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Link Dump Friday №327


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraWords. Words. WORDS. I love them. You love them because I say so. And as a result, we're celebrating them with four different games that offer their own unique spins on text games, from ants and horsies to hateful AI and hamburger oceans. Mmmmm.

  • Candy Ant PrincessCandy Ant Princess - Whisperbat's Twine-based choose-your-own-adventure style game is so charming it's almost unbearable, so it's a shame it isn't longer or more intricate. As the title suggests, you are a Candy Ant Princess of your own design, out to make a mark and create your own colony to rule as you see fit. Click on bolded words within the main body of the text to cycle through available options, while the bolded words at the end of the text will be the ones that transfer you to the next screen. The decisions you make at certain points of the game determine not only what type of ruler you are, but the prosperity and fate of your hive. Am I the only one that thinks this needs a Choice of style expanded edition?
  • Horse MasterHorse Master - You think you know world building? Pffft. Tom McHenry's excellent and at times creepily captivating Twine adventure game crafts a bizarre and strange new world around you on your journey to be a Horse Master. Only we're not talking your garden variety palominos here, and there's a lot more wonderfully weird stuff going on here than you'd think from the first few pages.
  • The ChoiceThe Choice - So you want to learn programming, but you don't want to do it the boring way. I get it. I understand. That's why Amos Wenger's text-based puzzle game is so darned clever, as a snide, hateful AI shows you the ropes under the guise of evaluating you for your continued participation in society. Created originally for the One Game a Month challenge, there are two more episodes on the way, though this first free one is still a fantastic example of edutainment, even if the difficulty quickly spikes around figuring out what syntax the game wants from you.
  • Lucky Peach Travel GameLucky Peach Travel Game - aniwey's advergame for McSweeney's doesn't have quite the unexpected delight and brilliance of Candy Box, but it's still more than a little neat. From rowing through an ocean of goodies to an island full of other tasty delights, the game brings the same fun ASCII art style, though has more of a key-tapping mini-game bent to it than anything else. Like Candy Box, however, the less said about this one the better, since half the fun is finding things yourself.

16 Comments

mr.eldritchy Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 1:06 AM

This is fairly embarrassing, but I can't figure out the answer to the first question in The Choice- "It is more useless than you. What is it?"

The only hints I get are that it's one word, and "remember that you are of little value to the galactic government."

I've tried a whole load of stuff, but nothing works!

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawmg9uM_dtV_F2QNKat4cHAuN3IRTjuixn8 Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 1:17 AM

@mr.eldritchy
Try

nothing

also

some of these answers are a little dark and sometimes very specific to the question

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fuzzyface Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 3:12 AM

I love the idea of "Candy Ant Princess" altering the text as you see fit before going on.

"The Choice", the basic idea is cool. However, the emotional frame and execution are improvable. First the theme, personally I quited a programmers career, albeit paid well, its simply a chore. I don't see why this condescending theme is doing the idea of edutainment any good. Second, going into this a bit, I wonder if some parts are doable by somebody who never coded before, with years of experience in that field I managed to figure out some of the stages next to trial & error by already knowing how it should look like rather than aquiring the knowledge. And even with that background knowledge I found the whole experience more on the frustrating side than entertaining.

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mr.eldritchy Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 2:04 PM

Holy crap, I'm an idiot. The answer was literally in my post.

"nothing" works

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https://www.google.com/accounts/o8/id?id=AItOawn51Kq1nFyxI4tulSsPlCDH2utmobZMddc Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 2:51 PM

I have no experience at all with programming (though I would like to), and I just can't seem to figure out the conditionals part. Can anyone help????

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I'm stuck on Jabberwocky. It would be easy to make a walkthrough for it.

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Seriously. There's no way to unlock the door. How do you use the key?

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There should be some sort of tutorial to explain how to do ANYTHING to do with programming in the choice.

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ottoman Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 6:18 PM

Horse Master was stunningly beautiful. Unfortunately, you realize far too late in the game that "winning" is not really winning at all, and humanity can be a foul thing.

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ottoman Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 7:37 PM

I really enjoyed the Candy Ant Princess. I managed to find the Bad End.

