Assigned 4/15/03, due noon 4/29/03
Code for subject line of message when turning in: HW4
File name for the file to turn in: <your
You will be assigned two works of interactive fiction written by your
classmates. Your job is to play them and, based on your experience,
provide feedback on them in two forms. Based on the reviews, some of the games
and their evaluations will then be posted on the class web site for public
What you will write for each game:
1. The review. The first
part consists of a review, in the style that you might find in a typical
computer game magazine. That is, your
target audience consists of other gamers – assume that they are familiar
with the genres and the technology, but looking to you for guidance on which
games to try. Your readers want to
learn more about particular titles, and your job is to elucidate which ones are
worth playing, and why.
In each review, you need to:
- Introduce the game
- Examine and analyze the
- Conclude with an overall
rating, from zero to five stars
Here are some of the issues you may find useful to address in your
exposition (you don't have to address all of them, of course):
- What can you say about the
setting? If it's a story-based game, what can you say about the story? How
is it delivered? What can you say about the presentation, and storytelling
style? And if it's not a story-based game, how does it work considering it's implemented using tools for interactive fiction?
- Underneath the narrative,
what kind of a game is it? (e.g. a puzzle, a
treasure hunt, an action game, a linear/non-linear narrative, a game of
exploration, etc.) Are there similarities between this title and other
titles (even in other genres)? What can you say about implementing that
kind of a game in this medium?
- What can you say about the gameplay? Regardless of whether you like this kind of
a game or not, is it well executed? Does it succeed in drawing the player
into the game? What can you say about the game's goals and affordances --
the things the player needs to accomplish and the opportunities for
accomplishing them? Are they well presented and interesting to engage in?
- What can you say about the
technology? Were any bits of technology -- NPCs,
game items, areas, etc. -- particularly good or bad? Why?
- And finally, what's your
overall feel of the game? Would you recommend it to somebody? Why or why
not? Did anything strike you as particularly praiseworthy or problematic?
Each review should be around 500 words.
2. The tester’s report.
Now consider yourself to be part of the team building the game. You’ve just been brought in, and
have been asked to write up, based on your experiences playing the game, at
least one half page of suggestions for how to improve
Please turn in all of your work as a single Microsoft Word document attached
to an email message with the subject line above. (If you don’t have Word you can
turn in a text file or an HTML file, but they must be self-contained, i.e., readable without a network connection!)
Last edited 4/19/03 by KDF
Please send suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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