Well, for my first post I’ll try to start a discussion of Fallacy of Dawn by Robb Sherwin. Far and away my favorite IF game and one of very few (out of hundreds) I’ve actually played to completion.
Why do I like it? The writing, the characters, the dialogue. This is also one of the very few works of IF I’ve played that has a real sense of energy to it (possibly rare because the puzzles in most IF force a slow, analytical approach on the player).
Also is it just me or was Robb Sherwin’s writing style based on that of George Alec Effinger? Maybe it’s just the cyberpunk setting but at times the similarities are uncanny. Except I actually prefer Robb’s writing.
So anyone else played this game? Loved it? Hated it? Etc.
This is one of those games that I’ve been meaning to get around to playing for a while now, but never seem to actually get round to it. I think I downloaded it ages ago and it’s lurking on my hard drive somewhere. Probably never even opened.
How does it compare to Robb Sherwin’s other games? I liked A Crimson Spring and sort of liked Pantomime, but I gave up with Necrotic Drift soon after starting it and haven’t tried any of his other games.
I guess it depends on why you quit Necrotic Drift. Fallacy is sort of a prequel to it (or rather, Necrotic Drift is sort of a sequel to Fallacy). They both have a sort of RPGish feel, with missions and health and so on; on the other hand, Fallacy is cheerier than Necrotic Drift and a lot of people like it better. (Personally, I think Drift is the more mature work, with some neat character development in the later parts of the game, but that may be an idiosyncratic reaction.)
I also would consider both Fallacy and Drift to be better (more focused, better characters, etc) than either Crimson Spring or Pantomime.
But play with a walkthrough handy, if you can get one – there are a few weird/annoying puzzles in Fallacy, and one of them is right near the beginning. It’s worth getting past that, though, in my opinion.
I can’t fairly compare since I didn’t get very far in Necrotic Drift, but of what I did play I preferred Fallacy of Dawn. The major reason being that Fallacy is generally upbeat and Drift is generally downbeat (or was when I stopped playing, which in all honesty wasn’t very far in).
You start in a video arcade. Someone plants a bomb in the room. You can’t leave the room. You’re told you need to find something to cut the lock on the Castles machine. You have nothing to cut the lock with. You die.
I went through this sequence about 10 times. Then I remembered: This was why I stopped playing IF! Stupid hintless puzzles that stop you cold. No walkthru available.
It is not a good puzzle. (Nor is, really, the next one in the game, but that’s another story.) The idea is that the player reads the descriptions of the arcade games by >looking at them and realizes that Delarion was fixing the Mr. Do! one, so a saw would be nearby (and in fact, if you look at Mr. Do! while the bomb is ticking, it will practically flat-out tell you that the saw is underneath it). Such are the pitfalls of having a protagonist with a bad memory (which is another “characteristic” I’d never use in IF again).
It’s funny, looking back, I would have written that opening in late 2000. It’s been eight years and my interest in making the kind of old-school, intentionally obscure, Zork III-style puzzle has completely evaporated. I just want people to have a good experience, make good progress, and see all the text. But when I was starting out, there was definitely some unconscious desire to make games with puzzles that people potentially “think about” off-line, away from their computers. But that world doesn’t exist any longer, since there are not only thousands of good text games to play otherwise, but thousands of games in other genres.