The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Silk Noil - by Heal butcher

A forum where new and old games can be reviewed - an alternative to the reviews on the Adventures page of the main ADRIFT site. Also the place to ask for any assistance if you are stuck playing a particular game.

Postby MileStyle » Thu Oct 31, 2002 12:48 pm

A silk king, genital perfumes, and small nude women who live within the title fabric!

When most interactive fiction writers spend their time trying to construct a game Heal Butcher removes himself from such ambition and decides, in lieu, to offer us the genre itself at face value - plain old interactive fiction.

Plain, however, it is not. Silk Noil offers something different (refreshing?) to fans of the genre. His prose is almost accomplished, offering interesting views on his subject matter - as the reader/player of this piece we are invited to view the mono-market place in which we begin. Although the descriptions are biased towards sight (as is often the case with interactive fiction) the inventive similes and metaphors often evoke feelings as if we ourselves were smelling, tasting, touching, and hearing the items and population of the strange bazaar.

Using his interesting Butcher Basic template Heal has made a piece of IF that is more intelligent, with regards to its parser, than most other interactive fiction currently available on the ADRIFT Downloads page. Trying out various combinations within the game shows that a great effort has been put into identifying commands that the player may well type in through frustration - and frustrated they may become - although there were phrases I used that yielded some strange responses. The sheer number of commands and phrases that Silk Noil understands is excellent for its size - the game only contains four rooms.

Players may find the game confusing, and typing 'Hint' gives no clues as to what move should be made next. Events, however, in the game are cleverly used to guide the misguided, revealing small bits of information as time passes whenever the user is unable to turn the 'interactive' page. There are other events, too, that add to the overall atmosphere of the piece rounding it off as a well produced package.

Silk Noil does suffer in certain areas, however. For all its wonderful writing, and colourful scenarios, it doesn't have the length or variety to ensure that players will repeat playing/interacting with it. Extra rooms with more interactivity would not have gone amiss - the chance to play through this piece of interactive fiction letting Heal's feverish writing take us into different rooms and conclusions would really have cemented our repeat service to the piece.

So, but for these few niggles, I feel that Silk Noil has a lot to offer the potential interactive fiction writer as opposed to the player. His interesting techniques, prose, and disregard for sense at face value blend well to create an excellent case study for future developers within the genre. And for those who download 'Silk Noil' for playing they may not find it to their liking, or to their personal style but one thing is certain; they will, most definitely, never forget it.

Review by: Stewart J. McAbney
What, can the Devil speak true?
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Postby ElliotM » Sat Feb 09, 2008 4:42 pm

This was one of the first games I tried when I came to Adrift. I was really impressed with the implementation depth for such a small game. The author graciously left the password off so you can examine how it works in the generator. When I found out how many locations the game actually had I was fairly surprised. The game makes good use of varied descriptions and together with the random events they gave a sense of the game being larger then it actually was. An excellent example of good game construction.
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