Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Game 39: Earthrise - Decapitated, Masticated and Perforated

Captain's Log, Entry 4: "I completed my sweep of the base today, and I'm afraid my worst fears have been realised. I've run into various local species, and what from I can tell, they all appear to be extremely dangerous. There are signs that the scientists are not just missing. They are more than likely all dead! I do however have some positive news. I have discovered some files on the Security Office terminal, that have described each of the creatures I may have to deal with in detail. I've already used this information to get past one of them safely, although I can't quite believe what I have now stumbled across. Perhaps the situation on the asteroid is affecting my judgement?! I decided to rest for a while and write this log entry, and then I will approach the area refreshed. I can only assume that I'm overtired and delusional. Yeah, that has to be it!"


It's time to go where no bee has ever gone before!

So I’d finally figured out how to enter the areas on Solus that had no oxygen while keeping both myself and Eric the bee alive! It was time to finish mapping the base, starting with the Living Quarters. Having taken the northern airlock from the Lower Central Hub, I passed through tunnels, Q1, Q2 and then into Q3. While I was busy adding these sections to my map, a message popped up onscreen that really scared me! “Uh-oh, Eric has stopped buzzing. A quick glance in the food cylinder confirms your fears. Poor Eric was in there too long, and suffocated.” Aaarrrgghhh!!! So transferring Eric from his jar into the airtight cylinder allowed me to enter danger zones, but it only gave me a short period of time before his air ran out anyway. Was it really enough time to explore the whole areas I’d not yet visited? Seemed unlikely! I restored and rushed through the tunnels, and soon found that it was indeed enough time, at least to get to the Living Quarters. Once I took a right turn into Q4, the status panel on the wall informed me that there was sufficient oxygen to breath. I transferred Eric back into the jar and took off my helmet. I presumed that I’d be spending a fair portion of the game transferring Eric between the two containers and putting on / taking off my helmet while traversing the base.


My triumph was short-lived...or was it?!

I’ll cut to the chase here and say that the Living Quarters held numerous rooms to the north and south of the main tunnel which had previously been occupied by the Solus inhabitants. They all contained pretty much the same furniture, including locked wardrobes, beds and drawers. Within the majority of them I found and collected some sort of item, including a comb (15 points), an old sock (15 points), a hacksaw (15 points), a hammer (15 points), and a gun (15 points). It felt great to finally have a large stash of items to play with! At the end of the Living Quarters I ran into a barricade made up of furniture and steel bars bolted and welded to the walls. I didn’t seem to be able take anything away from it or pass it, so I turned around and made my way back to the Lower Central Hub, pausing to transfer Eric and put my helmet on and then reversing the process once through. My next destination awaited me through the eastern airlock, which promised to take me to the Engine Room. My progress through the tunnels was delayed when I found that part of the wall had forcibly been damaged. There was a large red pipe on the ground, which had obviously been used to do the bashing, but I wasn’t able to pick it up. There was some blood too! Looking at the hole in the wall revealed three exposed pipes, and there was a bleeder valve on the oxygen one.


The inhabitants really made no effort to individualize their rooms.


How on Solus will this sock be useful!?


Man! Some aliens have no respect!

I tried to use the bleeder valve, but was told it required a special wrench that I didn’t have. I was also told that the valve would only stay open as long as I held it open. This was interesting, but I knew I had only moments until Eric would pass out and die. I moved onto the next part of the tunnel, and ran into a giant frickin Praying Mantis!!! “The large green insect-like thing doesn’t look very mean. In fact, he looks almost friendly.” I was certain that this description was leading me into a trap, so I saved my game before approaching the space insect. “Wait! It sounds like the creature is trying to whisper something... Actually, it sounds more like a pair of salivary glands on overdrive.” Friendly indeed! The praying mantis grabbed hold of me and bit my head clean off! I restored and tried using some of my weapons on the creature (the knife, the hammer, the hacksaw), but nothing worked. The gun may have worked, but I didn’t have any bullets (or even a magazine installed). Whatever I need to defeat it, I figured I mustn’t have it yet. I restored back to the Lower Central Hub and passed through the only airlock I hadn’t yet tried, the one leading south east to the Power Plant. Once again I ran into an unpassable obstacle, with this one being a very large crack in the tunnel.


You are one ugly mother...


If I still had a head, I'd be appalled by that joke!


I assume you have another side-splitting joke to crack me up?

