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Monk by the Sea.gblorb
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Monk by the Sea

by Elizabeth Decoste profile

Surreal
2020

(based on 2 ratings)
1 review

About the Story

An interaction fiction based on the artwork of Caspar David Friedrich. You begin in a oak forest and must discover how to prevent a tragedy from happening by exploring the world around you and solving simple puzzles that fall within classic conventions of IF. This is the first IF written by this author. This IF was designed to be beginner friendly, hence the instructions at the beginning of play indicating the type of commands being used, nonetheless there are ways to lose the game, and there are not hints built in game.


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
A great first parser game that needs a lot more polish to be a finished work, April 16, 2020
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is an introspective parser game set in the world of the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich, one of my favorite artists. It revolves around exploration and small, one-item puzzles in the classic Zorklike mode.

I've seen many first parser games (including my own, a game I never released), and they are almost uniformly buggy and unfinishable.

This game has surprisingly few, if any bugs, which is a welcome surprise. However, it is lacking a lot of polish. I had to decompile the game to find the ending. Some suggestions for the next game:

1. Having one or more beta testers can alleviate almost all problems, if you implement their feedback. Intfiction.org is a good place to find some.
2. Room exits should be listed in every room unless finding the exit is a (hinted) puzzle, like a maze.
3. It's good to have either everything have a description or nothing to have a description. It takes a long time to describe everything, but it's often worth it.
4. Some puzzles may need cluing (like the magpie puzzle). Having a beta tester or two can help here.
5. Having instant deaths and disabling UNDO is a pretty frustrating combo. There's been a lot of debate over the years on whether disabling UNDO is worth it, but it's worth knowing that some interpreters have built-in UNDO that works even if you try to disable it, so some players will always have UNDO.

Overall, I think the author is capable of creating truly great parser games given enough tester support. I'd love to see more!

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Monk by the Sea on IFDB

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Games about Time Travel by Estrong157
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This is version 6 of this page, edited by Elizabeth DeCoste on 11 April 2020 at 7:21pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page