7 – After EctoComp 2023

After not coming even close to winning EctoComp 2023, I had some thoughts and actions.

First, it seemed to me that parser games are not as welcome in some competitions as Twine games, or games that are more “choose your own path” with some text, perhaps graphics, and even sound, but then a few text options to choose from, and then the story forks. I did this in 1988 or so in GEOS on my Commodore 64, by writing geoComix as an experiment and if I had had time and inclination, I might have taken that concept further, but I didn’t.

Some of those games are quite good, but they are short short stories with some divergent paths to take, and can be quite deep, even if not long.

But they are not “parser games” which are the kind of Interactive Fiction I enjoy.

So I was a bit disappointed to find that most of the parser games came in with low scores, with a few notable exceptions.

Since the game was written in a month, and was intended to be a small game, I naturally did not implement every command for every object for every situation.

One reviewer noted several omissions, which to be honest, do nothing to add to the game itself, but to be more honest, would fill out the world a bit more. But that is the job of games that take much longer to implement.

So post-EctoComp 2023, I am adding to the game, and I will upload a new version to IFDB when I’m comfortably done.

In the mean time, I’m entering the original version into the IF Short Games Showcase 2023.

I also have an idea to repurpose the story into a Fairy Tale for a competition of parser-specific games for newer users, or players not familiar with the genre.

To do so, I need to alter the demon story and make the trapped spirit a fairy. Other than that, the game doesn’t need to change much, but one of the criteria is that it must have five puzzles. When it comes down to it, Put Peep(tm) in its original form, has 4 major puzzles. I can add more easily enough.

Also, there is a requirement to have a tutorial in the game. So I’m adding a short scene in your car before you get to your building, in which I will guide the player through some very basic commands, which will prod the player to figure out how to get out of the car. Not hard, but it uses various common commands to get out of the car. Then the game can begin.

And you can skip the tutorial if you like.

I’m hoping to complete that before the deadline in March.