Saturday, April 14, 2012

Spring Thing 2012 - Review: More on The Egg and the Newbie

So, it looks like we have a walkthrough, now.



I quickly run through the walkthrough. So it was more of a runthrough, you know.

Ok, that was bad.

Let's start again.

I read the walkthrough. Started from the very beginning, just in case I overlooked something. The herrings, there they are.
Oh, wow, the herrings can be sold via a peculiar machine (forgot to mention the link between Tesla Corp and farming eggs 'n chickens). Me makes money.
This I didn't think in my first run. I knew about the buying, tho.


Ok, so me buys chickens and stocks and sells eggs and herrings. Lemme check further.
More buying. More selling. The coyote breaks the wire, me repairs and buys new wire.
More. More buying. More selling. The box creates new herrings every time I empty it. Nice. Would my fridge work that way... That could be better than the absurd explanation Stephen King gives on how to be eternally filthy rich by timetravelling to 1958.

More selling, more buying. Recycling. Selling, buying... and we are at the end of the walkthrough.


Ok. I don't think I ever attacked Emily Short for her first review of my game, back during IFComp2011. In any case, given the flamewar that sparkled that very day, I think I owe her my most sincere apologies. She said she couldn't get far in my game due to its bad implementation and horrible english. I (honestly, it's all black on white: you can check it) said I appreciated her critique for she pointed out the real problems of Andromeda Awakening. Some (me included), though, thought it was really hard to believe one could not play a game due to its lack of polish.
I now fully understand what Emily said.

The Egg and the Newbie could have been a good game. Fact is I will never know for sure.

I didn't play it: The mentioned problems were too much for me. I begun thinking this was a childish game at the very beginning and that thought walked with me to the point where I left the interpreter. Then I got back but, instead of trying to play it anew, I runthroughed it all the way down.

It was too awkward to be credible, in my eyes.

As it did happen with my own game, I hope many other players/reviewers will find it amusing and playable. To me, it just didn't work.

Technically speaking, the game is not that bad. The various puzzles are well done and I imagine they are quite hard to code, also. Unfortunately, SpringThing is not a coding competition so that won't influence the audience too much. At least, it won't influence me.
The puzzles themselves are not of the kind I prefer. I'm betatesting a game these days which (no spoiler here) bad part was the repeating of the same action over and over just to experiment with the surroundings. In The Egg, the repeating is part of the puzzle. The walkthrough is all the same, you can easily cut and paste the first five commands and finish the game that way.
This is not bad per se. There are games that live on mechanical inputs, which puzzles are all a matter of finding a way out the maze or solving increasingly harder enigmatic problems. But I usually avoid those games as the pest.
Also, the simple fact that I didn't realize the use of the major device in the game means one thing only: I wasn't paying attention. I wasn't in the game.

So: sorry, Robert. I tried. Not that hard, but I tried. And not trying hard is a symptom of how much your game got me. Re-release with a better prose (choose if you want to do the funny guy or the serious one -- avoiding exclamation points at! any! cost! -- and stop treating the players bad), remove the misspellings and all of the things that made your work sound lazy, and this can be a success.

At this point, as stated below -- to me and to me alone -- it looks like a guy who is just gasping for air.

Giant Red • Small White • Orange Glowing • Azure • Cyanotic


  1. Marco,

    Thank you for your review of my game. I entered it into the SpringThing specifically to get the kind of critical review you have provided. I am a newbie to IF, and I have learned a great deal from your comments. IMO, your review was well worth the price of admission.

    I have played a few IF games, and I've lurked on the forums enough to know that the repetitive-loop structure of the main puzzle was a risky venture on my part, but I really didn't realize how poorly done the rest of the game was when I submitted it.

    Again, thank you.

    1. Hey!

      First of all congratulations on participating in the SpringThing. It's something I didn't do myself so I understand its value per se.

      Read what Sam Kabo Ashwell said too. His review is far more technical than mine which was (unsurprisingly) just a rant. You can find his insight via the SpringThing page in ifwiki.

      We are waiting for the next installment of your saga, then!