The latest version (Version 5)
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.
original competition entry
For all systems. To play, you'll need a Z-Machine Interpreter - visit Brass Lantern for download links.

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Photograph: A Portrait of Reflection

by Steve Evans profile

Slice of life

About the Story

Photograph was an entry in the 2002 IFComp, in which it placed 3rd out of 38 entries. It was also nominated for two XYZZY awards, "Best Player Character" & "Best Use Of Medium".

It's a story-driven, almost puzzleless work about a man obsessed with what he perceives to have been a wrong turn in his life. The story has dark themes with elements that are either fantasy, or delusion on the part of the protagonist.

To date Photograph represents the author's only foray into the world of interactive fiction writing.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 5
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 6
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
Baf's Guide ID: 1927
IFIDs:  ZCODE-1-040827-A664
TUID: qf7h94jq56f6iswd

Off-Site Reviews

SPAG review by Suzanne Britton
"Photograph is a vivid, professionally well-written and competently programmed work. It is story-based and nearly puzzleless, but manages to carry the player through the plot at a comfortable pace, without dissolving into the tedium that sometimes characterizes pure-story IF...."
See the full review

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

Photograph is a carefully crafted tale, executed in prose that is both transparent and strong. Well-chosen symbols underpin the game's unfolding story of a man obsessed with what he perceives to be the big mistake in his past. Normally, this sort of thing isn't really my cup of tea -- I have a pretty low tolerance threshold for characters maundering over their memories or floundering in bad relationships. I get impatient for them to just take some action, move on and claim the present day, and I certainly felt some of those twinges of annoyance as I tried to guide the PC of Photograph into a less passive approach to life. However, the game made two choices that helped considerably to redeem these problems. First, although the PC is certainly stuck in his mental processes, the writing introduces some blessed complexity into its depiction of his life, making it clear that his obsessed interpretation of events isn't the only available point of view on them. There are some really beautiful details in this game, and their shine helps to illuminate the PC as a passionate but fallible character rather than some objectively correct observer. The game's other saving grace is in its choice to cast this story as interactive fiction. Something really appealed to me about an IF character who wishes for nothing more fervently than a SAVE and RESTORE function for his own life. Choices, and how we are shaped by them, really works for me as a theme in IF.
See the full review

Dan Shiovitz's IFComp Review
"Hmm. This one didn't really work for me, but I appreciated the construction of the middle bits, anyway. It starts off in a somewhat odd state but eventually turns into one of those flashbacks-on-life games, with a special twist since this is life in Australia (this twist is presumably less special if you're Australian). I liked that the protagonist feels old. There are a lot of reminiscence games where the protagonist could be twenty or thirty, and hey, that's how old I am but I like the feeling of playing someone with a lot more memories to look back on...."
See the full review

Page Update History

  v.13: 08-Oct-2020 04:01 - Steve Evans (Current Version) - Edit Page - Normal View
Changed description
v.12: 21-Nov-2010 23:21 - cas
Changed IFIDs
v.11: 10-May-2009 01:05 - Dave Chapeskie
Changed download links
v.10: 05-May-2008 09:46 - Steve Evans
Changed download links
v.9: 18-Apr-2008 18:19 - Paul O'Brian
Changed external review links
v.8: 17-Apr-2008 08:03 - Steve Evans
Changed title, cover art
v.7: 26-Oct-2007 10:03 - Steve Evans
Changed download links
v.6: 26-Oct-2007 03:43 - Steve Evans
Changed external review links
v.5: 26-Oct-2007 03:38 - Steve Evans
Changed external review links
v.4: 26-Oct-2007 03:29 - Steve Evans
Changed external review links
v.3: 26-Oct-2007 03:25 - Steve Evans
Changed description, external review links
v.2: 26-Oct-2007 03:19 - Steve Evans
Changed title, description, genre, forgiveness, author, external review links
v.1: 16-Oct-2007 01:49 - IFDB
Created page