My first thought was to try jumping it, but doing so resulted in a very humorous death scene. The low gravity caused me to crash into the ceiling above the crack, and then fall through it onto a stalagmite below, impaling myself in the process. Earthrise has some seriously gory death scenes, and they come thick and fast! I couldn’t think of any way to bypass the crack, so instead made my way back up to the Lower Central Hub. There were two more things I wanted to do before I made my back up to the Central Hub to complete my exploration. Firstly, I’d previously passed through the Cryofreeze Area, only to die once I reached the Emergency Exit. This time I was prepared, and on arrival I noticed something strange about the ladder there. Looking at it revealed that “the lower section of it seems to be missing, and someone clever chained a portable collapsible ladder against the wall to make it usable”. A closer look revealed that the ladder was being held to the wall by two steel chains, and I knew exactly how to remove it! I typed “use hacksaw on chains” and watched as my character detached (7 points) and then picked up the collapsible ladder (15 points). Looking at it revealed that it could extend as far as ten feet! I strained my brain, trying to think of somewhere I might be able to use the ladder, but came up with nothing. The second thing I wanted to do was revisit the mine. I had an idea of how to kill that damn gelatinous creature!


Oh, look at that, I've been impaled! (Over to you Draconius)


It's tool time!

Reading back over the notes I’d found in the Research Laboratory had reminded me that the slime creature they’d been studying had died due to the antioxidants in the cupcake it was attached to. Maybe these same antioxidants could be found in the piece of cake I’d picked up in the Mess Hall? It seemed even more likely to work, given that the kitchen next door was filled with drums of preservatives. I re-entered the Mine and tried various commands that I hoped would give the cake to the blob. I tried all sorts of things, including “give cake to blob”, “throw cake at blob”, “drop cake”, “feed cake to blob” etc. etc., but nothing worked! I was disappointed, but at least now I felt like I’d done all I could on the Lower Level with the items in my possession. I made my way back up to the Upper Central Hub, planning to check out the final two sections in the base (the Recreation Room and the Administration section). I chose to go south to Admin first, but a couple of screens in found myself face to face with another large creature! This one was green and had huge sharp teeth! It also had three legs, meaning the footprints that I’d seen on the surface were almost certainly made by a creature of this type, if not this one in particular. It was described as looking very hungry, so approaching it was undoubtedly a bad idea. I of course decided to do it anyway...


Well at least the thing might die after eating me, since I ate some cake myself.


This isn't going to end well!

As I got close, things got rather humorous. “The creature gives you an extremely dirty look. You decide to stare him down............you seem to be winning the staring contest.........OOPS! You blinked..........I think you’re in trouble...........” After losing the contest, the creature enclosed its mouth over my upper torso and began chomping on me. I had to laugh, despite the fact that I now had to restore once again. I doubted anything in my inventory would affect this thing, so decided to check out the absolute last airlock running out of the Upper Central Hub. As soon as I passed through the north-west airlock, I discovered a pressure suit lying on the ground. It had holes all over it! “If its last owner was in it when this happened, he probably didn’t enjoy it much. Funny, there’s no sign of the previous owner at all.” I wasn’t able to do anything with the suit, so I proceeded with care into the next section of tunnel. Waiting for me there was yet another creature, with this one looking like a large brown porcupine. Before I could do anything, it fired a bunch of spikes at me, all of which pierced my suit and passed out the other side. Blood showered out of me onto the floor, and I eventually fell over...dead! “Wow, that little critter didn’t even give you a chance! Well now you know what happened to that guy in the other hallway. Next time you had better be ready for the little bugger.”


Yes, I restored and typed "make obscene gesture with finger". It didn't work.


I have a bad feeling about this!


I think Earthrise might actually top Space Quest III for gory death scenes!

So finally I’d gone at least partially into every section of both levels of the Solus base. I’d picked up heaps of items, including a ladder, a piece of cake, a cylinder, a pair of military glasses, a kitchen knife, an electromagnet, a security badge, a pistol, a comb, a sock, a hammer, a hacksaw, and an African bee called Eric. I’d run into numerous obstacles, including a large crack, a huge praying mantis, a scaly green three-legged monster, a vicious porcupine, a hugely acidic gelatinous blob, a gigantic spider, and a locked door. The problem I had was that there weren’t any obvious ways to apply my items to these obstacles. Rather than take the trial and error approach, I decided to go back through my screenshots looking for anything that might assist. The most likely place I thought I might find something was among all the notes I’d collected in the Research Laboratory. Within a minute I had what I needed! I’d not paid much attention to the biomedical notes I’d found in the filing cabinet, since it hadn’t given me any information about the various life forms on the asteroid beyond their names. Looking at it again, I was very excited by the following line: “Each creature’s file mentions a computer entry in the BIOMED database of the installation’s main computer. Could it be that typing BIOMED into the terminal in the Security Office held the key? I raced over there, and typed BIOMED at the database prompt. Instead of telling me the database was unknown, I was now prompted for a search string!!!


