Last night at dinner Karin asked me how the game, Nemo’s Helper, is going. I told her about consulting with Diego on fetch quests and detailed the one that I’ve imagined so far. I mentioned to Karin the critique that I found suggesting heroes don’t do mundane task. I feel the need to contest that critique which only serves to reinforce toxicity.
This morning I played/studied some more Return To Monkey Island to check out the fetch quest structure(s) they employ. Spoiler Alert for a chapter in this game.
Guybrush Threepwood has to woo crewmates to vote his way.
There are five other crew members whose vote he has to sway. One, Putra the cook, will vote with Iron Rose the quartermaster even if you fulfill their wish. Guybrush cannot dismiss the cook’s wish, though because the fulfillment will enable the satisfying of the demon’s wish. The satisfying of the demon’s wish will enable the satisfying of Apple Bob’s wish. The composer wants the return of something they deem precious which can be found easily enough and which is not contingent on anyone else being made happy.
To sway Iron Rose I needed to consult the built-in hints system in depth. There weren’t enough clues in the environment for me to deduce that an item already in inventory from an earlier chapter, the on-boarding pamphlet, would be the thing to persuade the quartermaster to get past their crisis in confidence with LeChuck’s leadership. This may have been the longest distance between cause and effect so far.
The dunning or whipping of these votes and the fulfilling of these favors constituted a kind of unit or chapter in this story. The fetches were limited in geography by the rooms/sets on the ship. Some of the favors required distracting LeChuck by ringing a bell twice to lure them out of their office. The bell ringing was clued by a sign hung nearby as a useful reminder to the crew of what the bells meant. This is a short distance between clue, cause, and effect.
The conversations with the crew did not need to be conducted in a particular order. The interdependent nature of the wish fulfillment implied an order that one discovered.
Cook wants a promotion to chef and shares detailed paperwork/proposal for same. Needs LeChuck’s signature.
Demon wants a special dish. Only a chef can make it.
Apple Bob wants something new to read. Demon will only put down his book to eat the special dish.
I straight up asked LeChuck to sign the promotion. I stumbled across a contingent side-quest by venturing a conversation with LeChuck who tasked me with getting Iron Rose’s initials on a report and suggesting that paperwork/bureaucracy makes the ship run.
One had to figure out the mechanic/mechanism for adding items to the report. One also had to figure out how many items were sufficient for Iron Rose to add their initials.
It was then revealed that Iron Rose had a sheaf of other papers requiring LeChuck’s signature. This created the need to have one item in inventory act upon, combine with, another item in inventory. We have to select the petition for promotion and drag it over the sheaf to reveal the option to combine them. This option is not possible with the other items in the inventory pop-up sub-window interface.
This mechanic was used earlier to combine two lenses to increase their magnifying power. I required the hint book to discover/learn this behavior. Here the narrative clue that one might try to fool LeChuck into signing the promotion is suggested by building the elements for stereotype of bureaucracies. We will have to rely on this combination mechanic once again later in this chapter.
The confined space affords repeated conversations with each of the crew members. The dialogue trees are pruned with repeat interactions. Some new branches/conversational prompts are added with repeat interactions and with state changes. There are variables being tracked in the code.
Once promoted to chef, the special dish can be made, albeit lacking a key ingredient. I had to resort to the hint book for clues about how to simulate the effect of the key ingredient. I tried using the knife in a novel way that was not suggested by the floating target nodes. I was able to carve an ember from a glowy thing and add that to inventory. I then combined the glowy thing with the dish in inventory.
There were clues about the glowy thing. I didn’t try with candles. The clue was revealed when I tried to put the dish onto a candle, and then onto the glowy thing. The response with a candle was that it wasn’t hot enough. The glowy thing was more emphatically hot, but inconvenient to carry in this state.
Using the knife in a way harmonic with shaving a broom handle — prompted — earlier in the game was a best guess.
The dish was transformed in the inventory such that I had high confidence I could take it to the demon.
As soon as I gave the demon the dish, they put the book down in a conspicuous way.
As per earlier in the game, one had to ask permission to borrow the book. It is unclear if one will have to return it to maintain a good relationship later.
The demon agreed to vote my way.
I shared the book with Bob, who agreed to vote my way.
The composer wanted a knife back. The knife was lodged in the back of a zombie who had been thrown overboard. The animation had suggested that the zombie was thrown far. The conversation suggested that one should check the rudder, which was discovered when one escaped from the hold. And indeed the zombie crew mate is stuck there, and the precious heirloom knife is lodged in said zombie’s back. It is quick work to dislodge it and return it.
A small timer appears when one submerges, presumably this is a countdown of how much more time one has under water. It’s not immediately apparent when this information and limitation will become necessary. Conversation with the submerged zombie reveals that they can stay below water indefinitely. LeChuck reveals keel-hauling as a team-building activity may be employed in the near future.
I’ve just received an invitation to teach a kids game design in Scratch camp next summer at Anderson Ranch!
Fixed some details in my calendar.
Worked on typesetting for a bit. Choosing which pub will be the thanksgiving book. I think the Goriunova & Shulgin essay from 2002 is calling my name.
It’s time to call it a day.