IF Comp 2010: The Bible Retold: The Lost Sheep

As has been my practice for the last few years, I’ve set my RSS feed to truncate entries so that I can post reviews without spoilerage. Within an entry, there is a short, spoilerless discussion (though the comp purists may want to avoid reading even that before playing for themselves); then spoiler space; then a more detailed discussion of what I thought did and didn’t work in the game.

I’m also pursuing an approach I came up with a couple of years ago: I’m playing and reviewing games that have listed beta-testers, and skipping those that don’t. In 2008 that turned out to be a pretty fool-proof indicator of which games were going to end up scoring 4 or less on my personal scale, and it made my reviewing process a happier one in 2009, so I’m sticking with it. I’m hoping this will mean I have more time to devote to the remaining games, which in turn will (I hope) be of higher quality, and you, dear reader, will have fewer rants inflicted on you.

Next up: The Lost Sheep.

This is a small game about chasing down a sheep that’s gotten lost. There are basically two puzzles, neither of which I worked out on my own: in the second case, I had the right idea but failed to guess the verb, and in the first case the required action was something that I would likely never have thought of on my own. There isn’t really much of a story, either, not even the story that belongs to the original parable. It could have been quite a bit worse — the construction of rooms and objects seemed mostly competent most of the time, barring a few odd spacing bugs and so on — but it was pretty lightweight overall.

9 thoughts on “IF Comp 2010: The Bible Retold: The Lost Sheep”

  1. Emily
    I’ve read your blog from time to time (depending on what looked interesting, I am not a big time IF person), and I have it on my RSS feed. However, on my feed (I’m using Opera), your first, explanatory, paragraph is all that shows in the summary. Since that never changes, I can only use the title to tell if the topic is interesting or not.

    You might want to consider just ending your first content paragraph with a ‘spoilers below’, and moving the beta-tester paragraph into an About, or something similar.

    1. That’s intentional, I’m afraid: there are some people who read the Planet-IF feed aggregator who don’t want to see anything about a game, even vague, spoiler-free impressions, until after they’ve played it and formed an opinion for themselves. So all I want to have showing in the feed is the game title.

      I always set my feed back to full after the Comp.

      1. Not even a short descriptive ‘this is an x game about y’? Oh, well. You have to do what your main audience wants. I’ll still be checking in from time to time. thxbai

      2. If it would help, I could include the game blurbs from the competition site, but they’re usually a sentence or two (not always that) and are typically less informative than the average book jacket.

  2. I suspect I am a really small minority here, so I’d recommend you not bother. I can always click through. Thanks, though.

  3. It bugs me too.

    I consider myself smart enough not to read past a SPOILER ALERT unless I intend to, but I can understand some people not wanting any chance games might be spoiled.

    1. If I am writing about something that involves spoilers, I use several levels of warning, including a final “Rosebud Was the Sled” warning of something that will ruin the entire experience. So far, nobody cares.

    2. It’s not that people are worried about spoilers in the traditional sense; it’s that some people do not want to know even something as generic as whether or not others liked a game before trying it for themselves; they want the “pure” experience of knowing only what the author put into the intro blurb.

      And I can understand where that comes from: reading a bunch of comments about how a game is undertested nonsense is likely to affect how I feel about it before I ever start it up.

      1. Right. This isn’t about avoiding spoilers that ruin the experience of the game for you, this is about the Comp. It’s a courtesy to other judges who want to compare notes on games they’ve already played without tainting their judgment on those they haven’t played yet. And I thank you for it.

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