Unsparingly Purposeful Purple Pearl Player Pairing Pager

As with previous two player parser games, thought I might make a thread for pairing players for Amanda Walker’s The Purple Pearl. In particular, I’d be interested in playing over forum DMs with someone this weekend, if there are any takers.


Hmm. I’d be curious to play it, yeah.


If anyone’s willing to try this, I’d be curious to see how it works as a parser teaching tool. Like sitting down side-by-side on the sofa with a partner on separate screens and each playing a part. I wonder if it would work well for a learner if a more experienced player was right there to guide the less experienced player.

Although because these last few weeks have been a train wreck from hell for me, there might be some weirdnesses in it (although I’ve had feedback from one team in the comp that it worked fine-- but who knows what issues they didn’t find?). I had great testers, but I wasn’t able to work on it much this month to fix issues, and then I didn’t have time to get the fixes tested. Apologies in advance.


I’m interested. I haven’t looked at it at all yet and don’t know how two player IF works anyway - is it like a play by mail board game or something?


It’s 2 separate game files, one for player A and one for player B. You need to be in constant contact during play (which I think should run an hour to 90 minutes depending on how well I clued the puzzles), because the game gives you codes to give your partner when you change something for them.

It’s mostly a demo to see if anyone likes this format, and to get feedback on how it works and how it could be done better. I hope I get a LOT of criticism, suggestions, and input. Or better yet, maybe someone gets a better idea for how to do it, leapfrogs off my game, and nails it with their own game.


I could use a partner for this, but I don’t think I can do the ‘constant communication’, but I could post codes in a thread over a period of a day or two. Sadly, the people I associate with in real life have little interest in parser games.


Just adding that Josh and I scheduled to play, so I encourage everyone interested in playing The Purple Pearl to use this thread to reach out to other members, including @ReikoYukawa and @mathbrush, so that it can remain Unsparingly Purposeful in Pairing Players!


It would be possible to play both parts yourself having 2 interpreter windows open. I don’t know if it would be fun, but it’s certainly doable.


I think I will! I’ve done that before with other 2-player games and it worked out great, I was just worried that the main puzzle in this one was how to communicate to each other. I’ll try it out!


Thanks to @mathbrush 's vigilance, I have an updated version of the player A file on Itch with a bug fix for a minor but annoying issue.


OK, that was a lot of fun. I did download the new player A file, and I don’t think we really got stuck at all: flew through in just over 40 minutes. Love the pneumatic tube. Love the frog and its needle-sharp teeth.

@AmandaB: I would have liked to have “panel” as a synonym for the pink square. I think that’s my only implementation critique so idk why you were worried about not having time to polish it. :stuck_out_tongue:

Highly recommend.

Definitely has my head buzzing about how to design this sort of thing.

After the beginning it’s a linear series of puzzles where one person does a thing and then another person does a thing. Which is, I think, the usual thing to do. And the individual steps were all short enough and clued well enough (or “welp, I guess this is the only thing to do”) that it worked well here. But in bigger, trickier games (e.g. the We Were Here series) sometimes one person gets stuck and then you’re running around the space trying to figure out which of you missed something or failed to mention something.

So it feels like it needs skillful pacing. And I wonder if there are ways to give individual players things to fiddle with that aren’t waiting on the other player. But then if they block progress, you’re going to have to do them eventually… so how do you deal with the pacing issues if, say, one person is better at puzzles than the other? Or just faster at typing?

Anyway. Well done! That’s going to have me mulling over the design problem for a while… trying to think what else I’ve seen do this well, and possibly with more players… maybe some MUDs or MMOs?


It also belatedly occurs to me that this is a great way to get a little of the many-heads-make-light-work (of puzzle solving) effect without the nobody-wants-to-suggest-the-next-move problem you get in group plays of single-player games. I missed the solution to the brick puzzle because I was still focused on something else but it didn’t slow things down because we were talking back and forth…


YAY! This was the purpose of doing this!!! I would love to see more 2-player (or multiplayer) parser games to play with my BFF. I really hope to start a conversation about what I did right and wrong and how this could be done better.

That’s why I made each player the hint system for the other, because pacing between the players is the biggest concern here. I figured that way the partners HAD to be involved with helping each other out. I don’t know if that was obnoxious or not, but it’s all @rovarsson 's fault because he encouraged me to do it.


And this was something I agonized over, including little individual puzzles for each player if the other one got stuck. But then I thought that might distract from the main gameplay and cause the very problem I was trying to solve, so I didn’t do it. But batting ideas around this area would be great.


I’ll put my name in the hat, here. I’m close to having tackled all the freestyle games. So it’d be interesting to try something new. Next weekend would be best for me, but any time works, really.


I still haven’t played it yet. I’d be available on weekend evenings if you want to try it together. @aschultz


That’d be good!

I’m a bit curious as to how best to work this sort of thing. It seems like we should play twice, once on each side, once when we know what we’re doing and once when we don’t.

I found myself worrying “what if we had an odd number of people.” And since Reiko and I have both poked this topic, the next person may not be so willing to show up, because what if nobody joins?

Obviously one solution is for an experienced player to play the new player. But I think 3 people can be accomodated if we have A1 vs B2, B1 vs C2, C1 vs A2. It doesn’t seem like this would blow up anything for TPP to be understood as the author wants, but I do want to check!

The only problem here is that C doesn’t get the chance to play against someone who is also new to the game. And it may be too much to rearrange schedules. But I want to at least throw out this idea so we have possible ways to include a potential odd person out.

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Perhaps this is where the game might function best as a parser teaching tool. If you’re already familiar with game A, having a newbie play A while you play game B might be helpful to that person?

I’m considering writing a 2-player game with this method specifically for the purpose of teaching parser games, with one part for an experienced player and one part for a new player.


Why did I see this thread title and automatically assume that @aschultz was announcing a new game :joy:


We Were Here started with the two players being completely independent and never seeing each other through the puzzles, but later it shifted to the two players being in the same game world, but with many puzzles requiring the players to be in different places. This meant that if Player A got stuck they could call Player B over to help look at it and decide what to do before splitting back up and actually doing the puzzle.

This doesn’t stop both players from getting stuck, as the later games get…pretty hard.

Purple Pearl wouldn’t really be able to do this, I think, because it has no networking capability, but it’s one way of solving that.