Ectocomp reviews and difficulty playing some games

I’m reviewing Petite Mort games on IFDB. They’ve been fun!

I wanted to mention that itch isn’t that great for playing some of these games. For Whoa Cubs Woe, I had to use developer tools to make the iframe bigger. For mESSYWITCH, scrolling down didn’t work so I had to make the font smaller to get it to work out. I wish both games were downloadable! (Maybe they are).

Ectocomp has been great, thanks to all the authors! I’m excited to try Grand Guignol after I finish Petite Mort.

First time posting reviews! They can be found here:

for some games don’t play well at itchio, I recommend downloading them.

Some of the problems playing online can be solved based on the game settings the author configures. Setting the game to start in fullscreen automatically as opposed to “include button to go fullscreen” option which I think doesn’t always erase the links on the upper right. Also, what shows up can be affected depending if the author sets a native resolution as well.

I’ve gotten a couple of reports that people had trouble downloading Restless from the site, but that it’s apparently easier if you do the download from the app. That feels like a weird extra step to me, though, so if it’s easier, here’s where the game is externally hosted: … …

and possibly it will be easier to download that way.

Restless is dialogue-driven, but is using a back-end engine that handles things like conversation threading, character emotion and knowledge, decision making and procedural text; as a player, you can pick the emotion(s) you want to express as well as (optionally) things you’d like to mention, and the system builds you a new dialogue menu around those ideas.

(As the game says internally: this is made with Character Engine built by Spirit AI, and we’re inviting IF authors who’d like to use the system in beta, so if you would also like to play with these affordances, ping me at .)

Restless doesn’t seem to be working for me. After I click “start”, I just get a screen with a throbber spinning forever. I assume the game is not supposed to take one minute to load, let alone 10+.

I’m running the Windows version on Windows 10, if it makes a difference.

Thanks for pointing this out! I resized the iFrame. It works … better now. But not perfectly. And it can go full screen. So I think that’s good. While it’s one more thing to test, if it helps get a larger audience, it’s worth it. I hope these sorts of adjustments (not actually of the code) are kosher.

I also got a comment from someone saying they were “unable to click.” I guess I should have put “press any key” in more explicitly…there’s still conventions I take for granted but shouldn’t! It was in the back of my mind to fix, but I guess it will wait for a post-comp release.

Andrew, I highly recommend to put your game available to download.

Web templated produced by Inform 7 is buggy, and has some problems, for example, it doesn’t scroll automatically, so you must keep down wheeling the mouse to see the new text. For the rest of you, you can see the problem working in Chrome with the Andrew’s game:

I think I failed to report that bug “officially”, although I’ve complained several times in the forum. Anyway I built a template from parchment site to build easily the online version of inform 7 games. You can see in action in the Caleb’s game:

I will ask Caleb to make the zip available, so all you can have a proper parchment website for your games at itchio.

Also, Andrew, just put a “Press any key to continue or something.” at the beginning. The “Press any” works even in mobile! so it is not as bad as it seems.

About the frame dimensions inside itchio, you can put whatever big as you want, so people could play well even without the fullscreen. for example, you can try something like 1280 x 700 (that would work nicely even in laptops). Also, don’t forget to activate the scrollbars and the mobile-friendly options. A lot of games work perfectly nice in mobile, but if you don’t switch on that option, itchio put a warning saying “your game is not designed for mobile”.

BUT!!! 1280 of wide would automatically launch landscape mode in mobile, so I recommend to set the wide to no more than 1024. 1024 800 640 are safe dimensions so the game works really FINE in mobile (portrait mode), and they show really nice in desktop too.

Good luck!

Regarding putting games on, Adrien Saurat recently wrote an excellent tutorial about how to add games to the site. There are a ton of options and before reading the tutorial, I didn’t know what most of them did or even that some of them existed. The tutorial is in French, but Google translate does a pretty good job translating to English.

DavidW ran into the same problem last night. We figured out that, on Windows, you need to install the 2017 VS C++ redistributable, from this page: … -downloads

Sorry about that. In the future we’ll make sure that’s bundled.

(If you play a lot of Steam games, you almost certainly have this installed already. But obviously that isn’t everybody.)

Here’s the template that Ruber made for me – it’s what I’m using for Moon Goon and also used for few of the other Inform games I’ve put

If you want to use it yourself, replace the two Moon Goon files in the “stories” folder with the corresponding files from your release folder, then edit the index.html file so that the line “default_story: [ “stories/MoonGoon.zblorb.js” ],” mentions your file as well. (I think you’ll need to make sure your files all have single word names – so condense everything into the style of “moongoon.zblorb” instead of something like “moon goon.zblorb”.) After that, running index.html will load your game – you can zip the whole folder again and upload it to and it should work like that. (496 KB)

Actually, you can use files that have whitespace in their names, just, be careful with the sensitive casing. (anyway Caleb, don’t touch it, just in case, now that IT WORKS! XD)

I had the same problem, but Zarf figured out a fix for me. I needed to go to … -downloads and install the appropriate Visual Studio redistributable. In my case, I used the vc_redist.x64.exe one. Apparently something in Restless uses something from Visual Studio, and I guess it’s assumed that everyone must surely play enough Steam games to have this thingie, whatever it is, installed by now. But no, not everyone does. Anyway, try it and see if it helps.

Re: Whoah Cubs Woe, I managed to play that one in Firefox by right-clicking the game’s frame and selecting a Open This Frame In Another Tab option (not the exact wording). Of course, I had to first realize that there was a frame involved to think of doing that. However, I see the author, Andrew Schultz, has since replaced the play online frame with a download link, but maybe the frame-in-another-tab-or-window trick will help in the future with some other game.