IF Comp 2012: The Lift (Colin Capurso)

The Lift is a CYOA in Twine. As usual, the jump will be followed by non-spoilery comments; then if I have anything spoilery to say, there will be spoiler space. I don’t know that this had beta-testers, but because the Twine format makes it more difficult to test for that, I’m being a little lenient with the choice-based pieces.

The Lift makes you an amnesiac who wakes up in some kind of unexplained testing chamber, such that I’m suffering acute cliché overdose before I even get as far as reading my first selection of choices. It doesn’t really get better. The prose is pedestrian and contains an assortment of errors, including the dreaded its/it’s error. Gameplay is extremely, extremely brief.

The first of my endings read like this:

You stride gleefully towards the lift and wonder how things would have turned out if you made a different choice.

This is A Lie. I have no interest whatsoever in how things would have turned out had I made a different choice at one of the three or so nodes it took me to get here, because those choices were essentially uninformed and unmotivated, and almost everything significant that my character did took place in a cut-scene under the author’s control. Nonetheless I returned and played a couple more times, to make sure I wasn’t missing anything much (I wasn’t). There’s not much of a setting or characterization or plot, either. I had the strong sense from the way it was written that the author probably anticipated there being more content, but didn’t get around to it.

So, okay. My best guess is that the author was excited to discover that he could make a game with choices in it, and that he could release that for the web and put it in a competition. And, hooray, he successfully did all those things! I can’t really recommend it to others, though.

3 thoughts on “IF Comp 2012: The Lift (Colin Capurso)

  1. The really neat thing about tools like Twine is how far it lowers the bar for entry.

    The really horrifying thing about tools like Twine is how far it lowers the bar for entry.

    I won’t judge too harshly. So far my sole Twine output has been a cliched cave adventure that our church secretary had to “win” before she could access the PDF (a roster of names) she had requested from me. Each week, I try to think of some more creative way to send her the new roster information. I have no idea what I’m going to do to top that, frankly, but it was fun to do. OK, digression over.

    • You get the same bad games in parser except to see them, you have to struggle with parser and all those attendant horrors. At least with Twine you can quickly sound a piece out with less work.

      It is never a bad thing to lower the entry bar to an artform.

      • The comment was at least somewhat tongue-in-cheek, if admittedly mean spirited. I’m impressed by any authoring system that I can learn and produce something with while a 2-year-old plays with cars in my lap. That it is built on top of TiddlyWiki (which I use extensively at work) is just icing on the cake.

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