This has gotta work...oh please!!!!!


Yes, yes, yes, I have exorcised the demon! This house...is clear!

The notes had listed five species names, being Tymak, Brelt, Karik, Glitten and Zeld. I tried typing “tymak” at the prompt, and was rewarded with a full description of the creature! “Small gelatinous creature. Secretes deadly caustic fluid that will dissolve everything tested. We haven’t found a way to stop these things yet, but they are slow enough to avoid. They tunnel through some kinds of rock. I believe they are responsible for violating the integrity of some of the tunnels, allowing pressure to escape and the native atmosphere to enter. They have been spotted in every part of the base, the only exception being the botanical gardens. For some reason, they avoid that place completely.” Clearly the blob in the Mine was a Tymak, but the file failed to describe a weakness as I’d hoped. I could only hope that I’d find the answer in the garden, but I’d have to get past the spider to follow that lead. I typed “brelt” and got the following: “Small rodent-like creature, resembling a porcupine. These little devils fire steel darts from their skin at respectable velocities. At close range, these darts can penetrate pressure suits. I have seen two people try to fight them; they both died. Bullets and laser blasts seem to have no effect, their steel spines act as an effective shield. I haven’t quite figured out how they manage to produce steel organically, but I am working on it as of the filing of this report.” It was pretty obvious which creature I’d come across that matched the description, but how would I possibly kill a creature made of steel?! Eureka!!! My electromagnet!!!!


It felt so very exciting to uncover and read these files.

I’ll hold off including the descriptions of the other three creatures for now. I’ll only say that I received 15 points for having retrieved them from the database and that none of the other three gave me as clear a direction as the Brelt one. I quickly made my way back to the Upper Central Hub and re-entered the tunnels leading to the Recreation Room. Before I entered the section containing the Brelt, I typed “turn on magnet”. It worked, and since I knew the battery pack only had 14% power left, I quickly continued on. “This time you’re ready! You whip out your recently activated electromagnet...” As before, the Brelt started showering me with spikes, but this time they were all drawn to the magnet. The Brelt tried again, with the same result. “The poor thing. He’s half naked and completely embarrassed. He’s not sure exactly what he should do.... I think he’s leaving...” The creature sulked away defeated, leaving me to explore where I hadn’t been able to previously (20 points). I had no time to celebrate though, as I knew my bee would soon expire unless I could find an area with an appropriate atmosphere. I walked through the next airlock, and emerged into...daylight!!! I removed my helmet to find the air was breathable. I transferred Eric into his jar. I looked at my surroundings. “You are standing in a lovely field. There are trees, shrubs, and grass around. You can see some small hills off to the north.” WTF!!!


Perhaps the little bugger is a relative of the echidna rather than the porcupine


That's it, go ahead and run. Run home and cry to mama!


New TAG Category: WTF!

Session Time: 2 hours 00 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Note Regarding Spoilers and Companion Assist Points: I've written a set of rules regarding spoilers and companion assist points. Please read it here before making any comments that could be considered a spoiler in any way. The short of it is that no points will be given for hints or spoilers given in advance of me requiring one. Please...try not to spoil any part of the game for me...unless I really obviously need the help...or I specifically request assistance. In this instance, I've not made any requests for assistance. Thanks!

70 comments:

  1. I take exception to the physics regarding the death of Eric. Estimating that the canister is around half a liter, and with an average of 40 microliters oxygen consumption per African honeybee per minute in low activity, it should take it over two hours just to process 1% of the available air in that thing.

    Highly irregular I say, and scientifically implausible! I expect points to be redacted when it comes time for the PISSED score to be calculated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ok, I can't tell if you are joking or you actually found the oxygen consumption used by a honey bee.

      Hmmm, I can't reproduce your math, thus I'm guessing you all made it up. I'm getting 500 mL * 20% O2 = 100 mL of O2. 100 mL/40 uL/min = 2500 minutes. 2500 min/60 = 41 hours, 45 minutes.

      Delete
    2. I was going to mention the very same point! Adventure Game Logic™ strikes again.

      Delete
    3. Nevermind. 40 microliters a minutes IS accurate. I am impressed Lars-Erik.

      http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s003600050045

      It looks like you could extend it even further by feeding them sucrose, as you can get it down to like, 20 uL/min. That said, I am NOT impressed by that paper's layout and labelling. Badly labled axis, too many things per graph, *grumble, grumble*

      Delete
    4. @Canageek, it started as a joke and ended as a joke, but in between I did actually do some research. By combining the research articles of "Oxygen consumption and body temperature of active and resting honeybees." (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16256690) and "Physiological Correlates of Foraging Efforts in Honey-Bees: Oxygen Consumption and Nectar Load" (http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2389615?uid=3738744&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21103243569047) I did an extremely rough guesstimate of a 40 microls of oxygen consumption per minute depending on the activity level of said bee.

