December was a pretty crazy month. The first half was consumed by a major deadline at work, so I was in “Super Cthulu Crunch” mode (again) for quite some time. This was mercifully followed by some much-needed vacation time visiting family members out of state, and while I did have my laptop with me, I wasn’t able to spend much time working on Vespers or the blog. So December basically became a short one-month hiatus essentially by default. I know this was difficult for many of you. Apologies and such.
Now that I’m back to the usual routine, it’s time to pick things back up, and there’s plenty of good stuff to talk about — including some hands-on time with a (somewhat) recently released adventure [More...] Read the rest
(or, The End of November Vespers Thing)
Good grief, another month come and gone already? November was a crazy month, I have to say. A lot of business travel, including a trip to Atlanta and not one, but two trips to D.C. — at one point, I was having trouble remembering what city I was in and what day it was. But while you might think that Vespers development would slow as a result, in fact this past month turned out to be incredibly productive. One of the most productive in a long time, actually. We’re finally beginning to see the fruits of our transition to new animators and a new animation system, and I’m expecting that this will be the start of a series [More...] Read the rest
Tale of Tales is the Belgian group led by Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn that brought us the thought-provoking poetic “art game” (for lack of a better term, I suppose) The Graveyard. It was an intriguing piece that generated a lot of discussion around the tubes, much of which was unfortunately negative because many people didn’t quite get that it doesn’t fit the traditional definition of “game”. It was also created with the Unity engine, a very cool 3D game engine/development tool that runs primarily on Macs, and which I came very close to using for Vespers. In any case, I thought it was a worthwhile experiment and I have a lot of respect for what these folks are trying to do.
Of [More...] Read the rest
The voting ended yesterday, and the results have been tallied. The winner of this year’s IFComp is Violet, by Jeremy Freese – an excellent piece which I thought was well-constructed, well-written, and entertaining. The top ten finishers in the Comp are as follows:
- Everybody Dies
- Piracy 2.0
- Snack Time!
- Opening Night
- April in Paris
- A Date With Death
- Berrost’s Challenge
Overall, I thought the competition had some good entries — some really creative ones like Violet and Buried in Shoes, and some traditional ones with good puzzles and engaging writing like Nightfall, Piracy 2.0, and April in Paris. I also enjoyed some of the more lighthearted entries such as Recess At Last and Snack Time! I think there [More...] Read the rest
With the IFComp voting period about to end, I’ll now finish up with the last batch of entries. Here once again I present my initial impressions of each game’s opening (introduction, “About” screens, and the first location or moves), summarized by the Capture Score from 1 (intriguing; a definite play) to 4 (dreadful and forgettable). Just a reminder, no spoilers here, just early impressions.
The final games covered here include “Buried in Shoes”, “A Martian Odyssey”, and “Freedom”.
“Buried in Shoes”, by Kazuki Mishima
As far as I know, Mishima has written only one IF game prior to this Comp, the short but poetic “Somewhere.” I don’t know quite how successful it was as an “interactive poem”, particularly given how short [More...] Read the rest