IFC10 transcript – Heated

My review of Heated was terse.  I’ll explain by posting the transcript.  The introductory text of the game will pad to the cut tag.  The transcript is commented, with

>* comments written during gameplay preceded by an asterisk, and

//comments written after gameplay preceded by a double slash.

(You may want to read the transcript, or to search for the comments.)

Start of a transcript of

Heated An Interactive Fiction by Timothy Peers Release 1 / Serial number 100930 / Inform 7 build 5Z71 (I6/v6.31 lib 6/12N) Identification number: //B5BB5521-FC26-4227-87EC-FBEAD0EEFE58// Standard interpreter 1.1 (4F) / Library serial number 080126 Standard Rules version 2/090402 by Graham Nelson Undo Output Control version 1/090626 by Erik Temple

>restart
Are you sure you want to restart? y

It finally happened, you have been offered the promotion of your lifetime and will finally be making the kind of money your tuition was worth. Your boss hands you a sheet of paper, all it needs is your signature.

What now?> BEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEP Your eyes crack open, and a blurry image comes to light. It’s your ceiling. You sigh loudly, and slip into a melancholy place. Your alarm is going off, the would-be promotion is a fuzzy memory and you need to get to work early.

You have one chance to prove to your boss that you aren’t a slacker; you’re on warning as is. You need to show up early, look sharp and be ready to get your report in before the end of the day. You pull this off, and you are looking at your first raise since you can remember. You don’t, and . . .

. . . eh whatever.

Please press SPACE to continue.

Heated An Interactive Fiction by Timothy Peers Release 1 / Serial number 100930 / Inform 7 build 5Z71 (I6/v6.31 lib 6/12N)

bedroom (on the bed)
What other people like to call lazy, you like to consider meditative; it shows in how sparsely decorated your room is. The walls are bare, outside of a shoddy closet built into one of them. Your garage-sale nightstand sits next to your equally impressive bed, bringing the entire motif of the room somewhere into the realm of “bachelor-crap-hole.” To the south is your living room, and west is the entrance to your bathroom.

For hints, outright solutions or other game information just type “menu” at any time.

*Save often!*

On the nightstand is an alarm.

>get up
You get off the bed.

bedroom On the nightstand is an alarm.

BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>turn off alarm
The off button seems jammed. That’s unsurprising considering it cost you two dollars four years ago.

You are distracted by your very noisy alarm.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>unplug alarm
It’s battery operated.

//Notice I’m expected to believe that the PC lives in a “bachelor crap-hole,” doesn’t do basic maintenance to his car, doesn’t clean the dust off his kitchen counter, but has it together enough to keep fresh batteries in an alarm clock.

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>take out battery
I only understood you as far as wanting to take outside.

>remove battery
That isn’t here.

>take clock
That isn’t here.

>take alarm
Your skin crawls as you near the alarm, but you force yourself to pick it up.

You can barely think over the screeching of your alarm.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>x alarm
The alarm is blaring, making it hard to think. Its waterproof and battery operated (but it’s literally impossible to get open).The large, red LCD display on the front reads “5:54 am”. Somehow, you have to get this thing to shut up.

The alarm is switched on.

//If it’s “literally impossible to get open,” how have I been putting batteries in it?

//Now, it’s clear from the start that I’m supposed to smash the alarm.  But I didn’t want to.  And much of the game was like this for me.  I understood the mindset the author wanted to put me into, but had no particular desire to get into it.  So, I decided to try something.

>s

living room
Having used the majority of your income on pot, beer, and staying out of your house as often as possible, your décor has suffered. A beat up couch sits across from the television and milk crate combo that functions as your entertainment center. Other than that, you can see your kitchen to the west, your patio to the east, your bedroom to the north and the exit to this shit-hole to the south.

Your work shoes are here, waiting for you to put them on.

You are distracted by your very noisy alarm.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>w

kitchen
Undoubtedly the cleanest room in your house, mostly for lack of traffic. The cupboards are bare, the counters are dusty but show no signs of actually have anything prepared on them, your stove is entirely nonfunctional, and your refrigerator is a thing that keeps beer from becoming entirely room temperature.

