Project Delta: The Course

Emilian Kowalewski (2008)

Project Delta: The Course isn't a game, but really a demo of an IF authoring system referred to as Node-X, a Choose Your Own Adventure type of programming language. The game play itself is a tutorial of the IF system, allowing the player to examine things, interact with things, and make a few choices. It even allows the player to change the color pallet, though I liked the default colors best.

The engine handled all of this well, though I think there could be a few improvements. The first thing I noticed that seemed a little off was empty choices. Why the engine would have an empty choice makes no sense to the player, and I think it should be removed for the final release of the game. The second thing that seemed a little off was having to choose X to escape out of the menus. If it's possible, I think the author should read the escape key press to get the player out of these types of menus. It just would feel more intuitive.

But there is no story to speak of; just a short tutorial to play, and I feel this is really going to hurt it in a competition like this. I hope this doesn't discourage the author, his system seems to have a lot of potential, but I can't vote on an authoring system's potential, I have to vote on the game.

I would have to say that the lack of story and lack of choices really kills it, though what little game play I got I did enjoy. It's kind of nice knowing what your choices are upfront, but I did enjoy CYOA books as a kid. The system looks promising, and I'm looking forward to the finished game; but this competition isn't a place to demo your games, maybe it should have been entered into the intro comp, I could only give it a 5.

Now some people might think I'm being too generous here, but it's probably more likely that I don't have enough criteria to base my votes on. I considered this puzzleless, so that drops out a whole category and actually helped give it a higher score than most will give it, I'm suspecting.

Keep at it Emilian, you might have a great authoring tool in the end.