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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. Read more

Boston, MA Video Games
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This project was successfully funded on December 6, 2010.

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.

Boston, MA Video Games
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Mid-December

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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 complete. With all the locks, navigation, and goal-traversal that they required.

I also decided to implement a lot of bits of paper. You'll recall that over the past two months, I chose locations for all the "magic words and recipes" to be found in the game. (Physical objects were basically all nailed down by November.) This information would appear on sheets of paper that you'd collect as the game went on. The first such sheet appears in the HL teaser.

So I decided, what the hey, I'll implement all of those objects. Not their text -- I mostly haven't gotten to scenery descriptions yet. But I wanted to create the objects, place them in the game, and assign their effects: what rituals and formulae do you learn from reading each one? This is all scutwork; I have all this information in my notes, I just have to crank through them. It'll maybe take me one day. And then that'll be done.

Well, it's done. You want to know how many pieces of paper I wound up with? Forty-three, that's how many. I've spent the past five days on this. (Admittedly, mixed in with some of the more recalcitrant cabinets.)

I intended a play experience rather like Infocom's Enchanter: you explore an area, and every once in a while you find a piece of paper! New recipes! Yay!

Forty-three pieces of paper is not that joyful experience. It's more of a burden. It's "Argh, more paper, what have I done to deserve this?" It's a tornado in a sticky-note factory.

Something is going to have to give. I will need a new game mechanic or two -- some way of discovering information in a location that isn't "See paper, pick it up, read it." The game doesn't need to be any more complicated, but it definitely needs some more variety.

I am not short of options here. There's books; books are always fun. (But I'd have to chain them down, because otherwise players would be juggling twenty books in the inventory, which is zero fun.) (Bits of paper, I can discreetly vaporize after reading.) (Yes, there's a REMEMBER command which gives you access to everything you've read.)

There's the old memory-flashback gag. Walk into a room, remember a lesson... or maybe it happens when you touch an object. Too cliche? I'm not thrilled with it. Maybe I'll have a special monocle you can peer through. I know, Counterfeit Monkey did it, but...

Well, something will turn up.

It will not turn up in 2013. On vacation now. Cookies are planned. Videogames are purchased. (Videogames are already started, to be honest.)

This is not to say that I'm off hacking for the rest of the month. I've done a draft of my other iOS text game idea, but it doesn't exactly work as-is, so that will get some more pounding. I will probably mess around with some Seltani features.

My next update will be at the end of January. Plan for that month: story bits.

Jeremie Lariviere, xanna, and 3 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator Andrew Plotkin on December 14, 2013

      All design possibilities are under consideration.

      I grabbed Bioshock Infinite and the Dishonored DLC expansions from earlier this year. However, I am currently aiming at "low-stress" and am therefore plowing through the most recent Sly Cooper game. :)

    2. Creator Matthew Ryan on December 13, 2013

      Insights? ie when you solve a certain puzzle, your character intuits an alchemical principle that they could apply to materials they're familiar with.

      Guided discovery? eg when combining certain things, "You have the feeling there's another quality you could extract from this element."

      You could also combine the picking up the paper and reading it actions.

    3. Creator Kirt Dankmyer on December 13, 2013

      Ideas:

      1. Given the alchemy theme, there could be a homunculus that you encounter that teaches you formulas. You find him in a room, he teaches you a formula, and then he runs away, only to be found in another room.

      Mechanically, he works very similar to the paper; you place multiple homunculus objects in rooms. Player arrives in room, learns the formula, and then homunculus "runs away," that is, the object is vaporized. Since the player only encounters him one room at a time, he seems to be one "thing."

      (There might be a better way to implement, of course. You're the IF expert.)

      2. What about a sort of synergy thing? When you are aware of two formulas, you figure out a third.

      3. Some sort of audio recording? Singing stones? Not sure what fits your game world. But it'd be like notes or books, but thematically different.

      4. There's a part of me that thinks it would be kinda amusing if you occasionally found formulas/words as graffiti in various places...

    4. Creator Jeremie Lariviere on December 12, 2013

      Thanks for the news!

    5. Creator Ken Gagne on December 12, 2013

      Which videogames? :)