Night of the Demon - Chapter 1 Available for Playtesting

Hi all,

It is with some trepidation that I am putting my first text adventure game out there for public scrutiny. I’ve had the idea for a while and the COVID lockdown has finally given me the time to turn that idea into something tangible.

https://www.cobwebbedforest.co.uk/pavilion/Demon/index.php

Only chapter 1 is playable at the moment, which is relatively small (15 locations) and straight-forward and should give you a feel for the style, design, and writing. This is the first time that I have written an app like this before, so I welcome any and all comments and suggestions from the experienced folks on this forum - whether that’s bugs in the code, irksome kinks in the logic, typographical and grammatical errors, comments on the colour scheme, etc. HELP (and MORE HELP) is available from the command line, should you need it.

Many thanks,
Lee

P.S. I know it’s not great on a mobile phone, but viewing it in “desktop mode” makes it better :slight_smile:.

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I hope you find some people to help you out, because in a few months (or so) I’m going to need the same kind of help… but at the moment I don’t have much extra time… Good luck and welcome!

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Cheers, @johnnywz00, thank you.

I’ve been reading through a lot of the posts here and I suspect my tastes a more “old-school” than the current fashion for IF, so I might be missing the mark with my first game. We’ll see - the game will continue to grow and develop in the background, so if you did find yourself with half an hour to spare at any time and fancied chancing your arm at my game, any and all feedback would be appreciated.

All right, you got me at “old school” :-p I love the old parser adventure too… I’ll try to find a half-hour today!

I did not play extensively, but I just popped in to take a look. I was extremely impressed by the implementation. I liked that standard IF abbreviations worked, and how streamlined the game is since everything is spelled out. Also how items are listed - they don’t show up at first, but it puts the specific interesting things you might want to check out in focus as you search around.

I understand it is old school and the writing was appropriate but, as with everything in this phase, could do with polishing. But that engine! Very solid presentation, great that it’s browser playable and not so immediately off-putting as wall-o’-text adventures sometimes can be.

I appreciate you taking the time to take a look and comment, @HanonO.

Having started this project before I discovered this site, and having subsequently read quite a bit about “don’t ever under any circumstances create your own parser”, I was beginning to worry I’d chased myself down a dead-end by writing this from scratch - so your comments on my implementation and presentation are welcomingly reassuring!

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I don’t know how much of a parser is under the hood, and my observations are from a very short play, but it appears you have a handle on what you’re doing.

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Just finished the game, got about 60% progress. I like that it rewards you for being a little extra persistent and poking around in places, but some actions felt a little tedious, thought that is likely due to the fact I don’t play text-input adventures. An example of this was getting the bottle and box even after I had the key; another was having to move back when looking out each direction at the top of the tower.

I would suggest maybe allowing the player to skip mundane steps like “Unlock” when trying to “Open” something while you have the key but then again, that’s just a minor preference. Overall, I liked that my mental map of the area kept expanding with notes of interesting places to go when I was on the tower.

Cheers @SamHunny, I appreciate you taking the time to play (and feed back).

I think you’re right, it would be more elegant to make OPEN and UNLOCK synonymous in the vestry and I’ll have a think about what to do about the top of the tower.

So much to consider when writing these kinds of games - even though I’m still only tinkering with chapter 1, it’s really opened my eyes to the work involved!

Cheers,
Lee

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What I did with my game was combine choices that were similar or had too similar outcomes. I think that’s why Unlock and Open were annoying because, fundamentally, they do the same thing but make me have to say it twice. The less options you have to type, the less likely you’ll be confused about how to use items.

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