The Cabin

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful:
Generic plot, terrible interface, and.... QBASIC?, October 1, 2015

This review will be written to the author as I'm going to try and be as constructive as possible.


Great that you're getting into writing IF, it's such an awesome genre.

I'm going to start by saying that I had to install the qb64 compiler to get this game to run. The majority of people playing your game don't know what qbasic is, and linking them to the qb64 forum isn't a good starting point. If people don't know what to do to get your game working, they won't play it. Compile your game and upload it to a server, and link it with the "download link" button on IFDB.

Also, consider that a lot of people, especially in the IF community, aren't running Windows. Try and compile to a neutral format, or offer binaries for multiple operating systems. I had to compile qb64 to be able to compile your game to get it to run on my machine (linux).

I'd recommend you have a look at FreeBASIC as a multi-platform alternative, with more features. It is based on QBASIC.

QBASIC, or at least the engine you have written/used, is not really appropriate as a parser. It would be better to either use a proper interactive fiction parser language (eg. TADS or Inform), or write the game in more of a choose-your-own adventure style.

The plot was pretty cliched, but could be expanded on to make it more interesting. Don't spoon feed them the story, let them come to the conclusions you want them to come to.

The writing was poor with spelling mistakes and bad grammar everywhere. Proof-read your work!

The room descriptions were completely static. I would make things like the headache and reminiscing about the scent of nature events which happen when you enter the room for the first time, and use the room descriptions to 'paint a picture' in the viewer's mind. I want to feel like I'm in the cabin - what do the walls look like? What colors are the curtains? What furniture is there? Show, don't tell. One (and probably the only) place you did this well was the hardwood floor.

The directions should be given verbally. The map didn't make a lot of sense until I guessed a direction to go in.

The countdown mechanic was interesting but far too long.

The game lacks detail - the cabin was nowhere near big enough, or at least there wasn't enough to do/see in it.

The "good ending" is completely counterintuative.

The "bad ending" didn't make a lot of sense either. What motivation would the player have to do that?

You've got the start of something potentially interesting here. What you need to do is proof-read, refine, and spend much more time in designing your world - and use a better language to put it together.

Good luck with your future games!


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