Place for absolute newbies to share projects?

I don’t know if this is a good question. I’m usually a forum-averse person because I’m always afraid there are unsaid rules of etiquette that I’ll accidentally break. but people here seem nice

After spending some time nosing around in the source code of some of my favorite games, today I downloaded Inform and started tinkering using what I gleaned from them to make something and reading whatever popped up when I made a mistake to fix it. Imagine my surprise when ~3 hours later I had something that runs, has rooms, does anything at all, and even has something resembling a puzzle to solve. Is there an existing thread or other kind of place where newbies can marvel at our creations and look at each others simple projects to see the way other people who know little are working things out?

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It might be nice to have a snippets thread or something like that! A lot of us use snippets to demonstrate code. They embed in forum posts and can even compile.

There’s a character limit; for bigger projects we’d have to do something else.

I’m a bit of a beginner, so I would be interested in whatever comes of this.

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That’s actually a good question. I’m not an Inform 7 user, but the question is appropriate to everyone.

If the game is very early in the development phase, I think most people would put it on GitHub, GitLab or itch.io and ask people to look at it from there. In the case of itch.io, you can mark the project as “In development” and protect it with a password so that it’s not available for public consumption.

You can ask people to look at it in the Beta Testing category on the forum. Just make sure that they know what you expect of them.

Also, keep in mind that if you have any ambitions of entering it in a jam or competition at some point, most competitions require the game to be an original that has not previously been released, so don’t make it public, just in case you later decide to enter it in a comp.

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I would be game for a snippets thread.

(Also, welcome to the forum! You lucked out. We only eat every 7th newbie. :wink: )

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If you’re just wanting to post an example game, the previously mentioned Borogove is great. You can upload small games there for public sharing, and you can link people to your game. If you use one of the listed systems that allow online creation in the IDE on Borogove and make it on the “Snippets” tab, you can copy the share link it gives you and post it inline here so people can view the source and play and test directly on the forum.

Good categories for experimental prototyping would be Authoring (choose the sub forum for your system if applicable) or Beta Testing Requests and Discussion .

Be aware if you publicly share a full game anywhere (here or on a site like Borogove), that makes it no longer eligible for some competitions like IFComp.

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I concur and agree about a code snippet thread. will be useful not only to newbies.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

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Thank you! I’m not sure I have such ambitions yet, but for future reference if I shared a snippet here and then later expanded it would that be disqualifying or only if it was the full game?

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That’d be a case by case determination. I suppose it depends on how much of the full game was released and also which Comp, as the culture around each one varies.

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If it’s just a snippet where you were asking a question or showing a neat trick, I’m sure that would be fine.

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sounds like we are in the market for a snippet thread!

I’ll put what I made here if any of my new threadfellows are curious.

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I’m sure they’d take it on a case-by-case basis. The rule for IFComp is the game must not be publicly available before the judging period. A bit of code you’re getting help with usually isn’t an issue. If you post the entire opening of the game that might put it in jeopardy since IntroComp games have been deemed ineligible for IFComp.

Often you may not want to spoil your game or give away plot, secrets, or surprises when getting help. What a lot of people do is post ‘pseudocode’ which is a manufactured scenario to recreate the problem with generic objects that don’t give anything away.

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I won! Well done completing your first mini Inform 7 game. :tada:

One point of constructive feedback—I’d suggest implementing “line” and “circle” as objects to avoid this situation:

>x walls
spongy brown clay. there is a faint line on the north wall in the shape of a circle.

>x line
You can't see any such thing.

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I think asking “hey, is there anything immediate I could fix/I’m not aware of in this code” would be useful to me. We had people willing to help when I started, but maybe not a big enough community–and GitHub wasn’t really a thing.

I’d love to see more code-sharing from rookies and experienced programmers alike. I suspect when experienced programmers share when/where they’re stuck, newbies might say “Oh! I didn’t know you could do (X)!” so that’s powerful.

It’d be neat if there were a weekly topic for that.

Welcome aboard. I hope we continue to be as nice as you say we seem in your first post :slight_smile:, to you and others with the courage to ask questions.

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Thank you, Tabitha!
it’s funny, it can be hard to think as the player thinks when 'tis I who made the toy
but that’s the fun

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Andrew Schultz!
I must tell you, I played Shuffling Around in the last few days and it is what inspired me to experiment with Inform. Fancy running into you here. Thank you!
Thud! Scrawl. Zen!

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I agree with Garry that this apply to many systems though that does not rule out a specific Inform 7 newbie corner.

Perhaps it is possible to make a “Never Ending Interactive Fiction Newbie Jam” on itch.io?
Newbies can easily present their work and downloads and online play is easy.

Or an open repository on Github? (not sure if an admin has to accept each entrant on Github?)

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For such a jam, it is important that the bar to entry must be just right- low enough to encourage novice IF writers to display their work there, and high enough for good quality stuff to be seen there, since I’m hoping it will be the Tokyo Game Show of IF, much like IFComp is IF’s version of E3.

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Just thinking about this, I don’t think you can have a perpetual jam. A game jam has to have a closing date. There would also be no easy way of promoting new “games”. Newbies entering games would need to promote these themselves in some way. Newbies would also have to join itch.io and they may not feel confident enough to do that. GitHub and GitLab are also a bit overwhelming for newbies.

Nevertheless, something like this is a good idea in principle.

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I like the snippet idea because the fairly small character limit will reduce the likelihood of disqualifying work from a competition. They’re also informal, which might be appealing to beginners vs an actual public release.

Itch is cool, though, just as long as people understand the implications of sharing content from future games. The community is so event-focused that missing out on comps would probably be a big disappointment. As long as this trouble can be avoided, I like the idea.

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Fwiw, many jams have end dates years or even literal centuries in the future. Pragmatically a perpetual jam.

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