I think there might be only one way to get a bad end: to let the sick girl roam about the castle and kill off everyone with the plague.

I can't even figure out the sample question in The Choice, what am I?

Apparently I am not a puny human even though that's what it told me to enter.

I have no background in programming whatsoever but I am intrigued.

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naizoutan Author Profile Page July 5, 2013 11:53 PM

for the choice

it's best to save the commands they leave you somewhere. im up to the guard and the door part and im pretty sure i'll have to restart the game in order to really figure out the commands. i'll make a walkthrough when i reach the end. it's actually very self explanatory, the problem is that it doesnt seem like its trying to explain to you anything.

the first answers are
answer 'a puny human' which is given to you, so just ctrl-enter the game through that, then it asks you if you really get it, so you replace the 'a puny human' dialogue with 'yes.'
the next subsequent answers are

nothing

suicide


answer yes again

darkness

in the door exercise, the first one, it asks you to explore both doors. you'll find that the left is locked, and the right is a trap.
as such,

unlock the left, with unlock @left, and then the next paragraph should be you entering the left door, with enter @left
so it should look like
unlock @left
enter @left

I would imagine to the author this would seem like it was an obvious hint by the AI's dialogue.
in the next door, you have to unlock the door with a key, in which the key is 'jabberwocky.'
to do that you have to

use the dialogue they present you in the first paragraph. so Key is actually where you're supposed to input the key. so it should look something like


unlock @door, 'jabberwocky'
enter @door

so in fact, they give you the programming code, they just never really acknowledge that they have.

i kind of like the premise, i think maybe it could be a little more forgiving though if its for someone who's trying to just start learning.

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naizoutan Author Profile Page July 6, 2013 1:25 AM

Okay YAY I'm done with it. Here is The Choice Walkthrough??? I guess.

Use ctrl-enter to move through EEM's text.
EEM: "...If I was to ask you what you are..."
simply use ctrl-enter, as the answer command is demonstrated
to you in your text box
EEM will ask you if you get it
now you must replace 'a puny human' with 'yes'
EEM: "it is more useless than you, what is it?"
obviously EEM hates you with a burning passion and thinks
you are insignificant. so this answer should be easy.

answer 'nothing'

EEM: "There is a certain crime, that if it is attempted, is punishable, but if it is committed, is not punishable. What is the crime?"
I'm not really sure how to lead someone into realising this,
but basically since EEM is negative nancy we have to think
on the darker side of things. there is one crime in america
that is a rather common subject of debate considering morality
and such that would involve this scenairo. you can escape if you face the permanent consequences of your actions, but if you don't, then you're punished by extraneous forces. this means it is

answer 'suicide'

answer 'yes' again
this will be EEM's last riddle:
"The more you have it, the less you see. What is it?"
What does it mean to see less of something? something is not visible, or perhaps, everything lacks visibility. but you can't really "have" the lack of visibility. you could say blindness as well, but what is like blindness that everyone can enjoy?

answer 'darkness'

EEM will ask you to enter the door. The door's name being @door.
So how do you normally input a command to enter a door?

enter @door

in the next exercise, you get to learn the joys of writing multiple lines of script. oh boy!
EEM will prompt you to enter both doors. take note of what the dialogue box tells you when you do. In order to enter both doors, input

enter @left
enter @right

You'll find that the left is locked, and the right leads to your death. you can switch this order, but you'll only die faster. The only option is to open the left door.

How would you enter a locked door? by unlocking it first, and then entering. So that would be:

unlock @left
enter @left

You can also not explore both doors and just unlock and enter the left door.

Now you have a door that needs a special key to unlock. The command for this actually shows up in your dialogue box. Make note of this command.

this command is "unlock door, key"
Your door needs a name apparently, according to the previous excerises. Use @door for this, and replace door with this name.
Key is not an action for you to utilize. instead, it's actually placement for the function of a key. However, the dialogue box won't recognize the difference between a key phrase and an action, so you have to make this known by using your answering skills by placing "jabberwocky" in its rightful quotations.
So your answer should look like

unlock @door, 'jabberwocky'
enter @door

Now, the next exercise uses a randomized key generator. Thus, you need to make sure your program remembers this key. Make note of the commands EEM gives you henceforth.

guard.askKey(door)
-> used for asking for a key. you will need to specify who the guard is and the name of the door, however. You can do this by replacing 'guard' with '@xzoor' the name of the guard, and 'door' with @door.