      Lacking two key figures (the oxygen content of the air in the space station and the threshold where a bee asphyxiates from either the lack of O2 or maximum CO2 levels), I couldn't state precisely when death would occur. I could however take the easy road out after struggling with IBM license counts all day long by stating how long it will take the bee to process the air in the canister, a simple 0.5L/40uL. 1% of that is 125, divided by 60 is just over two hours.

      It's not accurate enough to publish a paper on, but the discrepancy between rate of consumption and the number of Eric's Trickster goes through should be more than enough to call it scientifically implausible. :p

      Delete
    5. Hah, a third source with confirmation! ;)

      Delete
    6. 1%? For humans to not have reduced brain efficiency we need at least 19.5% oxygen as I recall, and you won't die until it is well under that. If we assume atmospheric O2 (20.5% where I am, based on all the alarms on the walls), and that a bee is in serious trouble at the same time as humans ( 8-10% Mental failure, fainting, unconsciousness, ashen face, blueness of lips, nausea and vomiting according to my NMR facility training) that is 52 mL of oxygen, which gives us 1312.5 minutes or 21 hours. Now, I'm ignoring CO2 poisoning, but I figure bees brains also can recover from lower O2 levels then ours can, being insects.

      Delete
    7. I am seeking outside help: http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/14345/how-long-can-a-bee-surive-in-a-jar

      Delete
    8. There's one important thing that you guys are not accounting for. I thought we established that Eric was only half a bee! Depending on whether or not his lung capacity is also halved, one could argue that he would require half the air, and therefore live twice as long within the airtight container.

      I may have to double the demerit points on the PISSED rating!

      Delete
    9. The screens on the walls say 14% oxygen in the station.

      Delete
    10. 14%?! Again, from my NMR training handout: "15-19% Decreased ability to perform tasks. May impair coordination and induce early symptoms in persons with head, lung or circulatory problems."
      " 12-15% Breathing increases, especially in exertion. Pulse rate up. Impaired coordination, perception, and judgment."

      So yeah, at that point you are basically standing on a mountain.

      So that would be 20 mL of oxygen before it hits 10%, or 500 minutes, or about 8 hours.

      Delete
    11. Maybe that's why they were sloppy and let a bunch of aliens break in.

      Delete
    12. Actually, I was thinking, that would sort of make sense if they'd lost a bunch of air due to leaks in the base. Then I realized that would indeed lower the available O2, but the percentage of the atmosphere would be the same. On the other hand, depending on the sensor uses, if it is actually measuring number of particles and assuming constant pressure it could be an ferrous output?

      Delete
    13. And the protagonist going all, "Hey! It's that horrible porcupine alien thing that skewered me dead a few minutes! Let's do it again!"

      Delete
    14. @Canageek, in current space technology, they always measure both pressure and oxygen content. Whether that holds true until the Solus incident in 2034 we'll just have to wait and see.

      @Trickster, according to your own photographic evidence in the last post Eric was whole and in good health when you assumed responsibility for his care. The containers where Eric spends his days in blissful ignorance of the dangers you put him in are as far as I can tell, still intact despite your constant decapitations, mastication, perforations and other mutilations. We must therefore assume that if he now has become the prophesied Half-a-Bee, it is because you have taken your rage at constant bee asphyxiation out on him yourself in an attempt to lower his consumption. How do you plead?

      Delete
    15. Guilty on all charges! There's only so much pain and disappointment I can take before I start taking it out on the only non-threatening life form within reach.

      Note: The Trickster would like to state that no animals (including bees) were harmed during the playing of or blogging about Earthrise, or any other game that appears either or off The Adventure Gamer website.

      Delete
    16. More information on the life of the bee in the jar has come to light: http://biology.stackexchange.com/questions/14345/how-long-can-a-bee-surive-in-a-jar/18986#18986

      The answer is 1-4 hours, according to the answer I got.
      (How is that for dedication?)

      Delete
    17. Your dedication to the cause astounds me Canageek! Remind me to give you CAPs for this thorough and important research when we hit the next Final Rating post.

      Delete
  2. Do you still give out CAPS for finding references? I've been finding more of them as of late:

    It's time to go where no bee has ever gone before!: Star Trek of course.
    It's tool time!: Home Improvement I assume?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Guys, guys, he tried the cupcake! Rirelbar fgneg gnyxvat nobhg guvf va ebg guvegrra!

