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November 17, 2006

IF expansion

Note: I have no idea how to write IF and this draft seems sexist, but I was trying to think like a guy. I know a lot of guys that hate the ballet, but love Chuck Norris, so this is geared more towards them. I chose the humor genre because most of the games I played were in this category and had “the whole relationship thing” in them. This sux, but I'm learning still.

Expansion: “Wal-World Wretches”

Talk to player:“You pull into “Wal World” parking lot at three in the morning after a fight on your cell with your girlfriend. You didn’t want to go to her Grandma’s birthday party and now you’re in the doghouse. What do you tell her?”

>A. “I’ll make it up to you, I’ll buy Grandma something real nice and we’ll go to the ballet next week.”
>B. “I’m sick of your drama. You didn’t come to my cat’s funeral, so I’m going camping and getting drunk!”

(If “A” is chosen) You enter the store and start walking around aimlessly.

(If “B” is chosen) On the way back to your car, you run into Bicycle Bill, a surly, bicycling, homeless man ironically wearing a tutu. He offers you a drink from his brown paper bag.
> Pick up paper bag.
If you took the drink, after awhile, you end up getting drunk and try to take Bob’s bicycle to deliver your girlfriend her “special gift” (which is a singing fish for Granny. Bob isn’t happy and beats you to a pulp with his kosher wine bottle. You end up in the hospital and dumped!

If you don’t take the drink, you stay sober and drive to camp. There, you get in one beer and get chased by a bear. The next day your girlfriend’s dad finds you cowering in a tree and is forced to carry you down. You are on the news and your girlfriend tapes it to humiliate you and then feels sorry enough to take you back.

(If you chose A) You are still walking. To the left is the pet care area; to the right are the feminine products.
You go left, you run into a stuttering guy with a hamster in his pocket. “Www-hat are are are yyyyou lookin’ for?”
 Say to player “What do you want to buy Grandma?”
A. The fish that sings “Achy Breaky” heart
B. Call your girl (if you still have one) and ask.
C. A photo album and put pics of you and your girl in it.
(The first two get you dumped, the third gets you out of the doghouse and going to see the ballet. You later realize Chuck Norris was making an appearance and all your friends rip on you for not going and make you borrow Bicycle Bill’s tutu to express your remorse.

Say to player:“You go right and see a cart.”
Say to player “If you take it, your preschool teacher comes over and hugs you and asks if you need help selecting makeup. “I always knew there was something special about you!”
With horror, you look in the cart and it’s full of makeup, glitter, and tampons.”
Say to player “Whatever you tell her, she isn’t happy with until you explain your plight. Once you do, she gives you flowers (that were hers) to give to your girl and you are out of the doghouse, until you go home and she reads the card. “To the Roscoe Family: In your time of need.” You get a smack and realize Bicycle Bob may have been your only friend during all of this.”
Say to player:“You, don’t take the cart. The voice on the loudspeaker announces a sale on flowers.”
Say to player:“If you buy the flowers, you are back to normal for a little, but still have to go the ballet, but luckily Chuck Norris happens to love the ballet and is a guest. You get to hang with him in the men’s room and maybe get to be a walk-on for his next movie.”

Say to player “If you don’t buy the flowers and stay there, the cart boy accuses you of cart-hording, your response?”
Say to player:”If you’re nasty, the Wal-world security takes you hostage, but luckily Bicycle Bob tells them he’s got Elvis in his brown bag to distract them and you complain to the manager. He then gives you a free coupon to compensate for your attack. Unfortunately, it’s only on clearance items, but Grandma does get that fish (the “Achy,Breaky heart” one, of course) and she surprisingly likes it. You get stuck listening to the song so much that you end up with a mullet and a belt-buckle, but hey, you still got to keep the girl!”

Say to player: “If you’re polite or don’t cuss him out, he directs you to the aisle where you find a photo album and some other cutesy stuff to make both generations of women less irate. You go home, get forgiven, and you compromise with a camping trip before the night of the ballet. You go hung-over, but it’s good you did, because you enjoyed the ballet a lot more!”

