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I'm going to write and sell a full-length text adventure for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). The game framework will be open source.
I created a full-length puzzle text adventure. (Available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and iOS.)
I created a full-length puzzle text adventure. (Available for Mac, Windows, Linux, and iOS.)
713 backers pledged $31,337 to help bring this project to life.



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 half of the month, I caught up on the implementation that I planned last month. That is, I created the ten new rooms (plus some cabinets) that all of October's placements required. And the navigation between them. And the locks on their doors, where appropriate. And the goal-tracking to open the locks.

In the second half of November, I decided all the placements for the latter half of the game. (Two "chapters", but as I said, the chapter numbers do not reflect either game pacing or numbers of objects.) The map grew another couple of rooms, and several more locked cabinets, but I have not yet implemented these.

You might think that the first half of the month was difficult coding work, and the second half was lazily scribbling in locations on a chart. Ha. No. Code is easy. Decisions are difficult.

Every decision is wading into a hazy cloud of "this will probably be okay" and throwing away 99% of it. Most of the possibilities that I discard are fine. Some look fine, but will trip me up later. I have to make sure that the one I keep doesn't trip me up. And then I have to make sure that I like the pacing -- where it shows up in the player's run-through. Or rather, the *range* in which it might show up. Too soon? Too much confusion early on? Might the player run into the hard-but-correct solution to a puzzle before the easy-red-herring solution? That would be embarrassing.

And then I do it again, and again. I've been doing it all day. My brain hurts.

(Yeah, I'm writing this on the evening of Dec 1st. Procrastination struck after Thanksgiving. I caught up.)

So, okay. I have (nearly) hit a serious milestone, and I am declaring a (sort of) vacation month. My brain needs to stop hurting for a while.

In December I will implement those last rooms and cabinets, so that I can say I've actually placed everything in the game. But I'm not going to work on HL otherwise. I will do holiday things. I will bake a lot of cookies. I may play the latest Bioshock.

I have a sneaky idea for another iOS text game, which I might try to crank out by the end of the year...

Matthew Ryan and Cory Brownson like this update.


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    1. Fien on

      Well, Mr. Scott, you are being pretty disingenuous as well. Your $1000 has nothing to do with it. You and Mr. Plotkin are pals, mates, buddies, whatever, he featured in your Get Lamp, you support his KS project, he supported yours. Of course you're not complaining! You're not an ordinary backer like me who feels betrayed. And in my not very modest opinion it's both disingenuous and in real bad taste to brag about your $1000 when your sabbatical and docus were funded through Kickstarter.

    2. Fien on

      Read my post again, Mr. Plotkin, it wasn't simply you versus Obduction. I've backed several one-man projects here and elsewhere which delivered just fine. And those twenty people at Cyan are actually *working* on Obduction, whereas you have so many better, more interesting, more profitable things to do with your time. Don't pretend you don't know what this is about.

    3. Jason Scott on

      Awwww, someone's complaining about his kickstarter not coming in yet.

      I put $1000 into this one, and I'm not complaining. Keep it going, Zarf. :)

    4. Jeremie Lariviere

      It definitely takes time, and money; I think we all understand that. There is progress, and we appreciate that. I think we also appreciate the scope of the work you needed to complete so HL could be completed; your posts have helped there.
      There are a lot of side projects you have been able to complete, so we're all very eager to play HL! (since that's the reason we backed the project)

    5. Andrew Plotkin Creator on

      What, and? Comparing a $30k one-person project to a $1M twenty-person project was disingenuous in the first place.

      I've fit a few six-month spare-time games into the past three years; I'm happy with them. "Spare time" is still defined as "around the HL work." The balance is whatever keeps me going.

    6. Fien on

      Shame on you for saying that Obduction has more people working on it. Coming from the guy who wrote: "If I wanted to take six months and write a game, I could cram that into my spare time" that's more than just a little disingenuous.

    7. Missing avatar

      Matthew Ryan on

      Hang in there Zarf. Still sounds fun and interesting.

    8. Andrew Plotkin Creator on

      I guess we'll have to see. I strive to be neither encouraging nor discouraging in these posts -- just to honestly report how it's going.

      If nothing else, Obduction has more people working on it. :)

    9. Jeremie Lariviere

      Fien, I was just thinking pretty much the same for me. Lots of projects backed, this was a very early one, but not delivered yet. I'm still looking forward to HL, but not expecting it anytime soon.

    10. Fien on

      Already THREE years! How time flies...
      I'm gonna make a prediction. Your Hadean Lands was the first Kickstarter project I supported. Of all the projects I have backed to this day it will be the last one to deliver the goods. Even $1,300,000 Obduction, which the Miller guys said would take over two years to develop, will be released long before your $5 text adventure.
      Till next year.