German Language IF Grand Prix 2023

The 13th IF Grand Prix is online and four games are waiting to be played and rated! All games are in German; two are built with Inform / Z code, the other two with GrueScript!

The deadline for voting is May 1, 2023 (a detailed schedule and rules can be found here).

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Just wanted to bump this, as there’s one week left to play and vote. I found all of the games entertaining and worth playing (though I think it’s fair to say that one of them is just a short in-joke).

We have

  • a classic setting where you explore an inherited mansion,
  • a protagonist trekking through a desert,
  • a game where you play as a Lovecraftian demon (it’s more humorous than that may sound), and
  • a game set on a fishing boat, which quickly turns from the mundane to something more sinister (yet funny).

If you speak German or can play with a translation tool, feel free to try them out and ask for help and hints here or over at https://if-forum.org/.

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Oh no! I forgot to ask a question I had, which is – how okay is it to vote if you don’t know much German at all? I mean, I assume I could use Google Translate to get the general idea, but I’d also be missing nuances the writers worked hard at. And that seems unfair to them!

Also, what should we do about this for general pointers? I’d love to look at stuff beyond what’s in English and support non-English communities if I can, but the whole “maybe I won’t understand language X well enough” frustrations apply.

(Alternatively, is there a general topic for this, or should we make one?)

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That’s an excellent question!

I talked to this year’s authors, and they said that it’s totally fine, and they’re happy when people engage with their works. :+1:

They mentioned that there are a lot of IF players around the world (including us Germans) whose degree of proficiency in English varies along a wide range, and who might or might not get all the nuances in an English story, but who make good-faith efforts to play and vote on games in English comps and jams. So it’s also fine the other way round – the more, the merrier. :slight_smile:

Of course, it’s (almost by definition) difficult to recognize what one is missing – but if you feel that there’s a lot going on in a game which the translation tool doesn’t adequately allow you to get a handle on, then you can always ask here or via PM or mail.

Questions and feedback are of course very welcome in any case. It’s fine to do that in English. So if you play using a translation tool, and would like to ask for hints, or to comment on the games or review them, feel free to open a thread here in English.

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Potentially dumb question, but if an IF game is played online through a browser, would a browser’s auto translate function work to machine translate the text into another language? And if so, would it update with each return of the parser, as the page isn’t reloading?

If no, would an interpreter that incorporates machine translation be a plausible thing?

Not a showstopper regardless, just occurred to me it might make life easier going every whichway. (Germans playing English games, English playing German Games, Italians playing Spanish games, Russians playing French games, etc, etc.)

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Yes, it seems to be possible. I just tried it on my smartphone with Google Chrome and the online playable versions of the games (there are likely other browsers that offer this feature). There is a translate feature when the menu button is clicked.
It could be problematic with parser-driven games, since the player has to make the commands in the original language of the game and doesn’t know what the machine-translated word was exactly in the original text (so a “box” in the machine-translated game could be a “Kiste”, a “Karton”, or a “Kästchen” in the original text).
Perhaps a workable solution would be to open two browsers in parallel and to make the inputs in both windows (assuming there are no important random events in a game), using the machine translation to assist if some of the vocabulary is unfamiliar.

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This is not at all a dumb question and if there was a tool for this it would be very helpful!

Ideally, you could see both texts (original and translation) side by side. Bonus points if it doesn’t matter in which language (i.e. on either side) you enter your commands.

How complex would it be to extend the web output of Inform with an API like LibreTranslate? Then it could all be in one window and automated.

I guess this is worth it’s own thread.

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This is an interesting thought. Figuring out the parser commands was actually the biggest obstacle I had when playing the French FI concours, more than interpreting the text itself.

Related question (a bit more low-tech): is there a German or a French version of the IF-postcard out there? Or any other languages? I still think that the postcard is the biggest help for learning or refreshing the typical ways to interact with a parser. It would be a great help to have this while playing other-language IF.

(I know I was already a good while into parser games before I learned of its existence. Might as well include it here for those who may not be aware of it:)

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Yes, there are: http://pr-if.org/doc/play-if-card/ (French, Russian, Spanish, German, Italian).

