Tuuli - Daurmith and Ruber Eaglenest

I felt very frustrated by this game. I wanted to like it a lot, but I had to go to the walkthrough twice, including for the “critical puzzle.” In both cases, the puzzle solutions felt random/unfair, even in hindsight, because they were inexplicable “guess the verb” puzzles.

The setting is a delight; the character arc is quite good. I feel that the authors should update the game during the comp to fix these puzzles, which I’m sad to say kinda ruined the game for me.

The first time I went to the walkthrough:

[spoiler]You have to “rub makke” to remove her clothes. I have no idea how any of the beta testers figured that out.

>x makke
Mákke is cold and stiff, grotesquely twisted in a death-spasm. Mákke wears the rune of Akka tattooed on her skin, under the damp, dark clothes still holding snow in their folds.
>x clothes
Mákke's garment is a simple woollen dark tunic, just like yours. A witch garment.
>get clothes
Mákke is too stiff and cold to take her clothes off.
>cut clothes
Mákke is too stiff and cold to take her clothes off.

I don’t know a lot about corpses, but I don’t think it’s common to rub a dead body to get its clothes off, especially when you have a knife that can cut the clothes.[/spoiler]

The second puzzle, the “critical puzzle,” had the exact same problem. Curiously, the walkthrough includes a big spoiler warning like so:

I found this interesting for two reasons:

  1. It’s a walkthrough! I know I’m going to get spoiled!
  2. It’s clear that the authors felt confident that this puzzle had “plenty of hints” for players to solve it fairly, and that solving the puzzle would be much more enjoyable than reading the solution in the walkthrough.

I deeply disagree with the authors’ opinion on this. This “guess the verb” puzzle has no useful hints that I could find.

[spoiler]I went to the walkthrough because I needed to “stab akka”. I didn’t think to try that verb specifically; instead I tried to “cut akka” which gives this useless negative feedback.

>cut akka
You already have the rune of Akka, you don't need to keep on cutting up Mákke.

I’ll grant that cutting and stabbing aren’t technically the same thing, but they’re nearly synonymous. I felt very frustrated reading the final solution, especially after that huge spoiler space build up.

It should have just let me CUT AKKA and then it would have been fine. Or, at the very least, if the feedback had more clearly said, “It won’t help to cut the rune with the edge of the knife. You’ll need to do something even more drastic.” That might have led me to try stabbing. I’d never stabbed anything else in the game; I had no reason to think that the game was going to use a more specific verb.[/spoiler]

Without the walkthrough I would never have solved it, and I’m frankly shocked to read that seven beta testers apparently figured this out themselves.

In conclusion, this game is almost great. A few fixes will take care of it.

Thanks Dan! Fair! The thing is, I don’t think this puzzles could be fixed by design less removing them completely from the equation. How one solves guess the verb?

We shall discuss this after the comp. :wink:



In my opinion:

[spoiler]1) The “rub” puzzle should be a “cut” puzzle. Currently, if you try to “get clothes” or “remove clothes” it’s implicitly done with the knife (It says, “(first taking the knife)” if it’s still in the chest), but if the body’s cold, then it fails with a “too cold” message.

Instead, “get clothes” should fail with a “too stiff” message, and then if you “cut clothes” that should remove the clothes, with no need for “rubbing.”

  1. Put in a better message when you “cut akka”, something like this: “It won’t help to cut the rune with the edge of the knife. You’ll need to do something even more drastic.” This gives the player a hint that cutting is almost right.[/spoiler]

Thanks for the review and the suggestions, dfabulich! I agree with Ruber, it’s a fair review and we’ll try to do better. Thank you also for your kind words on the character and setting. This sounds cliched, but I really, truly love constructive criticism like yours, it really helps :slight_smile:

Yeah, those are awesome feedback for those two problems, I’ve noted them down and I will try to implement them after the comp. I think those could be tricky to implement. We’ll see.

[spoiler]If I allow cutting the clothes before relaxing the body, that could make the code quite more complex, with two different states to the body that happen at the same time: Mákke stiff with clothes, nude Mákke that still need to be rubbed to further work on her. I hope this could be fixed just with the correct amount of words instead :wink: Or just easing more the actions needed. For example, a lot of players used WARM and tried to warm her using the mantle. Those are logic actions.

