A Scurvy of Wonders

by Darius Kazemi on March 13, 2011

in projects

(TL;DR: I made some interactive fiction with some friends. Play it here.)

Yesterday I participated in the Speed-IF compo at the Interactive Fiction Hospitality Suite that was happening next door to PAX East. I worked on a game with Rob Dubbin (who writes for The Colbert Report and I know because he worked on Carmen Sandiego) and Courtney Stanton (my partner, who is a much better writer than me). I handled the programming, and they handled the writing and the design.

The way it works is they gave us 9.5 hours and a bunch of prompts and constraints that we could choose to use or not. We ended up making a game called A Scurvy of Wonders, which is about a rich guy marooned on his yacht who gets scurvy and starts to hallucinate. It’s a short game that uses a limited verb set, so there’s not much guesswork involved. It’s also very, very funny, entirely because of Courtney and Rob.

The game’s title comes from a list of randomly generated game names. When Rob saw the name had the idea for a game about a guy hallucinating on a boat, and I figured that was scoped small enough that we could make a good game in only a few hours.

Anyway, you can play it in your web browser (no plugins or anything). It also works on many mobile phone web browsers! What can I say, other than Inform 7 is magic. I am very happy with this game, especially considering that we made it in about 7 hours.

Special thanks to our testers: Jason McIntosh, Jonathon Myers, and Adam Parrish. Double special thanks to Andrew Plotkin and Emily Short for helping me out with Inform 7 when I hit a wall a few times.


Naomi Clark March 23, 2011 at 4:16 pm

That was one of the first IF games I’ve played in a while where I didn’t need any hints to solve the puzzles. EPIC. Fascinating use of an unreliable narrator perspective. Quite literary, harrumph harrumph, kudos, etc.

Darius Kazemi March 23, 2011 at 4:19 pm

Thanks Naomi, that means a lot coming from a designer I respect!

Michael Brough March 26, 2011 at 11:32 am

I enjoyed this, thanks. The short explicit list of allowed verbs really helps it avoid the guessing-game IF usually becomes for me.

Comments on this entry are closed.

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: