Looking for a coder willing to help out on a short project

I’ve only just recently started using TADs3 to make my own IF game. Problem is, I’m completely new to programming and I realize now that I will not be getting this done alone.

The IF I wanna make is a short one, no more than 10 rooms, which will serve only as a quick introduction to a pen & paper RPG I’ll be running. It will also be fairly simple, probably requiring no more than a few hours of a skilled coder’s time.

Should you be interested in helping out, I’ll be providing you with all the information you’ll need to code the game (story, objects, locations ect). Once completed, I plan for the resulting game to be posted on IFDb, where the players from my Pen & Paper RPG can go to play it.

If you are interested in helping out, please let me know by dropping a comment here. Any and all help will be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

I posted that I was looking for a writer last night. I have been working my an IF engine, and someone dedicated the actual design part would be a blessing…It will leave me time to worry about finishing my goal and creating a good engine. So yeah I’de be interested in helping you out for sure. Also I love Pen and Paper games, used to GM a little system a while back…Anyhow contact me!

I’ve been looking for a project to get some practice with, specifically, Inform. I’m a software developer by profession.

I’ve made some simple projects with Inform 6 and 7 to get a feel for the languages, but nothing with any meat–little more than programming exercises.

I’m also a decent proofreader, if it matters.

All offers to help are welcome, so thanks both of you, I appreciate the quick response.

To start, i’ll be posting all the available material I have. From there, you guys can take a look at it and we can then discuss how best to proceed. Note that I’ve already written some basic code (rooms and exits and such) and have it saved in a .t file, though If we’re using inform, that might not be of much use.

It’ll probably take a few days to make my whole brainstorm presentable, so ill be posting bits here and there as it’s ready.

Some things to keep in mind:

  1. I am -far- from worthy of being called a programmer. I have a very basic understanding of html and java, but that’s it. This project is a simple one meant to get me to learn some code, so though you are helping me make an IF, you are also, indirectly, teaching me how to code. That’s not to say that I’ve just conned you into giving me free tutoring lessons :stuck_out_tongue: just that you can expect me to be asking a lot of questions, so I can learn from you as much as I can.

  2. The reason id started using TADS3 is because, from my understanding, it’s WebUI library has a client/server mode which allows it to be played (without download or installation) in any browser. It’s also my understanding that IFDb hosts IF games freely on their site, all that’s needed is that we upload our completed game’s .t file.

That said, i’m definitely open to alternatives, so if you guys are intent on using something other than TADS3, I don’t mind. The only prerequisite for me is that we be able to host the game freely, so it can be played without downloads or installs, through any browser.

Finally, is this thread an acceptable place to coordinate the project from? Or, would private messages work better?

Once again, thanks for all the help :slight_smile:

Oh darn, I don’t do web dev… Sorry about that.

  1. IFDB doesn’t host games itself, but the IF Archive does, and IFDB links to the IF Archive and facilitates web play, so it amounts to pretty much the same thing.

  2. Most IF platforms include low-effort web support at this point, including Inform, TADS 3, Quest and ADRIFT.

I suggest you take a look at Inform 7 if you haven’t yet. It uses a natural language syntax that’s very friendly to non-developers. You may even decide you don’t need a developer at all (not that I’m in any way withdrawing my offer).

I have no problem working in the open. It may be useful to others someday and we may get some helpful feedback.

As maga said, Inform has easy web support. (iplayif.com, which is used by IFDB)


Thanks for the clarifications :wink:

@ JesseH

In any case, thanks for offering to help. Best of luck to you on your project.


Thanks for the suggestion, i’ll definitely be taking a look at inform. As for the rest, looks like we’re all set to get going :slight_smile:

I’ll start by sending you a few maps I got ready, along with any info tied to them. This is mostly reference material that we’ll be using. Note that the maps won’t show any puzzles/objects/NPCs just yet, this is simply for you to get a feel for the sort of IF we’ll be working on.

Map 1 (Starting Map):

Info: This map pretty much contains the entirety of the locations in our IF. The starting point is the drifting space shuttle. It’s interior is mapped in the next image.

Map 2 (Space Shuttle A.K.A ‘Mule’):

Info: Not counting the airlock, there are three accessible areas inside the shuttle (Marked with green doorways). Waking up inside, the player will need to explore the craft and find a way to access the cockpit so he can then attempt to fly the craft and try to reach the nearby space station.

Map 3 (Derelict Space Station Interior/Main Floor):

Info: 7 Areas on this floor. This is where most of the game will take place.

…More on the way

I went ahead and made a very simple Inform 7 project with your maps. It’s attached.

