Genre Interactive Fiction

Blue Lacuna: Playable Excerpts 0

Thanks for trying these interactive excerpts from Blue Lacuna, an interactive novel by Aaron Reed. Please note that these versions run more slowly than the full game, and that certain features like SAVE and RESTORE will not function. Be careful not to click ‘back’ or you’ll lose your position in the story. Please be patient while playing these excerpts; sometimes it will take several seconds to process your input.

To begin, choose an excerpt. Once you’ve reached the excerpt’s page and the story has loaded, click on the central story window, then start typing words to play (press the ‘enter’ key to enter the text you type). The words in pink are directions that you can move in/places you can go. Pay attention to the words in blue as well; those are things that you can “look” at closer – the description doesn’t end with the first text you see. Keep in mind that you are not limited to typing only the words in pink or blue – the game will also respond to other commands (both verbs and nouns). Try typing other words from the text and see what happens! You may need to scroll down if the words run off the bottom of your screen. Enjoy!

1. The Beginning

2. Exploring the Beach

3. Word Day

If you’d like to download the free full version of Blue Lacuna or learn more about it, visit the Blue Lacuna website and click the “download” link: Blue Lacuna Official Site

Blue Lacuna: The Beginning 0

This excerpt is the very beginning of Blue Lacuna. If you’re new to interactive fiction, take your time to work through this section. Experiment with typing different commands such as “look at ____,” “listen,” “touch ____,” and “take ____.” Here, not only are you able to explore your surroundings, but you can also interact with Rume, your significant other. If you get stuck, try the Blue Lacuna hints page or e-mail Kay at lindsey.bechtold@gmail.com

Below is an example of the code behind Blue Lacuna. This code works to describe the stream in the above excerpt as well as to set up what the player is able to do with the stream. Aaron Reed wrote the code in Inform 7.

The stream is an undescribed backdrop. It is in The-Tumble, Kitchen and Homeworld-Studio. Understand “water” or “tumbling” or “chattering” or “oddity” or “mountains” as stream.

The description is “The lodge is built around the stream, its centerpiece and soul, so much so that the old trapper who left it to you named the place the Tumble[if location is The-Tumble]. The ice-cold mountain water flows beneath the loft, then dances its way down the exposed natural rock face separating the upper level from the lower. It pools in a rock pond at the base of the stairs, then flows through a sculpted streambed that bisects the great boards of the main floor. Near the front door it escapes through a drain to continue its journey down the mountain outside your walls[otherwise]. The mountain stream pools near the base of the stairs, then ambles across the floor of the lodge, neatly dividing the studio from the kitchen. Two flattened stones cross over it before it disappears into a bed of loose rock and continues on its way down the mountain[end if].”.

Instead of touching the stream, say “The water comes from the high plateaus and glacier-carved cirques of the mountains above you, only a trickle this late in the season. You dip your hand into it for a moment and relish its pure, fresh bite, an icy knife of silk.”

Instead of tasting or taking the stream, say “You cup your hands and scoop up a few mouthfuls of the ice cold mountain water. Shockingly pure cold and clarity runs down your throat to your core, and you feel more awake.”

Instead of swimming in stream, say “The small pool at the base of the stairs is good for washing up or soaking your feet, but too small for swimming.”

Understand “wash in stream” or “wash up” or “wash hands” or “wash” or “wash me” or “soak feet” or “soak feet in pool” or “soak feet in stream” or “wash feet” as a mistake (“You wash quickly in the knife-cold water. In a few minutes you are cleaner and more awake.”) when location is The-Tumble or location is Homeworld-Studio or location is Kitchen.

Understand “soak feet” or “soak feet in pool” as a mistake (“You sit by the side of the stream, dangling your feet in the icy water for a few minutes, but the cold and the growing urge of the Call soon grow too strong to resist.”) when location is The-Tumble or location is Homeworld-Studio or location is Kitchen.

