IFComp 2012: The Sealed Room

And now for this year’s sole game written in Alan. As usual, I’m playing the games in a randomized order, but the singletons seem to be all clumped together. Spoilers follow the break.

So, you get magicked from a park bench to a room containing a dragon and a unicorn, and have to find a way out by chatting with them through a list of conversation topics. A very short and simple piece, it seems like a kind of coding exercise for dialogue. I could easily imagine this appearing as one of the worked examples in the Inform 7 manual, except of course for the fact that it’s not written in Inform.

Even though there isn’t much to it beyond the conversation menu, there’s a certain amount of weirdness there. Most topics disappear from the list once used, but there are a few that hang on, and they’re not the important ones. Also, there are responses that you can provoke at times when they don’t make sense any more. The dragon and the unicorn don’t react to your opening the exit at all. So, even given that the conversation is the focus of the piece, there are little ways that it seems lacking.

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