Porter Cave Adventure is a Z-machine interactive fiction game written with Inform 6 and is © 2019 by Cam Miller. It was a participant in Spring Thing 2019's Main Festival division where it won Audience Choice ribbons for Best History Lesson and Most Educational.
In this short game, you play as someone taking a walking tour of the Porter Cave. As you progress, you will discover quotes about game theory concepts. Presumably, the quotes are meant to educate the player, but unfortunately, the concepts are not explored deeply beyond these dry presentations and the gameplay is not particularly engaging.
This solution is by David Welbourn, and is based on Release 1 of the game.
> x sign. ("Porter Cave - Caution! Unstable spacetime. Tread lightly.")
> open mailbox. take leaflet. read it. (+5; Juul 351)
> take lamp. x it. d.
Darkness / ROUND ROOM
> turn on lamp.
> x mirror. x note. (+5; McCloud 30-31)
> x typewriter. (dust covered; note with BASIC code)
I confess: I had to look at the author's walkthrough for this one.
> type 10. (+5; Monfort, et. 49)
> x sculptures. (+5; Kirschenbaum 282)
Nothing to even examine in this room.
> u. (or north)
> x computer.
The game doesn't use proportional font, so it's hard to see that the ASCII art is showing a tic-tac-toe game in progress.
I really have no idea how on earth you're supposed to guess this, but implementing the telephone as an examinable object with an emphasis on dial-able buttons would have been a step in the right direction. Silly me, I kept trying to talk or speak or say things to the telephone.
> dial 4 —or— dial 5 —or— dial 8. (You play an X and computer plays an O and wins, then resets)
You cannot win the tic-tac-toe game, but you have to at least try before leaving.
> d. (+5; Badham)
There's now an unlit stick of dynamite here.
> take tnt. x it. s. w.
> throw tnt at crawlspace. (+5)
> look. w.
> xyzzy. (+5; Myers 395-396; you are now at...)
Step in and right back out again:
> n. s.
A guidebook appears.
> take guidebook. read it.
> n. e. n. d. w. (+5; Newman 409)
> x sign. (+5; Huhtamo 23)
> x machines.
> x bag. take it. open it. x penny.
What you see in the machines is randomized.
> put penny in machines. g. g. g. g. g.
> d. d. d. (You can't reach the bottom.)
> u. (+5; Sicart 300. You're at...)
This is not the entrance where you started, although it looks very much like it.
> x mailbox. open it.
> take questionnaire. read it.
The game wants to know what sort of play did you experience? You have a choice:
Thank you for playing Porter Cave Adventure!
A full Works Cited and project reflection is available at:
*** You have won ***
You have so far scored your-score out of a possible 55, in several turns.
From the external file https://sashimi.space/files/p/pca-wc.pdf:
- Badham, John, director. Wargames. MGM, 1983.
- Ermi, Laura and Frans Mäyrä. 2005. “Fundamental Components of the Gameplay Experience: Analysing Immersion.” In Changing Views: Worlds in Play: Proceedings of the 2005 DiGRA International Conference. Vancouver, Canada. http://www.digra.org/dl/db/06276.41516.pdf
- Fernández-Vara, Clara. 2009. “Play’s the Thing: A Framework to Study Videogames as Performance.” In Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practive and Theory: Proceedings of the 2009 DiGRA International Conference. Utrecht, The Netherlands.
- Franklin, Benjamin. 1786. The Morals of Chess. Philadelphia: Columbian Magazine.
- Huhtamo, Erkki. “Amusement Arcade.” Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2016.
- Juul, Jesper. “Playing.” Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2016.
- Kirschenbaum, Matthew. “Kriegsspiel.” Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2016.
- Newman, James. “Walkthrough.” Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2016.
- McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York, William Morrow Paperbacks, 1993.
- Monfort, et al. 10 PRINT CHR$(205.5+RND(1)); : GOTO 10. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2013.
- Myers, David. “Simulation.” Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2016.
- Sicart, Miguel. “Mechanics.” Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon. Cambridge, The MIT Press, 2016.
- ZORK I: The Great Underground Empire. Infocom, 1981.
(Personally, I rather think this information should have been included within the game itself via some command like CREDITS, ENDNOTES, or BIBLIOGRAPHY. There's too much chance that the game will exist for a hundred years on IF Archive but the PDF will only be around for three years on the author's website.)
This walkthrough is provided free of charge even though the work it's based on has fifteen or more locations. Please consider it a thank you for your support!
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