Baby on Board

by Eric Zinda

2022

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Number of Reviews: 4
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Voice-activated interactive fiction game about taking a baby to daycare, April 28, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

I helped beta-test this game.

This game uses a custom parser first developed in Kidney Kwest, but with a twist: it's intended to be played entirely vocally.

The parser encourages you to use full sentences (so 'open door' might throw a warning that it's better to say 'open the door'). It also is designed from the ground up and seems to involve a lot of built-in systems. So, for instance, asking about the location of a thing will usually tell you what room it's in, what region it's in, etc. Due to this systematic nature, sometimes the game will omit capitalization or punctuation, but this usually not detectable in the voice version. A final issue is saying 'put Time on [anything]' (a phrase I said a lot because in my accent Time sounds like Tom to the computer), the parser says 'a bottom is not on a time'.

The game itself is simple, and gives you a lovely tutorial that shows you how the whole system works. The tutorial is, itself, a small game. The larger game is mostly interacting with things: doors, keys, containers.

When I beta tested, I completed the game, although it seems to have been expanded since then. This time I believe I got locked in an unwinnable state since I (Spoiler - click to show)left the baby in the car and went inside, and the car took off without me. Overall, I think this technology is interesting and must have been very complex to program.