Alternate Rooms

Say to player: You are standing in the Pet Room. Here, there is an aquarium on your right, a cage of hamsters on your left, and a door leading to the Exercise Equipment…

(This one will also involve trying to find the right gift and perhaps the keys to your mom’s minivan. You are going on a mission in this room because Bicycle Bob loves the hamsters and you have the sneaking suspicion he might have dropped them in their bedding. EW! Do you reach in?

Another idea for a room would be the exercise room where you seek the help of Steroid Steve for you knew him in high school and he can perhaps intimidate Bob to get your keys back or at least bribe Bob with some Stacker threes to go along with his cheap wine.

Other room ideas: The Slurpee Haven. You go there and see your girlfriend’s friend Wendy working the slurpee machine. She dumps a slurpee on your head so you throw

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:58 AM | Comments (0)

November 13, 2006

Job names: Custom made for an instant ego boost

I wrote these just to make everyone realize how self-absorbed we are with our daily roles. Lighten up, if you're not exciting (ridiculous) enough to make reality TV, that's means you're pretty normal. If you have any more I could add let me know. I don't want to leave anything out and I apologize profusely to anyone who thinks I'm being offensive. I'm sure your boss will be glad to remind there is no "I" in team if you whine to her about this.

(fill in the blank with your favorite ice cream concoction) technician:No joke, these people at an ice cream place have shirts that render them with the power of ice cream technicians, which will allow them to put gummy bears in your ice cream and put roses on Aunt Hilda's 80th birthday cake. Don't mess with 'em.

Child care attendants: These people have one of the hardest jobs (I'd be scared to do it). They sometimes wear pumpkin vests, have finger paint in their hair, carry juiceboxes in their fanny packs, and know how to remove any body fluid stain from "play clothes." Or we could just be downers and call them Super-good parents, but that would be too offensive.

Cart attendants: Those ones that wear the orange vests and make sure Grandma or Bicycle Bob don't try to take the carts home for their own personal usage. They also have free reign on that cool riding machine that picks up all the carts. You get extra points if you don't hit pedestrians with the carts!

Servers: They used to be called waiters. (yes, I am one, so I get extra technical points on this one). Now they do much more than just wait for people to make ridiculous food requests! They even have the ability to text their friends about how they want to go somewhere else to eat later, smoke cigarettes by the dumpster, and explain to people that they won't get some made-up obscure disease from eating the chicken or whatever the "bad food" is on the news. We're go-getters and we'll get you your 5th diet coke to go with your deep-fried oreos because you've had a hard day.

Sales rep: Not to be mixed up with the Sales Associate. That one who keeps calling you long-distance from a far-away land you can't pronounce that tells you you've won a vacation to Wisconsin but you have to pay for it by giving them your first born. They are especially effective when you are eating an extremely good dinner or trying to not be late for your own very important job. You hear the ring and you think, "What if someone kicked the bucket? By golly I'd better answer." This is there speciality that makes them even more important than the rest of us. For these are the time-keepers...

Sales Associates: They are the true disappearing artists. They are like locusts when they want to win a t-shirt for selling the most laxatives or ballpoint pens and always attack you when your broke. They can amazingly disappear as soon as you want to know where to find toilet paper or something you might actually need. If they are well trained they will spend hours to convince anyone that maroon spandex stirrup pants would be an awesome outfit for your mom's wedding. If they are the passive-aggressive types, they will just let you read their vest and nametag saying they want to help you and look extremely surprised if you say the name on the tag. They think you are spying on them. Paranoid, but handy.

Birthing partner: Isn't that the person who's hand you squeeze and ears you deafen if you are a woman screaming with labor pains? This is also the one who must scour the hospital for edible food ( or run to Starbucks and Sheetz ) to feed the Mama-to-be. This person is also required to be a stunt driver, funny breathing initiator, and birthing entertainment director (Mom wants tamborines and acrobats or maybe just some crossword puzzles if the kid doesn't want to come out right away). Maybe it's just my imagination, but while some people don't enjoy this job, but the ones that do sure love 'The Miracle of Birth!"

