Thursday, October 2, 2014

IFComp 2014 - Sigmund's Quest

Not much of a quest, I'm afraid. Sigmund's Quest by Gregor Holtz is short adventure made with the Dedalus CYOA-creation tool. It's based on the Volsunga Saga, and tries to replicate the look of early graphical adventures. Thing is, the pixel art isn't particularly appealing, looking more like childish drawings in Paint than the games it's trying to emulate, and the game ends abruptly with a note to watch for the next chapter on Holtz's website. There's little saga here.

Obviously a lot of work went into it's creation. I'm not familiar with Dedalus, but it appears the interface is custom made. It's quite fancy, sitting somewhere in-between a CYOA and a text adventure. You don't have the typical CYOA choices, instead you click on highlighted words to get a menu of contextual actions. While you don't have the range of options you would in a parser-based IF, a fully implemented game would be something worth exploring. Beyond the lack of content, there are some design issues. At points, interactive words would just stop working for me and I wouldn't be able to continue. That might be an issue with my browser though, and can be overlooked. The game presents a full window illustration with a diary that slides into view when clicked. This seems an odd choice to me. As the diary is where the game happens, and having to toggle it after every illustration change is invasive, especially on replays. 

Interface nit-picking aside, Sigmund's Quest just doesn't have the content to be a contending entry. That's unfortunate. There's a lot of potential here. But IFComp just isn't the place for a tech demo, no matter how much affection went into it's creation.

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