    Npghnyyl, V unq nabgure gubhtug: Pbhyq lbh hfr gur ynqqre nf na vzcebirq oevqtr, yvxr vpr pyvzoref qb?
    Fbzrbar tb grfg vg, V'z rawblvat cynlvat nybat ivn pbzzrag.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unu, V jnf whfg nobhg gb znxr n pbzcrgvgvba nobhg nabgure boivbhf chmmyr fbyhgvba Gevpx snvyrq gb svaq - lrf, gur ynqqre vf hfrq sbe gur penpx.

      Gur phcpnxr vf npghnyyl hfrq sbe nabgure fyvzr zbafgre Gevpxfgre unfa'g lrg pbasebagrq.

      Delete
    2. Vg jbexf ba bar zbafgre naq abg nabgure? Vfa'g gung ubeevoyr tnzr qrfvta?

      Delete
    3. V qba'g guvax fb. Gurfr ner nyy zrnag gb or bs qvssrerag fcrpvrf jvgu gurve bja jrnxarffrf, fb gurer'f na vatnzr ernfba, jul bar fbyhgvba qbrf abg jbex sbe gur bgure.

      Delete
    4. Lrnu, ohg vg fbhaqf yvxr gur cnefre whfg qvqa'g erpbtavmr jung Gevpxfgre jnf gelvat gb qb, juvpu pbhyq yrnq gb uvz abg gelvat vg va shgher.

      Delete
    5. Zna vg srryf jrveq chggvat NPGHNY fcbvyref va ebg guvegrra naq abg whfg fperjvat jvgu Gevpxfgre.

      Delete
    6. Jryy, gur perngher va gur zvar vf pnyyrq n oybo. Gur pbeerpg qrngu ol pnxr perngher vf pnyyrq n fyvzr.

      Delete
    7. Jbhyqa'g vg or orggre qrfvta gb unir gur zbafgre qribhe gur phcpnxr naq gura unir n fhccyl va gur xvgpura lbh pna erfgbpx sebz? Gung jnl vg fubjf gung tvivat gur zbafgre gur phcpnxr vf gur n cbffvoyr npgvba, whfg abg gur evtug fbyhgvba va guvf vafgnapr.

      Delete
    8. I'm not saying the parser isn't hell, because it is, and the game doesn't account for everything. Heck, gung ybat erq zrgny ebq whfg ylvat gurer unf n ahzore bs hfrf V pbhyq guvax bs, ohg gur tnzr qbrfa'g rira jnag gb npxabjyrqtr gung gur punenpgre pna cvpx vg hc. Gur tnzr nyernql yrgf lbh cvpx hc hfryrff vgrzf yvxr gur tha, gur fbpx, naq gur pbzo, ohg ab, pna'g unir lbh cvpxvat hc n ebq gung jr'q unir nqq hfrf sbe.

      Delete
    9. Naq guhf jr frr jul cnefref jrag bhg bs fglyr. Gurl ner yvzvgrq, juvyr uhzna vqrnf nera'g, nyjnlf yrnqvat gb sehfgengvba.

      Delete
    10. Gvzr sbe zr gb fbj srne bapr ntnva!

      Of course he tried the cupcake. He wouldn't do that if he had read our ROT13 comments in his last post. Death in this game is nothing compared to the the face-palm he's gonna give himself repeatedly after he gets that *DING* lightbulb and the imminent dead-end he has set himself forth that's gonna burn all those hours of earlier gameplay.

      Juvpu vf n sernxvat yvr, bs pbhefr. Ohg gur gevpx'f ba Gevk, fb...

      Sure, the parser is bad but Trix is largely at fault for actually oryvrivat gung jungrire jr unq gb fnl zvtug nyy or nobhg gur tnzr naq abg whfg fbzr enaqbz abafrafr gung lbhef gehyl vf fcbhgvat.

      These are all the obvious things he did that had sealed his dead-ended fate (gbgnyyl znqr hc, bs pbhefr):

      Erirnyvat jung jbeevrf uvz zbfg va gur oybt juvpu jr pbhyq gura cynl ba uvf srne - Dead End!
      Abg gehfgvat uvf vafgvapg gung jr ner vafregvat inevbhf nakvrgl-vaqhpvat syhss va bhe pbzzragf - Dead End!
      Univat n ohapu bs wbxref nf pbzzragref - Most horrible Dead End!!!

      Open your eyes, Trix!

