My new IF platform for IF newcomers.

Hello. I have been working on a Interactive Fiction platform and i would appreciate your opinion
about it.
My goals were simple:

  • Make the life easier for the newcomers of IF.
  • Help the players when they get lost in the games.
  • Give a pleasing gaming experience to the player.
    In order to accomplish that i created a IF platform along with a drama manager.
    The drama manager is an Artificial Intelligence that tracks the player progress in the game and
    helps the player giving hints and using other actions.
    And i created an editor for this new platform.
    After a few iterations i ended up creating this interface that by itlself helps the player showing
    only the options that he can take.

    This image is just an example of the interface, the player options are clickable instead of written,
    the inventory can be checked by clicking where it says “inventory”. To exit you can click where it
    says “exit” at the bottom. There is no save or load option yet, because the games are much faster.

Notice, this IS NOT for IF “veterans”, the goal is to make the life easier for the newcomers to this
kind of games. The first impact can be very demotivational, after trying 7 or 8 text commands and
none of them helped at all. There are amazing IF games with exciting narratives and i think
everyone should be able to enjoy them.
So, what do you think of it? Is there anything that i don’t have and i should have, or something
that i have and i shouldn’t?

My impression of the screenshot is that it looks like a simulation-driven multiple-choice game, the kind that has a parser-like word model but is controlled by making selections from a list.

I can’t envision how your drama manager would help the player. I believe there’s an Inform 7 extension that tries valiantly to explain to the player what is going wrong if the player seems confused, based on command input. (I don’t know exactly what that extension does, not having used I7 very much.) I can’t imagine how your drama manger could help the player based on a multiple-choice model, unless it’s specific to the puzzles/story of the individual game, in which case I imagine it would have to be reprogrammed for each new game.

Just some thoughts. Introducing new players to IF in a friendly manner is certainly a worthy effort. :slight_smile:

It’s hard to say just from a screenshot, but this looks to me a bit like RAGS without the horrible multiple windows. How developed is the world model?

Graphically it’s not enormously consistent – there’s a tribal-tattoo thing at the bottom, clip-artish icons for options, a sort of aged-paper background but the body text in a clashing white box, and the image has a photo-album conceit that isn’t really extended to the other elements. I think that if you’re going for a graphical interface, it should either be simple and austere (like ChoiceScript) or glossy and professional-looking (like Undum); half-measures are the worst of all possible worlds.

Another consideration: the general assumption about newbie-friendly platforms is that they should be as web-based as possible. Downloading an interpreter is a stumbling-block for a significant number of players; most IF languages now have play-in-browser tools, and most CYOA platforms are browser-native. A CYOA-ish platform that doesn’t run in a browser (or, I suppose, on a mobile device) is going to have problems with adoption, I suspect.

This looks interesting. However, many people who have played point and click adventures still don’t know their way around a text parser.

I think the best way to help people learn IF is to do some sort of tutorial on how to use a parser and ideas of what commands (verb and object combinations) might be likely to be more relevant.

I want to start by thank to you Bainespal, maga, and Ste by taking your time to answer me.
I belive i haven’t made the right question, i wanted to know if my interface was good and if you would change anything and why.
I started by explaining my goals, because i didn’t want to just ask “What do you think of this interface?” and tell nothing more.
The interface can be fully editable, background, inventory icon, the tribal marks, everything can be changed in the editor.
I made it that way because i wanted the author of the games to be able of customize it whether he wanted a professional looking or more cartoonish.
I agree that this should be done in a web-based platform but i only got to that conclusion after i done this.
And i think maybe i should have made a more “hybrid” interface to start introducing the newcomers to the text comands.