Thursday, October 22, 2015

The King and the Crown (a review)

"The King and the Crown" is an interactive fiction written in z-code by Wes Lesley for the 2015 interactive fiction competition.  In a lot of ways this felt like a programming exercise: short, simple and under-developed.  It felt like the author put more effort into customizing standard error messages, than building a world model which is robust enough prevent the player from experiencing parser errors.

I reached two quite different endings before turning to the external hints file.  Turns out there are lots of hidden Easter eggs, but many of them so obscure that nobody is ever likely to find them without the walk through.  Better game design requires that an author focuses their energy on writing responses to likely actions (examining details on the stained glass, for example) not on commands the player would never think to type without the walk through.


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