I thought it was just me who forgot about “part!” But it makes sense.
I know that I try to start with organization but it soon falls apart if I’m not careful. So I wrote a PERL script that flags what is where. I know the Inform IDE has it, but it’s useful to be able to cut and paste stuff and pull it around.
However, I’ve found that looking at outlines IMMEDIATELY helped with organization for this project and future projects. It’s also neat to see which volumes are bigger or smaller. I also find I prefer to use volume more aggressively than I used to. Each volume should be critical for something. But it’s amazing still to see how things are misorganized or could be done better.
My new outline would be
volume browsing notes globals and types
volume verbs and actions
book redefining (e.g. the block buying rule is not listed in any rulebook)
book standard regular verbs (take etc)
book standard irregular verbs (jump etc)
book nonstandard regular verbs (credits/about etc, maybe even XYZZY)
book nonstandard irregular verbs (stuff specific to the game, like ANALYZE or whatever)
volume big tables (random or otherwise)
volume region 1
book any region specific verbs
book room 1
chapter NPC 1
chapter item 1
chapter room specific verb 1
book room 2, etc.
volume region n
volume npc interactions like talking
volume parser errors and abuse (this is worth a volume as it's important to direct the player--"abuse" may be the wrong term, but stuff like modifying the player's input)
volume end of story options (like AMUSING list, or restarting narrative mode)
volume beta testing - not for release (I have a script that strips out the "not for release" and builds the file elsewhere. This is for testers to jump around without risking players having those loopholes.)
volume hints (very important to me. Justify the game to yourself and the player)
volume testing - not for release (this is for me to hyperspace around)
Anyway, this is a rough outline. In fact, I didn’t really use it before, but poking through my Roiling and Shuffling source code was instructive enough, I think I realized how much the organization helped.