College Student: There are countless hybrids and breeds of these popping up daily. These scholarly figures attend lectures in pajamas, eat food that is especially crunchy when they're superiors are making important points, forget to separate laundry or fill up the gas tank, while still maintaining a decent GPA and playing other role of parents, kids, and friends at the same time! They set a precedent for older people struggling to relive their youth. They participate in events that involve strange rules, code words, or perhaps household items. They occupy the largest amounts of "important jobs" out there such as servers, sales associates, sales reps, and more as they struggle to be whatever it was they wanted to be when they grew up. Right now it could be philosophy/poli-sci/ double with a advertising/music teaching minor, but they just might run off to the desert and farm cactus for awhile to "study abroad" or "get my head together." Some can even write essays on Pizza Hut placemats, write lesson plans in crayon, or attach multiple bumper stickers to their cars. This super-special occupation has a huge-turnover rate and may involve Jack Daniel's, multiple Starbucks trips or simply "A people who like horses club" to take the edge off their stressful lives. We are the future, kinda scary.

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:48 PM | Comments (2)

Erin speak: Schmoozablility/You schmooze you won't lose

Def: One's ability to persuade others to do your bidding by using your best people skills. Syn. charming, buttering up, selling.
Examples and other forms:
1.She used her schmooze to get him to tie her shoes.
2.He schmoozed his boss into letting him wear his Superman cape to work and smoke behind the dumpster during rush hour.
3. He's crazy but he knows how to take the ladies for a schmoozin'.
4. She's got a certain schmoozability that allows me to like her even though I want to shake her sometimes for forgetting my name every five minutes.
5. Those little schmoozers always manage to get free french fries from the "rapid food technicians" aka Burger Flippers (we have to give everyone special names now. I made that one up because we're so politcally correct about everyone's roles in life it makes me want to vomit. We're all just people dammit! See my list of other annoying technical names for our daily roles and please don't be offended, I make jabs at myself and everyone's jobs and make up some of my own names in this one )

Posted by ErinWaite at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

Blog Port. Dos is definitely the most.....

....Uneventful ( or sucky? nah...well kinda.) Still blogging at least once a day. Now that everyone's creating IF, really having fun with things, and the end of the year is rapidly approaching, I am getting in my sloooogggg mode. This is when the pressure (aka Joy) of the holidays is making me feel like I'm moving in quicksand. ‘Kay that was pretty random, but I've had so much happen this semester that I feel like I lived at least 5 lives. Now I'll shut up with this background noise and show you one of the lives....

Birth (of ideas):Coverage (well, not much, you're born naked usually right? Maybe next year yuppies will figure out how to give birth to babies pre-clad in Louis Vuitton and great shoes for a grand entrance in the hospital) entrance into a world of people who think they know everything and in the end realize: we still know nothing but had fun trying to figure out what we did learn and love, from way-back-in-the-day. We take that same knowledge and try to pass it down to “…kids who just don’t get what is was like to have to go on MySpace or hang out in McDonalds parking lots and/or bus stops, and perhaps have “White Window-less Vans” following us to have a kickin’ social life.”:
Congo time
Wiki's fun--not!
Schmoozability usability
Childhood: More DEPTH than a puddle (toys and candy, everyone and everything makes you laugh, like bodily fluid jokes and gnomes named David)

Big Mama
Gettin' down again
Be Vewy quite, I'm huntin' a wumpus
IF World

Adolescence: If TIMELINESS is your thing, this is the worst/best time of your life (“I hate my…” and who do those (stereotypes) think they are, just cuz they wear those pants…) This entry is a sketchy example, but the other entries are on time...

Dwarves are cool
IF rough cut
Perverse people
Old school

Adulthood, you DISCUSS your “responsibilities,” but still having fun shirking them just for a minute….or more.
(aka suburbia sux n we gossip about other bus stop moms and quickly switch to drinking at 2 in the afternoon just cuz we can, cuz I’m the adult, and “because I said so.” This will be my favorite parent cliché bomb to drop on my future kids when I want to annoy them as much as they’ll annoy me.


