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About the Story
In this game, the user participates in the textual formation of a virtual human. By filling in strings of text under simple constraints, the user can create any number of possible humans from the absurd to the serious or even the abstract whom they might later see shaving, eating, and pondering.
This news update is coming late, but its release also marked the first game written with ADRIFT 5 to be released into the wild. Huzzahs? Huzzahs.
From the Author
On uploading the more recent executable version of this diversion onto IFDB, it strikes me that my original review was unduly masochistic. There is something interesting, I think, in the Mad Lib style construction of this piece. In particular, I had originally written it out of a desire to be able to answer the questions the voice over asks in "The Perfect Human"-- so there you have it, some reasoning. +1 star, little buddy.
Your mileage may vary from play-to-play, especially depending on who you are and how you approach the thing. Some have created surreal, even poetic, stabs at it, while I've seen others try to make it into AIF. I can't assert that there's really much of a right or wrong way to do it.
I'll end this with the same primary assertion as in my previous review: a short game, to be played for a quick break.
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Number of Reviews: 3
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How unusual. This isn't a game, but a chatterbox-cum-madlibs exercise where the player answers questions about a virtual human and his/her/its environment by entering arbitrary words and short phrases, and these answers are incorporated into the ongoing poem.
The usual IF commands like "look" and "inventory" are quite meaningless here, so players may not consider this to be "IF" at all. At least, not normal IF. It's not really like Fugue, The Space Under the Window, or On the Other Side, but it's closer to those than most other IF offerings I can think of.
A couple caveats: Note that since there's almost no checking that your inputs are valid, it's best to play it straight. If you insist on typing in nonsense, you'll get nonsense printed back at you. Also, please avoid typing AND or commas in your responses; that gets your input line interpreted as multiple inputs. Type an ampersand, & ,when you want an AND.
This isn't a deep game by any means, and it certainly won't teach you much of anything about yourself, etc. But because the virtual human is so short and so different, I do recommend that players try it out.
After reading the "About the Story," section of "the virtual human," page, I was intrigued. I've experienced other works of IF that have offered personal insights, but this piece is not one of them. The decisions that the player is expected to make are for the most part superficial.
This work is inspired by a Jorgen Leth film. Since I am not familiar with the film, I can't say to what degree this work mimics the film. However, I suspect that this work has the same issues that IF works inspired by non-interactive media suffer from. This work runs as if it were on rails. The decisions made by the player do not affect the outcome of the work.
Still, even with these issues, this work is smooth and polished. It is interesting to play through once.
This was so much fun. It's basically a question and answer session that aspires to be poetic, and I must say I think it succeeds very well. I definately abused the poor thing though and turned it into a pornographic vignette. It actually handled my sordid little answers very well, much better than I was expecting. I think this is the first time I've been impressed by an Adrift game(if game is the word).
Still, I couldn't in all honesty give it full marks because even though it was novel and very interesting in its own way and made me laugh(which is always good in this world), I really wanted it to go somewhere. What I mean is, I would very much like to have seen this little game extended into an actual game, with the entire game that I played being fleshed out with a story and a full game-world. The poetic nature of it made a great impression on me too and just added to my enjoyment. I may even steal some of the ideas that have been demonstrated here if I ever get my own WIP off the ground.
Overall, very impressive. I really enjoyed it and am off to play it again.
If you enjoyed the virtual human...
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This is version 4 of this page, edited by DB on 13 August 2011 at 2:28am. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item