# after that line, 'key' will be the response of the guard

key = guard.askKey(door) -> to store information, as well as the script for the key input, since you won't actually know the password until it's reset.

Now you can enter the door! This can be done with the following code:

@xzoor.askKey(@door)
#
unlock @door, key = @xzoor.askKey(@door)

enter @door

Fun stuff.

The next exercise is conditionals.

EEM will give you the example code:

# ask a question
if @subject.isType('machine')
#if true, the program will do this
answer 'worthy'

else
# otherwise it will do this
laugh()
answer 'worthless'

This code is to ask a yes or no question, and then answer it accordingly. So if it's a positive answer, or a "truth," then you input what you'd do if the answer is positive. If the answer is "otherwise," "false," or "negative" then you input the according dialogue for that scenairo as well. Thus EEM provides you a scenairo of asking a guard whether or not a door is trapped. If it is, naturally you'd take the other door. If it isn't, or otherwise, you'd take that door.
The code for this then is:

if @xzoor.isTrapped(@left)
#if true, the program will do this
unlock(@right)
enter @right

else
# otherwise it will do this
unlock(@left)
enter @left

EEM's next predicament will ask you to solve an old riddle,
but through code!
So first figure out your course of action. How will you be able to figure out which is lying?

This riddle is typically solved by asking them
"What answer will the other give me?"
This will make both answer the same door, but you will have to take the opposite. The one that tells the truth will answer as though he is the liar, and the one that tells lies will simply lie because he will never answer truthfully.

Thus in order to solve this, you have to find a way to ask them about the answer of the other person with the two questions "Is left/right door trapped?" and "is something true?" This something is defined by what you put in parentheses.

This is described in this code, though I'm sure if you swap names you'll still get the same answer.

if @xzoor.isTrue(@xena.isTrapped(@left))
#if true, the program will do this
unlock(@left)
enter @left

else
# otherwise it will do this
unlock(@right)
enter @right

This would describe you asking Xzoor's opinion on whether the left door is trapped. If he says Xena would say that the door is trapped, then you would take that door. If he says Xena would tell you the door is not trapped, then you take the right.

Took me forever because I forget the meaning of the solution to this riddle.

The next operation is to board "numans" from one area to another. You cannot enter the vehicle, so these numans can only operate it, and one must always be in the vehicle in order to use it. This is another riddle, but one that must be solved through coding, yay. The coding EEM gives you is:

Numans
@numans[0].board(@vehicle)

@vehicle.fly('#0000')

In order for you to board numans, you have to code them one at a time. So you can code for two before you have to ship them over. After fly, input the station they'll be headed towards. So long as you keep use one numan to pilot the trip each way, the only problem this particular exercise presents is a tedious one.

@numans[0].board(@vehicle)
@numans[1].board(@vehicle)
@vehicle.fly('#3127')
@numans[0].board(@vehicle)
@vehicle.fly('#5092')
@numans[0].board(@vehicle)
@numans[2].board(@vehicle)
@vehicle.fly('#3127')
@numans[0].board(@vehicle)
@vehicle.fly('#5092')
@numans[0].board(@vehicle)
@numans[3].board(@vehicle)
@vehicle.fly('#3127')

Congrats! You're angry AI is done with you, for now.

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Lucky Peach confounds me. What's the trick to climbing the palm tree?

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Never mind. Trial and error got me the method. Now I'm in a rogue maze. Argh.

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Okay, not rogue. Still argh.

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I'm fairly sure I cheated in the knights and knave puzzle in The Choice. I was well aware of the usual answer, but I couldn't figure out exactly how to do it. So instead, I

Asked someone if the other guy was trapped. This was probably undefined, but when the liar answered, they said they were in fact trapped. When that happened, I ask the other guy for the correct door that I enter. If they didn't, I asked them for the correct door and entered it.

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