Death: COMMENTS of others at the funeral about how you Lived

Primo: “Uncle Dale was the first person to pass out at the family reunions, ‘lil Becky,” (fast and painless words on someone else’s blog.)

Grande: “’Member how we was all at the far hall makin’ hotdogs for Cheyenne’s weddin n’ right after, at home, Aunt Janice split her pants tryin to get the ‘fridgerator off the porch cuz we was havin’ company an’ they was gonna take our pitcher, but then you crapped your pants so….” (Shut up, strange relatives. I think you’re at the wrong funeral because Uncle Dale was the one the crapped his pants in MY family.”) * The big rant on someone else’s blog that gets kicked around a good bit.*

*Don’t know where all of the above came from, but I do know about wheelbarrows and Guinevere (this blog’s themed for you, Shannon), and if you watch closely monkeys also fly out sometimes too.*

Wildcard: If we have nametags, a vest, or a whistle, we have authority!

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

November 07, 2006

This doesn't make any sense... (ideas for first IF game)

I want to write about a group of 6 getting stuck in an abandoned Wal-Mart (or some other lovely discount store) for a night or week, depending on what choices you make. You can choose who your character teams up with to try and get out because the others will drive you crazy. Pick one to buddy up with.
A) a grandma that is mostly deaf B) Steroid Steve, who will keep you in shape at least, C) Jenny Jupiter, a foot model and Paris Hilton wannabe, D) Todd the hot dog champ. Huge dork, but is renowned for his hot dog eating skills and the fact that he cannot stop stuttering E) Chrissy the soccer mom, who wears vests and loves cats.

Your character is a college student who’s working as a Walmart stock boy and part-time elf for a very alcoholic Santa Clause. You were sent to this location to help for Christmas, when meanwhile, you are given the keys to open and the others are there for a huge sale they read about, even though it’s been shut down before anyone even found out (I know it’s a stretch, help!) because it was a call-girl hang out. You want to get out or you’ll be doomed to Walmart elfdom forever.

Choose your partner well, because whoever you choose to bond with in the toiletries section will affect the ending you have. Once you pick your partner, you’ll have to figure out how to eat, entertain yourselves, and how to combat the other crazy people, who will cause you drama unless you find that right tools to bribe them with. After successfully dealing with survival issues, you will have 3 options of getting out. 1. Get Steroid Steve to break down some doors, but alarms may go off and if you are suspected of robbery, you may go to jail. 2. Use Jenny to txt various people or flash the cars passing by the abandoned parking lot to get possible rescuers. 3. You, grandma, and soccer mom manage to fake grandma’s death somehow so you’ll all get some money or maybe be heroes in the end. This is all very sketchy and doesn’t make sense yet, but if I can some ways of why they can’t get out of Walmart in the first place this will all come together, I hope.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:50 PM | Comments (0)

How to capture the essence of a dwarf

Ask the Adventure Dwarf was a good way to start us off writing our own IF, but I think I'll need a lot more practice. The tips in the Exposition helped me get somewhat of a clue on how to start. Showing and not telling still applies to IF. In terms of the garage band, I guess it's a good idea not to bring up characters or other aspects that will not be used in your story. I liked the start of "The Big Mama" that Karissa and I played, because it described the scenery but also gave you choices on where to walk and how to respond right away.

The only thing I know about dwarves is, if I were to create a game about a dwarf, David the gnome is definitely my "little friend". That was my favorite show when I was little and I just found a cool site for it, however irrelevant it may be.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

The Wonderful World of IF

Starting from my experience with Galatea, I learned that it's best to keep it simple when it comes to directions. Touch, walk north, talk to, are best. If not, you engage in button-mashing and curse words. My next experience and probably the most fun, was when Karissa and I played "The Big Mama" together. We both experienced different endings and realized the importance of being a gentleman. I noticed that many of the Romance IF games were like the Slice of Life ones in that it's all about getting dumped or drunk. Kind of sad, makes me wonder isn't there more to life?

My playlist gives a pretty good summary of my IF experience, but I gained more insight from Cherie'sPhotopia and the Phone booth game These were really the first games I played on the computer since good old Tetris and Oregon Trail, so that shows my old-schoolness too much!

