My new text adventure videogame, Everybody Dies, was just voted third out of 35 entries at the annual Interactive Fiction Competition!
It starts with a metalhead, Graham, realizing that throwing that shopping cart over the bridge was not the great idea he thought it was. Even if it did get him out of washroom duty at Cost Cutters.
UPDATE: Invisiclue Style Hints provided below, Windows exe customized.
Special thanks to:
Michael Cho for the illustrations in the game, which I feel took it up a real notch and a half. I think it’s that we both find these character types lovable and ridiculous at the same time — there was a real dovetailing of sensibilities there that made it more than the sum of its parts.
People who criticized my previous game. Punk Points came in 22nd in the IFComp 2000, and was rightly dissed for poor implementation (“guess-the-verb” issues) and I heard from several people that they never got beyond the first puzzle. This time more than half of the hundred hours I put in on Everybody Dies was in revisions. (Which, incidentally, is way more time than I’ve ever spent revising my books or movies, percentage wise, but after asking around seems to be pretty average.) Type in ABOUT and you’ll see I had eighteen beta testers, which were spread over three waves, and about what I needed to get to a suitably deep implementation. Thanks guys!
People who liked my previous game. Despite its flaws Punk Points achieved a certain cult following, an award nomination for best Non Player Character, and I came across this transcript (spoilers!) of people playing the game together online recently. It’s twice as long as Everyone Dies, and the puzzles are harder both intentionally (I like tough puzzles) and unintentionally (the guess-the-verb issues). If you’re up for it, check it out here.
People who write great interactive fiction. It’s pretty much the only reason why I write IF. My favourite game of this comp, Jeremy Freese’s Violet, is funny, touching, and clever as all get-out. Play it online here, especially if you should be writing your dissertation.
People who write about interactive fiction. It’s a super-thoughtful, honest, responsive and ultimately nurturing community. I was avidly reading the reviews of Everybody Dies. Thanks to everyone who took some time to write about the stuff that they liked and didn’t like in this years’ comp. I credited some of you in version 2 of Everybody Dies if I squashed a bug you wrote about. And the fact that my primary inspiration to write another piece of interactive fiction, Emily Short, wrote favourably about my game? Well, thrilled doesn’t quite cover it. Go play her amazing, dandy-down-on-his-luck game, Savoir-Faire either online or from her site.
If you get stuck, feel free to use the clues below — they go from 1) slight hints to 3) explicit commands. They’re coloured in white so to see them you need to click and drag the mouse to range them inverted.
********I’M GIVING HINTS BELOW AND IN THE COMMENTS, SO: SPOILERS!*********
I keep dying a watery death as Graham.
1) Death isn’t as permanent as it is in other games.
2) Did you keep reading? Wait around a bit.
3) You can’t avoid dying. You will continue as another character.
I can’t find the seventh cart as Ranni!
1) Remember where Graham found the cart?
2) There’s two ways Graham can help you get to it.
3) GRAHAM, EXAMINE RIVER from the Bridge will give you the incentive you need to brave the prickleys and GRAHAM, WALK NORTH from West Side of Bridge will accomplish the same.
I can’t get rid of the woman and her kid as Lisa.
1) You need to confirm there’s no peanuts in the Snax.
2) If only you knew someone who might speak another language…
3) RANNI, READ SNAX will do the trick.
I can’t figure out how to get Patrick fired.
1) Have you tried GRAHAM, OPEN GRAHAM’S LOCKER? Weird, huh?
2) If only Tim was to find something incriminating in Patrick’s locker… or even a locker he thought was Patrick’s.
3) TAKE GRAHAM’S LABEL. TAKE PATRICK’S LABEL. PUT PATRICK’S LABEL ON GRAHAM’S LOCKER. Busted!