You can barely think over the screeching of your alarm.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>open fridge
You open the old refrigerator, revealing a lunch sack.

The high, intolerable whine of your alarm grates at your nerves.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>put alarm in fridge
You put the alarm into the old refrigerator.

Your alarm, in an apparent attempt on your life, is driving you to suicide.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>close fridge
You close the old refrigerator.

//Well, I thought it was a good idea.  Admittedly, it’s a peculiarly IF solution, but then it’s a peculiarly IF problem.

You can barely think over the screeching of your alarm.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>e

living room
Your work shoes are here, waiting for you to put them on.

It sounds like a cat is choking on a very noisy piccolo somewhere nearby.

RAAAGHHH! That is IT! If this is the kind of frustration you face BEFORE you get to work then there’s simply no way you can survive it after getting there! You go back to bed, throw a pillow over your head and ignore the world. Your boss can eff the eff right the eff off and you will get a job delivering pizzas for all you care!

*** Eff this ***

//Well, indeed.  In a sense, this game TOO effectively caused me to feel the target emotion.  Eff this, indeed.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, or QUIT?
> no, not really.
Please give one of the answers above.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, or QUIT?
> That should have worked!
Please give one of the answers above.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, or QUIT?
> restart

[intro text]

*Save often!*

On the nightstand is an alarm.

>get up
You get off the bed.

bedroom
On the nightstand is an alarm.

It sounds like a cat is choking on a very noisy piccolo somewhere nearby.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>kill alarm
You bring your fist down on it with all of your might, bringing you peace at last. You toss the pieces aside, and begin pretending it never existed.

//I’m reminded of Homer Simpson’s courtship of Marge, where he takes her out to the hills, finds some kind of equipment lying around, and destroys it.  “It’s fun to smash things,” he says.

>w

your bathroom
It isn’t in the best shape, but it isn’t condemned either (mostly because as far as the city is concerned, this room doesn’t even exist).

//By the way, how does that work?  I’m living in a house that, as far as the city is concerned, LACKS A BATHROOM?  And therefore it’s not condemned?

It has the normal bathroom fixtures; a shower, a counter with a sink and mirror, and toilet. To the east is your bedroom.

On the bathroom counter is your keys.

>take a shower
You step into the shower, and let the warm water wash away the grime and funk you’ve collected overnight. All good things must come to an end, and as the water changes from warm to freezing, you step out and dry off.

[Your level of heat has cooled noticeably]

>dry off
That’s not a verb I recognize.

//The descriptive text told me I’d dried off, but I missed it, because I was looking for a towel.

>x me
You sparkle like a million underpaid, unappreciated, and thoroughly disgruntled suns. You currently have nothing on.

//Am I wet or not?

>x towel
That isn’t here.

>x mirror
You look into the mirror see the face of a determined individual. Of course, you can also see the nude everything else of a determined individual, but the real focal point is how crisp and clean you look.

>x razor
That isn’t here.

//No need to shave?

>pee
You don’t have to go right now.

>i
You have nothing. You are wearing nothing.

>w
You can’t go that way.

>e
bedroom

>verbose
Heated is now in its “verbose” mode, which always gives long descriptions of locations (even if you’ve been there before).

>look
bedroom
What other people like to call lazy, you like to consider meditative; it shows in how sparsely decorated your room is. The walls are bare, outside of a shoddy closet built into one of them. Your garage-sale nightstand sits next to your equally impressive bed, bringing the entire motif of the room somewhere into the realm of “bachelor-crap-hole.” To the south is your living room, and west is the entrance to your bathroom.

>open closet
You open the bedroom closet, revealing a pile of ratty old shoes and your work clothes.

>wear clothes
(first taking your work clothes)
(you pulled the hanger out since you don’t need it to keep your clothes neat anymore)

They fit great!

