Key & Compass Blog

January 9, 2022

Migrating from Trello to Checklister

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: , — davidwelbourn @ 12:03 pm

One of the consequences of moving into a slum with unreliable internet is that I’ve stopped using Trello for tracking my interactive fiction walkthrough work. Instead, as a local solution, I’ve written a Perl program called Checklister that skims through all my markup files and summarize the results.

For that to work, I must now add a checklist section in each of my many many markup files to record the various and numerous statuses I’m interested in tracking. This will take time. The Checklister program itself isn’t quite done yet, and some things it’s not doing correctly, but it’s in a good-enough-for-now stage.

Since it’s entirely designed to work without needing internet access, uploading a copy of the Checklister report to the web isn’t going to be a high priority. Hopefully, I’ll be able to upload it every Sunday, but most likely I’ll only upload it twice a month.

You are welcome to visit http://plover.net/~davidw/check/Checklist.html to see which games, stories, and other works I’m working on. Walkthroughs that I’ve already published are also on the list so I can double-check that they’re all up to my current standards. Needless to say, that will also take time.

December 28, 2021

New walkthroughs for December 2021

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 5:40 am

On Saturday, December 25, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


The Bible Retold: The Bread and the Fishes (2006) by Ben Pennington (writing as “Celestianpower”) and Justin Morgan

In this Biblical tale, you play as Jesus. A crowd of five thousand people have gathered in a field outside the town of Bethsaida to hear you preach, but they’re all very hungry. It would take a miracle to feed this many people, but since you’re the son of God, you might find a way to do that. But how, exactly?

This game was an entry at IF Comp 2006 where it took 21st place. At the 2006 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Individual NPC category for the character of God.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Man in the Rain (2010) by Karl Adamson

In this adventure game which is also a tribute to the music of Mike Oldfield, you play as a young warrior on a quest. Your tribe’s queen is dying. Go to peak of Mount U’huru, far to the north, and ask the Wise Man who lives there for his aid.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Plane Walker (2021) by Jack Comfort

In this rather odd game, you play as someone who wakes up disorientated inside a deserted aeroplane in mid-flight. Where is everyone? Is the pilot gone too? Where is the plane headed? Why are you even there? All you know for sure is that you must get off this plane.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2021 where it took 68th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Aesthetic Deletions (2003) by Johanna Hunt

In this shipboard game, you play as an amnesiac employee of Aesthetic Deletions. You mission is to eliminate someone on this boat. If you succeed, you’ll get your name and memories back. But watch out for Jesus.

This game was an entry in the Second 24 Hours of Inform event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Princess In The Tower (2002) by David Whyld

In this fantasy game written in an hour, you play as a prince who must prove his love for a princess by bringing her an orc’s head, a goblin’s rib bone, and a diamond the exact same size as a golf ball. Only then can you be together with the princess in her tower.

This work was written in ADRIFT 4 and was an entry in the ADRIFT 1st 1-Hour Comp 2002.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


All Quiet on the Library Front (1995) by Michael S. Phillips

In this game, you’re a generic college student who’s been slacking all semester. For your final paper on the “The History of IF Games”, you need to check out a book about Graham Nelson which is somewhere in this library, but where?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 1995 where it took 5th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Baggage (2021) by Katherine Farmar

In this short game about introspection, you play as someone walking along a long gravel road bordered by hedges. You don’t seem to be getting anywhere. Your satchel contains a hope, a belief, a regret, a memory, a fear, and a resentment.

This game was an entry in the Main Festival division of Spring Thing 2021 where it was awarded three Audience Choice ribbons: Best Abstract Game, Best Verb Use, and Most Allegorical.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Blue (2011) by Taleslinger

In this dystopian game, humanity is being destroyed by parasites that infest people’s brains before transforming their hosts into horrifying creatures. But you have a plan to save yourself… or her.

This game was an entry in Ectocomp 2011 where it tied for 13th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Catventure (2019) by sleepy macaw

In this small silly game, you are a housecat bored with life in the village of Nafurville. You plan to seek your fortune in Chipawgo, which is far more exciting. But how to get there?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The man-eating, halitosic gorilla of Brazil (2011) by Marius Müller (writing as Leaner Gilts, “Strangle” Lei, Gain Tellers and Slat Leering)

You play as AFGNCAAP, a secret agent sent into the Brazilian jungle to find a new mastermind and his secret temple. Too bad he finds you first.

This game was written in Adventure Book for Inform 7 and was an entry in the Speed-IF Jacket 4 event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Only After Dark (1999, 2000) by Gunther Schmidl

In this short horror story, you play as Ranil Kuami, a young black sailor enjoying some shore leave on a small island. The villagers are friendly, and you plan on getting some action tonight. Instead, you’ll find something evil that must be destroyed.

This story was an entry in IF Comp 1999 where it took 17th place. Ranil Kuami’s story continues in And the Waves Choke the Wind, an incomplete sequel which was entered in IF Comp 2000.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


On Your Back (2013) by Dan Doyle III

In this small one-room game, you play as a turtle who had the misfortune of being turned onto its back by a lumbering boy. If you try to listen, you sense the boy, a dog, and a snake are nearby. How can you get right side up again?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Stupid Creek. Stupid Christmas. (2011) by Troy Jones III

In this short two-room game, you play as a teenager who needs to get her stupid little brother Tim and two Christmas presents across this stupid river, but this stupid rowboat can only carry one of them at a time.

This game was a participant in the penultimate not numbered New Year’s Speed IF event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Tea and Toast (2014) by Matt Weiner (as “Maria del Pangolin”)

In this pleasant one-room slice of life, you play as Maria. You’ve just woken up and entered the kitchen. You want to make some tea and toast before the alarm clock goes off and fully wakes Lily.

This story was a participant in Shufflecomp 2014.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Through the Looking Glass (1995) by Gareth Rees

In this short one-room tutorial, you play as Alice at the beginning of Through the Looking-Glass. To quote the game: It’s a cold winter day outside, but in the looking-glass house it’s summer. All you need to do is pretend there’s a way of getting through into it somehow…

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Yesternight (2021) by Robert Szacki

In this very small and very primitive game, you play as someone with a gold coin and no obvious goals entering a small town. To win the game, get past the bear guarding the forest entrance north of the town.

This game was written in AdvSys and was an entry in ParserComp 2021 where it took 18th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


You Have to Put the Baby New Year in the Champagne Bottle (2014) by Molly G.

In this ultra-short one-room joke game that claims to be latest in SoftSoft’s “You Have to Put the Noun in the Other Noun” series, you find yourself in a party room with the Baby New Year and a champagne bottle nearby. Based on the title, can you solve this puzzle? There’s also a New Years Fun Fact every turn!

This game was a participant in the 7th annual New Year’s Minicomp.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

November 26, 2021

New walkthroughs for November 2021

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 7:05 pm

On Friday, November 26, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.

(See also this list at IFDB.)


Citizen of Nowhere (2019) by Luke A Jones

In this odd, whimsical, and bittersweet game, you play as a young man who rejected the crown after your father, the Bony King of Nowhere, died. You moved to the far north and live a quiet life. Your pet dog, Dylan, is always by your side. But today, the Prime Minister has invited you to a garden party at the old castle. You wonder what mischief you’ll get up to this time.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2019 where it took 55th place. It is also a sequel to The Bony King of Nowhere.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Mysterious Case of the Acrobat and His Peers (2009) by Amanda Tien

In this interactive adventure, a greenhorn detective must find a missing acrobat and solve the mystery by exploring the circus and questioning everything from tiger trainers to monotone ringmasters to sad clowns.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


The Mage Wars: Statue (2003) by Jim Fisher

In this lengthy unfinished game divided into chapters, you’ll be playing as various characters, but mostly as Dr. Marcus Philbrook, a man who petrifies himself into a statue in 1997 and wakes up in a museum in 9236. Unbeknowst to Marcus, the world now uses magic, and an evil mage named Noric the dark will soon threaten everyone with his power.

This game was an entry in IntroComp 2003 where it took 1st place. Although the full game was planned for release in 2004, the game remains incomplete. The game is notable for using the ORLibrary.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Cube in the Cavern (2017) by Andrew Schultz

In this puzzle game, you play as someone with a Ph.D. in both Psychokinetics and Psychohistory. You have found an ancient-looking cave containing a large floating cube where each face has its own gravity pulling you towards the cube’s center! What could be in there? You have a mood ring, a map, and some rope to help you find out.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2017 where it took 39th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Aunt Nancy’s House (1997) by Nate Schwartzman

In this rather unrewarding exploratory work, you are playing as the author visiting his aunt’s house which contains a large assortment of ordinary items, minimally described. Highlights of the tour include waiting for Windows to boot, watching a baseball game on TV, and disambiguating bathroom faucets and taps.

This work was an entry at IF Comp 1997 where it took 33rd place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Goodbye Doggy World (1997) by Meri and Mark

In this incomplete game, you are visiting a spooky pet graveyard featuring wandering fog, a crypt, three tombstones, sn old oak tree, and a gate. Unfortunately, you can’t really accomplish anything but explore as best you can.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Gourmet Gaffe (2011) by Hulk Handsome

In this one-room joke game, you play as the inventor of the back scratcher. The Queen of France is pleased with you until you ask for ketchup at her dining table. Sacré bleu! Now you must escape her dungeon before you’re thrown to the mimes!

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Mirror and Queen (2016) by Chandler Groover

In this puzzleless one-room story based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, you play as the queen consulting the magic mirror. The gameplay consists entirely of asking your oracular mirror about as many topics (relating to herself, the princess, and the court) as you can before its puissance is expended.

This was an entry in IF Comp 2016 where it took 22nd place. At the 2016 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Individual NPC category for the mirror.

IFDB | My walkthrough


Missing Grandpa: Lost in Time (2012) by Becky Kinkead

In this severely under-implemented game, you play as someone looking for your Grandpa. Grandpa’s been missing for three days. You have a suspicion where he’s gone and you decided to check his notes in his attic which mention time travel and a hidden door.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Will The Real Marjorie Hopkirk Please Stand Up? (1998) by Neil James Brown (as “Steve Parsons for TextFire, Inc.”)

In this demo game, you play as an assassin hired to kill Mrs. Marjorie Hopkirk. Unfortunately, she’s cloned herself ninety-nine times which means you’re going to have to kill her one hundred times to get the job done. (Note: This demo game ends after five assassinations.)

This game was written in Hugo and is one of the participants in the Textfire 12-pack.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Xmaton (2007) by Simeon Maxein (a.k.a. “MedO”)

In this short one-room game inspired by Eyezmaze’s GROW games, you play as a homeowner with a new X-Maton machine. It has six buttons to help you prepare your house for Christmas, but what order should you press them in before your family returns home?

This game is also known as X-Maton 2010. It took 10th place in TIGSource’s Text the Halls competition.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

October 31, 2021

New walkthroughs for October 2021

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 10:36 pm

On Friday, October 29, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below and at IFDB! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! (2015) by Steph Cherrywell

You play as Bonnie Noodleman, a normal teen-ager in 1959’s Canyonville, New Mexico. You’re on a nice normal date on Make-Out Mountain when aliens from beyond guzzle out your boyfriend’s brains! Jeepers! You’ve got to do something about this menace, but everyone’s busy with the Pine Nut Days festival and won’t take your warnings about brain guzzlers seriously!

This game is an entry to IF Comp 2015 where it won 1st place. At the 2015 XYZZY Awards, it won in the Best Individual Puzzle category; the game was also a finalist in the Best Game, Best Puzzles, and Best NPC categories.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Ailihphilia (2018) by Andrew Schultz (as “N. Y. Llewellyn”)

In this game, a DARER AD in a GAME MAG transports you to a land based entirely on palindromes, which are words or phrases that use the same letters backwards as forwards. There, you’ll need to solve many puzzles, destroy the KAOS OAK, and defeat the DIKTAT KID before you can use the TIX EXIT and leave.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2018 where it took 28th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Berrost’s Challenge (2008) by Mark Hatfield

Berrost has finally decided you should learn some spells, but he’s also evicting you from his tower. So, as a test of your wit, you’re to search the village for five hidden scrolls containing your new spells. Berrost will be watching your progress from his scrying room.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2008 where it took 10th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Ponderances (2014) by Roadcrosser

In this short joke choose-your-own-death game inspired by Star Trek, you play as someone in a rather hot white cube. There’s nothing here but a panel with two buttons: red and blue. Try to escape.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Don’t Push The Mailbox (2019) by Ralfe Rich

In this very short joke game, you play as a homeowner. It’s a beautiful day for working outside, but you’re disturbed by the presence of what looks like a mailbox at the foot of your front lawn. What will you do about it?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Ibo (2012) by Bahri Gordebak

In this very sparse and very short one-room story, you play as someone tired and wet from the rain, waiting for their tea at a coffee house. You missed seeing the boy approach you. He said something.

My walkthrough and map

September 29, 2021

New walkthroughs for September 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — davidwelbourn @ 3:09 pm

On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Captain Cutter’s Treasure (2021) by Garry Francis

In this game, you play as Jim, a tavern worker who wakes up in the broom closet. You soon learn that, years ago, the pirate captain, Cutter, had his former crewmates (including your boss, Harold) hide a treasure for him, and now he wants it back. Return the treasure by sunset or else Harold’s daughter, Brenda, will suffer the consequences.

This game was an entry in PunyJam #1 where it took 1st place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


J’dal (2012) by Ryan Kinsman

In this adventure game, you play as a young black woman named J’dal, born on the other side of the sunset. Everyone else here is white. You, Dad (who adopted you years ago), the experimenter Stolas (who Dad met when turnside), and the thug Roderick have been hired to find an artifact hidden in the mine west of town. They need you for your superior night vision.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2012 where it took 16th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Kook U (1997) by sbfaq

In this silly but very rude game, you’re the Network Administrator at Kook University. It’s your job to restart the Network whenever it’s down, but Dean F. L. Uffy also demands that you stop the USENET Abuse by six terrible students or else you’re out of a job!

Content warnings: profanity, drug use, comedic deaths and murder, references to illegal forms of pornography, and horrible poetry.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Danny Dipstick (2021) by Garry Francis

In this small game, you play as Danny Dipstick, a dork who’s had no success picking up chicks at the local nightclub, but tonight will be different. With your neighbour’s advice, you will fix your problems, you will talk to a nice girl, and you will get her phone number.

This game was an entry in ParserComp 2021 where it took 13th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Eight Miles High (2014) by Josh Giesbrecht (as “Lambert Lambert”)

In this short choice-based game inspired by a song lyric, you play as someone who arrives at an airport, then takes a limo to some street. You’re not sure where you are and it’s hard to focus in all this rain.

This game was a participant in the first ShuffleComp event.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Sohoek Ekalmoe (2020) by Caleb Wilson

In this short story, you play as a plant called Sohoek Ekalmoe, “one who sunders the paving stones”. Your enemies cast you into this deep shaft a year ago, but now it’s your season to grow.

This story was written for NarraScope 2020.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Chipmonk (2019) by Jason and Luke Swanson

In this small simple adventure, you play as a monk named Chip, equipped with your trusty katana. Your quest is to kill the dragon known as The Destroyer. You begin in the cave entrance.

My walkthrough and map

August 24, 2021

New walkthroughs for August 2021

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: — davidwelbourn @ 7:58 pm

On Monday, August 23, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


Tryst of Fate (1995, 1996, 1997) by G. M. Zagurski

In this sprawling fantasy/western game, you play as a housewife who accidentally knocks herself out after stepping on a toy car in the upstairs hallway. When you wake up, you feel fine, but before you can stand up, a gnome steals your gold watch right off your wrist… and drops a special gumball? What is going on?

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Return to the Stars (2021) by Adrian Welcker

In this science fiction game, you play as a human soldier imprisoned in a cell by the Shwabolians, somewhere. Life became routine and dull. But for three days, you haven’t seen anyone or any food. Find a way to escape this planet before you starve.

This game was an entry in Parsercomp 2021 where it took 11th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Acid Rain (2021) by Garry Francis

In this old-school-style escape game, you play as someone whose car battery dies while driving in deadly acid rain. You go to a nearby mansion for help, but soon find yourself trapped inside! You must build an electronic door opener from the scattered electronics in the house if you want to escape.

This game was an entry in Parsercomp 2021 where it took 8th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Feeling Adventurous (2013) by Jim Howes

In this campus exploration game, you begin in the Red Square at the University of Washington to solve a puzzle. All you know is that the answer to the puzzle is a word, and that there will be clues leading you to that word.

This game was created as a puzzle for SEAHOP 2013. SEAHOP is the Seattle Epic and Awesome Hunt O’ Puzzles.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Weapon (2001) by Sean Barrett

In this one-room game, you are Tolan, the galaxy’s best Mechanist, brought in handcuffs to the control room of the Yi-Lono-Mordel, which is believed to be the Yi’s final weapon against the Lono. Dig Leader Cheryl Thadafel doesn’t trust you at all, but she needs your help. You are to bring up some Yi text, then stop immediately. Her hologram device is scanning the room constantly, so outwitting her will be tricky.

At the 2001 XYZZY Awards, this game was a finalist in two categories (Best Individual NPC (Cheryl) and Best Puzzles).

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


404 – Life not found (2011) by Evan Derby (as “SomekidwithHTML”)

In this very incomplete game, you’re meant to be fighting zombies in a school and trying to escape, but so far, there’s just one locked-up zombie and a large, sprawling campus with very little implemented in it. There’s no way to win, so feel free to casually explore the place, kill that one zombie, and consider that a win.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Daddy’s Birthday (2021) by Ruth and Jonathan

In this small slice-of-life game, you play as Daddy on your birthday. After sleeping in a bit, go downstairs and find your daughters and Mummy. They’ve planned a small birthday party for you, and there’s a present and some cake!

This game was based on a walkthrough for an imaginary game, written as a present for Daddy’s birthday. Later, daughter and daddy co-wrote the actual game. It was an entry in ParserComp 2021 where it took 15th place, and the original walkthrough is included as a PDF feelie.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Keepsake (2011) by Savaric

In the oddly-told tale, you play as someone who just shot a man in vengeance. You hear police sirens. You wear a silver medallion and carry a pistol and a paper bag. Time to get back home and make plans.

This story was an entry at IF Comp 2011 where it took 18th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Major Charles Boulton and the Northwest Rebellion (2007) by Shawn Graham

This tiny, incomplete, and goal-less story is based on Reminiscences of the North-West Rebellions by Major Charles A. Boulton, Commanding Boulton’s Scouts Toronto, 1886. It’s mostly asking two people about a bayonette and little else.

Unofficial homepage | My walkthrough and map

July 9, 2021

New walkthroughs for July 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — davidwelbourn @ 11:49 am

On Friday, July 9, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below and at IFDB! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.

(Yes, this is much earlier in the month than usual. I’m moving at the end of the month, and I don’t even have a new place to move to yet, so I wanted to get the month’s batch of walkthroughs out as early as I could so I’d have the rest of the month free for home-hunting and box-packing. Hopefully, I’ll find a new place and get back up and running without too much of a break, but it’s also possible I’ll fall off the grid and won’t be anywhere for a while. Wish me luck!)


Grooverland (2021) by Mathbrush

In this large fantasy puzzle game based on the works of Chandler Groover, you play as Lily Lee. It’s your 11th birthday and you’re the Queen of Grooverland for a day! The amusement park has set up several surprises just for you, and they’ve also given you a quest: find all the pieces of your regalia before sunset for your coronation in the Queen’s Castle. The Mirrored Queen and the Scarlet Empress are waiting for you.

This game was an entry in ParserComp 2021 where it took NTH place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


The Planet of the Infinite Minds (2000) by Alfredo Garcia

In this whimsical puzzlefest where science is magic, you play as a librarian leaving the funfair. There, a gypsy girl tells you a crackpot story about you both being Jah-cuez-ah, or the Infinite Minds, aliens who can do anything. But after an unconvincing demonstration of her power, she leaves and locks you inside her caravan! Bother. This is going to be an adventure, isn’t it?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2000 where it took 19th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Jon Doe – Wildcard Nucleus (2019) by Olaf Nowacki

In this homage to James Bond, you play as Jon Doe, an MI5 operative. Your new assignment is to investigate the suspicious death of Edulard, an elderly scientist at Wildcard Inc and a secret informant. Your leads are the scarred and monocle-wearing Adolf von Bolzplatz, who is Wildcard’s CEO, and Edulard’s beautiful daughter, Valerie, who is engaged to Bolzplatz.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2019 where it tied for 51st place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Martha’s Big Date (2008) by Mary Potts

This game is based on a fanfiction series written for Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. You play as Martha Jeraldine Kent, teenaged daughter of Superman, and you need to get ready for your big date with Troy.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Charming (2018) by Kaylah Facey

In this game, you play as a young witch practicing for her coming of age test in the Pentacle Chamber. Unfortunately, your ventus spell became a tornado and smashed up most of the room! How can you, the worst witch in West Witchington, fix the mess — and learn the required spells for the test — before midnight?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2018 where it took 24th place. At the 2018 XYZZY Awards, it was a finalist in the Best Individual NPC category (for Arthur the cat).

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


In The House of Professor Evil: The HAM HOUSE (2006-2008) by S. John Ross

In this small silly game, you play as someone who wants to escape the house of Professor Evil, who now lies dead on the floor. He planned to make a ham rule the universe, but forget about him. You crave ham. How long has it been since you ate a really good ham?

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


A Pilgrim (2020) by Caleb Wilson (as “Abandoned Pools”)

In this tiny spooky game, you play as Absalome Pilcrow, an ancient of Panzitoum. You’re exhausted from a long day of walking and stop in a grove of poison pine. Perhaps you can sleep in the low building just off the path to the north.

This story was entered in the La Petite Mort English division of Ectocomp 2020 where it took 2nd place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


A Quiet Evening at Home (2010) by Ruth Alfasso (writing as Anonymous)

In this slice of life, you play as a homeowner returning home after a day of work. You have an urgent need to use the bathroom at first, but the rest of your evening is more relaxing. Exercise your hamster, make dinner, take out the trash, play with your laptop, then go to bed.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2010 where it took 25th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Journey from an Islet (2001) by Mario Becroft

In this small game, you play as an adventurer. You have traveled long and far and have now fallen onto an island in the darkness before dawn. How will you escape from there and continue your journey?

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2001 where it took 12th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

June 28, 2021

New walkthroughs for June 2021

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: , — davidwelbourn @ 2:31 pm

On Thursday June 24, 2021, I published new walkthroughs for the games and stories listed below and at IFDB! Some of these were paid for by my wonderful patrons at Patreon. Please consider supporting me to make even more new walkthroughs for works of interactive fiction at Patreon and Ko-fi.


The Impossible Bottle (2020) by Linus Åkesson

In this amusing but very puzzling game, you play as 6-year-old Emma Small. Dad’s making dinner and wants you to pick up your toys and find some things for the table before the Taylors arrive. But when you go to fetch the tablecloth, you instead find a handkerchief. What’s going on?

This game was written in Dialog and was an entry in IF Comp 2020 where it tied for 1st place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Poppet (2019) by Bitter Karella

In this fantasy game, you play as a rag doll named Poppet. You wake in absolute darkness which alarms you. You should be in Polly’s bed, ready to protect her, and you should never have slept. And you soon discover the house is in a severe state of decay. What happened? Where is Polly and her family? How long did you sleep?

This game was written in Quest and was an entry in IF Comp 2019 where it took 9th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


An Escape to Remember (2006) by the IF Whispers Team

In this multi-authored game, you play as an secret agent of some sort, holed up in this hotel suite for weeks, hoping that Maurice’s insider is for real. Then you hear the signal: a gong ringing three times. It’s time to move.

This game was created for IF Whispers 2 and is a collaborative ‘Chinese Whispers’ a.k.a. ‘Telephone’ style interactive fiction piece, written in Inform 7 by fourteen authors each of whom only saw the preceding section of the the game.

IFDB | My walkthrough and maps


Stuff of Legend (2020) by Lance Campbell

In this pleasant comedy, you play as Ichabod Stuff, and after a very bad day, you are now the former village idiot of Swineford. Dejected, you walk home to the Jackson farm. You need to find a new job. After discussing some ideas with Annabelle, you decide to become a knight.

This game was an entry in IF Comp 2020 where it tied for 8th place.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Mean Mother Trucker (2021) by Bitter Karella

In this comedic classic puzzlefest, you play as “Big Ester” Gruberman, a mean mother trucker. You’ve parked your truck in Desecration, Nevada, the last stop north of The Devil’s Taint, an infamous highway that snakes through the treacherous Spiketop Mountains. But before you make that dangerous run, there’s someone here you need to see.

This game was an entry in the Main Festival of Spring Thing 2021 where it was awarded three Audience Choice ribbons: Funniest, Best LGBT Characters, and Best Classic Puzzlefest.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


So I Was Short Of Cash And Took On A Quest (2021) by Anssi Räisänen

In this short game, you play as a new secret agent who, lured by the promise of easy money, agreed to deliver a very confidential envelope to someone in an upper-class house. So far, you’ve snuck into the kitchen via a side window. You don’t know who you’re looking for, but you were told further instructions can be found inside the house.

This game was a participant in the Back Garden division of Spring Thing 2021 where it was awarded two Audience Choice ribbons: Best-Smelling Chicken and Most Fun.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Take the Dog Out (2021) by Ell

In this short slice-of-life game, you play as a young woman in her home. You need to take your dog, Muffin, for a walk in the park. Now where did you put her leash?

