I ran out of ideas for software projects in UK Covid Lockdown 2!

Then I remembered an old game, GUI Colossal Cave. I’d been impressed by the ultra minimal GUI interface and thought it a shame there was no associated authoring tool. I guess you’re ahead of me here, so having nothing else to do, I set about creating my own generator and runner aimed specifically at beginners and those who find current systems more complex than they care for!

I’ve been working on this off and on for around 20 months. That wasn’t all coding as I needed to translate some existing games (not being an author myself) in order to create something for folk to look at. I’ve finally got to the point where I think it is all fit for human consumption and so have added a web page to my personal web site. If you search for Racing Dog’s Kennel you should find me easily enough. The platform is called SImple IF and there is a button on my home page which takes you to the Simple IF page.

Please don’t let my efforts go to waste! Have an investigate and let me know what you think. There is an e-mail link you can use for feedback.

Regards,
Derek Lazenby

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Unfortunately, Google turns up nothing for me. Could you post your web address?

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It’s at http://racingdog.hostfree.pw/Simple%20IF.html but it seems to be windows only.

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I have problems with the web thought police in that some of them make the false presumption that all free hosting site users must be somehow dodgy, so I never include my URL in e-mails otherwise they can just disappear! However, if you look at the racingdog line in my signature strip below you should get the idea.

Good luck, thanks for the contact,
Derek Lazenby

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Nils, may one ask exactly how many operating systems you expect a retired 73 year old to have in his home?

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My site has been moved to a new location to whit racingdog.lazenby.me. The page names are unchanged. Sorry about that but it was circumstances beyond my control.

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@RacingDog, I’m not able to download the generator or the runner from your website for some reason.

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Aaaagghhh!

Thank you blindHunter. I’m an idiot! My download links go via a click counter. I’d installed a new version, changed all my links to reference the new version, uploaded the new web pages, but somehow managed to forget to download the SimpleIF page!

So EVERYBODY, go to the Simple IF page, click on the refresh button in your browsers then it should all work!

EVERYBODY, if one of you had taken the time to write a short mail like blindHunter did I could have fixed this weeks ago, so thanks for nothing!

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But Derek, an indiscriminate telling-off is unlikely to encourage people to try out your system!

It looks promising though; I’ll have a look at it when I find the time. I did check out your website and found myself distracted by the whippets, heritage railway stuff and other bits and pieces - it’s an enjoyable miscellany.

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Christopher, yeah maybe, but in all the years people have been downloading stuff from my site (according to the download counters) I have had hardly any feed back. So are people using their downloads or are they just junking them? I have no idea. Of all the bugs I’ve fixed, that’s inevitable in software by its very nature, only a small handful were reported, I found all the rest myself! It just gets frustrating this deathly silence when so much effort goes into producing this stuff. So apologies to EVERYBODY!

Thanks for the kind words at the end though.

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I sympathise entirely. Anything of this sort requires a lot of effort and investment of time on the part of the hobby developer, and feedback from users is generally hard to come by. I think that’s just human nature really. I know I’m certainly guilty of downloading all kinds of useful freeware and barely ever bothering to provide feedback. You may as well assume, in the absence of contrary evidence, that all the people downloading your stuff are actually using it and getting some benefit out of it rather than junking it!

I know you say you’re not an IF author, but I see you’ve translated a number of games into Simple IF. You could do a lot worse than have a go yourself at making something new using the system and then putting it in one of the many IF competitions that run regularly throughout the year. That would be a sure-fire way of raising awareness of the platform you’ve developed and eliciting feedback. Just a thought.

Well, yes one hopes so!

It’s very strange, but whilst I can think of software things, I have never been able to create anything else! If my old English teachers were still alive they would tell you how I struggled to produce any essay on any subject, even ones that interested me, and IF is effectively essay writing.

When I was twenty I had a couple of goes at (mainly) blank verse. The phrase pathetic waste of time springs to mind! Here is the shortest of them (it was the only one short enough to remember!)…

I wandered lonely as a shroud
When all at once I spied a cloud
Of Daleks.

You see the problem?

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You’re unlikely to give Wordsworth a run for his money, but I’d say it’s not without potential!

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Besides, who doesn’t love Daleks? I mean, unless they’re trying to shoot you with their ‘deadly toilet plungers.’

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I find Wordsworth a tad insipid. Wildly beautiful, but not a lot of tension there. Yeah, daffodils are pretty.

I like the Dalek version. Instant tension. What’s going to happen? @RacingDog , you shouldn’t leave us hanging. What happened? When the Daleks flash upon your inward eye, what are they doing?

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That’s why I’m, not an IF author Christopher, I have no idea, LOL. I’ve had a tad over half a century to think of something and haven’t!

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Ah, well that was actually Amanda Walker who tagged you above, and @AmandaB knows a good yarn when she hears one. So that’s at least two of us who would be interested to see where the story went.

If you combined the Daleks with some of your other interests (whippets, crosswords, narrow gauge railways?) then that would be a pretty potent brew to make an IF story out of! Believe me, I’ve played text games with far stranger premises than that.

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