>s

living room
Having used the majority of your income on pot, beer, and staying out of your house as often as possible, your décor has suffered. A beat up couch sits across from the television and milk crate combo that functions as your entertainment center. Other than that, you can see your kitchen to the west, your patio to the east, your bedroom to the north and the exit to this shit-hole to the south.

//See, the mindset bothers me.  This guy owns or rents a decent-sized *HOUSE*, which he calls a shit-hole.  If it’s dirty, why doesn’t he clean it?  — Because he’s lazy.  But when we’re truly lazy about doing something (cleaning), we don’t care about the benefit.  Then the PC would say, Yeah, it’s filthy, but it’s good enough.

//Really, the mindset being displayed here is not laziness, but depression and self-hatred.  Self-hatred particularly because he doesn’t have high enough status.  And none of this makes me want to help this character to get a promotion.

//Meantime, I’ve lived in far more modest places than the one Peers is describing, and they were fine.  I mean, yes, living in a bad place can cause real misery:  but this is because it’s unheated, or because there are rats, or because you have bad neighbors, or so on.

Your work shoes are here, waiting for you to put them on.

>wear shoes
(first taking your work shoes)
You put on your work shoes.

>* I don’t much like me, do I? Or the author doesn’t
You seem to want to talk to someone, but I can’t see whom.

//And this is one of the problems with the game.  There are two points of view.  There’s the lazy/depressed tempermental loser who badly wants a raise, and there’s the caustic voice of shit-hole-dom.  In better hands this could be an interesting set-up.  But here the first exists to justify the second.

//In other words, the author has set this up so that he can keep attacking the PC for worthlessness.  It’s not badly programmed or told, but as a player I’m getting nothing out of it.

>s

front lawn
An unmanicured and patchy lawn leads up to the front of your house. Your driveway sits just to the east.

>n

living room

>w

kitchen

>open frudge
That isn’t here.

>undo
kitchen
[Previous turn undone.]

It’s frustrating when you can’t get things right the first time (this will register after your first move following the undo).

//Ok, so the author writes a timed game that will eat up a turn on a typo the parser should have caught, because he wants to bluff his way through implementation.  Then he codes a gotcha into UNDO so that if you don’t want to pay for the typo, he punishes you anyway.

//added:  Not everyone agreed with me on this.  Philip Armstrong writes:

You’re mitigating your time cost but not without a penalty. That’s neat.

>open fridge
You open the old refrigerator, revealing a lunch sack.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>take lunch
You sigh in relief. At least you won’t starve at work today; a small blessing.

Taken.

[Your level of heat has cooled slightly]

>close fridge
You close the old refrigerator.

>e

living room

>e

patio

A practically empty pack of gum is laying on the patio. Hm. Must have fallen out of your pocket at some point.

>take gum
Taken.

>n

east side of your house
This is the lawn on the east side of your backyard. You can see your patio to the south and your backyard continues to the north.

>n

corner of your backyard
This is the Corner of your backyard. Your backyard continues to the west and to the south.

>w

behind your house
You generously refer to this as your backyard, but it’s just a few feet of grass behind your house. Your backyard continues to the east.

>x grass
It’s patchy and strewn with weeds.

//No reason for these three locations?

>e

corner of your backyard
This is the Corner of your backyard. Your backyard continues to the west and to the south.

>s

east side of your house
This is the lawn on the east side of your backyard. You can see your patio to the south and your backyard continues to the north.

You notice time is running out quickly . . . if you want to be early anyway. Last time you showed up after 6:50 he told you to be thankful it wasn’t 7:00.

>s

patio

>w

living room

>s

front lawn
An unmanicured and patchy lawn leads up to the front of your house. Your driveway sits just to the east.

>e

driveway
Your driveway is little more than a patch of dirt worked into a part of your lawn. Fortunately it’s not like it’s making anything look worse.

You can see your car (closed) here.

>get in car
You have to open it to get in.

>open it
It seems to be locked.

>i
You have a chewing gum, a lunch sack, and a metal hanger. You are wearing your work shoes and your work clothes.

>e
You can’t go that way.

>x clothes
A button down shirt and pair of slacks. They’re a little wrinkly, but passable.

