(Don’t worry, this one is a lot less of a textwall than the last one!)
The real purpose of this game was to try to get my siblings into IF. We spent a long time in a groupchat brainstorming ideas before eventually settling on this one, and playing around with graph paper to design a puzzle that would be easy to understand but difficult to execute.
Most of the code comes from outside extensions, a lot of which was originally intended for the Scroll Thief sequel (there was a puzzle inspired by the Translucent Rooms in Enchanter, where you needed to lure a terrifying dornbeast away from a cube, get back, and grab the cube without being caught). Which meant most of the four hours was spent writing the room and book descriptions. We made a big spreadsheet, and each of us took two columns to write; I did Languages and Rituals, Ada (a grad student in mathematics) did
Mathematics Numerology and Music, and Sarah (an undergrad in sociology) did Oikology and Sociology. We brainstormed a lot of joke concepts, then used a solid half of the development time gathered around a table, writing the actual jokes as quickly as we could. (Two hours divided by three people working in parallel ends up meaning only forty minutes to write twelve room descriptions and twelve book descriptions each!)
After that, I wrote up the employee handbook and hint document, and got a friend with a suitable style to do the cover art. We’re very happy with the result, and hope you had fun playing it!