IF Comp 2013: 100,000 Years (Pierre Chevalier)

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 12.50.41 PM

100,000 years is a very short, choice-based, web-playable piece. It is completable in a few minutes. Review follows the jump; no spoilers, particularly.

100,000 years allows two types of action: you can move forward in time, or you can move backward in time, each time jumping 100,000 years. Each of the nodes consists of just a very short description, a little reminiscent of what might be noted down on an era card in Microscope. As you move through the time spans, you learn something interesting about the civilization described, and then you’re pretty much done. I am not sure it would be possible to spend more than a couple of minutes exploring the piece.

Technically, this is a fine execution of concept. Aesthetically, it reminded me a little of works like Ex Nihilo or The Endling Archive, both rather abstract and poetic pieces about large-scale events and feelings. 100,000 years is less ambitious than either of those, however, both in the scope of what it has to tell and in the emotional range it explores.

3 thoughts on “IF Comp 2013: 100,000 Years (Pierre Chevalier)”

  1. Ha! I’m currently reviewing some of my reviews.
    Not much to say about this one, Seems like the reviewer just isn’t much into the game I made, which is totally ok.
    I like the fact that she’s drawing thematic/formal connections to other games she enjoyed more than my own.
    Microscope sounds like a variant of classic collaborative storytelling games.
    Endling Archive : by reading the comments, I first thought this would be some kind of Peter Greenaway’s The Falls weirdness. Then after reading the introduction I was like allright this is going to be like some kind of experimental Borgesian IF. Then right after the introduction, it crashed, saying “Window 856 has requested input at unknown line 6.”. Unless this is part of the game, but I could not proceed further. I enjoyed the whole experience anyway.
    Ex Nihilo : I understand this was mentionned here because text is displayed on the center of the screen like in 100,000 years.

  2. I didn’t hate 100,000 Years — I just felt it was too small to draw me in very deeply.

    Endling Archive is a piece about extinction, or more specifically, about creatures that are the last of their kind. (Your crash is definitely not part of the intended experience. :) It had a kind of wistful feeling and a long view of human and evolutionary events that reminded me of your piece, though I think it also explored the emotional aspects of that situation slightly more.

    Ex Nihilo — no, I didn’t mention it just because of the screen formatting. Ex Nihilo is also about extremely long time periods and actions that are on the scale of civilization change, rather than short-term interactions.

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