That hint for the knife is awesome.[/spoiler]

Again, thanks a lot!

I don’t think the game needs to require the player to relax the body at all. Just do it automatically when cutting the clothes.

For what it’s worth, though I sometimes wasn’t able to use words I wanted (“x runes” for the altar with runes at the beginning, “sealskin” for the cloak) and had some trouble at other parts of the ritual, I got both those pretty easily. I think with

rub makke, I was trying to get the oils onto her anyway, so rubbing her with the oils seemed natural.

Though I agree with Dan that that step shouldn’t be necessary, or that it would be good to allow any of a number of productive commands to move the player along here.

For the second

I think I had tried “stab” at some earlier places when I was stuck–cutting off the rune, I think–so “stab me” came naturally, and then the message for that got me to “stab akka.” And here I did think the specific action was helpful–the point is that you’re pinning the excised tattoo to yourself, which specifically requires stabbing given where it is. Though I agree with Dan that a helpful message for “cut” would be well placed here.

Perhaps because I didn’t get stuck at these crucial points, I quite enjoyed this! The implementation bits I mentioned earlier didn’t take me out of the flow. Though it might’ve been good to have the runes at the beginning give a hint that you’ll see the runes you need later.

Thanks, guys. I really appreciate all this feedback.

I’ve updated the game adding two synonyms and reallocating a hint that was too obscure to get. But although I like some of yours suggestions, anything that adds or removes actual content will have to wait for post-comp. You know.

Yeah, I think a lot of the actual messages could be modified to further point the player to the correct answer, and I definitively do that for a proper second release.

About the topic of “that step is not necessary”. Well, I think managing the corpse is part of the hook of the game, so I would prefer to ease that action than removing one of the steps in the ritual preparation (I’ve noted down the suggestion of Dan that those actions could be done in either order. That’s definitively ideal, but a lot of complex to code, so those will have to wait too).

Finally, about the runes… yeah, I know they are missing, but as I said I can’t add new “real” content to the game (because the rules of the comp morally obligate me). Also, when I was in the last days of developing with the creeping deadline, I knew that those runes were missing, but kept them that way because it was an easy way to point the player to the important runes, not having the player wasting time with some decoration. “You can’t see such thing.” is a pretty straightforward way to do that :slight_smile:. Post-comp, we will add a proper runes description that deepens in the lore of the game, and hopefully, don’t misdirect of the proper runes of power.

Thanks a lot!

And then, I had an explosion of reviews, from 2 to 4. Let’s share some links:

heterogenoustasks.wordpress.com … 017-tuuli/

reprog.wordpress.com/2017/10/05 … mpetition/



Thanks to the reviewers. Really, thanks a lot.

Indeed, it was a +4 in reviews in just two days. Wow!

Lynnea Glasser streamed yesterday, and I forgot to get in time to the show.


And the awesome Breakfast Reviews said some really nice words about Tuuli. So, we are VERY happy.


Again. Thanks!

Following my customized playlist, I can see that this story falls into the same category as the previous one: parser-based epic fiction based on a Scandinavian saga.

I have posted a review and some transcripts here: blog.templaro.com/review-tuuli/

  • Jack

Thanks! Interesting and useful.

I loved this game almost the whole way through. Didn’t have any problem with the puzzles because I played the ritual straight from the walkthrough. Rationale: my character is trained in witchcraft, I’m not, fumbling my way with trial, error and restore wouldn’t have been a good match to the in-character experience. Playing from the walkthrough pretty much was; the slight awkwardness mapped tolerably well to the fact that my character had the relevant training but had never tried actually pulling off something this big before.

This game was a great example of something I’ve seen often praised and rarely pulled off well: something that uses interactivity to give you a glimmer of the subjective experience, what it’s like to be in the protagonist’s shoes. I was sure I was going to award at least a 9, maybe a 10 if I liked the ending enough.

Then the very end, the final screen of text…

… Basically spat in my face, told me the whole thing was a waste of time and I might as well just have let the Vikings kill everyone.

Still, overall quality high enough that I couldn’t award less than 7.

Thanks for the nice words!

About the very end… well, I don’t want to influence on the final score, so I just will say that

this is not a power fantasy, it is just a coming of age story of how a witch was born. So the ending is more bittersweet. Yes you are alive, but it comes very hard times.