>x pockets
That isn’t here.

>x pocket
That isn’t here.

//I’ll spare you most of the ‘looking around for the keys’ sequence.

>x couch
This is an old couch that you bought at a yard sale years ago for fifteen bucks. There’s a depression which you’ve carefully worked into it through your countless nights watching television. Other than that it has sat here collecting stains and dust since you brought it in; you don’t even remember what the wall behind it looks like.

>search couch
You give the area surrounding the couch a good searching, and it looks like there might be something behind it.

>look behind couch
I only understood you as far as wanting to look.

>move couch
A small cloud of dusts stirs, and an electrical outlet appears from behind it.

>x tv
An old standard-definition television. It’s plugged into what might be the last working outlet in your house, and the last time you tried unplugging it you ended up showing yourself in sparks and almost destroying your TV.

The television is switched off.

//From reading another review, I gather this set-up is so the author can make a puzzle out of plugging in your iron.

>n

bedroom

>x nightstand
It’s an old, pine nightstand you picked up somewhere or other. It has several random etchings in its surface from previous owners and a few from yourself.

You notice a random etching made by a cat at some point.

>open it
That’s not something you can open.

>x bed
What you generously call a bed is really just a mattress on top of a box-spring on the floor. Your carefully chosen sheets and pillows have almost the exact same tinge as your average heavy-trafficked sidewalk, and so you’ve been able to avoid ever having to wash them.

>search bed
There is nothing on the bed.

>search closet
In the bedroom closet is a pile of ratty old shoes.

>x shoes
(your work shoes)
Just plain, black work shoes.

//When I sleep at a friends, I often put my glasses, keys and wallet in my shoes for safekeeping.  Probably not something anyone else does.

An odd odor wafts up from your lunch sack.

[Your level of heat has risen noticeably]

//Ok, get this.

>open sack
You open the lunch sack, revealing a ham sandwich.

>x sandwich
Put together with the last things you had laying around in your fridge. The sandwich’s ingredients were old to begin with, but once they got to room temperature they . . . Well the point is that it’s an awfully foul sandwich at this point.

You can see a lunch sack (in which is a ham sandwich) here.

>take sandwich
Taken.

>eat it
It’s been left out too long. Looks like another day of coffee and water.

//Now, remember that, and compare it:  What happens if you eat the sandwich in the 8 minutes before it spoils?  I try this in the next iteration of the game.

>i
You have a chewing gum, a lunch sack, and a metal hanger. You are wearing your work shoes and your work clothes.

>* oh, I need to break in to the car? You seem to want to talk to someone, but I can’t see whom.

>e
You can’t go that way.

>s

….
You’ll have to hurry if you want to get on the road and show up on time! >e

driveway
Your driveway is little more than a patch of dirt worked into a part of your lawn. Fortunately it’s not like it’s making anything look worse.

You can see your car (closed) here.

>x car
a 1987, brown Buick Le Sabre sits in your driveway. The front right headlight has been missing since you bought it, and random bumper stickers line the back. You only drive it during the day, because you can’t afford a ticket.

>look in window
That isn’t here.

>unlock car with hangar
That isn’t here.

>i
You have a chewing gum and a metal hanger. You are wearing your work shoes and your work clothes.

>unlock car with hanger
That doesn’t seem to fit the lock.

>w


living room

You can see an electrical outlet here.

>x milk crate
Just an ugly, beat up milk crate.


kitchen
Undoubtedly the cleanest room in your house, mostly for lack of traffic. The cupboards are bare, the counters are dusty but show no signs of actually have anything prepared on them, your stove is entirely nonfunctional, and your refrigerator is a thing that keeps beer from becoming entirely room temperature.

>open cupboards
That isn’t here.

Crap! Forget being early, you have 5 minutes before you are going to be out of a job!

… //Three fairly trivial moves later…

You hang your head in despair, head to the couch to watch some TV, and plan on looking for jobs in the morning. You know your boss, and when he said that you wouldn’t have a job at all if you were more than 10 minutes late again, he meant it.

