mr. Patient

Yeah, right as we were ready to submit, we noticed that examining a particular object from your inventory would teleport you to the place where you picked it up. Whoops.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:42 am 
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Oh, one last review:

Headless, Hapless
Spoiler: show
This is a great combination of overly-descriptive spooky prose and casual, humorous quips. This is the kind of horror humor that I like to see. Pretty well marred, though, by the fact that the single puzzle is really obtuse and basically has to be extracted from a smarmy ghost jerk. Maybe if X ME had mentioned arms I'd be less cranky about the puzzle.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:58 pm 
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Location: Sweden
Merk wrote:
Distinctive standard fonts are kind of hard to predict, so other choices were either too plain or too unlikely to actually be available.


I don't know how difficult it would be to get to work in a Twine game, but for web sites in general, that's a solved problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:30 am 
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Posts: 173
The rest of my reviews. I'll probably respond to some other posts tomorrow because sleepy.

Headless, Hapless

Spoiler: show
You are the headless horseman with a misplaced head. The game requires you to search a variety of locations for said head with comedic effect. Some of the humor was too silly for my tastes, but I did chuckle at the idea of the horseman floating around politely asking for his head after scaring the bejeezus out of everybody.

I guessed the head’s actual location early on, but didn’t figure out the correct commands, so I assumed I was wrong. Learning the answer from the hint ghost left me feeling a little salty.



Chemistry and Physics

Spoiler: show
I didn’t like this one as much as Fish Dreams, though from a few of the other posted reviews, most people prefer this one. Go figure!

Something about the killer’s motivations didn’t sit right with me. For example, you (as Lee) meet Dane (alone at night in a secluded place) because you thought that your honesty would lead to closure. Lee must have believed Dane in control of himself enough to handle some bad news, and this is supported after his temper shows and Lee thinks Maybe you should have stopped. Held your ground. Reasoned with him. Those sound like sensible decisions. It made me wonder why Lee was running, why he/she was calling the police for help, and why he/she was suddenly making a bomb to kill Dane.

This led me to believe Lee was the villain, imagining a survival situation that wasn’t actually there. The ending vaguely supports this idea when Lee, covered in blood, gets brought in by the police for questioning. However, in the failure ending, Dane does stab Lee repeatedly with a knife. Maybe they are both crazy?

I find human killers to be far scarier than most monsters (Jack from the Shining will FOREVER scare me), but Dane didn’t do it for me. Perhaps Lee could have noticed a few details that hinted something was wrong, choosing to run when Dane pulled out a knife. Also, a bit more backstory might have helpd me suspend my disbelief as to why Lee brought Dane to that particular meeting place.

The writing itself needs a little more attention. While it's technically solid (minus Dane becoming Dale at one point), it reads a little young-adult-ish (unless that’s the target audience!). The puzzle is appropriate for the style, and the level design feels claustrophobic enough to enhance the suspense and make you want to escape. And yes, I still think this would make a better parser game, but I acknowledge that would be extremely difficult given the three hour time limit.



A Slight Problem with Zombies

Spoiler: show
I nearly made it to the winning ending my first play-through without dying! I’m pretty proud of that, actually, considering most options end in failure. Curse you +5 Axe of Zombie Slaying!!!

There's not much to say here. After successfully navigating several pages of mediocre writing through sheer luck (or by railroading), you’ll eventually learn it was all in your head. At least Blackness had a puzzle.



Zombiedating.zom

Spoiler: show
When I brainstormed ideas for this competition, I decided to include a match.com parody, because it would be a unique entry, right? Alas, that’s not how these competitions work. Anyway, I can certainly appreciate what this author attempted here. It’s short and silly, and that’s really all there is to it.



The Cenric Family Curse

Spoiler: show
This was a fun little game, with several basic puzzles to solve. The most creative puzzle was giving the bone to the dog to get past the skeleton; the rest were examine-to-find-this. Only acquiring the undermoss stumped me, though I was glad someone posted the answer on the forum, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have finished. The description of the coffins really needed to guide you to look under them.

The writing is solid, the coding is sound, the story is well-explained, the time limit creates suspense, and the puzzles are mostly satisfying. There’s no character development or story depth, but in a speed comp that’s rarely the point, so all in all it’s a neatly packaged game.



Ice House of Horrors

Spoiler: show
This is how you make a game. By the end of the intro I was hooked (ba doom ch!).

Instead of listing all the things I loved about this one, I’ll just mention my two favorite parts. The first was after figuring out what and where I was, I typed flop. AND I FLOPPED OUT OF THE BIN!!! That’s the magic moment where I know I can completely put my trust in the author to take me where he wants to go. I’m on board.

The second moment was when the man put the knife up against me. This is the first game that managed to make my body squirt some adrenaline into my bloodstream. From a text game. Bravo.



The tale of the cursed eagle

Spoiler: show
I’m a little irritated with this one, mainly because exits on doesn’t work as the game suggests, and I can’t see where I’m going without typing exits each time. Additionally, there are numerous grammar and spelling mistakes. For example: And the first memory you knew form was confusion. I think you mean And the first memory of your new form was confusion. Even corrected, the writing could be improved.

The main objective is to get away from the beast, and once I figured out how to view the exits, it wasn’t too difficult to discover the good ending. I didn’t finish exploring all the rooms so there may be another ending, but I’m not inclined enough to keep going.



