Some comments

This has been a really fun Pyweek! Thanks to Richard and congratulations to the winners!

From what I see, most comments had to do with the following: We will try to make an extended and rewritten version of the game (it has to be done from scratch; the code is a hack), and will take your ideas and feature suggestions into consideration. I doubt anyone of us will have time to do it in the near future, though... Maybe next summer.

Thank you all and see you in six months!

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After seeing the comment about compression, I tryied a quick test: load bakeryinside.jpg , and saved to .jpg changing the image quality.
Initial size was 601 KB , final size 110 KB, 'eye quality' good. So, certainly there is room for improvement on package size.
For photo derived ( ie no big solid color areas, no thin lines) .jpg is usually the right type of file to use for high compresion and reasonable quality; you just need to play with the quality options to get the right balance.
Obviusly you must compress only in the package stage, to preserve good quality art while developing.
Not to say that your team must have done that for the compo (deadline comes too fast !!), but surely worth for a postcompo release.

Post compo:
If I may tell, full rewrites usually dont ever come. To the point refactors have much high likelihood of success. Not so much a mess the current code, at least if you limit yourselves to flexibilize the parser and be more kind in the forest.

Even accounting for low social skills and posible not english fluency, yes, there are a few comments in bad tone, (in your entry ratings and in others ). It is good that you comment on these, so that people can see how it will be perceived, but dont let the issue lose your mood. In a group of 100 people it is nearly guaranted some prick.
Ah, sorry about the compression thing. It was not my responsibility, and I took the others' word that they were compressed. We'll think about it for the postcompo release.

Refactoring might be better. Hm... Maybe we'll wait with the new engine for future games instead (text based adventures were fun!). Ah, well. We'll post here and on when the new version is out!

Regarding the rudeness, there should be some way to discourage posts like the above. Perhaps making the votes non-anonymous could work? In my opinion, it shouldn't really hurt the voting process.
This game was actually one of my favorites, I'm surprised it was voted down so much.

I was wondering if png would compress more (png is worse than jpg with photographs, but with the effect it looks like there are a lot of areas of colors in common), so I did a quick test with one of your images and it was larger. So you should probably use a more compressed jpg like claxo said.

Some comments will be rude, I think the best to do is to realize they're not useful and just ignore them. Maybe making votes non-anonymous could work, I don't know, I'm a bit indifferent to that, it does make people more careful on what they're going to write. The only disadvantage I see with that is that people might rate others games lowers based on comments on previous Pyweeks, maybe even in a not so conscious way.

(I thought it was funny using the baguette. I put the first three, then I realized I needed one more, so I tried the baguette and it worked. Things like this are actually not so uncommon in interactive fiction or adventure games if they lean towards the humorous side. In fact, I don't know of a humorous adventure game (like Monkey Island, Sam and Max, etc) that doesn't use an item in an unusual way. Perhaps you could have said that the baguette is so stale that it's as hard as a rock, that would have probably helped.)

Interactive fiction games should have more playtesters than other games (more playtesters, not necessarily more tested), because it's hard to predict what someone will try. Of course, in a competition that's hard, but maybe that's something you might want to remember.

I like the comic. :)
Oh, and what claxo said, "It is good that you comment on these, so that people can see how it will be perceived", reminds me of the (currently) latest xkcd comic: :P

Although I consider the comments around here much, much nicer than what's out there. Even those you said were rude I don't consider them so rude.
Great comic !
Certainly such a virus will be useful !

You are right, Tee, that in the wild you can expect much more harh opinions. One must enter in 'review mode' before reading opinions over one's work: take usefull facts, rejoice with kudos, disregard noise and pass over empty, negative stings.

Anonymous votes are better, in my opinion. Less post-judge bickering, no resentements.
Yeah great job on this game. I'm pretty surprised it didn't rate higher. But I suppose the genre itself is a bit of a divider to start with. You can tell from the comments it's basically, "I love text adventures! 4's all around!" or "I HATE text adventures. How dare you make me play something from the 80's. 2/2/2"

It's way too much to ask, but I wish that reviewers would skip games they know they wouldn't like due to genre alone. It's genre discrimination I tell you.

I also love when people complain about theme for games that fit pretty well. They did that to me last time with my robot fighting game - they were all "I really don't see how a robot fighting game fits the theme of robots".

But yeah, I'm one of the many who quit at the forest maze. I never liked those sorts of mazes in these games. And the walkthrough didn't really help either. How do I get out of the maze? I want to see the end!
Some suggestions for a future version:
  • Provide "x" as an abbreviation for "examine".
  • Provide more phrasings for repairing the ladder. "Use" is actually quite a rare verb to find in a text adventure. Players are more likely to try things like "repair ladder", "fix ladder", "mend ladder" (and all of those with "using something" appended), "attach something to ladder", "put something in/on ladder", etc. If you are going to require "use" for anything, it would be a good idea to mention the existence of this verb somewhere in the instructions.
  • The first few times through, I completely missed the fact that I could go north from the garden outside my house. Most locations clearly indicate the possible exit directions, but "north" is only mentioned obliquely here. Together with the picture it didn't suggest going that way.
  • If you are carrying the gas when you encounter the camel-walrus for the first time, things happen in a confusing order -- the reaction of the camel-walrus occurs before you get a description of the location or mention of the existence of the gate and gateopener.
  • Get rid of the maze. Mazes in adventure games are nowadays almost universally reviled as a thoroughly worn-out idea. Unless a maze has some ingenious new twist, which yours doesn't, players will hate it.
  • At the ravine, if it's possible to "climb down", then just a plain "d" should really do the same thing -- especially given that "u" is sufficient for climbing trees. Until I saw the walkthrough, I didn't know that it was possible to go down at the ravine.
I liked the endings once I got there, BTW. But without the walkthrough I don't think I would have had the perseverence to find my way around all of these problems.
saluk: Yeah, forest was a bit of a question mark for me too. My main issue was that you had a compass that seemed useless. I looked in the code and it seems that the compass allows you to walk to other screens; if you don't have one, you're stuck in screen one. I'm not sure how it was intended, but one way to do it is trial and error. Back when I played MUDs there were some mazes like these with exits that seemed illogical like the ones in this game, meant to make you feel lost. Some of them had other kinds of solutions, but I remember some of them were solvable by trial and error: Try one of the eight directions. If it's a new room, put the direction in your "mental stack". If it's not, get back to the previous room by following your "mental stack". Repeat that until you reach the exit. That worked for me in this game (there are only a few rooms and it's feasible to do that), but I still don't know how it was supposed to be. Personally, I don't like that solution much, I wish there were a smarter solution, and the compass kinda confused me.

gcewing has some excellent points. Don't forget "get". I also didn't know it was possible to go down the ravine until I looked at the code after I finished to see if I had missed anything, and I also tried "d" at first.