Creative Cooking postmortem

first thing, I don’t hide that I’m seriously disappointed with the placement, and I personally think that is caused by three external factors:

first and foremost, the ten or so days of the 60 nominally available lost by a bout of bad mood (I try to keep the initial concept of “developing the story in two months”, albeit today is rather ignored, for good or bad). whose led to cutting too many corners in the wrong aereas (that the corners are filled and the serious bug removed in the space of eight days confirm the diagnosis)

second, that I have done the classical hacker’s mistake: lack of documentation. as various commentators noted, I failed to point to the 'terps available, and this reduced the numbers of the judges, and votes.

Third, and most serious: the lack of clarity about the “no comments whose can influence judges” rule, and the rather rigid interpretation of Dannii, (sorry, but I’m Hebrew enough to never forget and never forgive, as sadly all the world is witnessing now…) whose deleted a post only marginally related to another Comp entry (in said post, I criticised NOT the entry but the monopolistic aims of the system library (micro$hit .net) used in the compiler & 'terp used for said entry, whose intentionally don’t run under Linux) resulting in a serious chilling effect whose don’t allow me to actually debate the criticality & weaknesses pointed and noted by the recensors. and I suspect that the lack of feedback aside a generic “thank you for your recension” has weighted in the voting. so, I require, nay, demand, a better definition of said rule.

OK, I admit that I’m in a bad mood, so let’s proceed with the actual postmortem:

First and foremost, the oversight in not coding too many decorations (and the usage of decoration with the archaic IF language was thru an abuse of properties, whose in turn led to the many ancillary coding, defeating of the other scope of my entry, namely giving a worked example code for Magx, whose in my opinion, can be still viable for small IF works (and one recensor pointed that in his opinion Creative Cooking was perhaps a bit bigger than a small IF work)

This led to another, minor, issue, the wrong estimate of playing time: I calculate the time needed keeping in mind that IF descends from text adventure, hence I give a minute in careful reading the text and thinking the next move, and allotting for prodding and for “dead end” moves for a move toward the completion. that is, two-three moves for the 40 moves in the walkthru = ~ 80-120 moves, rounded roughly into 90 minutes, that is, an hour and half.

this led to another, ancillary detail: the majority of the “color notes”, esp. on Railei and the major WIP i’m working, was placed “off the beaten path”, albeit one was basically unused.

third major point, the limits of the language, I have cited one major limit, but a recensor noted that there’s not few “wall of text” and correctly hypothesised that there’s a language limit, and indeed was: the wall of text are implemented by the fixed-text NOUN_DESCR and READ_DESCR metacommand (AGX sense) and there’s other, minor, limits of the language, whose influences the narrative.

(side note, the major WIP is developed under TADS3/a3Lite, so there’s no true language-based limits in coding; truth be sayed, rooms and object description in that WIP often changes following the PC’s gradual change of perspective during the story)

fourth, the major bug, the rather crufty and RAM THROW YARDVINE, whose indeed is a built-in command, hardcoded during the pre-Zarfian scale dark era, and predating the concept of decorations, implemented, as noted above, thru an abuse of various attribuite, and leading to unpleasant unwinnable state. With hindsight, I should have written a new verb (as done in the post-comp release; more about it later…) and sterilise, to speak the THROW command (done)

fifth, the relationship with the major WIP: I think that as “sneak peek” in this world, has done a decent work, but OTOH has influenced the development: for example, the secret of the milk, whose in the end, being related to a scene of the WIP, I decided to kept it under wrap… for a pair of years or so. but was not the lone relationship-related issue. The balance between “sneak peek” and Woriyo’s story was accomplished with the above-mentioned “off the beaten path”, the sneak peek becoming literally a side story.

What surprised me, aside that seems that no one noticed the apparent bug of the final score of 101/100 (whose was caused by having “modernised” the ancient “last lousy point” into an “extra point”, incidentally putting it also in the Zarfian “merciful” classification, I think), is that no one seems to have noticed the funny answers to ATTACK and TAKE [npc] (the former’s stock response haved aged really badly…)

This is all I can write for now, because I’m still a bit upset and definitively in a bad mood, but as prize for people whose endured my vent and my rather technical (re. narrative) postmortem, I present the RC (Release Candidate) of my post-comp release, hopefully demostrating that I have duly noted the criticisms on point 1 and 4 above:

creatcook149RC.agx.txt (86.9 KB)

(please rename agx.txt into .agx and play it preferably with gargoyle 2023.1’s agility; I must point that seems best to do first >glk statusline full, and, optionally, >glk font fixed as first commands for a better experience (a thing I ought to have written in the readme… oh, well, lesson hard learned, I suppose.)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio


I’ve been refraining from commenting on this issue during the comp, but at this point I think I should clarify publicly:

There’s nothing wrong with disliking .NET, or pointing out that a game can’t run on your system. I certainly find it annoying that a lot of things don’t run on Linux. But going into a thread talking about how to run a particular comp entry, and telling people that in your opinion they shouldn’t even try to do that since it involves .NET, crosses the line from “expressing dislike of a particular system” to “telling people to avoid someone else’s entry”.

The official interpretation of the rules comes down to Jacq, but that was the issue with the comment that led to it being removed.


ISTR that I don’t have written something along the lines of don’t even try to run .net based terp, less so trying to run the specific IFComp entry, but because that guy acted too harshly deleting the entire message instead of the specific part, without explaining why (he explained after I contacted him in private) I can’t confirm nor deny (there’s means for recovering the contested message ? from a bakup, perhaps ?) so, let’s put aside this specific, at least until we can discuss it on basis of actual evidence, not witness memory.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.