//Now, personally, I’d go to work anyway.  You never know.  Maybe the boss is out with a cold today.  I mean, you don’t just give up.  But, fine.  We’ll try again.

*** You are unemployed ***

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, or QUIT?
> No, not really!
Please give one of the answers above.

Would you like to RESTART, RESTORE a saved game, or QUIT?
> restart

[intro text]

*Save often!*

your bathroom
It isn’t in the best shape, but it isn’t condemned either (mostly because as far as the city is concerned, this room doesn’t even exist). It has the normal bathroom fixtures; a shower, a counter with a sink and mirror, and toilet. To the east is your bedroom.

On the bathroom counter is your keys.

>*why did I not see that earlier?
That’s not a verb I recognize.

// And why does Inform not allow comments?

// Now, read this.

>take keys
You go to smoothly palm your keys, but the actual result of your efforts is knocking them right into the toilet with a soft “plop.”

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

>undo
your bathroom
[Previous turn undone.]

It’s frustrating when you can’t get things right the first time (this will register after your first move following the undo).

>shower
That’s not a verb I recognize.

>take shower
You step into the shower, and let the warm water wash away the grime and funk you’ve collected overnight. All good things must come to an end, and as the water changes from warm to freezing, you step out and dry off.

[Your level of heat has cooled slightly]

>* still no towels, huh?
You seem to want to talk to someone, but I can’t see whom.

>close toilet
As a single guy who lives alone, you feel a bit silly doing it.

You close the toilet.

>take keys
You go to smoothly palm your keys, but the actual result of your efforts is knocking them to the floor where they bounce with a force that seems to defy physics, having them fly back up and nick the underside of the toilet lid (popping it up a few inches), and watching them fall into the dismally tinted water inside. The lid clacks back down over them.

[Your level of heat has risen slightly]

//So — the author, faced with the possibility that players could think their way out of going through the crap he wants them to go through, codes in a COMPLETELY IMPOSSIBLE “ha ha, you have to go through the crap anyway” catch.

>* I don’t understand why I should be playing this game.
That’s not a verb I recognize.

>about

> Introduction to Heated

You have to worry about two things here:

1)Time 2)Heat

Time is NOT on your side. Everything you do (outside of looking/examining things) takes time, and you are on a schedule. Just like in real life you can be late, on time or early. How do you manage? Pay attention.

Just like your day to day, some things will frustrate you or outright make you angry. This is represented through your Heat Meter (TM) and should be monitored carefully. It will go up and down depending on whether you did something relaxing or something . . . less than relaxing. Some of the things will be innocuous, and some will be the result of a puzzle being solved.

This game has been very tested, but it’s also my first attempt at interactive fiction–much less programming. If you have any feedback you can contact me at timothy.peers@gmail.com

> Note: Waiting and looking

Two things of note:

(1) You can use the commands “wait for X minutes” or “wait for X hours.”

(2) Looking and examining take no in-game time. Just like in real life, it doesn’t take a full minute to scan an object and take in information about it. So make ample use of that; the clock is ticking.

> Getting your keys

Well, there’s simply no getting around your klutzy moments, so it’s probably best you focus on how you rectify a bad situation. Be flexible, you can bend tools to your needs.

your bathroom
It isn’t in the best shape, but it isn’t condemned either (mostly because as far as the city is concerned, this room doesn’t even exist). It has the normal bathroom fixtures; a shower, a counter with a sink and mirror, and toilet. To the east is your bedroom.

>* III don’t know… I have no desire to play this game.
That’s not a verb I recognize.

>open toilet
You raise the lid, and your keys are still there.

//”still” is not really the word here.  Also, I notice that my keys “are” here now, whereas when I come into the bathroom the keys “is” here.  You can argue it’s a collective noun, justifying “is,” but the usage should be consistent.

>s
You can’t go that way.

>w
You can’t go that way.

>e

bedroom

//whatever; I have no particular sense of location here.

>take clothes
That isn’t here.

>open closet
You open the bedroom closet, revealing a pile of ratty old shoes and your work clothes.

>take clothes
Taken.

