The Sand Boxes

I guess I haven’t posted yet about The Sand Boxes, my Flash puzzle/adventure game.

I had so much fun writing Ka for the JayIsGames Casual Gameplay Design Competition #7 that when the CGDC#8 was announced, I decided to enter something again.

This time I wanted to try writing a Flash “escape” style adventure game. I had really enjoyed Mateusz Skutnik’s Submachine Zero. I wanted to make something like that.

Once the competition opened for voting, I found that my homage to an old archaeology-themed Submachine game was competing against…a new archaeology-themed Submachine game!

Submachine: 32 Chambers is a lot of fun, and handily dominated the competition. That’s okay, I hadn’t really expected my first Flash adventure game – written in about three weeks – to win.

In fact, it was an unexpected pleasure to have the privilege of losing to Mateusz Skutnik’s latest offering.

For one thing, I’d written The Sand Boxes because I wanted more games “like that” to exist. This way I got to play one I hadn’t written, too! (Did I mention his is great?) And since the winner had taken the same basic approach to game genre and the competition’s theme that I had, I felt like I was on the right track.

And of course, reaction to my game was generally positive. People played it and had fun, which is the real point.

The Sand Boxes was fun to create. It has some unique puzzles, and I think the photo-collage scenery turned out great.

You can play it for free right now.

Please, sir…

Language is alive. As idioms find currency in expression, they sometimes mutate – for example, Shakespeare never said anything about “gilding the lily”. He wrote, “to gild refined gold, to paint the lily”, but the pithier version is what caught on.

Have you noticed this one?

  1. “please, sir, I want some more” About 67,700 results found by a Google search for the quoted phrase
  2. “thank you, sir, may I have another” About 90,400 results
  3. “please, sir, may I have another” About 160,000 results

Note that there are more hits for the third phrase than for the other two combined.

The first phrase is a quote from Oliver Twist. The second is a quote from Animal House.

The third phrase – the most popular – seems to be somewhere in between: a misquote of both?

Perhaps the mind recognizes the kinship between the two quotes and instinctively merges them. (I just did it myself, which is what prompted me to look up these (rudimentary) statistics.) Perhaps these two classic works about persevering underdogs now have equal weight in our literary heritage?

Ka reviewed on JayIsGames

After the dust settled from the JayIsGames CGDC7 competition, the JayIsGames crew started posting reviews of the top-scoring games. Gradually. (They mostly review graphical games, not Text Adventures, so they’ve been doling them out one at a time over a span of months.) This week they finally worked their way down the list to my game, Ka. Their review is both favorable and accurate, and now they also provide a nice spoiler-protected incremental walkthrough, so you can find just the hints you need for each part of the game. Check it out!