IntroComp2011: Seasons

Playing Seasons made me realize I forgot something of great importance, probably the most important thing of all important things, judging by the MPAA criteria to rate a movie, at least. Here it goes:

FUCK

If you think being exposed to words like the above creates a micro black hole inside your intestines, then you should steal your chocolate cookies from another jar.

> more explanations after the warning

Seasons by Poster

Start Seasons up. Fool around for a few turns, get lost, whatever, then type ‘FUCK’. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

(waiting)

Yes, the game gives you a “The world shatters.” response, and then it closes on your face. Now start it up again and type ‘QUIT’. You’ll be asked if you really want to do it (which you will, sooner or later), and then the game just stays there, without closing. Now, if I go as far as saying this was the high point of Seasons for me, will you guess how much I liked it?

If you guessed I didn’t liked anything about it, you’re wrong.

As it stands, Seasons isn’t an intro (again!), but an unfinished, sandboxy, surreal, confusing, buggy, ultrapoetical, incomprehensible game. After half an hour into it, I’ve found handfuls of programming errors, one NPC of little impact, a few interesting spooky moments (I’ll get into that), a lot of over-the-top descriptions (I’ll get into that also), and no point whatsoever about what am I suppose to be doing.

But let’s talk about those descriptions. Imagine a field with grass, except for that dirt line without grass. For this reason alone, let’s call this dirt line a ‘path’. But calling this “a field of grass with a path” is dull, so let’s go for “a field as a green gift of wobbling illusions, wrapped with a fragile ribbon of gold and promises, longing for the twirl of an infant’s finger to pull into existence, only to reveal the bones of our fathers, a sign of our failures to come, while the air fills your head with screams of shame and shouts of blame, as if Santa Claus is the curse of the misfits.” There, much better. Now repeat for every tree, leave and log cabin you find, and you have Seasons. Yes, I’m exaggerating. No, I am not.

Now let’s talk about those moments who actually made me think there’s something here to come back to. Every once in a while, you see things which are not. I’m not talking about the dreams, those are trivial, but about looking at yourself buried in the dirt, or the face with the mask inside the cabin. These are little moments which made me think that, with a lot more restraint and player guidance, this could be made a creepy and interesting piece.

So, when this intro ended, I was mildly curious as to what is to become of it when it grows up, but sadly for Seasons, it isn’t an intro. And other than incomplete, Seasons highly experimental trip is not betatested, and it will be rated low.

> fuck it
The world shatters.
  1. Poster says:

    I see that my obscenity/profanity routine has succeeded beyond my wildest hopes, exposing the mindset that glories in such. This is what success looks like.

    As for the rest of your post, you could have submitted a bug report, but you didn’t.

    Finally, I don’t care to betatest an intro, and the author name is Poster.

    • leandro ribeiro says:

      » and the author name is Poster.

      Hello Poster! My name is Leandro.

      IntroComp’s page credits you with an extra (MT), and since I don’t know who you are, and since there’s no place in Seasons that clearly states the author’s name, I went along with it. My sincere and humble apologies. I’ve already edited it.

      » exposing the mindset that glories in such

      Yes, my mindset is beyond all hope, I’m afraid. I’m a poster boy for all the wrongdoings in the world, as one can clearly see solely for my use of this one word.

      I too have a list of words that, when heard or read on someone’s speech, are enough for me to catalog such with one of the various tags I have to catalog people. Like the tag “human person”, which I use all the time.

      » you could have submitted a bug report, but you didn’t.

      Once again, my sincere and humble apologies. The thing is, being a competition, I wrongly decided to just write about the state of the entries, when I really should be sending all of the twelve authors bug reports, to help them improve their works. Specially because IntroComp is just this one big, free-for-all, betatesting ground for unfinished games, not a “real” competition.

      Anyway, I have a script of my first play-through, which was very short. I’ve played Seasons a second time for a lot longer, but I can’t find that script. This second one would’ve been more helpful, I know, but I’ll be more than glad to send the first one anyhow, if you wish.

      » I don’t care to betatest an intro

      Not being an English natural myself, I went to multiple online dictionaries to find out the meaning of the word “intro”. I felt the need to do such, so that I could vote the entries with fairness in my heart. This is what I found out: “intro” has a different meaning than “unfinished”; go figure! So, just to state two examples, one could say The Hobbit, by Tolkien, is an introduction to the Lord Of The Rings’ universe, in spite of being a finished book; on the other hand, The Process, by Kafka, is an unfinished novel, but it’s not an introduction to anything. Once again, I hope this helps you see IntroComp the way the organizer would like others to see (I think): a place where authors care enough to submit polished, finished and tested entries.

      I would like to end this humble reply of mine by stating one last thought, one which I felt the need to state after reading your blog post: there isn’t a single phrase in my Seasons article that attacks the author personally, directly or otherwise, and it was with great sadness that I found such implied in your (heartfelt, I’m sure) reaction to it.

      I’m now going to weep myself to sleep.

      Sincerely yours,
      Leandro Ribeiro

  1. [...] perhaps both. In any case, I do find it interesting that this round of reviews includes full-scale profane/obscene attacks, and suggestions to kill myself. Yeah, I kid you not. Welcome to the world of IF. By the way, we [...]

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