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(based on 20 ratings)
About the Story
You, Mary Jane Minsky, have a few things to clear up with your best friend Jenny Yoshida. When your robotic birthday gift doesn't go over as planned, you may need to reset your expectations, for her and yourself.
Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: June 5, 2016
Current Version: 1
Development System: Inform 7
Forgiveness Rating: Merciful
Makes reference to Brain Guzzlers from Beyond!, by Steph Cherrywell
Nominee, Best Puzzles; Winner, Best Individual Puzzle; Winner, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Implementation; Nominee, Best Use of Innovation - 2016 XYZZY Awards
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Number of Reviews: 2
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This game was created by Emily Short as a prize for IFComp, resulting in a game set in Steph Cherrywell's world of Canyonville from Brain Guzzlers From Beyond.
You are Mary Jane, creating a robot for your friend Jenny. You have to train your robot to become just like Jenny. You train it by having it read books in your lab on different topics. However, some books have negative side effects, so it becomes quite the puzzle to figure out what books to read and when.
The major innovation in this game is the use of procedural generation for your conversations with the robot. The robots conversation is affected by numerous variables affecting its emotion, tone, and knowledge. A large corpus is included in the source code, allowing for huge variety. This represents an immense accomplishment, and provides proc gen that is actually fun to read.
This game took me about 45 minutes to finish without hints. I restarted several times, but I don't think you ever need to.
The Mary Jane of Tomorrow has a cute, low-stakes story with a really creative core mechanic: procedurally generated text. You're training a robot called the Pine Nut Queen, and it learns from various books and texts you feed it from around the house. Its dialogue and responses change according depending on what it has learned. Your main goal is to make sure it'll correctly respond to the questions Jenny is going to ask it, but in the process of getting there, you'll teach it all kinds of stuff. The implementation of this is seamless, and resulted in some really funny messages. The puzzles are pretty simple, but still enjoyable.
Also, this game is set in the same universe as Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! While I've now beaten both, I played this game before Brain Guzzlers. I still enjoyed it, so don't let that scare you away -- from what I remember, it doesn't connect to the specific events of Brain Guzzlers, and just involves the some of the same characters.
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IFComp 2002 entry.
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