Aug 16

Troubles with Iconic Life

The Troubles with Iconic Life was an adventure game I started working on during university. The player character is an icon living inside a computer world- sort of like a low-fi Tron. Your mission was to solve some sort of crisis by traveling through this world and playing a bunch of buggy minigames. In each case, the secret to winning each game is to exploit its glitches.

The only minigame I remember clearly was a text adventure called Irrevocable Loss. You start in a gothic mansion and travel through various depressing locales, every step reminding you of the horrible thing that happened but which is never clearly explained to the player. Through solving puzzles, it was possible for the player to reach both heaven and hell, neither one of which provide release. To win the minigame you must enter the command “get over it”, at which point the protagonist stops moping and orders a pizza.

 

The puzzle above, as I remember it, involved a monster that could kill the PC in three hits, a single life restoration heart, and a switch that toggled the room memory. If memory is “on”, changes to a room are recorded when you move to a different room. If memory is “off”, the changes are lost and so the next time you enter the room it will be exactly the same as it was originally. To defeat the monster you would have to hit it, turn the memory “on”, retreat to the room with the heart, turn the memory off, restore hp, then return to the room with the monster and repeat the process until the monster was dead.

The iconic computer world featured a lot of memory switch and sokoban puzzles, which I apparently liked at the time.

The one bit I remember from the PC’s house in the computer world was the bed- attempting to use it would produce a number of messages telling the player that it isn’t functional, that it’s only there as a decoration.

Some of the content planned for the game. I barely remember most of this stuff; I think “The Forest of AntiHappy Endings” was a previous title for “Irrevocable Loss”, but I’m not sure. The “Ring of Wishes (Shareware)” was a nice idea, though these days it’d have to be a “Ring of Wishes (DLC)”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.