Game announcement: baby tree


I have written a small horror game and uploaded it to the IFDB.

You can find it here:

Be well,


I like it.

baby tree:

horror what?

sparse text.

review longer.

half star.

Gives me a parchment error :confused:

:smiley: Just a couple of minutes of capricious stuff! but it would sure fit nicely as a piece in an IF-tribute album for any gothic-rock band, or the quoted Placebo, of course!

Yup, z-file is hosted at mediafire, where parchment can’t reach it, so we’re forced to download it.

Though an interesting start, the sparse text and lack of knowing which directions are available to you makes it uninteresting to play. Hope the author on his next release will update the graphics and give the player a feel of what is happening and why.

1/2 star

I may have misunderstood the point, but it read to me as being about

[spoiler]a woman who had had abortions experiencing a hell of madness to punish her for her choices.

If that is the point (and it’s not just meant to be raving delusion, which is also possible), then I’m not enormously keen on the sort of horror-based propaganda that is basically about fantasizing up bad things to happen to the people you disagree with.

Then again, maybe I’m misreading it.[/spoiler]

It could have been, but that was what I mentioned. It was a to sparse and I did not grasp it. It felt like I had the randomly push directions to get something done.

If that was the way the author meant it to be done then that’s understandable.

Dear Author,
I had to force quit my browser because, instead of availing yourself of one of the many free resources for uploading your game – such as the if-archive, which is especially designed for this, or for that matter zipping it and posting it to this very forum – you decided to put it on a spam site which gave me an uncancelable pop-up.

Why? Putting it on the spam site means people can’t play it online either, though you went ahead and posted a “play online” button on IFDB. You’ve successfully cut down the audience for your game, and you’ve wasted a lot of my time.

Never do this again.

yours truly,

On substance:

“cut boil with knife” should really be recognized.

If there’s a specific way of specifying an action and a generic way, the specific way should always be recognized.

The sparseness of text is obviously intentional, and demonstrates an admirable restraint.

I think that, intentional or not, under-implementation combined with poor typing worked to a nice effect here. Had it been a longer work I would surely have found it tedious, but I feel in this case it did its inteneded job…

…and speaking about its intended job :slight_smile:

I think…

In that case, the propaganda attempt failed miserably with me, as I made the raving-delusion read. Perhaps I was too naive to notice the subtle sub-text, but somehow I feel worried about it now that you have mentioned it. I mean, if the baby-killer in an horror fiction is dicovered to be a man, it’s just ordinary horror fiction, but if it happens to be a woman, now we have an anti-abortion pamphlet. Makes me think of that kind of awkard situation where a black actor playing as bad guy in a movie is perceived as subliminal racism.

Anyway, you could be totally right (and my concerns then be totally out of place :slight_smile: ) It’s just that the final lines (author talking about making the thing in a few hours and it all being about madness) didn’t hit me as something with any other hidden message!

It may be an assocation that’s much stronger for Americans.

[spoiler]When I hear “baby killer” my immediate instinct is to think of anti-abortion propaganda, whether it’s directed at a man or a woman; in fact, it’s commonly used against (often male) doctors who perform abortions (and who are also subject to an incredible amount of harassment in the U.S., up to terrorism and murder). So I didn’t see it as particularly connected with the PC’s gender.

I’m also not saying that that’s what the author meant; it’s just that in such a spare piece, language that carries an association stand out, even if that’s not the association that was intended.[/spoiler]

My assumption was the stronger because of the final wording:

> sleep
ghost children surround you
look at you
“evil evil woman”
you die

But there’s also the fact that

the baby tree initially grows out of something that you’ve cut out of your own body. Admittedly, from the throat, and there are certainly horror films about men who have something creepy growing inside them (see Alien). Still, the imagery seemed to me to be possibly-pointed.

Aha, I see…

Perhaps it’s just that in my self-reconstruction of what was being exposed, sentences as “faces of all the babies you killed” or “ghost children surround you” suggested me the presence of quite a lot of babies, and I’ve never heard of actual women having such an amount of abortions so the connection wasn’t so obvious to me. Maybe the author has the misconception that women who have abortions are so “evil evil” that do it by the dozens or he’s not talking about abortion at all. I felt this last to be the case, but I might be wrong, of course.


as has been pointed out with some frequency in the endless flamewar that is abortion debate, most pregnancies spontaneously abort in their earliest stages without any interference; I’ve heard the argument ‘if embryos are people and abortion is murder, then God clearly designed the uterus as a genocide machine.’ Which is a pretty horrific concept, if considered as more than a rhetorical flourish.