Instead of crossing or leaping stream when location is Kitchen: try going north. Instead of crossing or leaping stream when location is Homeworld-Studio: try going south. Instead of crossing or leaping stream when location is The-Tumble: say “The stream passes underneath the balcony; you’ll have to go [d]down[x] the stairs before you can cross it.”.

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Blue Lacuna: Exploring the Beach 0

This excerpt is from the part of the story when you’ve just reached the island of Lacuna. In this passage, you can explore the beach and get a sense of what it’s like to experience a world in interactive fiction. Within this section, experiment with typing commands such as “look at ____,” “listen,” and “touch ____.” If you get stuck, try the Blue Lacuna hints page or e-mail Kay at lindsey.bechtold@gmail.com

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Blue Lacuna: Word Day 0

This excerpt is from the part of the story where you meet a strange man who lives on the island of Lacuna. In this passage, you can experience a conversation with a complex non-player character (NPC) in interactive fiction. The strange man, an NPC, has the ability to remember things that you have said and done and also has his own agenda. If you play the entire game, the choices you make in conversation will impact the rest of your story. CAPITALIZED words are topics that you can type in to continue the conversation. Try playing through several times and see how the man’s responses vary. If you get stuck, try the Blue Lacuna hints page or e-mail Kay at lindsey.bechtold@gmail.com

Below is an example of the code behind Blue Lacuna. The following code corresponds to the “Word Day” excerpt above. Aaron Reed wrote the code in Inform 7.

Chapter – Word Day

[ This is most likely the player’s first contact with Progue. (The other possibilities are if the player injures himself before waking Progue, in which case first contact is “Tending To Wounded Player,” or if the player deliberately ignores Progue shouting on the beach, in which case some of the content of this scene is repurposed with a different introduction in “Delayed Greeting.”) ]

[ In this scene, Progue is standing atop a boulder in “Among the Boulders,” loudly yelling words at the ocean. He will at first ignore the player, then jump cheerfully down to speak with you. Progue is sure you are a mere hallucination, and treats you thusly. He does not reveal his name during this scene.]

Word Day is a guaranteed triggered instant rendezvous episode. The expiration date of Word Day is 6 hours. The meeting place of Word Day is Among the Boulders. The icebreaker of Word Day is bp_verse1.

Last condition rule for Word Day:
if player is in Fork, rule succeeds.

A commencement rule for Word Day:
now time-wd-started is current interval;
now the unavailable-beat of Progue is bp_dontinterrupt.

A finishing rule for Word Day:
ignore the episodes usually end when conversation does rule;
if bp_introduction is spoken and Progue is idle, rule succeeds;
if Jumble is visited, rule succeeds.

A completion rule for Word Day:
now dont_describe_Progue is true;
manually reference dc_flash;
remove bp_flash from list of convo stuff, if present;
Progue’s life goes on;
if Progue is enclosed by location begin;
now Word Day is successful;
if the psyche of Progue is denial, say “Just before getting out of sight, he turns. ‘Oh!’ he shouts back to you. ‘Welcome welcome I suppose and all that. To the island!’ He turns, disappearing behind the boulders, but his voice carries back: ‘To my Lacuna!'”;
follow the Progue’s motivation rule;
print a section break;
end if;
if the episodic status of Word Day is expired begin;
now the episode schedule is Table of Denial Episodes;
now the icebreaker of Word Day is spoken; [This prevents it being put back in the queue.]
end if;
now the unavailable-beat of Progue is pd_unavailable.

time-wd-started is an interval that varies. [ Much later in the story, Progue may reminisce with a line like “Remember that morning when we first met?” ]

Table of Progue’s Initial Appearance (continued)
animus episode desc
— Word Day “[if we have not discussed bp_introduction]A strange little [o]man[x] stands atop the largest of the boulders, dressed in a patchwork costume of ragged and threadbare clothes. He faces the ocean and vigorously shouts at it.[otherwise]The curious old [o]man[x] watches you earnestly.”

