IFComp 2015: Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory   1 comment

By Katherine Morayati. Finished twice on iPhone, three times on computer with Gargoyle.


Thus rose, like a techy Tower of Babel, the Saturator, which (the pitch goes) detects your emotional undercurrent – your presence, basically – and infuses the room with simpatico ambience and portent, like an air freshener for mood. (The original tagline said “incense for mood,” but marketing thought that sounded too hippie, someone higher-up and unbuttoned asked whether there was a type of incense not for mood, and thence went the afternoon.)

Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory is a slice-of-life set in the near future concerning a woman who was just let go from a job involving the artificial generation of senses.

This is sort of a mystery in the Her Story sense, but rather than solving a murder, you are working out the details of the protagonist’s life and world.

Your next thought: How you have managed such disarray in a week’s span. You feel as if you have been dropped into a spot-the-difference picture, the kind from a children’s whodunnit book, where you are expected to solve the mystery of how you murdered your life.

It has some of the best writing I’ve seen in IFComp so far. There’s been classy, witty, and wry, but this work manages to pull off straight literary. There were parts were I just stopped and pondered, spinning the prose in my head and savoring the words.

You consider PR. The problem: to succeed in doing PR for others you must first prove you’ve succeeded in doing PR for yourself. You must turn all the glop that is you into a tantalizing direct-to-consumer product, call it Aspirational You. Aspirational You is something special. Aspirational You does not evaporate or sweat under heat; she solidifies, like a cake. If she were knifed the blade would come out clean.

The merging of tech-lingo and vividly painted emotional states runs pretty much all the way through. I found it both strong and novel.

The main action is pretty simple: the character is in her apartment planning to go on a date, then drives over. Technically speaking a story will execute without any intervention from the player, but it is an unsatisfying one and solves none of the mystery.

My main issues were technical, but they involve enough spoilers I’m going to give some space.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
S
P
O
I
L
E
R
S
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Arriving at the date for Brian has the protagonist leave shortly after if she doesn’t approach the lake, and I had some trouble realizing I just needed to GO NORTH to keep the scene going.

There’s a second date invitation from someone named Russell which involves turning off a different exit and I was completely unable to do this. I have no idea the syntax. This is compounded by two tricks the game does: 1.) have action move forward if a parser command is not recognized and 2.) remove the UNDO command. I ended up having to restart and attempt SAVE at the crucial moment. Having to RESTORE repeatedly just to find parser syntax got grating and I eventually gave up.

In any case, these issues were minor and this is the sort of interactive fiction I’m going to be pondering long after the contest is over.

Real life synesthesia involves linked sense impressions, like particular tones stimulating particular colors. One of the most common forms is “number line synesthesia”, where the number line appears as a literal shape in space. Many people who have it who don’t realize others don’t see numbers the same way. [Image source.]

Advertisements

Posted October 26, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Tagged with

One response to “IFComp 2015: Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Pingback: IFComp 2015 Summary | Renga in Blue

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: