DescriptionStarting from the tarmac at the Chicago Central Spaceport, this text adventure game follows the protagonist through nocturnal adventures during what seems initially to be an ordinary, everyday McCracken Middle School class field trip to Mars on February 4th, 2112 (singing, all together now, "the turbines on the di-molecular ion drive go 'round and 'round!") -- but turns out to be the last 24 hours of the UNASA colony's existence!
Unable to sleep after resting through the flight, the player sneaks out of the hotel and prowls around the colony's spaceport, F.A.K.E. bio-dome, and mini-mall facilities at Conformity Corner... outsmarting an entomophobic security cyborg, befriending a sassy holographic AI designed to be the figurehead goddess deity ("Oona") of the UN's one-world government, and stumbling upon and unraveling codes and ciphers of sacred geometry and mystical numerology left by missing research scientist Lt. Cecil Kraven II, father of a classmate and diagnosed schizophrenic, pointing to the outpost's pending eradication at the hands of a cosmic threat.
This all culminates in a moon buggy trip across the Martian surface with a genetically-modified cockroach, racing against time to save the lives of the colony's innocent denizens. Good thing you got your permission slip signed!
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DevelopmentDevelopment of the game began in early 2000 under QuickBasic, but the author quickly ran up against a wall; in early 2001 new Visual Basic 6 skills were put to use and the first beta version of the game was ready on August 26th -- a luxurious amount of wiggle room for IFComp entries, judging of which begin October 1st. Ultimately, it placed 24th (out of 51 entries), a midway placing assuredly depressed by its unpopular use of a homebrew text parser.
ReferencesLike Blade Runner and 2001 before it, part of the author's evocation of today's future, tomorrow, is making good and extensive use of the names of businesses and franchises currently active: Boeing, Chevrolet, Starbucks and the Gap all make appearances, though not necessarily with goods and services in their current product line. In the game's README.TXT the author remarks on this:
It's a shame they don't offer a prize for most corporate name-dropping in a single work.
Save Function2112's game restore / move undo mechanisms are slow, apparently replaying through all moves to that point! Unfortunately, in the case of the restore function, the home job isn't 100% accurate... sometimes dumping the player hundreds of moves back prior to their last save point. Though the one-man re-invention of the wheel (well, of the engine and interface) was unusually impressive (compare and contrast to: the IFComp works of Paul Panks), the unreliability of the restore function alone surely sank the game's average competition rating further by several points. If the game design is going to include player death and unwinnable dead-ends, it is unconscionable to include save functionality that isn't solid; anything less discourages adventurous play (or play at all!)
Related Web Sites
- 2112 - A Field Trip @ Baf's Guide to the IF Archive -- Free, legal download of the game.