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Cold As Death

by Gorm

2010

Web Site

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

This game is my entry for the March 2010 edition of the Experimental Game Play Project. Music was done by Totally Corny Productions and used here under the Creative Commons license.

My first inclination was to make an action game, a little in the style of Earth is a 3D Planet, where in my version you would have 10 seconds to clear the level or the number of enemies would be doubled. However, thinking that I wanted to try something more experimental, I decided to make a text adventure and and see if it would be possible to transfer that adrenalin filled feeling of time-pressure to the text adventure genre. This is also why the game takes place in the cold; the basic idea is that the player needs to keep moving in order to keep warm. If the player stands still for a certain number of seconds, he dies.

In the beginning the time limit was 10 seconds. However, I quickly raised this to 15 seconds as you don't need to type much wrong in order for the time to run out. Having a small trial with an external tester, this time has now been raised to 20 seconds.

So did I succeed? Not sure, as I don't think the continuous pressure gives the player enough time to get emotionally vested. Perhaps a more traditional text adventure, with the occassional time limited choice would work better.


Game Details

Language: English (en)
First Publication Date: March 1, 2010
Current Version: Unknown
Development System: None
IFID: Unknown
TUID: 3xazj7cj8jbbl02z

Referenced in IFDB Spelunking, by Joey Jones

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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful:
Strange, not completely successful experiment in realtime IF, July 31, 2010

This is an oddity -- not made with any of the standard systems, and entered in an experimental gameplay competition that asks how much a player can do in 10 seconds. The author of Cold As Death doubled that limit, but the player is required to do a warming-up action (running, jumping in place) every 20 seconds, or else freeze to death and lose the game.

That mechanic might just conceivably have worked out under the right circumstances -- perhaps with very stripped prose and easy-to-grok puzzles. Cold As Death makes some of the necessary concessions, for instance by sticking to a very small list of actions, so that there are only so many things you could possibly try to do at a given time.

Unfortunately, the environment is fairly surreal and sensible actions are badly hinted. To make matters worse, the anxiety about keeping warm keeps the player from having time to read the text in a leisurely way. The parser is extremely finicky, too: you must type every object name in full, including the adjective and noun in the order given, or the object will not be recognized. I did eventually win, after several tries, and it was gratifying in an odd way, but I can't claim it was a great IF experience.

Still, it's interesting that someone tried something like this.


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This is version 3 of this page, edited by Emily Short on 16 August 2010 at 6:49pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item