The XYZZY Awards for best interactive fiction of 2014 have just been announced. I'm happy to say that Hadean Landswon in four categories: Best Puzzles, Best Setting, Best Implementation,... Read more
Why it takes longer than you think
In case you're wondering, nobody hassled me about how long the rewards took. Apparently you folks really werein it for the game -- or to support me, which is... Read more
All bulk rewards are shipped
I just hauled the last batch of Hadean Lands CD packages to the post office. This means that the postcards, CDs, posters, and books are all out the door. US... Read more
Hadean news of the week
I thought this was the boring part of the release process. Hadean Lands has been out for a couple of months, I've done a couple of iOS updates, time to... Read more
More rewards progress
Postcards (roughly 600 backers): Printed, sitting in my living room.
CDs (roughly 550 backers): I have burned a master; will test this week and then send to replication.... Read more
I don't plan to do monthly updates any more, but it's the beginning of December and I happen to have some progress! (Not a coincidence -- I spent a bunch... Read more
Kicking it forwards
Since this Kickstarter is done -- not donedone, I still have postcards and so on, but done enough for soup -- I should write the "support this other Kickstarter!"... Read more
All codes have now been distributed
Whew. The game is up, and all of the gifts and promo codes have been sent out. If you didn't receive something you should have received, contact me.
(This was... Read more
Running into hitches
(Maybe planning to do all this at midnight was a dumb idea...)
All of the Itch.IO download codes have gone out (by email). I see some people couldn't... Read more
Less than 24 hours now
App Store approval came through on the 25th. Everything is now queued up to launch the game on the 30th. Again, that web site: http://hadeanlands.com/
Let me reiterate the launch process,... Read more
On November 1, 2010, I opened a Kickstarter project for an iOS text adventure.
Last night I submitted the Hadean LandsiOS app for App Store approval. (And also uploaded... Read more
State of the cranking
I have been turning the crank hard and I am tired. Admittedly, there've been a lot of FTL breaks. They get some of the blame for me being tired.
As... Read more
Surveys are go
I've sent out the backer surveys. A few questions that have come up:
"When when when?"
I am aiming to have the iOS and digital downloads available in early October.... Read more
We have beta stage
Last night at 8 pm I tagged a branch, compiled a release build, ran the end-to-end test script, and pinged the testers about where to download it. Hadean Landsis... Read more
August: the endgame
The month is not over, but I am heading to DragonCon for a week. So you get your report early. Conveniently this allows me to report "not quite done yet"... Read more
July: almost done
A month ago I wrote: "I am still fairly confident that I will have a complete, testable game at the end of July." I halfway made it. I have a... Read more
June is getting there
Happy Canada Day (and pretend I said that in French). 82 out of 90 rooms complete.
I'm not really measuring progress in rooms any more. There were only a few... Read more
May report, counting down
Last month: 45 out of 86 rooms complete. This month: 65 out of 89 rooms complete. I did twenty rooms in the past month. The total grew because I decided... Read more
April only it still feels like March out there
Seriously, it was 45 out today. Now it's rainy, but that's good news because it's a warm humid front coming in and we should get a May that feels like... Read more
I will keep this short, because I just noticed that I have to run to the Boston IF meetup soon, and I want to get this post out before then.... Read more
February was kind of nuts
I suppose you want the room count, don't you. I will give it to you. When? Now, I should think. You look forward to it, do you? I think you... Read more
Welcome to the new age
(I have that song stuck in my head, sorry about that.)
It is the end of January; it's been six weeks since my last update. Merry 2014! The holidays are... Read more
Yes, it's early. No, it's not the Ides of December yet. That's tomorrow. Good thought, though.
I said that I wanted to place the final rooms and cabinets. That's now... Read more
I am happy to report that all the items are placed. Every line in my recipe chart has a "found in" notation! ...I'm telling this out of order.
The first... Read more
October -- goodbye sunlight
Not goodbye forever, or even for the rest of the year. But it's Halloween; it's been damp and grey all day; and I just returned from the annual Somerville Anti-Morris... Read more
The eidolons of September
Gasp. Late, but triumphant. It's October 2, but I've just finished the last major puzzle item... if, okay, I fudge a little on "major".
All the horrible details with lead... Read more
The holiday weekend is over, so it's September by anybody's definition. Where are we?
I got one of the lead-weight puzzles hammered into shape. (Not a pun, it's not a... Read more
Summer, July, occasional rainbows
The weather has been awfully nice around here. Not the ridiculous 95-degree weather, not the equally ridiculous wave of 50-degree drench that followed it -- but strong sunlight and rainclouds,... Read more
Seltani, or what I did in June
Up front, here: what I did in June was not work on Hadean Lands. The secret project ate my soul and my life.
