Results tagged “tutorials”

Interactive Fiction Bits

Two recent bits:

  • Following the success of the IF summit at PAX East, the Seattle IF group is organizing some IF content at PAX Prime in Seattle this September.
  • IF newcomer Neophyte has teamed up with IF veteran Juhana to build a game that will act as an IF trainer, teaching people what they need to know to play other IF games. They're collaborating on a wiki for everyone to see. Right now they have some of the initial concept done, and they're hoping to have the game done by September 1 (just in time for PAX Prime, although I think their timing has more to do with the annual comp than PAX).

Space Giraffe flies again

I mentioned Jeff Minter's Space Giraffe on here a while ago. It's been out as an Xbox Live Arcade title for over a year, and Minter's Llamasoft just ported it to the PC. To help promote this new release, Minter created some text-n-video walkthroughs of the game's early levels.

To me, this is most notable for being a complete - and completely correct - reversal of Minter's initial reaction to the game's critical reception, including the infamous "grow a pair" post on his company's blog, where he attacked the idea that modern video games should contain tutorials of any sort. It's too bad he left that sulky post up on the blog's front page for a whole year, but I am willing to overlook all in the face of this clear good-faith effort to show that he is, in fact, listening to his audience.

Personally, I love the crazy graphics that so many have complained about, but playing it still makes me frustrated. There's a point about a dozen levels in where I lose all my accumulated lives without the foggiest notion why. I know from my reading of the game's development history that the information's in there somewhere - part of the challenge is learning how to read all the colors and sound effects whizzing by. But the game doesn't make this challenge explicit, so unless you are taught from an external source, like a GameFAQ or these videos, as far as you know your giraffe simply becomes suicidal after ten minutes of play.

In this sense, the videos are rather an overdue patch to a deeper design flaw, but I'm nonetheless pleased that they've appeared. I look forward to absorbing these videos and attempting a renaissance with my own copy of the game. And in any case, I maintain that the Xbox version of Space Giraffe is totally worth five bucks. It's a game that deserves experiencing.

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