The subchange beat of Word Day is bp_dontinterrupt. After discussing bp_introduction: now the subchange beat of Word Day is bp_dontchangesubject; continue the action.
The boredom beat of Word Day is bp_bored.
The bye beat of Word Day is bp_earlybye.
The abruptbye beat of Word Day is bp_earlybye.

Every turn when current episode is Word Day and ( location is Tidepools or location is Ocean Waters or location is South Beach or location is Center Beach or location is North Beach or location is Rise ) and bp_introduction is unspoken: fire one off by frequency from the Table of Closeby Boulder Poetry, definitely selecting; now spotted-progue is true.

Table of Closeby Boulder Poetry
freq start time end time text table trigger flag
frequent an interval an interval “[one of]Off towards the [if location is South Beach][dr]boulders[x][otherwise]boulders[end if], you can see a [o]figure[x] dressed in rags standing atop them and facing the ocean, shouting and gesticulating wildly[tutorial-distantpeople].[or][boulderpoetrydistant].[stopping]” — distant-Progue

To say boulderpoetrydistant: say “The [o][one of]man[or]figure[at random][x] [one of]in the distance[or]off by the [if location is South Beach][dr]boulders[x][otherwise]boulders[end if][at random] [one of]continues[or]is still[at random] [bpd2]”. To say bpd2: say “[one of]shouting[or]yelling[or]crying out[or]raving[at random] and [one of]wildly waving his arms[or]gesticulating[or]jumping about[at random] from the top of the boulder”.

BP is a thread. The escape clause of BP is bp_hallucination.

Every turn when current episode is Word Day and location is Among the Boulders and the location was not Among the Boulders: now the psyche of Progue is denial; now the episode schedule is Table of Denial Episodes.

bp_verse1 is an exciting beat in BP with fuse 6 and reaction “‘[t]Concordance[x]! Summation! Integration!’ he shouts, staring furiously at the waves. ‘Deliverance! Reticence! Abolition!'”. bp_verse1 suggests bp_verse2. bp_verse1 summons bp_dontinterrupt. After discussing bp_verse1: now met_progue is true; continue the action.

bp_verse2 is an exciting beat in BP with fuse 6 and reaction “‘[t]Proposition[x]! Elucidation!’ he shouts. ‘Deterrence!’ He thinks for a moment, seemingly stumped, then his face lights up and he shouts ‘Obsequious!'[tutorial-listening]”. bp_verse2 suggests bp_verse3. bp_verse2 summons bp_dontinterrupt.

bp_verse3 is an exciting beat in BP with fuse 6 and reaction “He pauses for a moment to catch his breath, looking down at his bare toes, flexing thoughtfully. ‘[t]Ribaldness[x]?’ he mutters. ‘Torque. Serendipity, ahhhh.'”. bp_verse3 suggests bp_verse4. bp_verse3 summons bp_dontinterrupt.

bp_verse4 is an exciting beat in BP with fuse 6 and reaction “He scrunches his face up, then belts out a string of words as quick as he can shout them: ‘[t]Singularity[x]- Perpetuity- Mendacity- Parasitic- Gregarious- Intolerance!’ He beams proudly.”. bp_verse4 suggests bp_poemover. bp_verse4 summons bp_dontinterrupt.

Instead of greeting Progue when current episode is Word Day and we have not discussed bp_introduction: force discuss bp_dontinterrupt.

Understand “sorry” as bp_sorry when last beat is in BP. bp_sorry is an ephemeral beat in BP with keyword name “sorry” and reaction “‘[‘]salright,’ he hisses, ‘Won’t be a ment longer, just another word or two to get through.'”.

bp_earlybye is a beat in BP with reaction “He seems to ignore your farewell at first, but then [proguejumpboulder]”. bp_earlybye enqueues bp_introduction.

Instead of hugging Progue when current episode is Word Day and we have not discussed bp_introduction, say “You can’t reach him while he’s up there.”