The Voodoo You Do

Spoiler: show
This one fell flat for me, even with the Vodun research and the Hendrix allusion. The game reveals my spouse or lover left me but doesn’t encourage me to care enough to want to kill her. I should be sufficiently motivated to stab or burn the doll.

The parser was also discouraging. Switch lighter on should never be a command for using a lighter.



The Argument-Winner’s Ghost

Spoiler: show
This is some sort of high school nerd revenge story. The moral: there’s little worse than dying AND having someone discover you were over-leveraged financially. In the end, wouldn’t the joke be on the bank?

The writing is spotty, though I did giggle over some of the ways the ghost nagged me. Also, the computer should have recognized a variety of commands to let me login.



Wisp

Spoiler: show
And here I thought the loaf of bread needed to be broken down into crumbs and left as a trail, a la Hansel and Gretel, so I could find my way out. That would have been far more enjoyable. Instead, I played guess-the-verb for some time until I looked up the answer. I only wish there was more substance to review.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:04 pm 
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@JasonLautzenheiser

Jack
Spoiler: show
Quote:
My intent was really for the player to feel sympathy for Jack and I think it may have worked a little bit, but then I found the time constraints bearing down on me and the easiest way (at least the easiest way that came to mind at the time) was to have Jack become a murderous monster and the ending came way to fast and unexplained as I just ran out of time.

Yeah, the time constraints do limit potential character development. By the way, I noticed that in my hasty review, I neglected to include any positive comments, and I apologize! The game was nicely put together and didn’t contain any of issues that usually plague parser IFs. Considering this is your first release, it’s pretty good. Please post your post-comp release!


@cvaneseltine

Fish Dreams
Spoiler: show
I did not get the impression you whipped up Fish Dreams the afternoon of the due date at all. Nicely done! I also understand where you are coming with regards to your choice of platforms.


@Peter Pears

Boogle
Spoiler: show
Quote:
Boogle is rather fascinating. One person has seen it as a cautionary tale/satire about the ever-present modern day Big Brother; another person has seen it as being about online dating and how frightening it can be; and I saw it as manipulation by a crazed Shodan-like AI.

I’ll take fascinating! I think your interpretation is the closest to what I was aiming for.


@Merk

Boogle
Spoiler: show
Quote:
So here's the difference. I just did a test to find out. It doesn't work right in Internet Explorer, which is my default .html association.

I feet that Internet Explorer will be a huge hurdle for the advancement of Twine games. There is so much potential in what Twine can do visually and with custom Javascripts, but, as you experienced, people can be easily turned off if it doesn’t work right away. Glad you got to experience the real McCoy!


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:56 pm 
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busterwrites wrote:
I feet that Internet Explorer will be a huge hurdle for the advancement of Twine games. There is so much potential in what Twine can do visually and with custom Javascripts, but, as you experienced, people can be easily turned off if it doesn’t work right away. Glad you got to experience the real McCoy!

You're right about the potential, but I don't see why IE isn't up to the task. I have a little experience with Twine and a lot with Javascript, and didn't really run into any game-breakers when I worked with it.

(see Hallowmoor)

Spoiler: show
Granted, I haven't tried anything older then IE9, but I think that's what threw me. I know Twine works fine in IE9 even with a lot of extra Javascript, so the fact that Boogle really doesn't threw me. Plus the fact that I'd forgotten about the intro warning by the time I played the game a day or two later. :(


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:10 pm 
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Quote:
You're right about the potential, but I don't see why IE isn't up to the task.


As a Web designer, I can say that IE is the absolute worst browser to work with. Every version handles things differently, and is astoundingly frustrating to get anything new to work in -- especially HTML5. Going with the Halloween theme -- I was working on an HTML5 project, and ending up having to work 14 hours one night, and this was after a nightmare of coding. People outside the office must have thought there was a werewolf in the building, as it happened to also be a full moon that night. That's all I'm going to say. (Luckily, nothing was seriously trashed, but I came close to breaking everything that was possible to break. On account of IE.)


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:21 pm 
It does astound me that people who have a choice and are minimally computer-literate will use IE.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:32 pm 
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Quote:
It does astound me that people who have a choice and are minimally computer-literate will use IE.


Me too. I have to deal with clients that want new technologies to work in old versions of IE, but it just isn't possible. It's such a clunky, ugly, paranoid browser. However, people that are minimally literate use it because it's there. I think a lot of people are ignorant that they have a choice -- they just don't know the difference, or that there are alternative browsers that work better.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp reviews
PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Peter Pears wrote:
It does astound me that people who have a choice and are minimally computer-literate will use IE.

For a long time, I used it by preference. Now, by necessity. The projects I work on have to be 100% IE-compatible, because it's still a large part of what our customer base uses.

These days, I browse the web with Chrome. But I've never bothered to change my default file extension association. If I double-click an .html file in a local folder, it's going to open in IE. That's what happened to me here. But usually, it doesn't really matter that much.

craftian wrote:
As a Web designer, I can say that IE is the absolute worst browser to work with.

I guess there's a difference. I'm a web developer, and I tend to leave the "design" work to people who get paid for their expertise (at least traditionally -- my new role has me in more of a develop and design position). Tools like Visual Studio and the Telerik RadControls encapsulate and hide the differences behind a single structure. That's not to say I don't have to dig deeper and work on something custom, but when I do, I've never hit on a requirement that I just can't make work in IE. In fact, it's usually not even difficult.

I get why people dislike IE. I just think sometimes the hate sounds excessive. And IE isn't going anywhere...


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