The last light has gone. The stars are coming out in the black sea above. Many are hidden by ice-fingered winds. My father is still not returned and the fire is almost gone.
But this is how life is: always an edge. A thin sheet on a diving-deep pool.
I hope he will return soon. I cannot summon him.
I’ve been busting my way through a holiday text adventure, the way one does. A couple of days off is the perfect time to get 80% of a game down, ready to be shelved, redrafted, tweaked, and polished until it no longer seems like such a good idea.
I had the puzzle structure worked out before I coded a single word. I’m now 80% of the way through, but then I got distracted, adding hyperlinks.
I just turned off the actual text prompt thing. It seemed so… retro. There are just these buttons now. It feels kinda okay.
It’s a really good piece of work and shows real potential for making text games accessible: teaching the syntax while letting people get on with the game. But it also highlights one of the text games major problems – there’s way too much choice.
I’ve written a few times already about my new, novelette-length choice-based story built in Undum. The project began life as technical experiment – a quick attempt (a bit like this one) to “do” a text-game as a multiple choice adventure. The concept was simple: the game would have locations, and objects, but streamline the usual breadth of Interactive Fiction’s parser down to just the choices that mattered for the story.
It didn’t work and I had to change the design. But I learnt a lot in the process.
A friend’s blog has a quick article about the importance of flow in digital reading experiences.
Of course, this is something parser IF got right from the very start.
I’ve started work on a renovation of Make It Good. Not a rewrite (before anyone reminds me that it took nine years first time around), and I’m not moving it over to Inform 7 (that would be a rewrite).
Instead, I’m doing what I should have done five years ago when it was only half-made, and I’m porting it over to Glulx.