There’s basically nothing to do; I just mapped out the locations. I had to guess what certain rooms were, and the descriptions–where there are descriptions at all–are simple placeholders (I am most definitely not a writer). You can’t get to any of the space station rooms without debugging commands.

(also, I didn’t know what the game is to be called, so I just called it Derelict temporarily)
Derelict.inform.zip (677 KB)

Well that was fast… :astonished: Excellent though, this will do fine. And you were right, just looking at it, Inform does look significantly easier to use then TADs.

Here’s a quick list of room names and their connectors.

Outer Space

All areas port, aft and starboard should have fake connectors which displays something like “Space stretches on endlessly in that direction. The shuttle has just enough power to get you to the space station. Better not risk it”

Even though the linearity is a bit boring here, better that they can only follow a straight path to the NE until they reach the docking bay.

Space Shuttle:

  1. Cockpit (Top most)
  2. Cargo Bay (Middle)
  3. Airlock (NE of Cargo Bay)
  4. Quarters (Bottom most)

Space Station:

  1. Hangar Bay:
    One exit = West Elevator -> down to 2

  2. Reactor Core - Control Room:
    Four exits =
    West Elevator -> up to 1
    East Elevator -> down to 10
    North Elevator -> up to 9
    South -> to 3

Note: But for one exception, the rest of the room exits are self evident on the map, so I won’t be listing those from here on

  1. Life Support - Control/Monitoring Room

  2. L-Shaped Corridor

  3. Maitenance Storage Bay

  4. Waste Disposal - Control Room

  5. Engineering

  6. Engineering Storage Bay

  7. Life Pod Hangar Room
    Two exits =
    East Evelator -> down to 2
    Life Pod interior -> victory/completion marker

  8. Station’s Sytsem Core Area

So, just to be sure I understand the overall flow of the game:

  1. You start the game piloting the shuttle, moving around in space. (map 1)
  2. You reach the space station, and then you start moving around inside the shuttle. (map 2)
  3. You get out of the shuttle and board the space station (map 3).
  4. You explore the space station and reach the life pod, winning the game.

My idea is for the player to wake up inside the shuttle, probably in the quarters. Initially, he will be locked out of the cockpit and will need to piece together the access codes for the door’s electronic lock. Once he’s gained access to the cockpit, he can then attempt to fly the craft to the space station. So, something like this:

  1. Player wakes up inside Space Shuttle Quarters (map 2)
  2. Player searches the two initially accessible rooms (Quarters and Cargo Area) in order to find the access codes to the cockpit. (map 2)
  3. Player gains entry to the cockpit and can fly the shuttle to the space station (map 2)
  4. Player reaches space station (map 1)
  5. Player exits shuttle and enters space station (map 2 -> map 3)
  6. Player navigates the Space station interior, solve all puzzles and makes it to the lifepod hangar (map 3)
  7. Player leaves the station aboard the lifepod (Game ends)

Before I forget, I’ve got an idea for a mechanic to be used in game and I wonder how difficult it would be to implement. Basically, the idea is that the player is wearing a space suit which is quickly running out of oxygen (say enough for 15 moves as the game starts). Somewhere aboard the station, a spare oxygen supply tank can be found, which will allow the player to complete the game without needing to worry of running out again. On the flip side if the player fails to find the spare oxygen in time, game over.

[EDIT] I just realized the file I uploaded was out of date. The correct one is attached now.

That shouldn’t be a problem.

Anyhow, I’ve attached the latest update. You can get into the cockpit by solving a very simple “puzzle”, which is just a placeholder for the actual puzzle. From there, you can start navigating the shuttle around space.

Two problems I’m having so far, if anyone would like to toss in some help:

(If you’re playtesting, please don’t read these until you’re done.)

[spoiler]1) The command for typing in a number for the cockpit door keypad is “type 12345 on keypad”. The trouble is, if you just do the command “type 12345” in the room with the keypad, it defaults to trying to type in the number on the scrap of paper that happens to be in the same room. I don’t know how to tell Inform to prefer the keypad when supplying the missing noun. I’m guessing this is something simple that I’m just missing.

  1. I have a variable that stores the last “Outer Space” region room the player was in (the “last space location”), so if they step away from the ship controls and continue exploring the shuttle, they’ll be in the same space location they were in before. The problem I’m having is that the variable never seems to change from its initial state (the Vast Reaches room). Here’s the code I have for updating the variable:

After going somewhere from a room in Outer Space: say "You pilot the Mule across an expanse of space."; now the last space location is the location; continue the action.
This was the last thing I worked on before I stopped for the night, so, even more than the previous problem, it’s likely I’m missing something obvious.[/spoiler]
Derelict FIXED.inform.zip (695 KB)
Derelict.inform.zip (695 KB)

Did you ever solve your problem?