This game was entered in the Main Festival division of Spring Thing 2021 where it was awarded three Audience Choice ribbons: Best Lil Fluffy Wuffy Dog, Most Lighthearted Game, and Best Short Game.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map


Quite Queer Night Near (2019) by Andrew Schultz

In this small surreal wordplay game, you play as someone who foolishly ate some Far Fight Marmite and, as a result, you were carried away to a Blight Blear Bight Bier. It’s really scary! Craft alliterative phrases that rhyme with other alliterative phrases to win your way back to safety and sensibility.

This game was an entry in the La Petite Mort English division of Ectocomp 2019 where it took 8th place. It’s also a sequel of sorts to Very Vile Fairy File which uses the same sort of wordplay.

IFDB | My walkthrough and map

September 20, 2020

The Thinger Project

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — Tags: , — davidwelbourn @ 12:24 pm

Goodness, I haven’t posted here in two years? I’m just not very good at keeping a blog, am I? I think it’s partly my being busy with other stuff, partly not knowing what to say, and partly never really getting comfortable with blogware. WordPress is always going to be a stranger to me. Sorry about that.

There are other things I want to talk about, but this post is about my Thinger project, which is a spin-off from my Responser project.

As you might know, my Responser project began as just a webpage where I collected responses to the magic word XYZZY in interactive fiction games. Curious readers wanted to see responses to PLUGH and PLOVER as well, so I made those pages too, and then I got curious myself about other commands like SING and PRAY which tend to be used in similar ways.

I’ve also, over the years, attempted to catalog status line styles, classify room names, track which games used which extensions, compare how things are coded differently in various authoring systems, and other esoteric ways of looking at or dissecting IF. So I suppose a project where I collect object descriptions was inevitable.

So, yes, Thinger is about the responses in works of IF where you EXAMINE something. It’s utterly ridiculously time-consuming to find and extract these text segments in the first place, but it also becomes less clear as I get more data on how to organize and present the data. It’s a work-in-progress, y’know?

You can visit http://plover.net/~davidw/things/ at any time to view the current status of the project. There’s quite a few categories of objects to look at now, and I’m always adding both more categories and more examples. I also have a small handful of super-categories for organizing the categories themselves. I recently implemented a way for a category to belong to more than one super-category; for example: pianos are listed under both fixtures and musical instruments.

For the most part, Thinger is heavily biased towards sampling works of IF that I’ve also written walkthroughs for. It’s just a lot simpler for me to work with those works, and believe me, that’s already a large (and growing) corpus to keep me busy.

And what’s the point of the Thinger project? I really don’t know. I find the mix of viewpoints side-by-side fascinating. Like, you look at a ladder. What does the author feel they need to tell you about it? What the ladder’s made of? How long it is? How sturdy or safe it is? Where it leads to? Or is there something else that needs to be said? Or perhaps we don’t care and it’s just a generic ladder. Right now, Thinger is just a curious museum of oddities and mundane-ities.

I think, though, at some point, I will want to start analyzing what sorts of information is conveyed by descriptions, and which sorts of info are associated with specific objects. For example, an author might feel it’s relevant to say who owns a goblet or a bed, but not who owns a boulder. And maybe I’ll try my hand at a description generator tool someday. But when will I have the time to do that? How do I have the time to do any of this?

I’m babbling. Time to stop the post here. Thanks for reading.

August 26, 2018

Code Compare page update

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — davidwelbourn @ 8:26 am

Hey. I’ve finally got around to updating my page called Code Compare: a comparison of interactive fiction authoring systems, which is one of my more obscure side projects in IF territory. Uh, and by updating, I mean I’ve reformatted the entire page into something far simpler to read from the bizarre mess it was originally in. Now it looks like a series of short wiki articles. It’s much better now.

Unfortunately, the page is still woefully out of date as far as raw information goes. I started the page before Inform 7 was even invented, so there’s precious little here about it. And I’ve got nothing about ADRIFT, ALAN 3, Quest, Twine, or Javascript yet either. So much to research!

But not now. Reformatting this page took over a week to do (the original format really was an unholy mess) and I really really must get back to publishing more walkthroughs (did you know I have a Patreon?) and playing the recent Introcomp 2018 entries.

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