This will happen sometimes. I spent... Read more
May (plus a little) progress
Yes, I'm late. Sorry -- it's still the weekend, isn't it?
Six puzzle barriers, and the map traversal code that goes along with them. As I said back in... when... Read more
Zarfplan: April progress
Short update this time. Puzzle barriers implemented this month: seven. (Some, again, with multiple solutions.) Also another substantial chunk of the automatic move-around-the-map code. That has been going in slowly... Read more
March is a five-letter word
The taxes got done, anyhow.
If we are counting puzzle barriers, I finished... five this month. I'm counting one door twice, because walking out of that room is a different... Read more
February is short
It feels short, anyway. By more of a factor than exists in reality. Stupid February.
A lot happened this month, but you probably read my Gameshelf post two weeks ago.... Read more
January of a new year
First news: Shade is up for iOS! I started this port back in the fall, as a demo for the Boston Festival of Indie Games, but it dropped off my... Read more
December (looking back from 2013)
I say "looking back from 2013" because it's not December any more; yes, this post is late. I can offer a (small) excuse: I knew I was going to announce... Read more
And that was November
Plan for the month: get all the shortcutting code finished, before the end of the month. Result: it's 11:59 pm on November 30th. Drat! But it isfinished. Pretty much... Read more
October, more or less
Plan for the month: create a major new subsystem, supporting shortcut actions! Outcome: ...part of it. Sorry. This month was a "missed expectations".
What threw me off track was --... Read more
A month not of dramatic improvement, but of improvement regardless.
Jumping in a pool now works. Jumping into various other infelicitous environments -- details elided for spoiler reasons -- all... Read more
On through August
Last time I said, "I can confidently say I'll finish the alchemical ritual code in August." Which I did! Barely. (I just finished the last unit test, at 8:30... Read more
On through July
At the beginning of July, I had three rituals implemented in my game engine. I now have seventeen. Plus their unit tests (130 tests in total!) That's pretty much my... Read more
Progress report about progress
If I want to call this the "June report", I'd better get it posted in the next couple of hours... That is, if you're in the US. Everyone else can... Read more
The Dreamhold for iOS
It is up on the App Store! Go take a look.
(If you have an iPhone or iPad or whatever, I mean. If you don't, you can still play Dreamhold... Read more
iOS Interpreter milestone
After only a couple extra weeks of work (and non-work -- oh, PAX, you great distraction) I am declaring my iOS IF interpreter ready for beta-testing.
Again, this is not ... Read more
It is the (mostly technical) progress report
I commented on Monday that I would get an update posted "in a couple of days". That wasn't procrastination; I wanted to be able to say I'd hit an interesting... Read more
One year of this project, and the ways of puzzle explorability
Tomorrow will be the oneth anniversary of the _Hadean Lands_ Kickstarter project. One year of this new lifestyle.
(Technically it's eleven months of this lifestyle, because I quit for Christmas.... Read more
Cold Iron: my (very short) IF entry in the Comp
Meanwhile for iOS is available
"In other news -- or rather, the news I started with: Meanwhile has been sent off to App Store review. If nothing goes wrong, it will... Read more
Halloween and progress report
Perhaps you... Read more
The part where I tell you about Meanwhile
Two months ago (gad!) I said:
"After I ship Hideout, I will be concentrating on [Secret Project] M37, because it too is just about finished. (And the paperwork is just about settled...) Even... Read more
A word in support of history
This post is not about me. It is about Jason Scott.
Jason Scott is a big loud blabbermouth who, in several subtle ways, helped get me to where I am... Read more
My Secret Hideout: available now
I am delighted to say that My Secret Hideout -- first mentioned here a couple of weeks ago -- is available right now on the App Store. Runs on iPad... Read more
A preview of My Secret Hideout (plus catching up)
Introducing My Secret Hideout -- my first iPad app release. Coming soon!
I already mentioned this on Twitter and then (welcome to the new world) my Google+ stream. But you folks... Read more
That crazy software patent situation
Many people have asked me -- that is, I have been asked -- that is, Jmac asked me last weekend -- anyway, this iOS software patent situation. What do I... Read more
A shorter later June update
Jeremie Lariviere steps forward to ask for an update. Okay, fair enough.
