IFComp 2015: Capsule II – The 11th Sandman   1 comment

By PaperBlurt. Played to completion using the Chrome browser.


Capsule II involves a long spaceflight where hundreds of millions of people are kept asleep in cryotubes, but a series of “sandmen” are awoken throughout to take care of any problems on the way.

sandman

There’s a lot of snazzy changes in graphics and fonts, which is good, because a large chunk of the story isn’t interactive.

consoleimage

(Clicking all the links above simply assert that the ship is okay.)

The protagonist goes along their daily routine and fends off boredom. I oddly found this the most compelling part of the work, because when the accident happens, I started to feel uncomfortable.

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

Out of the hundreds of millions of passengers in cyrosleep, a single tube breaks. Heading to the problem, the main character discovers Todd, who awakens and is miraculously alive, but with brain damage.

The main character then treats Todd … badly. I’d rather not recount details, but note this is still in the essentially non-interactive portion of the game.

(“of course I’m not crazy!! I just wanna manipulate people a bit!! nothing wrong with taht, adn Im jstu gald tot haev a freind aigan woh I cna paly wiht adn gte to kown IST GONA BEE SOOO MUTCH FNUUUUUU!!!)

Todd eventually is rechristened is Nilo and disturbing things start to happen. Entire sectors of cyrotubes start to break down for mysterious reasons. Nilo discovers fresh meat and the Sandman cooks it.

There’s a small measure of interactivity near the end, but as far as I can tell, it is token and not where I’d want to have it. I could easily see this being a much better story if

1.) The weird abuse of the mentally damaged Todd was skipped over. He could come out apparently normal but with the same sort of actual strangeness as Nilo.

2.) The interactivity starts far before things get out of control. The player can reject the “meat”. The player can try to do things to confront Nilo early. Perhaps none of those things might work, but as things are designed, the interactivity might as well not be present at all.

On top of that, I found the entire premise far-fetched. Who would design the flight to only have one Sandman awake at a time? Barring the obvious mental problems already highlighted, what if a current Sandman has a run-of-the-mill heart attack? What if there is a problem — not implausible on a giant spaceship — that requires more than one person to fix it?

How is it the main character consumed all the books and movies on the ship so quickly? Was nothing digital? Even just a plow through Project Gutenberg’s current selection would take almost a lifetime to get through.

Would a ship sized large enough to house 500 million people be even remotely practical?

Would 500 million people agree to be watched over by only one person?

Advertisements

Posted November 1, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Tagged with

One response to “IFComp 2015: Capsule II – The 11th Sandman

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: