Introcomp 2015 games
Contains Voltage Cafe.gblorb
Requires a Glulx interpreter. Visit IFWiki for download links. (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at

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Voltage Cafe: Writing a dissertation is no dessert

by anjchang

(based on 1 rating)
1 review

About the Story

The things you do in a cafe when you're trying to get some work done.

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: Inform 7
IFID: Unknown
TUID: dl0istovf2smb74


Honorable Mention - IntroComp 2015


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Member Reviews

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Number of Reviews: 1
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Simplistic game with not much to offer, August 24, 2015

"Voltage Café" is about a grad student trying to get some writing done at a café. Oddly, it seems to be a self-contained game, which is not what IntroComp is about... The game itself is pretty short, and somewhat repetitive: you need to type >write, except that sometimes your character is hungry or thirsty and you need to order something and eat it in order to keep going; this is a pretty simplistic mechanism, and not very interesting in IF, since you use 3 verbs and there's no time constraint or skill involved.

The way the game describes the central goal of the game, the thesis, is very odd. First of all nothing is described in any detail: we don't even know what subject is the thesis on, and the few details that are given are contradictory ("an alternate proof", "a new design space" and "Oulipo" - math or art history or literature??). There's also not enough messages cycling through when you >write: if you expect your player to type this 20 times to win the game, you have to have 20 responses, not 5. Finally, my biggest gripe about it is that it really doesn't reflect what writing a thesis is: the game's messages say "you discover new insights in your field", "you outline new designs" and "new ideas come pouring in your brain". This is completely the opposite of what a thesis is: writing a thesis is AFTER all this, after years of research in which you discover new stuff and feel excited (until you discover a flaw or you get stuck) and sketch new things. Writing a thesis is getting all your notes and ideas together, and trying to write them as clearly, cleanly, precisely and concisely as possible, maintaining a coherent flow and structure, explaining why your work is important, reviewing literature, etc.; it's not as exciting, but it needs to be done instead of thinking about more novel ideas and research, which is exactly why people procrastinate on it!!

The game is sparsely implemented, with not a lot in terms of scenery, a protagonist you know nothing of, and an NPC that's not very interactive; and the writing is not very good, with everything being very generic and short descriptions that don't say much. The implementation is not very good either, with messages crashing into each other, lone periods and typos.

I wouldn't recommend this game, and don't want to see more, if there is more. I would advise the author to do their research (heh) so that they know more about the topic they are writing about, which will allow them to be more specific and truer; and attempt to tell a story in the game if the mechanics are meant to be simple. For what it's worth, the introductory sentence "you heard this café is supposed to be particularly good for students who want to finally write their thesis" made me wonder 'why? what is it about this café that makes it that great? is there a magic spell? an old sage that can help any graduate student in any topic? that could be exciting' -- those kind of ideas would put a fresh spin on the well-worn scenario, which is exactly what is needed.

This is version 2 of this page, edited by Zape on 4 May 2021 at 9:59pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item