      Delete
    11. Bx, gung zvtug or tbvat n ovg sne va fperjvat jvgu Gevpxfgre.

      Delete
    12. Qba'g jbeel.

      Ur'f abg tbaan ybfr fyrrc bire guvf. KQ

      Be jvyy ur...?!

      Delete
    13. V qb ubcr lbh rawblrq lbhe pncf juvyr gurl ynfgrq.

      Delete
    14. Unun, lbh ubeevoyr, ubeevoyr crefba.

      V'yy wbva va, ohg jvgu na npghny tnzr dhrfgvba guvf gvzr. Vf gur ernfba gur phcpnxr naq gur cvrpr bs pnxr jbexf gur fnzr? Vs obgu vf orpnhfr vg pbagnvaf cerfreingvirf, vg fubhyq jbex rdhnyyl ab znggre vs gurer'f qvssrerag nyvraf gb hfr gurz ba. Gura vg'f n cnefre ceboyrz, rfcrpvnyyl fvapr gurer'f npghnyyl ZBER PNXR gb rng.

      Delete
    15. Ynef-Revx: Fb ner lbh nfxvat jurgure gur pnxr fubhyq jbex sbe obgu nyvraf (juvpu ner bs qvssrerag fcrpvrf naq unir qvssrerag culfvbybtl) be jurgure gur tnzr fubhyq nyybj gelvat gb srrq vg gb gur "jebat nyvra"? Vs sbezre, ab. Vs ynggre, lrf, gur qrirybcrf unir orra n ovg ynml va trggvat nyy gur cbffvovyvgvrf pbqrq.

      Pnantrrx: Jryy, guvf vf n znggre bs gnfgr, creuncf. Tencuvp vagresnprf unir gurve bja ceboyrzf (svaqvat gur ubgfcbg), naq vs qbar cbbeyl, fbyivat n chmmyr vf whfg n znggre bs pyvpxvat gur evtug vpba va gur evtug fcbg bs gur fperra. Ba gur bgure unaq, vs cnefre vf qbar pnershyyl, vg pna or n dhvgr fngvfslvat rkcrevrapr. Gurer ner gevpxf gb nibvq gur cynlre gelvat gb glcr rirel cbffvoyr Ratyvfu fragrapr - sbe vafgnapr, gur tnzr zvtug fgenvtug bhg gryy juvpu ireof vg haqrefgnaqf. Gura vg'f whfg n znggre bs gelvat gb pbzr hc jvgu n avpr nafjre gb rirel cbffvoyr pbzovangvba be ireof naq nccebcevngr bowrpgf va gur tnzr - ybg bs jbex, ohg fgvyy cbffvoyr. V guvax fgnaqneqvmrq VS cebtenzzvat gbbyf unir vzcebirq gur birenyy dhnyvgl bs cnefre onfrq tnzrf va guvf znggre.

      Delete
    16. Abj jr'er fb frperg gung jr rira rapelcg gur anzrf bs gubfr jr'er gnyxvat gb! Naq gunaxf sbe gur ercyl. Tbbq gb xabj gurl nera'g vagrepunatrnoyr fb gung gur cerfreingvir fbyhgvba jbexf sbe obgu.

      Phew, almost forgot to rot13 that. I had typed it in and everything and almost clicked Publish. No spoilers for Trickster here, no sirree!

      Delete
    17. For the very secret commenter or Ynef-Revx: Uru, V npghnyyl glcrq jebat gurer. Ab, gur pnxr fubhyqa'g jbex sbe obgu nyvraf. Gur bar Gevpx gevrq gb srrq vg vf abg bs gur fnzr fcrpvrf qrfpevorq va gur abgr nobhg gur phcpnxr (ur unfa'g frra vg lrg). Gur cnefre fubhyq unir cebonoyl fgvyy fnvq fbzrguvat ernfbanoyr, jura Gevpx gevrq gb srrq vg gb gur oybo (fbzrguvat yvxr "gur pnxr vf qvffbyirq ol gur zbafgre, ohg abguvat ryfr unccraf"), ohg vg qbrfa'g

      Delete
    18. Be gura V qvq fnl vg evtug bevtvanyyl naq pnaabg whfg haqrefgnaq urnq be gnvy jung V nz jevgvat nalzber... BX, guvf vf rabhtu sbe zr.

      Delete
    19. Now I wish he'll get stuck on that puzzle so I just can paste in this link as a hint: uggc://jjj.lbhghor.pbz/jngpu?i=eMIwXyOPiut

      Delete
    20. Is there a TAG award awarded for "Most ROT13'ed comments in a single game"? Because I think I know what game's going to win for 1990!

