The Spicy Meatball: Interesting text adventure that isn't a text adventure

I’ve discovered this free text adventure:

It uses an unusual interface: (@seguso: maybe you should have a look at it)

The player is able to look around with the mouse. The text description on the screen and the audio(!) are changing while the player looks around. You can even look up and down. It’s like the first Myst where the graphics are texts. :wink:

Anyone who is interested in this game should take the advice of the developer and play this game with headphones.

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Thank youuuu!

I love text-based games with innovative interfaces.

Will check out shortly.

Hmmm. I played 15 minutes with it, and I don’t quite get what problem this UI is meant to solve.

It’s just a different UI. :slight_smile: And the game uses it for puzzles. For example in an Infocom adventure the games tells you: “You are seeing a shovel and a chainsaw on the floor”. This game doesn’t tell you that there is a shovel on the floor. Instead you first have to explicitly look down to see the shovel on the floor. In other words: In this game it does matter where you look at. Beside that, it uses 3D sounds. For example if you turn around or walk away, you hear the fire in the distance. This is used for puzzles too. For example: If you break the window you hear noises behind the yellow door.

Hullo! Thank you for sharing :smiley:


While what @Someone as said is true and the game’s interface is just what’s needed for a different kind of game from traditional text adventures, there was some purpose do the UI decisions I made while designing the engine. I wanted to provide analogue interfaces for navigating a text based environment - something that works with mice, gamepads and accelerometers and gives more of a sense of actually “looking around” than typing the word “look” does.

The general concept evolved out of considering, “What would a VR-friendly text adventure look like?” When there’s 1:1 mapping between head movement and in-game camera orientation that’s supported both by background colour tinting and positional audio, the effect is pretty neat :slight_smile:

I’ve put specific effort into making sure that the game works well without a HMD - in fact, I didn’t end up doing HMD testing with Spicy Meatball and I’m sure that it works better with mouse and a normal monitor at this point :smiley:


@Someone A quick note on that spoiler. You’re meant to hear voices on the other side of the yellow door no matter which entry you decide to take - if you’re not seeing/hearing that, then that’s a bug and I’d love to see your game log!

First of all: @Cheeseness, your ideas are very interesting! :slight_smile:

I haven’t tried to play your game with a HMD, but I would assume that you “switch” the text too fast. That could be confusing with a HMD. Have you considered to paste the descriptions/texts on the inside of a sphere/ball? With that approach the player with the HMD stand inside this sphere and can look around.

No, the games works perfect! (I’ve played on Linux). My spoiler was just meant to be a simple example to explain how the audio works. :slight_smile:

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Thank you! :smiley:

I’m intentionally avoiding any 3D presentation because I think that creates a sense of space that conflicts with the sense of space I’m trying to convey with the games’ content.

It’s not so bad at the moment (text only changes when you move your head and you control how fast you move it/how long you linger on stuff), but there are some UI changes I plan to experiment with that I think will improve HMD experiences (eg: having the fade-in controlled by how close to the “edge” of an object you are), but I’m not expecting to get to those till a bit later in the year.

Ahh, OK. No probs :slight_smile:

I made this game and its engine and pretty much all of my other games on Linux. Linux user high five o/