Finally, I looked for some websites for the games I'd played and here's what I found:
Roger Ostrander, who wrote the Annoyed Undead also teaches about making music in your games. I also found that Brendan Barnwell, who wrote "The Big Mama" also wrote "Stick it to the Man," which my friend ended up playing for an hour, so maybe you'll like it! If you have any suggestions for me, do tell, as I didn't enjoy sticking it.

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:18 PM | Comments (0)

What playlist?!

I was a little leary of creating this because I didn't get half as far as everyone else in IF, but I ended up having fun and forgot to actually blog about it! Here's the list:

Acid Whiplash:
Here, I met Ryebread Celsius who smelled like goat and learned all about how witty he could be. Then I walked into a tooth, got lost for a few minutes and had some fun with the Tooth Beaver. I couldn't find Tilly the Tacky though and after about 30 minutes I gave up.

Dinner with Andre:
I went out with Andre and we had some wine. He made crappy small talk and tried to proposition me. The waiter ended up being my savior. I stuffed so rolls in my purse, hit the bathroom, and left during one instance. Another time, I got to know Andre and we took a walk and he ended up being my "soul mate" can we say ick? This game was very cliched and definitely outdid any cheesy romance I'd already read at the beach.

Hunt the Wumpus:
I bumbled around with my gun and shot myself several times, but dammit, I got that wumpus. It was very childish, but I got pleasure out of actually accomplishing something other than going on a date with a creep or talking to animals...not bad.

The Annoyed Undead:
This one was fun! I got to terrorize citizens who were invading my crypt area and while nobody really put up a fight, I had a heck of a time just trying to get out of my crypt. I kept walking north and then a door would be shut or my escape would be blocked, ew!

Posted by ErinWaite at 08:02 PM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2006

Gettin' down w/ Big Mama...again?!

I gave a preview of where Karissa and I were so far on Big Mama last night. What surprised me the most was how much fun I had, considering I was one of the only dorks that struggled with Galatea. "I"ended up getting dumped by my girl for an inexplicable reason that I thought would be revealed once I went past the "gee-dunks" (aka porn shops, surf shops, sno-cone stands) and then ended up getting my "gentleman skills" tested by a girl named Emily. I was so happy just to get this far because at first, I kept getting the responses, "That's not a verb," or "Wow, where'd you come up with that one?". Karissa encountered Emily too, but she also got further and got to meet a lifeguard, a little kid, and someone who sounded like a disgruntled drunk. Here are my favorite quotes from her encounters:I played a couple times and found a couple endings (I copied and
pasted them into a blog entry so that I could keep track of them...
and to prove to Jerz that I did, infact, play the game to the end...
or at least one of the ends... since the creator doesn't say how many
there are...) Haha. Anyway, I also did not find out the "reason"
(which seemed pretty important and profound in the beginning) that "I"
was dumped.

I met the girl in the bikini named Emily and she took me to her
"amazing" beach house. We ended up sort of looking like a couple at
the ending... But then there was the lifeguard on the beach, too (and
I don't know what it is with the red bathing suits.. If I recall
correctly, the bikini that Emily was supposedly wearing is red also...
But I don't remember). I had a couple different conversations with the
lifeguard, and I couldn't seem to offend her or anything (even though
I tried a little after reading your email, since I hadn't thought to
try something that isn't "me." The lifeguard either wasn't interested,
or just sort of fell in love with me after I said that I loved the
ocean or that her job sounded "great."

I also talked to a surfer guy, a (very grumpy) fisherman, and a child
building a sandcastle. One of the really interesting endings that I
found was when I got "wisdom" from the kid and the story ended.. Haha,
I was sort of surprised. But pleasantly, so, since it didn't involve a
relationship or "hooking up" or anything random and gross.

"Two last random things: I'm not sure, but I think that the game might
possibly keep track of what day of the week it is (because when I
spoke to Emily she said she was just hanging out on a Thursday
night!). CREEPY?! ... Also, I thought that it was interesting that the
game used metric measurements. And when it said a sign in "miles," the
character said something about them being stupid. Haha :)"

Okay, that was a big honkin' chunk of her e-mail to me, but I thought it was so funny, I had to share. While this game was relatively (can't spell this morning) simple, we still didn't find out why we were dumped, but we did see an age-old cliche ("nice guys finish last") get contradicted numerous times!