I dunno. I read this as sort of like an Ian Miller comic, without the actual art.

I sense that whatever has fewer words in it than the average comment about it is art anyway.

On the subject:

I thought of serial killer (or sorts) much before I thought of abortion. But, yeah, in the end it looked like abortion. And I got the same gut feeling as Emily’s.

I didn’t see any big turn-back in the (very) sparse prose. Although I’m the kind of guy who loves understanding what is happening.

What we dirty little people usually think is that:

'if embryos are people and abortion is murder and all of the kind, then wanking is genocide.'I’ve been deserving Hell since the mid-Eighties.

There is another, sad thing that came to the mind.

In some culture, up to 2012 and running, women are usually held responsible for things happening to them as much as those they play first-hand. So: having accidental multiple abortions (it happens, trust me) is something you get imprisoned or killed for. As you may know, women are lapidated–as I said: today–for being raped, thus “committing” adultery.

That is the real horror.

One last rant:
[rant]You know, before somebody flags me as anti-islamic or humorless shit like that: Every morning I wake up in awe and surprise (and misery) realizing it is 2012 and there is still a Pope.[/rant]
Sorry for the ramblings.


I am more than amazed at the response the game has gotten. It is very tempting to answer all issues addressed here. Pease forgive me for not doing so, for the ambiguity was intentional. Matt. I am sorry you had problems with mediafire. I choose it because it was one of the first google hits for free upload space. I did not know it was a spam site. My apologies. I will upload the game to the if-archive and fix the link on the ifdb. Someone else mentioned that they didn’t know which direction to go in. This is unfair. My text says “dog goes east”. I fail to understand how this can be misunderstood.

Be well,


I have a knee-jerk reaction against vague, ill-defined games with - apparently - mere shock value and random imagery and a poor parser. They scream things to me. They scream “teen angst poetry”, or “pseudo-modernist ramblings”, or “hey, this is my first game!”. Lack of caps and a generally strange prose doesn’t help.

However, the amount of attention this game is having - attention I for one would never have given - makes me take a step back and look for the other side of the coin.

There is a certain merit in this short scene. It’s rather like a bit of a nightmare, in that the elements are recognisable but slightly off and add up to a very strange picture (the prose which I so lashed against is actually effective in this). In context, it might be a delusion coming at the end of a life (said ending might be the direct effect of the player’s actions, or it might have happened previously) filled with some sort of negative emotion - guilt, sorrow, madness.

The most interesting thing about it, however, is that when I saw it I mentally deemed it “trash”. Now I’m mentally deeming it “sorta interesting attempt at surreal horror”. This after giving it a second chance, after seeing so much discussion about it.

So, this game was completely innefectual as a game or a story, for me - but it did cause me to re-evaluate my standing as a reviewer (and I do pride myself on my reviews, I put a lot of thought into them and want them to be as helpful as possible). Maybe I should ignore my knee-jerk reaction and look for the other side of the coin. On the other hand, isn’t my first reaction as a player as valid as any other reaction? Should I also be looking for political statements in nom3rcy’s games? How much do I have to dig before I can evaluate a game - or do I have to dig at all?

The “game” itself I didn’t like (even after admitting the merit). But kudos for making me take a step back and think about some things.


upon reading your response I have changed my review slightly. :slight_smile: I willingly admit I new to this place and so I have yet to grasp the social aspect of IF forums. Maybe things might have gone better if there was a heads up to players that it would be sparse text so they aren’t put off by it and can see to the story itself.

Just thoughts and good luck with other projects!

And of course…

…we’re all aware of that (trust me :wink: ). More than a few women close to me both among my family and friends have been there. When Emily mentioned that "it read to me as being about a woman who had had abortions" and I replied that I "never heard of actual women having such an amount of abortions" and “Maybe the author has the misconception that women who have abortions are so “evil evil” that do it by the dozens” we were both meaning induced abortions. What you call “accidental abortions” is commonly referred to in english as miscarriages. Sorry if I screwed it up by not making it clear enough.

And thanks to lester for making such a short story open to such a spectrum of diverse visceral reactions!