I’m starting to work on a Twine game which uses a macro that apparently just won’t function in any version of Internet Explorer. It’s functional yet not aesthetically perfect in Firefox, works perfectly in Chrome, and it should work in most other common browsers.
So I’d like to know how this might limit my audience, hence the poll. Thanks for voting!
I wouldn’t worry about it, this isn’t the early noughties.
How appropriate, you fight like a… Wait, that doesn’t make any sense.
If you’re making a competition game, you’ll need to make sure to clearly warn people about this problem, and it will irritate some percentage of your audience. But making a Twine competition game will irritate some percentage of your audience, period.
Basically this. Just find somewhere to put in “This game does not work with Internet Explorer, please try another browser, preferably Chrome” and you’ve done your bit.
From experience, I can tell you that people will miss/skip/ignore your warning and then say your game is unplayable.
I think it’s fine to make a game that excludes IE. People on IE need to be educated that there are other, better, browsers they SHOULD be using instead. Make your game and they will come!
You may not want to hear this as it is not a poll option, but perhaps consider not using the macro at all and figure out some sort of work-around? If it only works perfectly in Chrome, that may be want you need to do.
I myself have all three browsers mentioned installed so I would just toggle to whichever is recommended by the developer, but I don’t really thing many others are as forgiving.
If I could avoid using it, I would, but the game mechanic really hinges around it and its not something I’d be capable of recreating myself. Happily though I have managed to modify it so it works perfectly in Firefox too. I still need to check Safari.
I’d say it depends on your target audience. If you’re not planning it to have much of an audience beyond the normal IF world - a bunch of tech-savvy nerds, basically - it’s pretty safe to assume that most of 'em aren’t using IE.
But bear in mind - easy porting is one of the key qualities of making your game web-based. If people have to switch browsers, it’s going to be as annoying as downloading an interpreter. (More so, for me. IF interpreters don’t have sociopathic default behaviour.)
Or you could ask how to fix the macro so that it works in IE. Maybe not here, but the Internet is full of web development forums. (The person helping with this doesn’t even need to know anything about Twine: just show them a compiled example and they can (probably) spot the problem from there.)
Just a quick thought – if you’re strongly encouraging your players to use Chrome, you should check to see if the game work as well on Chromium. Chromium is the version that users of the easy Linux distributions install with one click from their software manager apps, and some people think it’s more secure and private than the branded version.
Actually, you can probably just assume that it’ll work in Chromium if it works in Chrome, but maybe you should mention Chromium in your documentation, just in case any paranoid types get mad at the endorsement of a Google product. (I’m only borderline paranoid, I promise.)
I have Firefox, Chromium, and Opera installed on my Linux desktop and primarily use Firefox for casual browsing. On my Windows laptop I currently only use Opera.
So, another quick thought – you should test your game with Opera, too, if you haven’t.
And here I thought the big advantage of web games over interpreter-based games was portability across various machines with a minimum of hassle.
More good advice, thanks. I asked for help on a tech forum to get it working smoothly in Firefox, and was informed that IE simply doesn’t support some CSS transition property or something (bow before my technical expertise), but I’ll try and find out what would have to be ripped out of the macro for it to work everywhere.
Peter, on a not entirely but pretty much unrelated note, did you read the Twine 1.4 release notes? Images will now be included in the html file, which should relieve one headache re: downloading games.
I did not know that and it is indeed a godsend. I didn’t actually want to put Twine down, I just thought it was a relevant snarky comment.
(how can I have missed this) In that case, it’s the players’ fault and it reflects poorly on them.
Browser CSS incompatibilities may mean it’s not as pretty, but there’s no reason they should make the story unreadable. If it’s just a visual embellishment, don’t even draw attention to it! The reader using IE won’t even realise they’re missing out.
Sorry, Dannii, that was incorrect. It isn’t the CSS that’s the problem, that would just stop it looking pretty in IE, but the actual macro itself was written for Chrome and doesn’t work with IE. Not sure why it does in Firefox. I’m way out of my depth here, but I don’t think anyone’s noticed yet.
I’m going to ask about the macro over at StackedOverflow as per Juhana’s suggestion.
Although I think one thing that we can learn from the “Boogle” case may be that you should put the warning prominently in an extra-diegetic context rather than as a message that’s in character voice. In this case, the warning not to use IE was cleverly integrated into the game in a natural way – but it was also in a format that my brain has trained myself very hard not to see.
OOOooooooh, was THAT the actual warning? I failed to parse it as such.