I let this update slip late, because I hoped I would have a Secret Project to announce. But... Read more
A short late May update
I let this update slip late, because I hoped I would have a Secret Project to announce. But legal paperwork takes however long some other lawyers think it will take,... Read more
PAX from our point of view
You want to know what I spent March doing. Basically, PAX East is what I did. Interspersed with the usual mix of iOS IF code and the secret project I... Read more
Zarf appearances this spring
I am not at GDC right now (although Emily Short is, and many other game designers I know or know of). Drat.
But if you're the sort of person who... Read more
So what does a month look like?
A month has gone by, and it's time for a progress update.
(Clever people will note that there's no causal connection between the halves of that sentence.)
The obvious question... Read more
Those two interviews...
I said: "...I don't think they're coming in the next two weeks."
More fool I, I guess.
* "Kickstart-ed Andrew Plotkin" : http://indiesuperstar.com/archives/2662
* "The Setup" : http://andrew.plotkin.usesthis.com/
The latter... Read more
Another teeny interview link post
Okay, maybe it is weekly after all. But not *every* week, really. I only have two more unpublished interviews, as far as I remember, and I don't think they're coming... Read more
One teeny interview link today
Adventure Classic Gaming has posted a nice juicy interview with me, about IF and Hadean Lands.
I am linking to it because it's cool to see my name in... Read more
It's 2011 now
I'm not going to be posting week-by-week status updates here. (For that, read my "progress" tweets on @zarfeblong.) But you get one special one tonight. The new year has reached... Read more
Some current mobile IF
It will be a while before Hadean Lands takes off (or, if you've played the demo, before the Unanswerable Retortcrashes). So let me note some interactive fiction available on... Read more
What IF is harder and easier than
Aaron Reed's recent book Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 opens with this quote:
All around him, the Machines' fleet and orbital stations are blasting away at his tree ships,... Read more
Cut, wrap, take ten, take a trip to Cuba
(Note: Cuba is metaphorical. I am not going to Cuba. Brush up on your famous movie quotes.)
There we have it; just over $31,000 dollars. (I won't say exactly how... Read more
The final week
Here we are, with 6.9-ish days to go. I've just passed 600 backers and 26,000 dollars. Those numbers mean nothing to my brain, of course. I can't picture a pile... Read more
The techy post, part 4 of 4
So, here's the Glk and Glulx update plans for 2011.
One of the big gaps in my original Glk spec was in specifying fonts, font sizes, and other... Read more
The techy post, part 3 of 4
Present and Future
The next major change in the IF landscape was in 2006, when Graham Nelson released Inform 7, a brand-new high-level IF design system. I7 was (and is)... Read more
The techy post, part 2 of 4
Sorry, we've experienced a bit of post bloat. This series will be four parts, not three. (Just four, though.)
Zarf and Modularity
I wanted to design a new 32-bit VM... Read more
Halfway, and extended teaser
It's November 16th, roughly halfway through my little experiment.
(What do you mean, we blew past the edges of the Petri dish on day 1? How does that make any... Read more
The techy post, part 1 (of 3)
I spin a bunch of verbiage on the front page (and in the video) about Glulx and Quixe and other silly words. Long-time IF aficionados (with your bottles of aficiolemonade,... Read more
So how DO you make $20k on Kickstarter?
More than zero people have asked me this in the past two weeks, which is hilarious, because my attitude towards business and marketing practice is "Why are you asking me... Read more
About that music
Long-lost secret (lost for about a month): When I first sketched out the video script, I wrote down "Audio: Circlesongstrack six". It's a Bobby McFerrin album from 1996 --... Read more
If you go up to anybody who's suddenly been handed twenty grand just because they asked for it, and ask them "What do you think about late on a Saturday... Read more
The questions which are so infrequently asked as to be completely unprecedented
Nobody's really burning to know this stuff, but I'm going to answer anyway. Consider it my taunt to entropy.
What are those symbols in the artwork?
Beats me! No, that's... Read more
A couple of new rewards
Quick update here: I've added a new reward, at the $40 level. This is an attractive full-page (8.5 by 11 inch) full-color map of the Unanswerable Retort. This map... Read more
The frequently asked question: PC port?
(Asked a couple of times so far, anyhow.)
From a comment on the front page:
"Tell me if I have this straight. You will have the ability to make this... Read more
The first thank-you post
Not the finalthank-you post, because this train is still running. But I had a bunch of credits to credit even before I launched this thing, so I'd better get... Read more
Update, Nov 1, afternoon
So, I'm over the top. On day 1. I am perilously close to speechless (or even textless). The outpouring of support has been overwhelming.
But maybe... Read more