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Contains wor.py
Requires Python 3 (probably) and the 'colorama' package.
Defaults - All Systems Application (Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

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Write or Reflect?

by Andrew Schultz profile


(based on 4 ratings)
3 reviews

About the Story

A semi-autobiographical thought experiment about Getting Stuff Written

Game Details


Entrant, Back Garden - Spring Thing 2023


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Number of Reviews: 3
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
To Perl, or Not To Perl, July 12, 2023
by JJ McC
Related reviews: Spring Thing 2023

Adapted from a SpringThing23 Review

Played: 4/18/23
Playtime: 50min, finished

Man do I love how omnivorous this author is in subject matter, narrative interests, puzzle creation and platform engagement. If you’d told me ahead of time this was his next project my response would have been, “Are you kidding?? Where did THAT come from??” [pause, thinking] “Ok yeah, I see that.”

As is a my wont, a quick digression about ME. I have a long history with coding, starting from any number of BASICs, Pascal, Fortran, Intel and Motorola assembly, to C, C++, verilog, vhdl, Java, Javascript, BASH and Cshell, Tcl/Tk, TADS of course, and on… I am deeply unafraid of new languages which I condescendingly characterize as “where does the semicolon go?” Various programming languages come easier or harder, depending on how their syntax and operators align to my own thought patterns and algorithm organization. One language has long towered above all others as just GETTING ME. I speak of course of PERL, God’s Own scripting language.

As a Perl zealot, there is a special contempt for non-Perl scripting languages. Ruby, inessential. AWK, aimed at alien intellects.

Python. Sterile, pale, uncanny valley of scripting languages.

As a veteran of the Scripting Language Wars, arguably on the losing side (but the right side of history!), I have so many feels when I see Python. Boy do they surge when I need to fire it up, or worse, DOWNLOAD ADDONS TO A LANGUAGE I WOULD AS SOON PURGE FROM MY DISTRO.

Anyway, all that is inessential to this review, but was essential to my mental health.

WOR is a clever math puzzle, overlaid with a writer’s block simulator. You are given progressively more interesting rules about balancing writing and reflection, and asked to derive the variations (under the guise of ‘finishing a chapter’). Each correct variation you enter is accompanied by amusing mini-narratives about staying on task. Or not. I quickly got immersed, at first using fingers to brute force enumerate possibilities, then pencil and paper trying to math them out. This is my kinda fun! It did pull me down a rabbit hole of abstract thought, so much so that the choice to engage this right before bed was revealed to be a deep miscalculation. I found myself spinning on the same thoughts a little too frequently, blunt as my mental auger was. Reluctantly, I put it down. Next day, refreshed and caffeinated, I readily closed it out.

There were either a few bugs, or a joke that went over my head. I got “New ideas form. They should be more specific, but I forgot to fill them in! This is a bug that I should fill in, in wor1[or 2].txt.” quite a few times. I understand these bugs to have been subsequently fixed.

Spice Girl: Sporty Spice
Vibe: Fun Math
Polish: Smooth
Gimme the Wheel! If it were mine? Re-implement in Perl. Obviously.

Spice Girl Ratings: Scary(Horror), Sporty (Gamey), Baby (Light-Hearted), Ginger (non-CWM/political), Posh (Meaningful)
Polish scale: Gleaming, Smooth, Textured, Rough, Distressed
Gimme the Wheel: What I would do next, if it were my project.

Note: this review is based on older version of the game.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
Working out a writing puzzle, bit by bit, May 16, 2023
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

This is a Python-based game. It asked me to install colorama, which seemed to work, but then in command prompt my colors didn't show up, so I think I had something wonky going on.

This is a combinatorics puzzle framed as writing. Your options are to Write (W) or Reflect (R).

But, there are rules! Some combinations of writing and reflecting aren't allowed. And as you go on, larger chunks of writing and/or reflecting are allowed.

Once you beat the game, there's a second round with more rules.

The text is abstract, focused on the meta-concepts of writing and reflecting and whether you obtained inspiration or not, how difficult this session was, etc.

I had some hints about the patterns from outside sources, but it was interesting to try and work out WHY the patterns were the way they were, which I found enjoyable; one of my favorite math problems in college was very similar to this (if you have N parallel parking spaces and can fill them up with Yugos, which take up one space, or Lincoln town cars, which take up 2 spaces, how many ways can you fill up the N spaces?) and of my own PhD thesis, which was concerned with strings of symbols with local rules like this.

I wasn't drawn in emotionally into the game as I was in 'solve' mode, but otherwise I enjoyed this puzzle.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
Python numerical puzzles and reflections on writing combo, May 16, 2023
by Vivienne Dunstan (Dundee, Scotland)

This is a Python piece, that combines ruminations on the process of writing (which could be any form of writing, but in this piece is chapter-based text) and some numerical tricks. I enjoyed the earlier parts of the experience more. I’ve written enough - including a very long PhD thesis - that I have lots of thoughts about writing myself! And indeed the balance that works or doesn’t for me between reflection and writing. The game captured that early on very well. However as it got further in and became more of a numerical puzzle I found it less satisfying. But I did get to a rewarding ending. Worth checking out anyway, if you can get the Python to work. It set me thinking afresh about how I relate to writing, and for that thank you very much Andrew.

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This is version 1 of this page, edited by JTN on 7 April 2023 at 12:31am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item - Delete This Page