An Informal Time

by Anonymous

Surreal
2010

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Number of Ratings: 8
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1-8 of 8


- Galena, March 6, 2013

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
It's hard to intentionally be Ed Wood, January 14, 2011
by tggdan3 (Michigan)

I get it. The idea of "it's bad, but it's bad on purpose so the ironic fairys are going to come down and make it good". Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

You know, there are authors out there you think of when you think of great games: Short, Cadre, Plotkin (to name a few).

Those familiar with this site will also have gathered a few names of people who always (or almost always) deliver sub-par games. It's stuff like this that gets you added to that list.

Even if the game is designed to be "so bad it's good", it still needs playtesters, it still needs to make sense. It should not be just a random assortment of actions and moves. That's boring and unimaginative. (Or "minimalist"). Rather, perhaps a parser which is more personified (that you actually fight with) or having a clear goal set which is plagued by intentional errors, where deciphering the error is an actual puzzle, that might be fun.

For example: The door is to the north.
> GO NORTH
You can't because the door is in the way.
> ENTER DOOR
You can't because the north is in the way.

Something like that could be cute if there was some way to get around the parser, such as:

>X DOOR
Inside is a lantern.
> GET LANTERN
(First entering the northern door)
Yes! You got through, and have the lamp.
NORTH ROOM... blah blah.


Something like that could be a cute experiment. As it is, this game comes down to "Here are some random rooms, I know I don't have anything good here, so I'll just mark it as ironic and move on".

Nice concept though, if the "game" actually seemed related to the concept.


- perching path (near Philadelphia, PA, US), August 23, 2010

- Sorrel, August 17, 2010

- Matt Wigdahl (Olathe, KS), August 17, 2010

4 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
Stuck in Inform, August 17, 2010
by Joel Webster (Madison, WI)
Related reviews: stuck in inform, fighting parser, satire

This is quite a fun idea: The player is stuck inside inform.
For the player who hasn't tried their hand at writing IF, this will no doubt be a confusing experience. For example, someone who hasn't written any IF using inform will be unaware of what the significance of the 'rooms' is, or what the 'final boss' is or means.
However, for those of us who are familiar with writing in inform, it's a great little piece of satire. My favorite part is how the player finishes the game by (Spoiler - click to show)performing actions which annoy the parser enough to cause its demise.
This is a case of (literally) fighting the parser that does a good job of it. It's short, but that's a good thing.
The 'errors' one encounters in this game are intentional and part of the experience. If you want a better viewpoint on this game, try writing a piece of IF in inform and you'll understand this game better.


1 of 9 people found the following review helpful:
Run-time Problem P47, August 17, 2010
by AmberShards (The Gothic South)

An Informal Time is as the author himself described it in the game's header; though why someone would want to release such a work is beyond me. Maybe this is a new marketing campaign: lack of testing = surreal! Frankly, AIT gives surrealism a bad name.

That sounds harsh, I realize, but AIT consists of ancient adventure-game cliches and parser infatuation masquerading as profound insight. (Spoiler - click to show)No, being inside the compass is not novel, although it could have been if you could do anything with or in it! It's not surreal, just spartan and old hat.

There's no score, nothing surprising or insightful, but there are bugs. You'll find that items don't work (despite their description and the room description) and that doing common actions will lead you to cryptic error messages, such as the name of this review. However, you will be amazed -- at the paucity of testing that this game received. Why was this game not tested? This is the author's fourth work. What happened?

One star. This "game" is waste of everyone's time -- including the author's.


- Ghalev (Colorado, United States), August 15, 2010


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