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artist.gam
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Episode in the Life of an Artist

by Peter Eastman

Zorkian/Humor
2003

(based on 20 ratings)
4 member reviews

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: Unknown
License: Freeware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 2159
IFID: TADS2-ACAB31DBE5444C0B016F9DE6EA28833A
TUID: gs12wgk1x3nl6ak4

Awards

Winner, Best Individual PC - 2003 XYZZY Awards

11th Place - 9th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (2003)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide


In most respects a rather odd game -- set somewhere between real life and a surreal fantasy universe -- and the story seems to end just when one might have thought it was getting rolling. The opening scenes, in which the protagonist gets ready for work, may also turn off some players with their basic mundanity.

The chief interesting thing about the game is the player character, who does not seem to perceive the world in the normal way; some reviewers characterized him as an autist.

-- Emily Short

SPAG
And then -- suddenly -- the game began to grow on me. Almost against my will. There is a wonderful sequence after the PC reaches the main game destination, which speaks volumes about his pernickety attention to dress code. The timing is exactly right and the PC's shock at the event is an enduring memory.
-- Virginia Gretton
See the full review

SPAG

After playing the first section, I nearly quit and moved on to the next game on my list, but I was completely hooked by the second. The game's tone is much lighter than many other of the games in the comp, it's playable in 2 hours, and it's fun.
-- Paul E Coad
See the full review

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

I still can't decide whether this game is the product of great writing skill paired with novice coding abilities, or whether it's just a not-very-good game that ended up unintentionally profound. If it's the former, Episode would benefit greatly from a once-over by someone like Mike Sousa, who enjoys collaboration and whose TADS skills are impeccable. If it's the latter, well, I guess I'm about to give my highest score ever for a bad comp game.
See the full review

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Member Reviews

5 star:
(1)
4 star:
(10)
3 star:
(7)
2 star:
(2)
1 star:
(0)
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 4
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Most Helpful Member Reviews


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful:
Interesting but flawed (RR #15), November 24, 2012
Episode in the Life of an Artist details the daily routine of the everyman/simpleton protagonist, from getting up and dressing, to preparing breakfast and taking the bus to work.

This game does a good job defining the personality of the protagonist by showing his view of the things he encounters. The mundaneness of his (apparently lonely) working-class existence is juxtaposed with his favourable self-view. The protagonist even considers himself an artist of mechanical genius, when ironically his job is so simple a machine is developed to replace him.

The counterpoint to some very interesting writing is the defectiveness of the programming. While still very playable, there are instances you will curse the author's tendency to require very specific inputs. (The final turn of the game is especially bad with this.) At least one one-time-only event is repeated every time you perform a certain action. The final (of fortunately few) puzzles is pure guesswork. You cannot read the victory message of the game because it is unfortunately automatically skipped. The scoring system was left in the game but is never used.

While, like mentioned above, the writing is interesting and done well, there are some weird instances that jar with the rest of the story. Putting fantasy elements in otherwise realistic settings is something I have a strong dislike of and in this game does not benefit this story in any way. In fact, the author's decision to let this story take place in a Zork-based universe is baffling and serves no obvious purpose.

Episode in the Life of an Artist is an interesting piece of work that is unfortunately hampered by abovementioned flaws but certainly worth being tried out.

4/10

Bad final puzzle, January 31, 2017
by ikdc
This was a somewhat enjoyable short game, but the last puzzle had a serious bug that made me spend a while wandering aimlessly: (Spoiler - click to show)"switch switch" will turn the switch on without triggering the lights. You need the correct phrasing, "turn on switch"

A fascinating look at a day in the life of a simple factory worker, February 3, 2016
In this game, you pay a young worker who has to go through their daily life. You wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, work, and that's more than half the game.

The fun is what happens along the way; your character has a unique perspective on life, interspersing the conversation with famous quotations, generally trying to find consistency in their life.

Overarching the game's sense of routine and mundanity is a more sinister plot. Someone is making large changes in your life and in your routine.

This game won an XYZZY award for best individual PC without being nominated for any other awards, which is rare in the XYZZY's.

See All 4 Member Reviews

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Polls

The following polls include votes for Episode in the Life of an Artist:

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This is version 4 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 19 April 2013 at 4:12pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item