>put clothes on bed
You put your work clothes on the bed.

>take hanger
If you took it out now it would just make your clothes even more wrinkly.

>wear clothes
(first taking your work clothes)
(you pulled the hanger out since you don’t need it to keep your clothes neat anymore)

They fit great!

>take hanger
You already have that.

>remove clothes
You take off your work clothes.

>put clothes on bed
You put your work clothes on the bed.

//See, I was convinced the toilet would splash me, getting my clothes dirty. I’d lost faith in the game.

//The stock tickertap heads-up display, with your exits, “heat,” and time — what is with these in Inform games lately? — at about this time went whacko, printing some time-related message over the exits.  But there’s no way to track that, because the tickertape doesn’t ticker into the transcript file.

>x hanger
It’s just your average metal hanger. It’s a little bent up, but you try not to dwell on perfection.

>bend hanger
Using all of your strength, you straighten out the hanger, leaving a hook on one end.

//Is it heavy-duty metal, or do I have the strength of Mr. Burns?

//And what’s with all the Simpsons references today?  I don’t even watch the show…

>get keys with hanger
[That’s a little too complicated for me to understand. If you want to get something, just take it (as long as you have the properly fashioned tools/accessories on your person you will automatically utilize them if the scenario requires).]

>get keys
You fish around in the slimy water for a few minutes using the hooked metal rod, and manage to snag your keys. After running them under scalding hot water for a while, you feel safe enough handling them to keep them on your person. The hanger, however, is disposed of.

You notice time is running out quickly . . . if you want to be early anyway. Last time you showed up after 6:50 he told you to be thankful it wasn’t 7:00.

bedroom

>wear clothes
(first taking your work clothes)
You put on your work clothes.

>wear shoes
(first taking your work shoes)
You put on your work shoes.

//I never tried, as I collected information by wandering around my house naked, but I gather if you put on the wrong shoes in the bedroom it makes you angry.  Which is why the other shoes are there.

//Because apparently I’m playing a PC who doesn’t know where his proper shoes are (or look like), and who is a rage-a-holic.

//Can you imagine having this guy as your boss?  Why on Earth am I playing this game?

kitchen
Undoubtedly the cleanest room in your house, mostly for lack of traffic. The cupboards are bare, the counters are dusty but show no signs of actually have anything prepared on them, your stove is entirely nonfunctional, and your refrigerator is a thing that keeps beer from becoming entirely room temperature.

>open fridge
You open the old refrigerator, revealing a lunch sack.

>take lunch
You sigh in relief. At least you won’t starve at work today; a small blessing.

Taken.

[Your level of heat has cooled slightly]

>open lunch
You open the lunch sack, revealing a ham sandwich.

//Ok, now get this:

>eat sandwich
You greedily devour your sandwich, only to become slightly upset with yourself afterwards. Now what are you going to eat for lunch?

[Your level of heat has risen noticeably]

//I envision Timothy Peers on the other end of a computer, laughing like Beavis.

>*screw you
That’s not a verb I recognize.

//I *really* didn’t understand why I was playing the game.  Still don’t.

>close fridge
You close the old refrigerator.

//Because otherwise I get home and the house is defrosted.

driveway
Your driveway is little more than a patch of dirt worked into a part of your lawn. Fortunately it’s not like it’s making anything look worse.

You can see your car (closed) here.

>unlock car
What do you want to unlock your car with?

//?

>keys
Finally, you’re ready to hit the road! You creak the door open, scuttle in, slam the door shut, then open it again because it caught your seat belt, then slam it shut again. You pull your seatbelt over your shoulder, shove your keys in, and back out of your driveway squealing your tires.

This is it; today is make it or break it.

Your car zips along the freeway, dodging in and out of lanes as you put pressure on your gas pedal. You are going to make today happen, you are going to get that raise, and your boss will have no choice but to respect you! Then, you’ll work the V.P. and get your own office, and maybe a cute little secretary . . . It would only make sense after the huge raise you’re going to get! Maybe you coul–

//See, the trouble with this — my boss will have no choice but to respect me!  I can get a cute little secretary! — is that it doesn’t seem to be leading to any kind of epiphany.  The author seems to expect me to be into it, along with my horror at being a low-status laborer who only makes enough money to **have his own house**.

