Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Discuss text adventures here! The classics like those from Infocom, Magnetic Scrolls, Adventure International and Level 9 and the ones we're making today.

Moderators: Ice Cream Jonsey, AArdvark

User avatar
bryanb
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:56 pm

Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by bryanb » Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:06 pm

Flack wrote a new review of Ninja (1984)!

http://trottingkrips.caltrops.com/2019/11/18/ninja-by-softgold-1984/

I emailed Jonsey about this review but somehow no one posted it to this thread. SAD! Anyway, I was excited to see a new review of a Commodore 64 text adventure. I definitely want the new site to provide thorough coverage of IF in the 8-bit era. That reminds me...there are a couple of Apple ][ adventures I really, really need to finish.

User avatar
bryanb
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:56 pm

Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by bryanb » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:27 pm

We now have a Contact page. This will hopefully pave the way for the return of the Mailbag and Reader Submitted Reviews sections in due time. At the moment, I'm using the Contact Form 7 plugin to handle the contact form. It's simple and supports integrations with both Akismet and reCaptcha. At the moment, I'm experimenting with just Akismet protection since reCaptcha wants to put an annoying badge on every page of the site (which, granted, can be removed with a line of CSS). If we get a lot of contact spam, I'll put reCaptcha back up. Call it the week of living dangerously!

Flack has implemented one of the most fun ways of obfuscating an email address on his site that I've ever seen. I thought about doing something similar for RFTK, but I wasn't sure a screen reader would be able to read an email address hidden in an image for blind users (and presumably spambots would happily read any email address given in ALT text). Ironically, in the name of accessibility I've come up with a solution that's frankly less accessible for absolutely everyone.

User avatar
Tdarcos
Posts: 5717
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 9:25 am
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Contact:

Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Tdarcos » Wed Nov 27, 2019 2:40 am

bryanb wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:27 pm
At the moment, I'm experimenting with just Akismet protection… If we get a lot of contact spam, I'll put reCaptcha back up.
Since you are talking about captchas, I assume you're trying to stop bots that read the page code and submit entries.

You don't have to go through all that, if you have access to the source code of the underlying page, presuming it has Javascript, you just make the submit code through Javascript, not HTML. Consider this:
<form id="myForm" action="/submit_page.php">
… form elements …
But instead of <input type="submit"> you have:
<input type="button" onclick="myFunction()" value="Submit form">
</form>
<script>
function myFunction() {
document.getElementById("myForm").submit();
}
</script>

There's no submit button! A bot would have to execute the jacascript to send the form. But let's say you think spammers would just have bots fill the form fields and do a submit directly? Ok, let's fix that:

<form id="myForm" action="/totally_wrong_page.php">
… form elements …
<input type="button" onclick="myFunction()" value="Submit form">
</form>

<script>
function myFunction() {
document.getElementById("myForm").action="/correct_page.php";
document.getElementById("myForm").submit();
}
</script>

Any bot submitting this form without the javascript correcting it sends it to the wrong page. This could be a dummy page that thanks them for their (now discarded and forgotten) submission.
"With great power, comes great… electricity bill."

User avatar
Jizaboz
Posts: 1503
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:00 pm
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Jizaboz » Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:38 am

Sometimes less is better. Another forum I admin had a bad problem with spam account registration. I removed all the captcha type stuff and instead replaced it with a security question like “What is the name of the game you came to this forum for?” (It’s really obvious to any human) and I haven’t had one spam account created in over a year.

User avatar
bryanb
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:56 pm

Trotting Krips Resolutions

Post by bryanb » Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:21 pm

Well, it's that time of the year again, but for 2020 I've decided to only make Trotting Krips related resolutions.

#1: Build All The Sections

By my count, there are at least three site sections I have left to create. More if I decide to implement every idea I've ever had for the site which I probably should (quantity over quality, right?!). We'll end 2020 with a complete and utterly fleshed out website.

#2: Review An Infocom Game

I suppose I mostly write IF reviews to tell people about weird and wonderful aspects of this hobby that they might otherwise overlook. The obscure is my wheelhouse. Reviewing Infocom games can seem a little unnecessary because everyone already knows they're good, but I think there's something to be said for highlighting the very best that this genre of gaming has to offer as well. Plus, all the Infocom games aren't good. Plus, there are Infocom games I still need to finish. Roody is probably right about Ballyhoo being worth playing. And someone definitely needs to review Plundered Hearts for RFTK in a fair and entirely nonmisogynistic manner.

#3: Review Ben's 2020 IFComp entry

Ben has resolved to create a game for the next IFComp so I hereby resolve to review it.

#4: Launch The Second Trotting Krips Secret Project

The first Trotting Krips Secret Project involved myself, Flack, and Jizaboz and has to this point resulted in no new content being posted to RFTK. We were aiming to surprise Robb and I think we've definitely succeeded. The second Trotting Krips Secret Project -- new for 2020 -- will require the participation of both AArdvark and loafergirl and will involve a surprise for a certain person who will probably not even bother to view any of the resulting content. The fact that LG seems to hardly ever visit this website anymore and the fact that AArdvark is recalcitrant by nature will certainly complicate the secret project, but resolutions, especially Trotting Krips resolutions, aren't supposed to be easy.

User avatar
pinback
Posts: 13545
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 3:00 pm
Contact:

Re: Trotting Krips Resolutions

Post by pinback » Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:06 pm

bryanb wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 2:21 pm
#3: Review Ben's 2020 IFComp entry

Ben has resolved to create a game for the next IFComp so I hereby resolve to review it.
It's on. You don't think it's on, because I never do any of the things I say I'm going to do, but it totally is on.
Above all else... We shall go on... And continue!

