Development progress thread?

Is it appropriate to create a thread here to document the ongoing development of a project? I scanned thread titles several pages back and saw no examples, but I don’t know if that’s because this sort of thing is discouraged or just uncommon.

It’s not discouraged or inappropriate, per se, but it’s unusual. People do occasionally post ongoing development updates, but these are usually done on their own blogs.

There are a number of reasons for this. Some are cultural (we have a Culture of Authorial Modesty that tends to look askance at excessive self-promotion; also, a lot of games are never finished, and nobody wants to be a vaporware artist) and some are tied in to the basic nature of standard IF (most IF doesn’t have high replay value; if you know too much about the game when you start playing it, the experience may be much more thoroughly spoiled than it would be for other kinds of game).

But these are all pretty soft reasons, really; if documenting your project here will help or amuse you, go for it.

Mm, good points (I’m so self-centered I didn’t even think of it coming off as immodest, heh). I’ll refrain. Thanks.

Personally, I think the value of sharing is so enormous, that it would really be too bad if people refrained out of a misplaced sense of ‘authorial modesty’. Blabbing about your vapourware that might never get done certainly opens you up to some generally unconvinced skepticism about it (as it probably should), but that’s not a great reason to eschew spreading the inspiration around, either. As for spoilers, well that’s what it’s all about. How do you talk about what you’re (let’s face it) dying to talk about, because all of your passion is tied up in it, without giving away important things? If there is a way, you know exactly what it is, because you’re the author – only you can decide what’s OK to reveal and what’s too much. Everyone else’s opinion about that is not really relevant, IMO.

Some general advice for talking about your work on here? Be matter of fact and don’t wax too messianic about its capabilities if it doesn’t exist yet; established artists who have produced a lot of work find it irritating. Also, don’t give it a name, at least not publically. Once a project has a name, every day that you talk about it that it doesn’t get released, it gets a bad name. (See: the game formerly known as ‘Avalon’.)

I don’t know if that advice actually works. Sometimes I just can’t help talking about my WIP and above is just the voodoo I use to ward off the evil spirits when I do. 8)

Another reason people are reticent about details of their projects could be that - as was recently discussed in another thread - most games are released in various competitions, and that may not be an option if you discuss the game too much.

The ifcomp rules states that


I’m not sure whether a dev thread here (or in a blog, etc) is considered to clash with those rules.

That said, I really think you should start a dev thread if you feel like it, just be honest and humble about it.

I don’t think so; the biggest example I know of is Gijsberg publishing extensive behind the scenes blog posts and gameplay videos during development of Kerkerkruip, but it was still accepted into IFcomp.

I’d like to see more progress posts, actually, though there are good reasons against it.

In particular, it’d be neat to have an “I figured this out on my own in Inform” thread…it’s a possible morale booster for the person writing it, and often other people can learn from it. Maybe it’s a question they wanted to ask.

Also, no harm in being a bit vague. Though again, a caveat against promotion of games for comps applies–I suppose if you’re really in doubt, you can point a link to your blog in your .sig. I don’t know. I’d like to hear more talk about stuff in progress and how people get around implementation issues, without spoiling story details of course.