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About the Story
You arrived at the ballroom well after midnight. The End.
Nominee, Best Use of Innovation - 2019 XYZZY Awards
Audience Choice--Most Interesting Concept, Most Surprising Turn of Events, Best in the Back Garden, Back Garden - Spring Thing 2019
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Number of Reviews: 2
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Liza Daly has come up with quite a few ways of presenting stories in the past, including complex parser games, the precursor-to-Twine game First Draft of the Revolution (in tandem with Emily Short), and the Windrift engine.
This game builds on that earlier material. It is very short, finishable in 5 minutes (unless I missed something major!).
Basically, there is a sequence of choices in the story, each of which can be revisited at any time. There is a bit of hysteresis, a term Emily Short has used before to describe how doing and undoing choices doesn't just put you back where you started, but has lingering effects.
This is the piece of IF by Liza Daly that made click! for me to understand the very nature of what her own engine, Windrift, does. Mutable stories where their output can be read like a proper paper document.
In the past, I found the works of Liza to be lacking more traditional choice based interaction and the agency of me as a reader. Thanks to The Ballroom finally I could fully understand that we are in a new paradigm here, those of "mutable stories".
This third instance for the engine shows a lot of capabilities in proving that you can have a deep agency a lot of choices to modify the story radically within the engine. So, in a sense, it is a showing of the capabilities of Windrift to provide further interaction... but what a show! The ballroom is crispy and funny and somewhat meta (something I like very much), where each interaction could radically change the universe of the story, changing from the time and place of the story, to the very nature of the characters.
It gets tangled easily, in the last phases of the game, I felt that the "winning move" was within my reach, but the multiples variables, change of times and possibilities just crowded in my head, and in the end, I was unable to achieve a proper ending. So, in a way, it is a puzzle game implemented using a very new paradigm like the stories that Windrift provides. Very impressing.
Maybe I will return to it with a walkthrough or something, but in the meanwhile, it was a hell of a time. Very recommeded.
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For your consideration: XYZZY-eligible Best Innovation of 2019 by MathBrush
This is for suggesting games released in 2019 which you think might be worth considering for Best Innovation in the XYZZY awards. This is not a zeroth-round nomination.This is not an official list. The point of poll is partly to suggest...