Finding inspiration for a game.

One of the two problems I have is making a map for my games. The other is finding a setting that works in general.

How do you find inspiration? Do you ever use any type of writing prompts?

I like to look for settings from other media that haven’t been used yet in Interactive Fiction. For instance, you could adapt a shifting, weird house like House of Leaves, or a broad terrain with giant monsters like Breath of the Wild (I think it’s like that, I haven’t played it yet).

Also, anything that’s not based on Tolkien or white English Speakers is more likely to be unique in IF.

Fartin’ around with generators like this might help.

Then again, it might completely waste your time. Idk.

Very interesting. I think one of my biggest restrictions is that I know very little about IF programming languages. I’ve dabbled in some TADS 2 and I’m slowly learning I7. So I find myself wondering how I’d implement unique features.

If you’re not much of a programmer (like me) then I would say stick with Inform7. In just a few years, my games went from being complete turds to polished turds.

Someone has said that IF gameplay is like a magic trick; there really isn’t that much variety in the core mechanics, but the patter or language you use around it is what keeps it fresh.

I think sticking with one new ‘cool’ concept helps, like trading in Superluminal Vagrant Twin or wordplay transformations in Counterfeit Monkey. If you then keep everything else pretty standard, it gives people familiarity and comfort while making your cool idea stand out.

Alternatively, you can just do a game with no unique features but in a cool setting. The number of IF games is so small that very little has been ‘overdone’, even fantasy castle games; this Ifcomp is full of them, but they still feel fresh and fun.

What kind of ideas do you have?

I just want to chime in that if for any reason you’re not familiar with the novel House of Leaves, you really should check it out: House of Leaves.

And yes - that can certainly be an inspiration for IF!

Oh, and for what it’s worth - a few years back some people here starting toying around with the idea of creating a “shared world” type of thing. AFAIK the total number of stories written in that setting is still zero, so maybe it wasn’t a very good idea. Or maybe the idea was good, but the execution was bad. Either way, if it works as inspiration for anybody - either the idea of creating a shared world, or this actual Mutant Pirates! world, here’s a Google doc about that:

I love House of Leaves. I’ve lift-er-tributed it in many variations.

Yeah, I guess I’ll stick with Inform 7. I guess I feel like a total noob asking for help implementing things.

That’s what this place is for (well, specifically the Inform forums here to be exact.)

I have been working with Inform 7 for years, and I still feel like a complete idiot when I try to explain how to do something and then Draconis or Matt or someone pops in and goes “Well, kind of, but…actually, here’s what he meant to say and how it actually works.” (They’re never even that mean actually!)

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

I believe we did something on this forum as kind of an exercise. It started out kind of interesting, but in the absence of a unifying vision kinda imploded. I think a link to the Github repo is still there in the thread somewhere. It was called “Exquisite Corpse” which I assume is a reference of some kind.

That Exquisite Corpse was a lot of fun, even if it wasn’t going anywhere.

This is what Exquisite Corpse means.


So I’m guessing this would also be a good place for sharing my idea and getting feedback on how to improve it? I promise, anyone who helps me out will get full credit. :slight_smile:

You will more than likely find people willing to provide feedback on your ideas here.

Most of the time, I find the nitty-gritty details of a work best discussed privately in PM or email, mainly because you don’t always want every secret of your work in progress on display in a forum, and you certainly want to avoid having your game “built by committee”. But generalized ideas and feedback discussion are totally welcome, and you might find some people who are willing to help you more extensively in private with the very important testing and feedback you need.

So if I want to talk about my general idea, it’s OK to share it publicly, but the deeper details should be shared privately.

At your discretion.

I mean just like the general idea.