Monday, February 6, 2017

Undiscovered Bugs

Someone on the forums with the handle "lister" decided to industriously tag all the IFComp games on IFDB, so of course, I vainly searched to see where mine had placed over time. Finally on about page seven of hundreds of games, Transparent showed up. I gave it a play-through since I hadn't looked at it in a while, amazed at how packed with stuff it is. Who knows how I got it done; it was way too large for IFComp, and despite starting out moderately-scoped in my head, it blew up out of proportion and I didn't have time to test it as thoroughly as one would want.

As I explored Thorne Manor again, enjoying how well the random sound generation actually worked out, I couldn't remember what clever refusal message I had implemented if someone tries to pick up the bathtub:
>TAKE TUB
Taken.
Dammit.

With all the poorly-conceived inventory limits I had initially put in that game, my photographer was now walking around a haunted house carrying an entire claw-foot bathtub with shower and curtain. Luckily I had restricted objects that could be put in the PC's coat pocket with an adjective, so I was spared that ridiculousness, and I kept it in inventory since I didn't want to see if the butler would dutifully tidy it up and shut it in the hall closet. I solicited a lot of feedback post-comp from experienced beta testers, and nobody (including me) had ever caught this very easily fixed bug.

So what's the longest a bug has gone undocumented in a game? Comment below and tell me about the glitch you found years later in an old Comp entry or that one bit of weirdness that the Infocom team totally missed. Or anything obscure and hilarious that crops up when an IF is abused beyond what the author considered.


1 comment:

  1. We found a game breaking bug in Escape From Summerland on a chance playthrough several years after release. All the player needed to do was switch characters as soon as they were given the option too..

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