Plans for 2015?

Maybe this is a bit early, but I’m already thinking ahead. Or maybe I just want that “share link” badge because I can say I hope this doesn’t overlap with this topic too much.

I want to:

  • write a review a month at IFDB. Imagine if a group of people took one day of the month to write a review. Nothing fancy. It’d make IFDB a lot livelier and help fulfill its potential. Maybe I can start this goal this month! I have a game in mind.
  • complete the extension I’m working on for inline hints. I got feedback on a very rough draft already. I want to include options like letting the author make hints critical or not, and I also want to let the author see hints every turn. I also want to provide debugging where the author can receive results every turn.
  • get release 4 of Shuffling Around and Threediopolis out. I just figured a way to rejig Shuffling so that the intro was more inviting and it ramps up better. I junked one of the first puzzles I wrote. Plus I found a cringy bug. 3Dop needs a lot less work–I’m going to fine tune the scenery mode menu and also probably add a few random gags. Also, I hope to release the code at the beginning where Ed bugs you. It kept crashing during testing and I fixed it wrong.
  • play all the ParserComp games. I’m already testing one, and the writer is making very good progress in their first effort. Though I suspect they’ve written before.

Stuff I admit I’m hoping for:

  • If A Roiling Original were in good enough shape for the ClubFloyders/NightFloyders to play it. David Welbourn was kind enough to say he’d replay it if I sent up a robust remake. I’m probably going to do a release 4 anyway, because small bugs will keep popping up. While I expect rel 3+ to be tons more stable and sensible than 2 or 1, I think that session could be win-win (fun for them, helpful for me.)


I’d like to get to the end of one text adventure a month. If I have to use a walkthrough that’s fine. I don’t need to play the game until I get a successful outcome, any end is fine. The last few years it seems the only time I make for myself to actually play a game is when someone asks me to test a WIP!

But I am getting nostalgia for the early-to-mid-aughts games, which I became interested in due to nostalgia for text adventures released in the 80s. The nostalgia is eating its own tale!

I’ve played the first ten minutes of hundreds of text adventures (and other games, my Steam gallery is full of them). It’d be nice to see more of them to the end.

Well, one thing I find is that I block out websites that just flat out waste my time. That helps for some of the time sink. It would be nice to have a gauge that tells how long a text adventure is. Too often I’ve put one off because it sounds important or people say it’s groundbreaking–when it doesn’t take all that long.

This happened for 9:05, for instance. And I’ve currently found Lock and Key to be, well, simpler than I expected.

I agree that even having a walkthrough is nice. And, yeah, it’s tough to get into done games if you’re testing. It’s an entirely different mindset.

ETA: how to block out websites? The BlockSite addon seems good in Chrome and Firefox.

a goal to me too. Most IF I actually ended were quite short. I don’t resort to walkthroughs, though. I prefer to pause and think about it or just restart until getting it right.

I’m pretty aggressive about walkthroughs. I know that I didn’t read as much as I could’ve before college because I was always worried I was missing something. In a way, you should be missing some stuff in anything you read–if not, you need a bit more challenge. So I really like being able to say, ok, I saw it all, and I do enjoy realizing there’s a noncritical part of the game that was just plain neat.

That’s why I liked Nord and Bert so much–I remember finishing scenarios and not getting maximum points, and I enjoyed the satisfaction of winning and knowing there was a bit more to do.

Perhaps I’ve suffered some knock-on from the Infocom games where making tough games was possibly part of the marketing: “Oh, if X buys this game, too, he can help us out!” So a part of me cringes at the thought of going three months without solving something, even if a walkthrough is handy. It was neat at first when there weren’t many games, and yeah, I loved developing InvisiClues, but going at a certain pace is important to me.

Plans for 2015?

I want to start playing more IF games. I used to get through at least a couple dozen of the things every year, but in recent years that’s really dropped. I sometimes go for whole weeks at a time without playing any games and then wonder what on earth I’ve done with the time. Well, this year will be different. (Which is pretty much the same thing that I said this time last year, but this year I mean it. (Which is also pretty much what I said this time last year, but this year I mean it even more.))

I also want to finish off some of the works in progress I have lying around on my hard drive. When I quit the ADRIFT scene a few years ago, I still had a couple dozen games in various stages of completion and I’ve barely touched any of them since. Hopefully this year I’ll finally get around to rewriting them in Inform 7.

Please do. Your ADRIFT games are some of the best. As good a program as ADRIFT is, I can play your I7 games on my iPod, anywhere, anytime!

JJ Guest was able to improve his games a bit with porting.

Also, welcome, and also, I wanna see Best Laid Plans finished too. But I know how hard it is to get back to a game.

Hopefully it won’t be too tough to extract the text from an ADRIFT game so you can port it or finish it up.

Extracting the text is easy enough - it’s putting it back together in Inform that’s the problem! But at least with the fact that a good deal of the text already being written, it’s easier than simply writing a brand new game in Inform

As for Best Laid Plans, I’ve done quite a bit of work on it since the IntroComp but it’s a long way from being finished. It’s a game I really enjoy writing, but every time I do I start thinking “wouldn’t it be cool if you could do this, and this, and this!” and before I know it, the game’s grown larger and larger. It will definitely be done one day, but probably not for a while yet.

By the way, I did it! I finished a game. I started De Baron back in the day but never went through a complete playthrough. I did so this weekend. I think I naturally assume that each text adventure will take months like Zork did when I played it in 1985. Not really the case!

I think De Baron did as good a job as possible demonstrating difference between what’s good for others and good for oneself. I played it and triiiiiied to sympathize with the wolf and the gargoyle. Though at the end of the day if I would have had to execute 'em, then fine. But I really paid attention when it was my own PC’s life being discussed. Not many games have you considering the nature of selfishness. I give it thumbs-up because of that.

Congrats on getting through a game!

Re: assumptions, me, too, especially if people refer to it as groundbreaking.

I keep forgetting that what may be groundbreaking is the intensity the player can feel in a short amount of time. But “groundbreaking” feels like, well, it breaks a TON of ground, which takes time.

It’d be neat if IFDB could roughly rate a game by bigness. Because sometimes (ok, more often than I’d admit) I’d be willing to play a 3.5-star game that takes 15 minutes over a 4 or 4.5 that takes 2 hours.

a lot of IF has been created under the assumption the player can finish them under 2 hours - the rule for IFComp for over 20 years now. Weirdly enough though, Muldoon Legacy is so gargantuan I can’t really imagine it being possible, though it was the winner back then…

but there’re some other parser IF which are quite short and sweet. 9:05, April in Paris, Hoosegow, Mr. Pepper’s Nasty Secret, Dual Transform, Swineback Ridge all qualify… not even counting 1-turn IF such as Aisle, Pickup the phonebooth and aisle :smile:

then there’s now also clickable twitter fiction, which you can finish in a couple clicks

Whoa there, ML was in the IFComp? With its two-hour limit? Seriously?

oops… thought so, but no.