A loud pop, followed by a roaring hiss pulls your thoughts back to the present. You watch in horror as a thin red needle begins to climb slowly towards the “H” on the temperature gauge. You just need to make it one more exit, you tell yourself, wiping the sweat off your brow.

And you aren’t going to make that exit. Your car finally wheezes loud enough that you know it’s time to pull over. You resignedly guide your car into the shoulder lane, sigh, and get out:

//Now, I’ve had cars overheat, and never once have I heard one “wheeze.”

side of your car
Cars are whizzing by as you stand in the shoulder of the freeway wondering what you did to deserve this. Just to the north is the steaming hood of your car, which apparently popped open of it’s own volition, and to the south is your trunk. Where you are now is just a comfortable place to pity yourself.

All your effort to be early, and now you are stuck here trying to be on time.

>s

boot of your car
Your trunk is shut tight. You popped it before you got out of your car, but it’s stubbornly refusing to open. The rest of the back of your car is the same as it’s always been, covered in stickers.

You can see a trunk (closed) here.

>i
You have a lunch sack and your keys. You are wearing your work shoes and your work clothes.

>n
side of your car
Cars are whizzing by as you stand in the shoulder of the freeway wondering what you did to deserve this. Just to the north is the steaming hood of your car, which apparently popped open of it’s own volition, and to the south is your trunk. Where you are now is just a comfortable place to pity yourself.

>open car
(the broken down vehicle)
You already did everything you could to keep this heap moving. You also already tried to pop the trunk from inside, and that didn’t work. You even tried yelling at it until its guilt overwhelmed it and it got you to work on time, and that didn’t work. At this point, you’re immediate need is dealing with the situation you have going on with the radiator.

//”you’re” -> “your”  More relevantly, I can’t rummage around in the back seat for some coolant or bottled water or something?

>n
hood of your car
The hood of your car is popped open, and you can see a steady stream of heat coming from underneath the radiator cap . You can tell from how weak the steam is that your radiator is practically empty.

You can see a radiator (closed) here.

You have to get this thing moving in the next few minutes just to be on time!

>open radiator
You open the radiator, revealing a small amount of water.

>x radiator
In the radiator is a small amount of water.

>x car
It’s your car, and it won’t move.

>x hood
hood of your car
The hood of your car is popped open, and you can see a steady stream of heat coming from the radiator. You can tell from how weak the steam is that your radiator is practically empty.

You can see a radiator (in which is a small amount of water) here.

>i
You have a lunch sack and your keys. You are wearing your work shoes and your work clothes.

>s
side of your car
Cars are whizzing by as you stand in the shoulder of the freeway wondering what you did to deserve this. Just to the north is the steaming hood of your car, which apparently popped open of it’s own volition, and to the south is your trunk. Where you are now is just a comfortable place to pity yourself.

>open trunk with keys
That isn’t here.

>e
You step into the road for a closer inspection and are instantly flattened by an oncoming car.

*** You have died ***

//Well, I guess the cute little secretary lucked out.

//But let’s back up.  The hood is north of the trunk…  And east leads out into traffic?  What, was I pulled over on the left-hand side of the road?  — Or, more likely, was the author just waiting for an excuse to kill me?

//The game is well enough programmed.  It’s well enough written.  There is, in fact, a story.  The structure is more or less a timed puzzle gauntlet — you have no influence over the direction of the game other than failing (but you can fail in various ways, and each gets its own ending).  But sofar as I can tell, the author thinks I’m a troglodyte.

//There’s nothing interesting or fun about this.  Surely, there may be some people who look at the world this way and have inward landscapes like this PC’s.  But there’s nothing interesting or fun about them, either.  And exploring that way of being might be interesting if it were done by someone who had some illumination to shed on that mindset.  But I’m not finding that here.

//So — not for me.

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Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 11:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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