Well, the opening few sentence of “Miss Duckworthy’s School for Magic-Infested Children” popped into my head last night, so now I’ve started writing (as one does). And apparently it’s a… light-hearted dystopia? I was not expecting that.
I’d say ‘comedic dystopia’ but I’m not funny enough to truly write a comedy (plus it takes away from emotional stakes) but I’ll certainly TRY to be a little bit funny along the way.
I’m a complete novice with using Inform 7, which I only discovered a week ago, but I’m not entirely new to interactive fiction, and not at all new to writing fiction of various kinds. If I can build up my Inform skills before the next IF Comp I’m likely to give it a try.
I’d really like to enter and I do have a partially completed game that I’ve been disaffectedly tinkering with on and off (mostly off) for months and months. The trouble is that I find myself perpetually distracted by other hobbies and life stuff - wilfully distracted really, since pretty much anything else is easier than writing - and so when I do occasionally come back to the old WIP after however long away from it, I’ve forgotten where I’ve got to and find myself plagued with doubts about the whole project. A familiar scenario, I’m sure!
All of which is to say that, provided I manage to gain some traction and start moving more quickly than a gouty tortoise, I might just have it ready by September next year and it can go in the competition, however unsuitable it may be (I mean, it’ll be 10 hours long or something; I just can’t help it).
I’m definitely planning to enter again - it’s been a regular thing for me for a few years now (but was this really your first? I hadn’t realised!).
At this point I’m definitely planning to enter another Bubble Gumshoe mystery, and I’m almost positive it’ll be called Who Whacked Jimmy Piñata? I’m not aiming for a huge game, but I’m hoping to add more polish than in the past.
I also really enjoyed having more than one entry this year, so since I’m trying to have my “main” game finished and tested well in advance, I’ll probably throw in something a little more experimental as well. I know the advice is to get things in the best possible shape and hold off a year if necessary, but so much of the response to anything unusual is down to whether or not judges like the basic idea at all so I’d rather test the waters first and revisit such an idea if it shows promise, and also I’d like to do that in a year when I’ve got a safer entry in the running alongside it. I know on an intellectual level that even the lowest-rated IFComp entries often include some fantastic work, but it still doesn’t feel great to go all-in on something and have it place poorly. I don’t mind so much if I’m not putting all my eggs in one basket.
Welcome to the IF Cabal! Make sure you ask for help if you need it. Peeps around here are super knowledgeable about Inform 7. Also, let us know if your secret decoder ring doesn’t arrive in the mail soon.
As for your potential first game, I shall utter a prayer for your efforts in my newly converted Napkinnian faith. May his copious folds cleanse your heart and hands.
The good version of DICK MCBUTTS went down much better than expected, so I am genuinely curious how a similar story would fare without the horrendously written choiceless mirror version. Maybe not Jack McNutt Gets Whacked in the Butt precisely, but a lowbrow gauntlet-structured game with the same title format. Then again, I’m not absolutely certain I could sustain that kind of “Man Getting Hit by Football in the Groin” humour that long a second time.