Dual Transform

By Andrew Plotkin.

You design virtual workspaces for clients, but this particular project is proving to be a little harder than expected. So you’re starting from a blank slate, now. Time to work from the bottom up.

This game is described as ‘metasemantic’, and there is a certain moment in the tail part of the game where it really becomes very metasemantic. Mostly, though, you explore concepts as you would a room.

Plot: Dual Transform is a puzzle-based game, with little of any other story devices such as characterisation or backstory. The puzzles were not too hard but not too intuitive either. Solving them took a bit of guessing and a bit of peeking at walkthroughs, unfortunately. But then I’m not very good at these.

Mechanics: The concept of a ‘one-room’ or even a ‘one-object’ puzzle has been cleverly turned on its head here. Plotkin does some really ingenious things with the one object and one room- because one room does not necessarily mean just one space.

hypertext platforms

While I have not been playing much IF recently, I just realised there is an extensive- and growing- range of online IF platforms. I have not tried all of them, but here is what I have seen so far, and my first impressions, if applicable.

While Twine is gaining traction and challenging the idea of ‘traditional’ IF, there are other hypertext and CYOA platforms out there.

  1. Varytale
    The platform Emily Short used for her game, Bee, if I am not mistaken. Reads like a book. Great fun, really.

  2. Undum
    Was it used for First Draft of the Revolution? Aesthetically pleasing hypertext.
  3. Choice of Games
    A platform for CYOA (choose your own adventure) games. Uses its own language, Choicescript, which is supposed to be similar to traditional programming.
  4. Textadventures.co.uk
    seems to contain mostly poorly written, barely implemented IF so far. It seems a clunkier, slower version of traditional IF.
  5. Versu (new!)
    An iOS app for text adventures. Similar to Varytale?