Here I’ll only attach the German version:

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The German card is funnier:

“Keine Panik auf der Titanik-
der verrückte Onkel Zarf ist hier,…

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Question about Beagle Rock:

I’m trying to find a password. I looked and think I found a hint:

vor und nach, jeweils nur die ersten drei

I thought maybe it meant the first three keys on a keyboard on the right hand or something, like ASDDSA, but the only keys allowed are IASJM.

I suspect this is some wordplay based on the German language, which is one of my weakest. Any hints?

Edit: Oh wait, just saw that the downloads have a hint file!

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Just in case the help didn’t help: The hint refers to a name in the game.

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Nice. I got it work out!

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Zarf’s original gives me Hitchhikers vibes though!

BTW together with my publisher PolyPlay I created a slightly updated version of the original English one. I was missing two or three common verbs which I added, one I think was operate as that was extensively used in H1DC. Will try to upload on the weekend, currently on the run

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Understood. Let us know when you get to the safehouse.

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I finished playing the games; it wasn’t as scary as I thought, because the Fischstaebchen game lists all verbs you need in the Hilfe command and has a walkthrough with hints, the gruescript games have hints, and the Gen Norden game has most of the walkthrough in the title.

I’m not sure how voting works, but I think I just send them on the 1-6 scale to the email in the faq? I hope so, because that’s what I did.

Overall very positive feelings. I tried to look up Gen Suenden but I can’t find any record of it!

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Neat! Thanks for your interest, and good job on getting through them smoothly!

Exactly! :+1:

The main thing to keep in mind is that it’s based on the German school grade system, which means that 1 is the best grade and 6 the worst. (I’m 100% sure you got this right, but it can’t hurt to mention it, since the scale is inverted relative to the usual 1 to 5 stars or 1 to 10 points scoring systems.)

“Gen Süden”, to which “Gen Norden” alludes, was a joke game by Jens Bojaryn; here are some links: forum announcement, author’s homepage (under “Scherze” - “Jokes”), direct download link, walkthrough.

I haven’t played it to completion, and I’m not sure whether I can really recommend it in good conscience. :slight_smile:
If you want to take a look, you’ll need a T.A.G. interpreter, which can be downloaded from Martin Oehm’s homepage: Download - martin-oehm.de

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Here’s the redesign my publisher Poly.Play made. This actually is distributed digitally with Hibernated 1 Director’s Cut when you download the archive and as a printed postcard when you buy the boxed version of the game for one of the retro systems. The redesign is a bit easier on the eye and “operate” has been added. I could swear we changed two or three things but I was comparing the original with this one for five minutes like an idiot this morning and didn’t find anything else.

The motivations for adding “operate” as a verb, and you can probably relate since you played H1DC, was that I was looking for a proper verb for situations when the player is forced to work with computers, terminals, consoles or machines.

PlayIF.pdf (763.5 KB)

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I haven’t yet, actually. I have downloaded the DOS version and it’s patiently awaiting its turn. I’ll wait for a time when I can devote my full attention to it. It’s good to be reminded though. I’ll nudge it up a few places on my playlist.

You’re thinking of my playing the retro original version (Hibernated 1–This Place is Death), of which I initially gave a rather negative review because I was not at all at home in such restricted games, both in terms of parser and of total memory, then. (I remember objecting to the use of USE, and to the response “It is what it is.” to the X-command.)

OPERATE certainly is a sensible command for interacting with computers (or heavy machinery, for that matter).

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Oh now I remember, yes! Yes, the original one had to fit in roughly 35kb which is close to nothing, so you had to deal a lot with making the game work at all with such a limited memory. The Director’s Cut is a complete rewrite, all the interaction logic has changed, tons of narrative content… it’s pretty close to an Infocom game so you’ll feel a lot more “home” in this one. Fun fact: Amy Briggs has played it and so far I’ve heard of no issues. You probably know how infamous her testing was back in the day when she worked for Infocom :smiley: Not to mention that @mathbrush gave it a 5 star review, still very proud of that.

Part 2 is due to be released this summer. So it’s probably a good time to get into it anyway. The sequel will come with a lot of vibes from a certain Meretzky game about an Ensign Sventh Class and his sidekick on a strange alien planet :wink:

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