So has anyone played through Scroll Thief?


(Brian Rushton) #1

I noticed last month that I forgot to incljde Scroll Thief on my Best of 2015 list. I haven’t triedit yet, but it seemed to generate a lot of interest.

How long is it? How often did you use the walkthrough? How many rooms are there (I.e. is it a lot bigger than the opening location, or is there only a bit more?)

Thanks!


(Daniel Stelzer) #2

For the “mechanical” answers: there are 33 rooms in the game, and the “canonical” solution in my regression tests takes 333 turns to complete (with no dead ends or false starts).


(Brian Rushton) #3

That’s halfway evil!


(Daniel Stelzer) #4

Well, if part 2 lines up properly… >:D


(Hanon Ondricek) #5

It’s stupid hard, even though I like it.


(Merlin Fisher) #6

I got started on it this evening. Two hours later I’m still stuck in “act 1,” but I’ve found about ten spells and

a comatose librarian, who is behaving pretty oddly

I’ve found at least one Runtime bug:

speaking to the alarm box

and an implementation bug

the rickety stairs cannot be examined, targeted with spells, or otherwise interacted with.

good game so far though. I love Zork-alikes, and I was pleased to find there were indeed some easter eggs and gruesome deaths to be had.


(Merlin Fisher) #7

now I’ve played it through, with a little tip from the walkthrough for a couple of puzzles with frustrating syntax.

It runs very slowly in the later stages, and I found some more bugs. for example:

[spoiler]casting BOZBAR on yourself produces a misleading error response - you start to grow wings even though you haven’t learned the spell and don’t have a scroll with it

talking to the ghostly archivist appears to be impossible, making the Invisiclues rather misleading

the secret tunnel claims to "lead southwest’ but going southwest from it doesn’t work

the KREBF spell is implemented but not available

getting back down from the dome is problematic, “enter window” etc does not work

the rusty knife and “the knife” belonging to the adventurer can’t be disambiguated[/spoiler]

All in all, it’s a good project and I enjoyed it. Definitely worth playing. The changing times of day are a nice feature. The spells mostly work as advertised. The writing is pretty good and I didn’t see many typos.

I took a peek at the public source code to figure out what I’d missed, and the source code appears to contain a lot of vestigial features (extra spells, etc.) that are not available in the actual game. The game might run faster if the code was cleaned up, or if the red herrings were pared down.

I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel and/or revised editions.


(Peter Piers) #8

I love it when people find Scroll Thief bugs. That means Draconis is going to fix them and by the time I get to play the game I’m gonna be able to go wild. Mwahahahaha.

I’m very curious about that. Did you play it offline? (I’m guessing you did). What was your interpreter? If you’re using GLulxe, have you ever tried Git?


#9

As a tester who didn’t remember the later Zork canon games well, it was tough for me, but I enjoyed figuring the logic & I think Draconis did a great job fixing bugs in time to pick up (and deserve) Jacq’s bounty prize. I definitely recommend it, and not just because I tested it. And as Peter mentioned, Draconis fixes reported bugs to make the game even more robust.


(Daniel Stelzer) #10

[spoiler]Re bozbar: I thought I’d removed all of the INSTEAD rules for that exact reason. Oops.

Re archivist: what happens if you try to talk to him? The intended behavior is that he just mutters about things and ignores you, but there are some small hints in his comments.

Re tunnel: was this immediately after opening the door in the Closet? There’s another puzzle to open the other end, though I’ll hint it better.

Re krebf: there are a lot of those, but hopefully they won’t slow down the game. I implemented them for the sequel and didn’t want to break things by removing them.

Re the dome: definitely a bug.

Re the knife: can you refer to it as “the Adventurer’s knife”? If not then I probably broke the ownership relation again. -_-

Re all of these: anyone who points out a bug which is then fixed gets their name hidden in the game somewhere. Would you like to be credited “Merlin Fisher” or something else? (You can send a PM if you don’t want it publicly known.

And which syntax did you find frustrating/are there alternative phrasings that would have been more intuitive? I’m trying to avoid guess-the-verb if at all possible, with direct hints in the game if necessary (e.g. for AIM THE PALANTIR SOUTHEAST).[/spoiler]

I’m curious as well. Also: at what point did it start to slow down? Were any particular actions very slow?


(Merlin Fisher) #11

I ran it on Glulx via Windows 7.

Things began to get very slow around the time I was

[spoiler]instructing the serage-controlled adventurer to do stuff, and got very slow after I pulled some junk from the junk pile in the storage room. If there are every-turn rules affecting the inventory or all items currently “on stage”, that might explain the latter problem.

oh, and one other bug I forgot to mention: if you get the purple tome out of the checkout room in act 1, the tome teleports back into the checkout room when act 2 starts, even if you were carrying it.[/spoiler]

have not tried Git. I had some difficulty digging up current interpreters; can you furnish me with a good download link?


(Daniel Stelzer) #12

Git isn’t easy to find, but it’s available here. It tends to be much faster than Glulxe.

I’ll look into the slowdown and see if I can reproduce it. I think there may be a badly-phrased “if the player is carrying a…” check somewhere that does an expensive check for every inventory object.


(Peter Piers) #13

I wonder whether Glulxe and Git savegames are interchangeable. They should be, right? That’ll make it easier to see whether the interpreter change did make a difference!


(Daniel Stelzer) #14

I believe they both use the Quetzal format, in which case they should be interchangeable. It’ll be a cool experiment either way.


(Doug Orleans) #15

Funny story, the first thing I did was:

[spoiler]>REZROV NORTH

Turns out that makes it impossible to progress, but it took me a while to examine everything else and figure out that I was actually stuck. After restarting, REZROV DOOR did the trick. But, you might want to add that synonym…[/spoiler]


(Daniel Stelzer) #16

I think you’re the first person to try that! It’ll be fixed in the next patch.


(Peter Piers) #17

Out of curiosity, will the next patch fix what you see as all the issues? D’you have a list of known issues/enhancements that you’re going through? Do you foresee reaching the end of this list and releasing a version that you feel is final (bar any totally unexpected bug reports which can happen any time)?

Logic dictates that at some point you’ll run out of bug fixes and enhancements, but what does logic know, heh? :wink:


(Brian Rushton) #18

@Peter Given the complexity of this game, I would be shocked if it were ever bug free, even with a team of testers and programmers. When I worked in the video game industry, it wasn’t “When will all the bugs be gone?” but “When will the game be playable enough that people won’t hate us?”, because bugs never stop popping up. Draconis is only different from other authors in that they choose to acknowledge it and try to fix it.


(Peter Piers) #19

Thanks for the chastisement. I was asking Draconis because I am interested in the development of the game, admire his willingness to keep correcting it, and because if another patch is imminent I’ll hold off playing it until then because I want to make sure to play the best version of the game I possibly can.


(Daniel Stelzer) #20

At the moment I have only the one outstanding bug and one enhancement, which I’m hoping to finish by the weekend. The next (unreleased) sections are still horribly bug-riddled but my goal is to release at least a bit more of the story by the start of June.