I have a lot of extra time on my hands.
I am working on a couple of I6 parser based stories. My preference is to write in a command line terminal on a RPi. It is working very well for the most part. It is nice to work with a programming language and actually produce something where I can see and ultimately share the results.
I intended for this project to be a modest attempt as an entry into the Imfocom Zil Commemorative Jam. The project is creeping way beyond a small modest game. My technique is causing the number of rooms to grow beyond 40 rooms and likewise with supporting game objects.
To keep everything straight and organized I have resorted to Libre Office Draw for flowchart support and Scrivener on my Windows computer. I have used Scrivener for academic writing in the past, I guess it is becoming a convenient crutch.
So far, I have all of the programming mechanics under control. My biggest hurtle at this point is implementing a help and hint system. I have Emily Shorts HelpRoutines.h but can’t quite yet make it work. I am referring to MenuDemo.inf for guidance. I would like to have Help and Hint systems in place since my target audience is late elementary and middle school students.
I wrote my own help system for my very first game, 20 years ago. The source code is long gone, but I’m sure I just implemented it as a new verb (‘hint’) with a set of nouns that bypassed any scope checking. It had infocom-style invisiclues-style progressive hints, and ratcheted down the player’s score for solving a given puzzle depending on how many of the hints for that puzzle they read.
I wish I still had the source code! Dang!
Thanks Jim. I am working on the help/hint system, mostly getting ideas. Right now the primary game and narrative are the most important. Due to my young student audience, I want to have a fall back help system.
I vaguely recall now that the way I dealt with the issue of scope, as in ‘hint for trap door’, is that that hint is only available when you’re actually in the room with the trap door. It’s a poor man’s solution, but it was my first game.
Sounds like a practical solution. I have been thinking along similar lines with a similar “How to play IF” in the starting room.
This is my first game, too. I just waited until retirement to start writing.
On creep (in IT jargon, creeping featurisms) I remember of the unusual morphing of a project of mine (never for release, because, well, fans wrote fanfiction, fans whose are also IF coders write interactive fanfictions…) whose started as a normal (interactive) fanfiction, but morphed into more and more IF art than IF because, well, I started to refine too well the detail of that’ franchise’s setting, and in due time became a sort of “interactive museum and encyclopaedia of the franchise’s setting” (for the record, the franchise in question don’t have “star” in its title)
I enjoy fan fiction.
At one time I used to frequent fan fiction sites. My children grew up with Potter and all continue to be fans.
The only link to previous fiction with my first game is a vague reference in the title. Most of the story line consists of content from a previous profession.
I am trying to strike a balance between adding features and narrative refinements without having the ending make the PC wonder what happened. “Did you run out of money? Or what?” kind of ending.