The Battle of Walcot Keep

From IFWiki

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2004 IF Art Show
Honorable Mention
The Battle of Walcot Keep
Author(s) Steve Breslin, Eric Eve, Lindsey Hair; illustrated by Michael Bechard
Publisher(s) n/a
Release date(s) 13-Jun-2004
Authoring system TADS 3
Platform(s) TADS 3
Language(s) English
License(s) Freeware
Color effects none
Graphics optional
Sound/Music none
Cruelty scale Cruelty to be determined

Theoretical Study

This game is probably more important as a theoretical study than a conventional play piece. It explores a number of key programming and structural features of IF, emphasizing complex spaces, and AI agents. The game is multi-threaded, but the player (as a ghost) cannot influence the outcome. Even while the game challenges the felicity of report for multiple NPC actions per turn, the game also makes aesthetic statements about agency and the role of PC as observer.

Earlier IF featured monadic rooms, but this game features a very open space: guards firing arrows from towers, attackers swinging on ropes from one room to another. It anticipates Steve Breslin and Eric Eve's Tads-3 Connected Space extension, which breaks even further away from monadic rooms.

All of the action is animated by the Reactive Agent Planner, an NPC-AI system adapted for Tads-2 by Nate Cull, and expanded by Steve Breslin for Tads-3.

How It Begins

The first thing that happens in the game is that the player-character dies. He then, as a ghost, observes a medieval battle between NPCs, across a spatially complex area.

Notable Features

  • Complex space, visually connected rooms.
  • Thoroughgoing automated NPC behavior.
  • Multi-threaded.
  • Possibly the first multi-threaded game whose resolution cannot be influenced by player action.
  • Possibly a critique of agency or critique of multi-threaded game design.


Version 1.0