Part 1: Timing
Look, I have to say it right now. The game was so hinged on perfect timing. Everything worked perfectly.
Don’t believe me?
Ahem… the game started at the beginning of a new academic year where I used my laptop in lessons. I was able to start working on it almost immediately. And I had loads of ideas in my head. Like, tons.
The first plan for the game I made, you skipped Magrathea altogether, immediately finding yourself in Slartibartfast’s ship, the Starship Bistromath, with only a short monologue explaining how you got there (I planned on having the part where Slarty picks up Arthur in the book to go to the mice be actually inside said starship, which wouldn’t have worked so well).
But thankfully, I was saved from what would have been a not-very-great game by (very soon after making the plan) coming across @Adam_S 's documentation of his and Stu Galley’s (if I am correct?) plans on the unmade game, which gave me the idea (albeit different from the original, but mostly the same) for the radio/plant puzzle.
Already a good amount, but there’s more!
SIDE NOTE: Originally I planned to work in Quest, but I thought, “Why not go full in?” and learnt ZIL. It’s much better than people say. Though against Inform, I dunno.
When I was working on the game, about the same time when I had finished a first draft of Magrathea, but still quite detailed, my laptop decided it was fed up with life and attempted defenestration on its hardware. In literal terms, it crashed in unexplainable ways (no I hadn’t got a virus, I was veeeery picky with my stuff) and, since I had an SSD storage, they couldn’t retrieve my storage without, like 2000 SGD. So… I restarted.
(Not a good timing, but still worth noting!)
At this point, I shifted my game to the new parser - see chapter 3.
The rest of the time passed mostly uneventfully, except when I accidentally deleted the OS from my computer and had to restart the Big Bang level (moreover the WRITE verb disappeared as well, which is a veeery annoying one).
And at about July I decided I was done with the game. I’m SO GLAD I didn’t forget about it, because since then I got compliments from ClubFloyd, and even finished the three-verbs problem (see chapter 3)! And, got an altogether better game.
…Although, as you’ll know, it was nowhere near finished.