The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Getting Back To Sleep

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 davidw » Tue Nov 16, 2004 7:27 am

Game: Getting Back To Sleep

Author: Patrick Evans

This game was accompanied by a README file which almost stopped me playing it. A part of it:

"This game is unique in that not only did I write the game module, but also an entire game system. Needless to say this was a big undertaking, but it allowed me the flexibility and freedom to accomplish what no other interactive fiction system can do: the game lives in real time, literally. Unlike other systems such as TADS, things can happen while you're typing; characters might talk with you, or even leave the room and go elsewhere in the game. 'Getting Back To Sleep' should be a totally new experience to many people, and I hope you enjoy it."

Now an introduction like that is always the sort of thing that puts me right off a game. Phrases like "no other interactive fiction system can do" and "a totally new experience" just make me cringe. 'If the system is so amazing,' I remember thinking upon reading that, 'why do you need to plug it so? Shouldn't the system be judged on its own merits?'

And then imagine my surprise when, upon opening the game, it didn't even work! Yep, the README advises that I need to be using Windows 98, 2000 or XP (which I am) and that I need to have installed NET Framework v1.1 (which I have). Nevertheless, the game didn't work. I got a few lines of meaningless text and a cursor which wouldn't even accept half the letters I tried to type in. After several attempts at getting the game to run, including posting a message on RGIF asking for help, I decided that this was one I should probably just consign to the recycle bin and move on. Which I did. As someone else advised me that the game doesn't even understand the most basic IF commands ("I" for inventory and "L" for look) I suspect I didn't miss out much.

I have to admit that this game gave me the best chuckle I've had for a long time. Here we have someone capable of creating a system that does what no other interactive fiction system in the world can do and yet he's not capable of creating a game which actually runs on my computer. From what I read on RGIF, I wasn't the only one to experience problems in this respect.

So off to the recycle bin with you Getting Back To Sleep and maybe next year the writer will consider making his game with a system that I might actually be able to use.

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