      Delete
    21. Vyznev Wnhuvnvara: What about a sentence generation system, where you build a sentence from a prebaked list of options that popup?

      So you hit USE and then it gives you a list of possible things to use in this location + your inventory, and then it fills in ON and gives you a list of targets.

      Alternately, give a list of everything present to the side, or have a highlight object option/key.

      Delete
    22. Pnantrrx: Personally a) I prefer a bit more variety to verbs than just USE, which tends to make all a bit too easy ("well, let's just try USING all these whatsyoucallthems to those thingovertheres, and hey look, that worked!"), and if you are getting very detailed with the verbs, the list will soon grow very unwieldy and b) I find a certain charm in trying to find out through LOOKing, EXAMINing and SEARCHing what objects there are in a room, instead of just being handed a list of what's there.

      But this is a matter of taste, as I said, and what you described isn't actually far from a parser game. In Legend games you could use both a list and a parser or disable other, if you preferred one over the other, and that worked pretty well.

      Delete
    23. Illmari: Ok, so you have a series of popup menues that develop contextually. So you hit open, and it gives you a list of everything that can be opened (Like Nethack does). If you hit look at it gives you a list of everything in your location.

      Think Madlibs parser, so you don't have to guess the connecting words or exact item titles.
      Use/Look/Rub/Ignite/Poke/Hit/Take hit of/etc the Coat/Cat/Lighter/Zombie rabbit/Joint/Gun/Blog then optionally add a With or whatever.

      Still, how do you avoid "What do you mean that is a timber, not a beam?" problem with a parser? I think a click or list interface is a better idea, or at least some sort of highlighted object (say all intractable objects stand out of the environment, are highlighted, sparkle, something) that you can then click on so it fills in that word in the parser.

      So you can type "Use the saw on the" *click* will fill into your parser.

      Also how the heck do games not have tab completion? Command lines have had that forever!

      Delete
    24. Gb nyy (rkprcg Gevk): I think it's more a problem of code compilation. Too much disk space (for text) and memory used (for computing) on such parser-based games.

      Text Adventures always suffer from parser problems.
      Graphical Adventures always suffer from pixel-hunting escapades.

      I think the next step in gaming (full VR immersion) should solve that problem.

      Delete
    25. Nope, then you just have better graphics but still have a limited number of options you can code in.

      Kenny? I could code something like that in kilobytes of memory. A good programmer could probably do it in a lot less. You already have a memory buffer that holds the text to be typed. You already have a list of objects that are in your room and inventory and possibly actions.
      Also every adventure game I've seen uses the format VERB [on|to|with| ] NOUN [with|at] [NOUN] (Things in [] are optional, | means or)
      So:
      Talk to Kenny
      Hit Kenny with sword
      Throw Controller at the wall

      So:
      Print a list of possible actions.
      Player selects from the list
      Copy that command into the text buffer you've got for the parser (Not really needed)
      Print list of either all possible items at location or all items that work with that action
      Player selects from the list
      Copy that command into the text buffer you've got for the parser (Not really needed)
      Loop this as needed.

      Writing a parser is hard; writing a really good one is something I'm not sure I could do. Writing a self-filling system from options like this? Damn easy, I could do it and I'm a terrible coder.

      Or did you mean telling what options are valid? That is more a matter of art direction then interface. You need to either adopt a boring Checkov's Gun style or make them stand out from the environment a bit. Early 3D games actually nailed this, as the polygons would stand out from the prerendered backgrounds. They just need to find some way to do this in modern games that is a bit more subtle then having them stick out in a painfully obvious manner, or highlighting them with light.

      If I were writing an adventure game I'd do it all greyscale, except for objects and people you needed to pay attention to which would be in colour. Kind of a Sin City astheistic I guess? Or The famous scene in Schinder's List if you want to be even more dark. I'd also go full voice acting, all in genre with lots of poetic bits, kind of like Snow Crash's opening.

      There was an old SF novel that did that, all these poetic, over the top, noir type descriptions but I can't remember the name. *Heads to Ask Metafilter*

      Delete
    26. I totally agree with you Canageek. Using the interface you describe have been tried before as well if I understand it correctly. Both the textual version used in for instance Mortville Manor(http://advgamer.blogspot.no/2012/03/game-12-mortville-manor-fatal.html), but usually the same system used graphically, such as in Full Throttle with the action wheel.