User avatar
bryanb
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:56 pm

Re: Trotting Krips Resolutions

Post by bryanb » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:43 pm

pinback wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 7:06 pm
It's on. You don't think it's on, because I never do any of the things I say I'm going to do, but it totally is on.
I 100% believe you and am very much looking forward to playing the game next year. If you ever need a beta tester, just let me know. I'm curious, though: do you feel more motivated to enter now that you know that no matter how good the game you create will be it could finish anywhere between #1 and #81 in the final voting results? The competition has never been a purely meritocratic affair, but it feels more like a lottery to me than ever before now...for parser games especially. At least that means everyone has a chance and there's no reason to get overly invested in the ultimate outcome.

I think I've played all previously released Ben IF games, including the Twine one. I'm going to have to search the archives because I was pretty sure you did one called Third Time's The Charm which was different than Aggravatron but IFWiki doesn't list it and my memories are really dim at this point. New Trotting Krips Resolution: play ALL the Ben games again in 2020. I guess I have no right to make Trotting Krips resolutions for other people, but I'd love to hear Flack's takes on Apartment F209 and Annoyotron.

User avatar
Ice Cream Jonsey
Posts: 22148
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 2:44 pm
Location: Colorado
Contact:

Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by Ice Cream Jonsey » Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:23 pm

I really wanted to get the Caltrops to 50 list done before looking at another Krips review, but I feel it is time for another Krips review. I thought I was going to pick one of the Transylvania sequels, but I dunno, I may need to play something objectively good that is modern. But this is next on my writing queue.
the dark and gritty...Ice Cream Jonsey!

User avatar
bryanb
Posts: 140
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2019 2:56 pm

Re: Reviews From Trotting Krips -- The Official Unofficial Relaunch

Post by bryanb » Mon Jan 20, 2020 11:26 pm

Ice Cream Jonsey wrote:
Mon Jan 20, 2020 1:23 pm
I really wanted to get the Caltrops to 50 list done before looking at another Krips review, but I feel it is time for another Krips review. I thought I was going to pick one of the Transylvania sequels, but I dunno, I may need to play something objectively good that is modern. But this is next on my writing queue.
Awesome! I definitely want the new RFTK to cover the classics, the moderns, and the everything in betweens. Could a review of Oo-Topos/Ooh-TOPOS! possibly be forthcoming at some point as well? It's been way too long since I've played a Penguin Software adventure. Or Arctic Adventure or any other particularly penguin-themed game for that matter.

I seem to have entered a period where every text adventure I try to play is turning out to be unreasonably difficult. Yeah, I know I have plenty of good games in the backlog that I should be playing that probably aren't unreasonably difficult. Games that I'd in all honesty RATHER be playing. Games I'd thoroughly enjoy and want to share with others if I only let myself start them up and get immersed. It's just that I get these sudden urges I can't resist to play games that aren't in the backlog and would probably never be allowed in the backlog. For instance, I suddenly remembered for absolutely no reason that I'd sort of promised to play Jesse Burneko's game The Zuni Doll on the old site but never actually done it, presumably because I absolutely hated the one Jesse Burneko game I did play. Still, in 1999 I wrote the line, "Sometime when i feel particularly brave, I may give that game [The Zuni Doll] a shot" and released it on the Internet. When you write things like that and unleash them on the Internet, I suppose the piper has to be paid eventually.

Suffice it to say that one night last week i felt particularly brave and decided to give The Zuni Doll a shot. It didn't seem like a mistake...not at first anyway. I actually kind of liked the game and figured I'd probably be able to review it and give it a decent score to make up for my harsh review of Jesse's other game. Those were more innocent times. It's amazing what idle thoughts one can think before you find yourself trapped in a bathroom with nothing but hairspray, a bathrobe, a bathrobe tie, dental floss, slippers, a lighter, and a freaking metaphorical death timer. I just didn't imagine it would end that way for me. Other reviews for The Zuni Doll tend to talk about how short and relatively simple it is. Relatively simple! I've been stuck in a bathroom for days and they say it's relatively simple. When I say "days," I'm talking real time. Days spent playing The Zuni Doll or thinking about The Zuni Doll as I drifted through life aimlessly. On the third day -- let's call it the Day of Desperation -- I decided to tie the floss to the lighter and the hairspray. I really didn't want to do it...I genuinely didn't see that course of actions leading to anything good either for my character or myself. But I did it anyway because I was trying every verb-noun combination I could possibly think of and I did want to use the hairspray and the lighter together somehow. And it worked. I got points! And then I died because I couldn't guess the next verb. Undo, undo, repeat, repeat. Same results every time. Progress was no longer being made, but I couldn't bear to give up after having come so far. Undo, undo, repeat, repeat. Frustration. H.P. Lovecraft's novella At the Mountains of Madness involves actual mountains rather than text adventures, but I feel The Zuni Doll wouldn't seem entirely foreign to old H.P. were he to somehow rise from the grave and be allowed to experience the game for himself. He'd no doubt either find it relatively simple or end up directing a ceaseless stream of racial epithets towards it until he was consumed by a passing Old One.

Tonight I sadly fired up The Zuni Doll with no expectations whatsoever. Perhaps I had missed something. Perhaps there was something obvious that I just hadn't thought of heretofore. Not that I'd be likely to think of it now. That was when the thought hit me. WHAT IF THE FLOSS WASN'T REALLY THERE? Well, that didn't make any sense...the floss was there. You don't just tie floss to hairspray and a lighter and proceed to not tug, pull, hang, or set up a tripline with it, right? Surely we're setting up a Rube Goldberg type of chain reaction here and every piece must be exactly in the right place. We wouldn't go back and try to do the exact same action we tried to do before we figured out the floss tying bit and have it work this time, would we? Oh. OH. Really? REALLY?

The game is afoot!

Post Reply