Stone of Wisdom postmortem + postcomp release


Stone of Wisdom is the third episode of The Bash Saga, which is a series of ADRIFT 5 games I started on in early 2016. Episode 1 and 2 are called “The Dragon Diamond” and “The Way Home” respectively. However, the initial story goes back to around 1991 when I made “The Dragon Diamond” on a Commodore c64. It actually consisted of two parts, so when I decided to convert it to ADRIFT, I decided to split the game into two episodes. Later, I have tried to learn Inform 7 by converting episode 1 to Inform 7. All versions can be found through IFDB. Episode 1 can be played online.

The character Bash is actually inspired by Bash the Barbarian which was an adventure column in the old commodore magazine Commodore Force. Here Bash was depicted as a male barbarian. However, as one player of Stone of Wisdom later mentioned, there was no reason to refer to Bash as a man. The player might as well be a woman. Thus, in the postcomp release, I simply had to change one sentence, so now the player might as well be a woman.

I wanted to make a classic fantasy game with puzzles, though not too hard. The game continues from episode 2 (The Way Home) so queen Drana still has power over you. So I made the queen give Bash a task, which could free him from being a slave. Thus, if I ever make an episode 4, Bash will be free to explore the world. I also wanted karma to be part of the story. However, I did get a few comments for the fact that you needed to do something slightly bad to save someone’s life. The logic was that overall it would increase your karma - you may throw a tomato at someone but you do it to save somebody’s life. At least I should have clued that puzzle better.

Besides hoping to make an enjoyable game, I hope I have succeeded in demonstrating that an ADRIFT 5 game can have a decent parser if used correctly, e.g. ADRIFT authors do not have to rely on the initial standard library, they can easily create their own commands. For instance, if you don’t like the ASK/TELL commands, you can instead implement a TALK TO CHARACTER system instead as I did. It should be done correctly though, to avoid parser problems.

Based on the feedback I have received (e-mails, reviews, comments from judges etc) I have updated the game and released the postcomp release, which can be found through IFDB ( ). For instance, more implicit actions are now taken, for example, if you try to light the lamp while it is in your backpack, you will automatically take it out of the backpack first. Stuff like that. And when playing with auto-complete on, “SE” and “S” are no more changed to SEARCH.

Thanks to everyone who played and/or rated the game, those who wrote reviews and those who provided valuable feedback. Thanks to you, it has been great to be a part of IFcomp 2018. Not to forget the author’s forum - that was great too!