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Your Time Machine is Stuck in Reverse
Today’s Quest: You’re going back. Not to the future, just… back. Then we’ll make up for lost time in Table Talk, and I’ll share the results of the player survey. Tally ho!
First time here? Adventure Snack is a game series I email to subscribers. Play quests for free, twice a month, and turn your inbox into an adventure!
You are a car jacker with discerning taste. In your warehouse of stolen cars, you’ve “acquired” a Maserati, a hearse with a casket inside, and a large hot dog-shaped automobile. But you got a tip on “the dark web” (ooooh!) that the unusual, glowing car in the mad scientist’s driveway is a time machine, which would be even cooler than your “Celebrating 100 Years of Motor Vehicle Theft” parade float.
It’s nighttime. No one’s around. You pull the door handle on the purple vehicle. It’s unlocked! Yes! You sit in the passenger seat and get to work…
When your quest is complete, it’s time to debrief. Join your fellow adventurers at the virtual D&D table we call the comments section. Unless the new D&D open license forbids this? If that’s the case, uh, this conversation never legally happened.
Discuss one (or all) of today’s topics in the comments:
⏳ Where in time did you end up?
🧳 If you could time travel as a tourist, without any fear of screwing up the space-time continuum / butterfly effecting, “when” would you visit?
🏙️ Are we living in the best of times or the worst of times?
❓ How did you feel about the way this quest flowed? Today’s quest was more complex under the hood than usual, so I used Ink to design it. That’s the same scripting language I developed Use Your Psychic Powers at Applebee’s in. I’m thinking about building all future quests in Ink, so I’ll have more flexibility to add variables and other complex goodies. Plus, quests will be faster to develop than with HTML. But switching to Ink changes the user experience a bit, so I want to know: Did you enjoy playing this quest?
THE PLAYER SURVEY WAS A SUCCESS!
Thank you to the 67 adventurers who bravely conquered the multi-questioned 2022 Adventure Snack Player Survey. (There were 55 responders last year. So thrilled to have more of y’all rocking the vote.) You’ve helped determine the shape of the year to come. Here’s a rundown of my takeaways, plus the announcement of who won the highly coveted $50 eBay gift card…
You love to “Snack!” Based on your overall satisfaction scores of 4.5 / 5 on average and written feedback, you continue to enjoy these wacky quests. It’s always heartening to see comments like “you’re amazing,” “just keep rocking,” “so much fun,” and one player who says Adventure Snack helps distract them from their anxiety. I love you back! ❤️
The ideal quest length is probably, like, 5 or 6 minutes. About half of players like 2-5 minute quests, whereas the other half prefers 6-8 minute quests. So I’ll think of 5-6 minutes as the “sweet spot” from now on (though some quests will be longer or shorter).
Comments are king. 43% prefer to interact with me and your fellow players via Substack comments, or “Table Talk” as we call it. Only 12% are interested in Substack Chat, so I think I’ll hold off on flipping on Chat for Adventure Snack. (It’s a feature only on Substack’s mobile app.)
But maybe Discord though? 24% of players said they’d be interested in a Discord server. Now I will seriously consider starting one. I have ideas for live games we could play all together! But since it’d be a lot of work to moderate, that might a feature I’d charge a subscription fee for. 🤔
Keep it classic. I was thinking about incorporating new features into quests, like achievements and yearlong story arcs, but none of the features I thought of received overwhelming support. “Puzzles” and “Hidden Items” scored best, so I might add them here and there.
Video Didn’t Kill the Text Star. Adding audio and video content to quests was a resounding “no thanks,” which makes sense when I think about your needs as an adventurer. If you’re playing at work, you probably don’t want a guy in a wizard Halloween costume screaming at you with your boss over your shoulder.
Text adventures forever! I asked what our next big project will be and a resounding 75% of you have spoken. We will produce another text adventure game to follow-up the success of last year’s Use Your Psychic Powers at Applebee’s! My idea is to make this year’s game bigger and more story driven to better compete at IFComp in the fall. More on that soon!
Okay, enough stalling. Who won the gift card? The winner of the eBay gift card is… adventurer Cindy Yates! 🎉 🎉 🎉
Congratulations, Cindy! I’ll send you a separate email later today. Can’t wait to hear what kind of “lost in the attic” weirdness you’re gonna buy with it.
Have thoughts about the survey results? You know what to do.