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Ambitious subject, but limited implementation., April 1, 2010
This short piece has a rather unusual premise, in that it take place within IFMUD. IFMUD -- aside from being the place to be for authors and fans of the modern IF community -- is a MUD , a virtual environment that behaves very much like the type of virtual environment emulated by interactive fiction parsers. It's an interesting and strange experience to find yourself in a simulation of a simulation, when the "underlying" simulation uses such a similar interface to the "top" one.
The goal of the author was to recreate the experience of "attending" the 2003 XYZZY Awards, a full transcript of which is available online. In preparation, I read the entire transcript myself, for comparison purposes.
It took me much longer to read the transcript than it did to play this piece, partly because the author (David Welbourn, aka DavidW) only implemented the first couple of awards, and partly because he edited out much of the audience activity. The official presentations of the announcers are faithfully recreated, along with the notable acceptance speech by Triage.
This work is speed IF, so there are limits to what you can expect. The most richly-implemented feature of the environment appears to be the artwork surrounding the stage (murals and paintings). I don't know whether these descriptions are original creations of the author or what you would have seen had you been on IFMUD for the ceremony, but they are amusing, either way.
NPCs are barely sketches, but to implement them in more detail would require taking considerable license with the personalities of real people. The main focus is the presentation of the awards, and I congratulate Mr. Welbourn for creating a minor puzzle to advance the action -- a clever twist.