IF Comp 2012 – Transit

Transit is another story written on the Twee/TwiddlyWiki platform. Again, the layout is very pleasing, and now that I’ve experienced a few of these, I am warming to this authoring system. In this instance, I see a few options at the bottom of the screen that functionally serve my need to have an about / help / hints / options menu of some sort.

Spoilers follow

This story takes place in an all too recognizable location: an airport. Which airport doesn’t matter at all, since they are all the same. Your stay in this archetypical airport is punctuated by similarly generic signs, which add a nice accent since they both provide context independent of language (you don’t know the local language here), and as graphic elements to break up the text.

Story: 6
The story arc is limited in terms of locations and available actions, and the story divides into a few functional blocks: explore, encounter major conflict, resolve conflict. However, exploration involves a couple levels of detail, and some exploratory actions lead to story endings off the main track. For a short work, the story has reasonable fan out and I had a good sense of agency.

This story also seems well adapted to the medium. It’s not unusual for IF authors to contrive a situation that limits the expectation of deep implementation, and an airport is ideal – a few relatively sterile and generic locations that don’t really need description, and a language barrier that obviates dialogue and most interaction between characters.

Voice: 5
I sense the travel fatigue and anxiety about being somewhere where you can’t speak the local language. On the other hand, maybe I’m projecting. The main character has some personality, but without interacting more fully with others, there is not a lot of depth.

Play: 6
Mechanistically, the story played well, with a clear sense of objects and locations. I replayed quite a number of times trying to reach as many endings as possible. Some were unexpected, which is a plus.

Polish: 6
A couple minor spelling errors, but generally well-edited. Enjoyed the graphics, and appreciate the use of Creative Commons resources and proper attribution in the Extras tab of the interface.

Technical: 5
The only technical glitch that I experienced was a hyperlink which didn’t seem to refresh the display (I think it was the Asian food link). The story is primarily a matter of hyperlinks, although certain actions are tracked and stateful.

Average: 5.6

Like the grahpics in this story, the picture at the top of this posting was sourced from The Noun Project.  It was created by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and is in the public domain.

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