Most importantly, I learned that while a game can be descriptive and simple, the way you ask the question effects the game as a whole. Descriptions are everything, though, especially when you don't have the X-box right in front of you. I know I enjoy IF much more than all of that, so overall, this was a good experience for me. As an added bonus, the boyfriend said something like,
"I have to observe my grandma or talk about why partying is bad for my homework and you get to play games...isn't that a little unfair?"

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:36 AM | Comments (0)

November 02, 2006

Who's your Big Mama?

Well now, Miss Kilgore and I had quite a time just trying to find something that we didn't have to waste time downloading, but luckily we came acrossed a game called "The Big Mama," by Brenda Barnwell. The game is basically about a guy named Paul who gets dumped by his girlfriend and goes up and down the beach trying to figure out why he got dumped. There are vivid descriptions of everything from the parking lot to the way the beach looks, but Big Mama is still a mystery to me. Maybe Karissa discovered it because I certainly did it. I'm going to blog more when I get her response, but here's a preview based on the e-mail I sent her.

First, I was told without a blanket and a baby, I couldn't go "under the boardwalk." Next, "I don't understand that verb" popped up every time I typed "walk," "talk," etc. Then a lightbulb clicked and I realized, "Hey you gotta type in what direction you wanted to go." I typed in west and ended up in parking lots full of ashphalt. I never figured out why that girl and Paul broke up in the beginning did you? Anyway, a little sidetracked, but once I realized all I was looking at were a bunch of cars and wasn't meeting any drunks that might tell me about the break-up as promised, I headed towards the gee-dunks and learned about all the cool little shops, bars, and restaurants, but I still didn't meet any people.

Finally, I met a girl named Emily in a bikini that kept bending over, and I thought, "Oh no, is this going to be like San Andreas on X-box, where I'll have to be a purv and ask her for info on my ex, then take advantage of her?"

Alas, that was not the case. I said hi and asked if she was alone. She was flirty, but I remained a gentleman. I guess it's easier for us to do, since we are girls with brains. Then, it said I began a new phase of my life because I took a walk and held hands with Emily and that was it. I then went back to the game and tried a few more options to get different endings. When we played board games, the same thing happened. When I did say something suggestive, "You've been rejected!" was the ending. Basically, you can tell a woman wrote this game and I'm glad because I'm sick of games that exploit women.

Overall, I was kind of disappointed. While the descriptions were nice (the whole beach and the boardwalk), I couldn't seem to meet anyone but Emily. I was hoping to talk with some surfers, perhaps actually get to surf with Big Mama, and find out why "I" got dumped. I will say this game was much easier for me than the ones we played in class. The only one I could play was Galatea, so what do I know. Did you meet anyone cool? Did you succeed? Were your endings and results different? I'm looking forward to finding out! This was easy at least.

Posted by ErinWaite at 09:56 PM | Comments (0)

November 01, 2006

Chattin' up Galatea

As I've said before, Galatea was more about having a conversation than actually getting anywhere. She was like one of your lonely neighbors that keeps you talking for 5 hours about their cat or whatever, while meanwhile, your hands are full of groceries and you're late for work. She wasn't interested in much I had to say and it seemed like she was hoping for a man to rescue her from her "statueness" or something. This reminds me of the therapist because you just get alot of repeated questions from her. Thus, this wasn't my favorite game.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:32 AM | Comments (2)

Photopia fun

This game was a contrast to the other game we've played so far, because this one changed on me every second. I kept getting stuck with "That verb isn't necessary" or there is no one around to talk to. It would also change from being on the road with my buddy Rob in one instance and then the next, I'd be on a spaceship, trying to figure out my mission. This game required more careful strategy, so it wasn't as quick as the others and involved actually playing the character yourself and using your own common sense.

Posted by ErinWaite at 10:26 AM | Comments (0)