      And Kenny, I'm actually dreading playing the lower end of adventure games with virtual 3D immersion. Can you imagine the pixel hunting needed when the pixels can be hidden under, behind, inside and between things? It'll usher in an entirely new era of "I can't find the microfilm in the mansion!" "Have you looked in the fourth room to the left in the second floor, in the hollow leg of the third bookcase on the right behind the drapes underneath the stack of books? You have to twist the hollow leg to x=34 degrees, y=142 degrees precisely to see the glint of light that shows you that there's something there. Learn2look, newb!". *shudder*

      The higher quality games though would be something to experience, where they don't fall for cheap tricks to artificially ramp up the difficulty.

      Delete
    27. The only game type I can see that working perfectly for is physics puzzlers. I think VR portal would be less headache inducing.

      Delete
    28. Getting back to ROTting: Shaal gung gur qvfphffvba irrerq vagb iveghny ernyvgl, jura gurer'f n cvpgher bs "erny" ubybqrpx fbzrjurer nobir...

      Delete
  4. Greatly enjoying your struggle with this game Trickster. Seems you're having a bit more trouble than I did though. Hopefully you don't get maddeningly stuck as I did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you have something you should be doing Zenic?

      Delete
    2. >.>
      <.<
      I have many things, but yes, should be getting to that other game soon. Just got back from my trip and tended to some errands. Will have time to play tonight and get a new post to Trickster for review tomorrow. You're lucky I didn't bow to United Airline's will as they wanted to book me on a flight for Thursday. Instead I bought my own ticket on a different airline, and now am hoping United will issue me a refund to cover that expense. Been dealing with that hassle for part of my day as well.

      Delete
    3. Ug, I'm glad I didn't have to fly for vacation this year. Left the house at 9 am or so, dropped off at the ferry terminal about 11, bought my ticket, killed time playing DS (no security), took a bus home from there (Ok, I got turned around once and took a skytrain in the wrong direction, but that one is my fault.)

      Delete
  5. So Trickster, you were complaining about how quite your blog was?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This place is just like the parties I go to. Everybody shows up as soon as I go to bed. :p

      Delete
    2. Well that is what you get for living in the land of the dropbears.

      Delete
    3. I think you have me confused with Mr. I'm-so-manly-I-split-bees-in-half-with-my-teeth Astronaut up there.

      Delete
    4. It doesn't count when half of the comments are yours!

      Delete
    5. We Europeans are just sleeping, when the rest of the world has a major party…

      Delete
  6. And, because I don't think anyone's pointed out the title reference yet...

    "Your odor alone makes me aggravated, agitated, and infuriated."

    ReplyDelete
  7. New (old) release on GoG, BloodNet: http://www.gog.com/game/bloodnet
    Apparently an adventure/rpg hybrid, it's on Tricksters list as Borderline in 1994.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daily Deal on The Testament of Sherlock Holmes at Steam, 75% off. http://store.steampowered.com/app/205650/?snr=1_4_4__106

      Delete
    2. Also: Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle: http://store.steampowered.com/app/264320/?snr=1_4_4__106_5 15% off.

      Delete
    3. That's great news re: BloodNet. The more adventure games on the list that are available on GOG the better!

      Delete
    4. Just got The Testicles of Sherlock Holmes! Hope I'm gonna have loads of fun with it!

      BTW, wasn't Bloodnet being blasted (and rightfully so IMHO) for having useless skills, unfriendly UI and buggy crashes?

      Delete
    5. Kenny: Let me know how it is, the prior one in the series didn't hold my interest very long, and it is obvious they hadn't done much reading into Holmes themselves. But I have heard that Testament is a big step up, so let me know.

      So is that typo deliberate or ...?

      Delete
    6. Typo? Me? Feh! I scoff at the idea that I would ever make such... hmm... Oh well... too late to blame Autocorrect and deleting it will make you sound like a weirdo instead. So... balls it is.

      Delete
    7. Yeah, nice try Kenny. "Loads of fun"... tee heeee.

      Delete
    8. Big Telltale and Daedalic adventure sale on GoG: http://www.gog.com/promo/telltaledaedalic_weekend_promo_10012014

      Up to 85% off on:
      The Whispered World
      Tales of Monkey Island
      Deponia
      Deponia 2: Chaos on Deponia
      Deponia 3: Goodbye Deponia
      The Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav
      Memoria
      A New Beginning
      Gomo
      The Night of the Rabbit
      Edna & Harvey: The Breakout + Harvey's New Eyes
      Sam & Max Save the World
      Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space
      Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse
      Back to the Future - The Game
      Wallace & Gromits Grand Adventures

      Delete
    9. The Wallace & Gromit games are an absolute delight. A tad easy, sure, but a total hit with the kids (they do need help with the puns, which are very difficult to translate). At $3 they're a steal.

      Delete
  8. Male bees never leave the hive. Your Eric should be an Erica.

    ReplyDelete