Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory

We've been laid off, it appears; but we still have some of the experimental products from work, and we have a meeting with an old flame in about an hour. This sounds mundane enough, but the nature of our previous work is a bit unusual: it involves the idea of imbuing the environment with different colours and/or patterns to affect moods. (Not so far-fetched: there is a claim, currently unproven according to, that blue streetlights can reduce crime rates.)

The story proceeds with or without any active input: there's a bank of "floater text" that plays as long as there are no particular responses to our commands. This makes it sometimes unclear as to whether we have actually done anything. It's also a little unclear as to what triggers certain things. The version I played contained a number of misalignments, depending on the playthrough: sometimes, I would run out of floater text before reaching the final rendez-vous, which is how I know it's called "floater text". On one occasion, I somehow managed to drive all the way to that rendez-vous before being told that I had arrived at the turn-off to an alternate meeting with someone else. There is, I think, a bit of an imbalance between the time available at our apartment and the time spent in the car driving to our appointment, there being a lot to do in the former and not enough to do in the latter.

I'm not entirely sure what I'm supposed to take from this story. It's certainly a lot less goal-oriented than "Broken Legs", the author's last IFcomp entry. I'd have liked to explore more options, I think: I'd have liked to play around with the saturator pole still in the apartment. In spite of the austerity of the setting locations and the depressive mood that comes with having been laid off, there is a sense of richness to the story which I think can be attributed to the very same "floater text" technique that I complained of earlier.

It's a bit like strawberries and cream, I think. Maybe with some hot chocolate to go with it. It seems light and simple, in the sense that there aren't very many figurative "moving parts", but it's also a touch more luxurious than the norm. And the cream masks (or, at least, is meant to mask) any bruising on the strawberries.