Zed's Spring Thing meanderings

I reckon I’ve played enough to have grounds for one of these.

Excalibur, the fan wiki for a short-lived seventies BBC science fiction show. Loved it; felt almost custom-made to pander to the crucial me-demographic.

detailsAt risk of definition wars, I'll note it could be said to be hypertext fiction more than interactive fiction per se. But that's less interesting than that I had a really good time slowly assembing a picture of the intertwined stories of the show, its production, and its fandom.

Baggage. Provocative concept.

detailsNever could cut through the bramble, though, despite having the prerequisites I'd been made aware of: this seemed to be a bug.

Mean Mother Trucker. Enjoyed the characters and narrative voice. I wasn’t able to finish.

detailsBuggy and confusing, unfortunately. It can get mixed up about whether the guard dog is blocking you; you can get the armadillo without an implement. The world feels incompletely realized, with lots of "you can't see any such thing" for things mentioned that sounded relevant, "buy" gets "Nothing is on sale" inside the store where the text talks about things for sale, etc. I got to a point where I couldn't even figure out what the next obstacle was supposed to be.

Points, however, for giving us bubblegum and a stick and not needing to retrieve something you can see below a grate.

Ned Nelson Really Needs a Job. Fun characterization of a bro-from-hell boss.

Picton Murder Whodunnit Slight but with interesting use of tech: simulated voices for the characters.

Take the Dog Out Fun premise and voice.

detailsAn apparent bug was very frustrating though: I spent a long time in the state of holding the leash, being told the leash was attached to the collar (and the collar was on the dog), leaving the house, and... the dog not being there. It finally worked and I don't even know which of the things I did while flailing around made the difference.

Manikin Demo (Back Garden). Simulated phone-text-conversation game in which you’re texting with your Mom as she investigates a possible murder. Enjoyed the setting and voice and will definitely want to check out the final game.

So I Was Short of Cash and Took on a Quest (Back Garden). Promising quick puzzler.

detailsIt's a silly premise and the game embraces that. Somewhat buggy (but, well, not moreso than the Main Festival parser games I've tried so far).

A Blank Page. A painfully effective evocation of being stuck.

It's overtly about writer's block, but doesn't disguise that the viewpoint character is depressed. I was grateful the piece offered a light at the end of the tunnel.

Regarding Baggage…goggles and gloves should be only in inventory, if they are worn, cutting will not work.

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Thank you Zed, i truly appreciate your feedback :slight_smile:

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After some incredibly helpful feedback from @Zed (thank you again!), this bug in Take the Dog Out should hopefully be squashed in version 2, uploaded earlier today-- if anyone comes across it again, please feel free to let me know!


Thank you for your thoughts on Excalibur, I’m glad you enjoyed it!


Thanks for playing Ned Nelson, I hope you had a good time!!


Journey to Ultimate Fightdown. Loved the premise of the behind-the-scenes life of videogame characters (why, yes I am a Wreck-It Ralph fan). Lots of funny bits of dialogue and clever character choices.

I only played through to one of the endings. I'm curious about the others... but I hated all the clicking. One of the reasons most of my gaming is IF and most of that is parser-based is because I really hate doing lots of clicking. Obviously, this is telling something about me and not about the game.

Medicum Veloctic. A painful and moving story of a self-destructive superhero from the point of view of his boyfriend, the doctor desperately trying to keep him alive.

I found myself wishing it went deeper into the conflicts within Arthur and Reyes and in their relationship; this should be read as praise, not criticism: it made me care about them.

Lady Thalia. Fun and light series of heists. It implied the possibility of further adventures and I’d check them out if they appeared.

Loved the development of the relationship between Lady Thalia and the detective. And I loved the conceit of the friend ranking the heists on a very specific per-heist numeric scale she refused to explain, i.e., unabashedly taking what would normally have been an out-of-game scoring system and inserting it into the game.

The Weight of a Soul. Great worldbuilding of an original setting featuring alchemy, animism, mutants, and more. A staggering amount of detail and texture, maybe more than I’ve ever seen. It seemed like there were hundreds of examinable objects with interesting descriptions… while deftly avoiding the trap of making the ones that weren’t consequential to the plot seem interesting in a way that misled you into thinking they were. It’s mechanically impressive as well, with detailed help and hints. The journal command to remind you what you need to do, what you know, and what avenues you haven’t explored yet is the best of its kind I’ve seen. We’re going to be talking about this game for a long time.

But I also found it frustrating as a game. I felt like most of the game was somewhere between a cut-scene and a set-piece where the only consequence of my choices was the exact order in which a pre-ordained outcome unrolled. These were interrupted by isolated episodes of autonomy. I didn't feel like I was making discoveries; I felt like I was watching Marid make them.

Some of those choices probably had more effect than I realized; I don’t know how much influences which of the 7 endings one gets. But I felt like I had unusually little agency.


Glad you enjoyed Lady Thalia, and thanks for the nice review!


Thank you from me as well – it’s especially nice to hear that you’re interested in further adventures! I was a little nervous about including blatant sequel hooks, because if people don’t quite like the game that much, it seems presumptuous, so it makes me happy that people are mostly responding positively to that. (We don’t have concrete plans for future games yet, but we definitely want to return to these characters.)

Also glad you liked how the scoring was handled – it originally was just a standard out-of-game system, but once it occurred to me that it would be entirely in keeping with Gwen’s character for her to judge your performance that way, I couldn’t resist going with that.


Thank you so much for playing The Weight of a Soul! I’m glad you liked the player convenience features – I worked on them for a long time.

I’m sorry you felt that way. The Weight of a Soul is very consciously presented as an interactive novel, not a game, because the focus of the piece is on Marid’s story rather than Choice of Games-style player agency. I should have made that clearer.

Regarding the endings: The first ending is at the beginning of Day Three, if you choose not to continue the investigation. The remaining endings are based on the dialogue choices you pick in the climactic confrontation.