Instead of hugging Progue when current episode is Word Day and bp_introduction is spoken, force discuss bp_hug. bp_hug is an ephemeral beat in BP with reaction “You step forward with your arms spread out, but he backs up, eyes wide. ‘Back! Retreat, you soul drinking spirit!’ he shouts, grabbing a handful of [surface-material] and preparing to throw it. ‘Not my time yet! Get back! Back!'”.

Understand “word/day/now/ruining/concentrate/blather/concordance/summation/integration/proposition/elucidation/ribaldness/singularity” as bp_dontinterrupt when last beat is in BP. bp_dontinterrupt is an ephemeral beat in BP with fuse 8 and keyword name “[if last beat is bp_verse1]concordance[otherwise if last beat is bp_verse2]proposition[otherwise if last beat is bp_verse3]ribaldness[otherwise]singularity[end if]” and reaction “He does not even glance at you, but waves a hand dismissively. ‘Not [t]now[x]!’ he hisses. ‘Not not not on [t]Word[x] Day!'”. bp_notnow replaces bp_dontinterrupt. bp_dontinterrupt summons bp_notnow.

bp_notnow is an ephemeral beat in BP with keyword name “now, word” and reaction “He glances at you in annoyance. ‘What, you’re [t]ruining[x] it!’ he hisses, as if trying to prevent something out in the ocean from hearing. ‘Can’t [t]concentrate[x] if you’re going to pratter on like that. Go away!'”. bp_notnow summons bp_poeminterrupted, bp_sorry. bp_poeminterrupted replaces bp_notnow. bp_notnow summons bp_poeminterrupted. Before discussing bp_notnow: if last beat is bp_verse4, force discuss bp_poeminterrupted instead. [This prevents us saying the above then thanking the player for not interrupting. ]

bp_poeminterrupted is a submissive beat in BP with keyword name “ruining, concentrate” and reaction “He lets out a little sigh, then turns to you with a look of beaten finality.[paragraph break]’Ah well-oh, that’s it,’ he says unhappily. ‘Concentration broken. Vocabularizing aborted. No [bp_wordday] Day today. Hope you’re well and pleased.’ And with a surprising little flip, [proguejumpboulder].”. bp_poeminterrupted enqueues bp_introduction. bp_wordday replaces bp_poeminterrupted.

bp_poemover is an exciting beat in BP with reaction “[if conversation fuse is 0]He glances down at you with a frown, then shrugs and lowers his hands. ‘Never mind, I’m done anyway,’ he says. ‘Thanks for understanding. [otherwise]Satisfied, he finally turns to you with a smile. ‘Thank you much for waiting,’ he says, ‘[end if]I so do hate my [bp_wordday] Days interrupted.’ And then with a surprising little flip, [proguejumpboulder].”. bp_poemover enqueues bp_introduction.

To say proguejumpboulder: say “he leaps off the top of the boulder to come crashing down in the sand at your feet. Before you can even think to start moving forward to see if he is all right, he is on his feet and standing just a pace before you”.

bp_introduction is an insistent beat in BP with reaction “He pokes you [if player is male]sharply in the chest[else]on the forehead[end if]. ‘I know your game,’ he says disapprovingly. ‘Been expecting you for quite a [bp_time], really. I’m two-thirds mad you see, at least; have been for green eons, and it’s often I wonder when the other third would show up and so here you are.'[paragraph break]He folds his arms skeptically. ‘So what do we do, then, eh? Flashbacks to every dark corner of my past failings? Hauntings, waking nightmares? You’re my first [bp_hallucination], so I’m unclear, unsure as to the procedures and protocols.’ He regards you with wary eyes.”. bp_introduction suggests bp_hallucination. bp_introduction summons bp_hallucination, bp_time. bp_introduction cancels bp_notnow, bp_dontinterrupt, bp_poeminterrupted. bp_hallucination replaces bp_introduction. After discussing bp_introduction: now bp_dontchangesubject replaces bp_dontinterrupt; now unavailable-beat of Progue is bp_dontchangesubject; continue the action.

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