IF Comp ’15 – Hanon Ondricek’s The Baker of Shireton!

October 3, 2015

You are the Baker of Shireton.  The bread you bake is delicious.  Raiders are coming.

Fuckin’ A the bread I bake is delicious.  You know how Shireton is famous for its delicious bread?  That’s me.  I bake that.

Raiders best step the fuck off, is what I am saying.  (And not for the first time; my boyfriend lives in Oakland and sometimes we pretend that either of us gives a shit about American football, which is demonstrably untrue.)

[spoilers begin here]

Occasionally, you even have the fever dream of leading your armies into charge against a horde of undead lich sorceror kings under a violent purple and amber sky filled with lightning.

I get the feeling I’m going to be called upon to do something more heroic than bake bread.  I don’t know if I’m up for anything more heroic than baking bread.  I’ve never baked bread before and the process seems complicated.  There’s yeasts, which are alive — they’re like Terry Pratchett imps who live in the bread, I assume — and you have to punch a thing, then not punch a thing, then punch a thing again… just thinking about it makes me sleepy.

Let’s try MAKE DOUGH.

>make dough
Some flour, some water, some furious kneading by skilled baker’s hands – and before you know it, you have a perfect ball of dough!

…oh.  That was easier than I thought.

My inventory includes “a quest to give” and “a song in my heart,” plus a name response and a job response.  I’m an NPC!

>x quest
You really could use some barleycorn to make delicious barleycorn bread.  Too bad the approaching raiders have cut off all supply channels.


…wait why did all of my bread just disappear from this oven? argh!

Wait, huh, it was still in there, even though the oven told me it was full of “five metal pans.”  I am confused by bread.

This reminds me of an anecdote from last night that is going to take way more explaining than it’s worth.  Ready?  Okay.  So my sister runs a CSA, and I help her with the weekly pickup, which includes a bread share.  Last night this bread share was more complicated than usual for reasons that are not worth explaining, and my sister said “Hey, when we’ve got everything else set up, I need to explain the bread to you.”

At which point she left the room and my mom (who also helps out with the pickup) watched her go, looked at me, pointed at the bread, and said “That’s bread.”

It’s okay if you are not amused by this anecdote because, trust me, I find it funny enough for me and the entire readership of this blog.  What was I doing in this game?

Running into difficulty trying to figure out syntax for these doughs and breads, which are not great about accepting synonyms.  I literally have no idea what to type to remove a fully-baked loaf of bread from the oven besides TAKE ALL.  This is less than ideal.

>take a delicious hot loaf of wheat bread from oven
But it isn’t there now.


Another thing that happens in this game is sometimes a customer will ask you for a loaf of bread and walk out of your shop on the very same turn, which is mildly counterproductive assuming they actually want a loaf of bread.

…unless I am mistaken, “hot loaf” works as a synonym for sourdough bread but not wheat bread.  EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.  Am I overreacting?  I think I’m overreacting.  Or, wait, did the loaf just cool down?  I DON’T KNOW!

A PC has come into the shop and wants to know my name!  This would be very exciting if it didn’t involve wrestling with the parser:

>show name response to doug2008
You can’t see any such thing.
>give name to doug2008
You can’t see any such thing.
>x name
It’s what you tell people when they ask your name.

Oh, okay, figured it out: doug2008 responds only to Doug.  The gentle noise you hear is me throttling a loaf of tasty ciabatta from my sister’s bread share.


[8:30 pm:59|760000]  Occam: Need someone to run The Language of Deep Sorrow and Giddy Comedy

That raid sounds amazing.  I’m in if they need another ranged DPS.

>x barleycorn
It seems to be a handful of barleycorn, and it’s rather handful of barleycorn-shaped and sized, with a distinctly handful of barleycorn-esque styling and vibe to it.

“…you’ve never seen a handful of barleycorn in your life, have you.”

I have discovered an exploit:  you can take all of the coins out of the slot, then put them back in and get the points for them again.  This is much easier than baking bread, therefore:  consider me the Coin Taker-Outer and Putter-Back-Inner of Shireton.

Is there a way to advance the plot?  Let’s check the hints.

…well, I don’t know what I did, but there is a raider in my bakery now and I think he is murdering all of my customers.  This is… bad?  Yes.  Bad.

Hmm.  He doesn’t want to eat any of my loaves of bread, including the one I baked the coin into in the hope that he would choke on it and stop murdering my customers.  I’m also out of hint scones.  There are things I have yet to try, like baking a hard roll for the Harbormaster, but I’m finding the parser recalcitrant enough that I’m ready to be done.  I’m also not sure where the edges of the implementation are:  am I supposed to deal with this raider right now?  Do I have the technology?  Should I keep pretending to bake bread until I starve to death in real life?  Would that be genuinely ironic or just really sad?

Parser issues aside, I did enjoy being an NPC in an MMO, so points for concept.

That’s bread!


  1. Thank you, Jenni!!!

    • No problem!

  2. I mentioned your review in my own. “pissylittlesausages” has been one of my favorite IF comp blogs for several years. http://dougegan2.blogspot.com/2015/10/baker-of-shireton-review.html

    • Aw, thank you ❤

  3. I haven’t read this review, because I haven’t played this game yet, but I wanted to say I hope you’ll be able to write some more reviews this year! I always enjoy your blog so much. (OTOH if you are too busy, I also completely understand – life this year has kept me from playing the games as fast as I usually do.)

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