I want to thank everyone who tested and played Gone Out for Gruyere, which was one of the games that I submitted to this year’s IFComp.
This was definitely the lightest and easiest game I have written, and much a departure from my Bullhockeys. If you have played those games, you might find the PC in GOFG familiar–indeed, it’s loosely the same guy! Also, there is the motif of putting something together to solve one central puzzle, which here is getting rid of the giant cheese.
The easy part of this game was coming up with the scenarios for each of the 8 exits. Well, most of them. I wanted them each to be unique. One from fantasy; another commonplace and present-day; another from early 19th century; another scene was noir; one science-fiction; another surreal. And yet another, purely utilitarian. The 8th one, the one with the rope, I just could not resist basing on a scene from one of my favorite movies, and I just never worked out a better one, so I left it in!
By far the hardest part was implementing the cheese. That took a good fraction of the code of the game. I wanted there to be a response for every action the player could conceive. And I wanted the cheese to repeat back everything typed as a command, and not always in the same way! I wanted the player to want to positively feel like strangling that cheese before solving some of the puzzles in the other rooms. So if this is what you felt like, that was the goal I was aiming for! And the cheese evolved. It started out only repeating back ‘the current action’, which was rather odd, because the player might type ‘grab’, and the cheese would say ‘taking’. Now the cheese will repeat everything, thanks to ‘the player’s command’ and other little tricks.
A distant second was implementing the hold-all–which is a ‘hole’ of sorts. Putting it together with the cheese was also a challenge, as was the ‘surreal’ exit. If you’ve played this game, you know exactly what I mean. I have to say that it was a real high once I got these things working right.
I am glad that I got a high rating on the ‘Cheese Scale’. An 8–Stilton. I feel honored. I LOVE cheese. I really like Gruyere, but I’ve never tried Stilton. I’ll have to.
If you enjoyed this game, I’m glad. And thanks again for trying it!