Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spring Thing 2014 Reviews

This will be my index post for Spring Thing 2014 reviews. If you don't know what it is, which is highly unlikely, it's a review of text adventures people worked hard to create. Go here to see all the games. (Note for people viewing this before 5/12: this is intentionally postdated so you see this post first and also probably avoid spoilers.)

Links to reviews (or reviews-to-be) are above the cut, and my own blather is below. Authors, feel free to contact me for clarifications. I hope to be sending out transcripts to people whose games support that, though in the games I've tested, y'all may have had enough. I may be open to replaying a game that's been updated, if it is not too long, as well. I know how mistakes are made--in stuff you thought you checked, no less. And while I can't drop everything to look at them, I do encourage people following up. Announce it on IFDB, too. It does get noticed!

Asterisked games are ones I beta-tested. I enjoyed my experiences with all of them.

As for my reviews, I want to give a combination of stuff I liked and stuff I'd like to see in an update. One of the big draws for IFComp, for me, is that there's an intense period of working to update my game, reacting to a wider group of reviews, and adjusting to what people saw or wanted or thought would be better. Now Spring Thing apparently has it too, and whether or not the authors take advantage, it will be neat to see what goes down.

You can filter my thoughts by actual reviews or testing thoughts.

Adventures of a Hexagon, by Tyler Zahnke
Bear Creek, Part 1, by Wes Modes
The Bibliophile, by Marshal Tenner Winter *
A Game of Life and Death, by Kiel Farren
The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost, by Briar Rose
The Story of Mr. P, by Hannes *
Surface, by Geoff Moore *
Through Time, by MC Book
Weekend at Ruby's, by Liam Butler and Jackson Palmer
The Wyldkynd Project, by Robert DeFord *

 It's nice to see so many text adventures make it through. I tested four of the games, and looking back to last year, there were only 3 entries. One was mine. I finished in the middle of the pack and wound up trading some useful and friendly correspondence with the winner, so that worked out well, and I'm glad he had a chance to enter. I hope other competitors will wind up doing so as well--it will be worth it beyond the money.

Everyone deserves credit for completing a game. I missed the deadline, but I would've been too busy, anyway--and once I realized I missed it, I figured 1) how to divide it from another idea I had and 2) that it was worth spending more time on. I think I was probably right to tighten up my 2013 IFComp entry (release 3 is in Beta, with an entirely new quest) and... 2013 Spring Thing game. Which I will be discussing in interspersed posts as well--not so much its details but how I went about making it, mistakes I made, and how I revised it.

I don't think it's appropriate for me to perform an extensive bash of any game, even if my last year's weren't so buggy. So I hope I don't (I've learned a lot from revising it.) But I'd like to think I've learned a lot from my mistakes from entering competitions and about what I do and don't like in other people's games I played.

But I'll be tagging those separately, so you can get to the good stuff.

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