Daddy's Birthday

by Jonathan8 profile


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Number of Reviews: 5
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
The mainstays of interactive fiction interpreted by a younger author., February 11, 2024

I chose to take this entry at face value: a sweet collaboration where an 8-year-old’s work of interactive fiction has been implemented by a skilled programmer.

Emily Short described this approach to game development as writing the through-line first, starting with an ideal walkthrough and then building out a larger experience from there. Daddy’s Birthday includes an extra feature that lets people read the original walkthrough to see what the writer had in mind.

It’s interesting to see the mainstays of interactive fiction interpreted by a younger author. While there are familiar mechanics at work, some design choices have gone in novel directions. (The house is laid out along diagonals, with most of the passages heading northwest and southeast.)

Some of the writing is understandably awkward — one description says “A few rooms go different directions, but you decide to go down the stairs” when a different phrase might have worked better — but that’s largely because the implementation remained faithful to the source material.

The complete project feels like a thoughtfully negotiated compromise. It’s an interactive experience that maintains the spirit of its original ideas, and I hope that the creators continue to build on those ideas to explore new frontiers in game design.

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