Who Shot Gum E. Bear?

by Damon L. Wakes


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Number of Reviews: 8
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
A somewhat unpolished but creative candy murder mystery, October 23, 2022
by MathBrush
Related reviews: 15-30 minutes

My dad use to run a video game company, and one idea he always had was to make an incredibly bloody and vicious fighting game with entrails and gore, etc. but with all characters made of chocolate, so that it would technically pass Nintendo rules.

He never got around to making it, but this game reminds me of that concept. It's a hardboiled detective story with candy version of murder, gore, hardcore pornography (alluded to only), a strip club, etc. All of it is bowdlerized through the candy medium.

The author of this game has made quite a few interesting and/or bizarre experimental Twine pieces (and one using an RPG making software, I think), so I associate him with creativity and innovation in a choice medium.

In this move to the parser medium, he's brought the creativity and the amusement. One thing I think is lacking though is dealing with 'bad' parser responses. Due to the parser medium allowing theoretically infinite possibilities, a large part of parser craft is nudging players gently (or not) towards commands that actually do something. So more custom parser responses, implementation of basically every noun in every description (or turning them into synonyms of other nouns), etc. This can often take up a huge part of programming time, but it also represents a huge part of player time, since often half or more of a player's commands will result in an error, as they try out whatever they think of in the moment.

That, coupled with some capitalization problems in room names, makes me feel like what this needs more than anything is some more time in the oven. I've found that the best way to get this part of the game nailed down is to have a bunch of testers send transcripts and then implement a response for everything they try (or redirect it to a pre-existing response).

Overall, a clever concept.