(Note how how my typing goes to hell when I’m in a hurry.) (Actually it’s always like that. I edit a lot when I’m not.)
Anyhow. We’ve had a chance to think over the ideas in that chat session. How about now we kick out some games that explore them? Large, small, or thumbnail experiments welcome. Deadline is May 9th, the day before the next TheoryClub chat.
To repeat the topic:
Yes, I know, everyone’s doing ShuffleComp. I plan to have this PracticeClub monthly, so it will always conflict with something. Besides I’m not doing ShuffleComp so I can promise I’ll have something-or-other.
Post game links in this thread. Actually, start by posting “I will write something-or-other!” in this thread so that we get some momentum going.
Done! Or at least as done as I’m going to be today.
My argument is (A) that variation in time scale is easier to pull off with an explicitly branching world model and (B) that a big disadvantage for traditional parsers is that they’re harder to marry to such a backend. An Earth Turning Slowly tries to fight this incompatibility, first by limiting verbs to a choice few, second by restricting (via autocompletion) verbs’ objects. Autocompletion also lets it include one-off objects that wouldn’t fit so well in the traditional parser paradigm.
Unfortunately, the way the story went, the variation in time isn’t so drastic as some of the examples I read about in the last Theory Club transcript. But I still think the idea is worth considering.
EDIT: see here for the more up-to-date competition entry.
One beta tester ran into formatting problems, including a total loss of non-ASCII punctuation, which I haven’t tracked down yet. If you have similar issues, you might try a different browser.
Heh. I kept thinking of “Jobs for Antioch” when I played your game, Zarf. The treatment of time goes out the window, but the treatment of space is pretty much the same. Much like “The Adventures of the President of the United States”.
this game has opened my mind to a lot of new ideas. New to me, at least: I end up with always the same set of stories, so far…
zarf is cool. I loved the atmosphere and the writing.
Anyway: with the right idea in mind, anything can actually work. I don’t know how much one can expand the thought behind Only Noodles, but it’s impressive. During NightFloyd I didn’t even come close to such a solution.
I don’t want to neglect Maeja’s entry, but it’s a ShuffleComp entry so let’s hold that discussion until Monday. (I just played through it.)
If I were expanding “Only Noodles” into a complete game, I would
Have the locations change over the years. (Pittsburgh mentions “gentrifying”. I would mention the Apple Store moving in down the block in 2004.) (That happened to me, by the way.)
Make the ending heavily dependent on your choices of hobby. If you garden a lot, you wind up as the nucleus of a farming community. If you become a guitar legend, youth gangs form around your music and cause an early collapse of law and order. I don’t know what swing dancing leads to.
Force you to move around in Los Angeles when global warming floods the lower regions.
I totally missed that deadline, and I didn’t write anything. But fortunately I have this prototype from several months ago! It didn’t play well in testing, so I dropped it. But it’s choice-based and it’s got a wacky structure, so maybe it counts.
My Shufflecomp entry “Monkey and Bear” also had some work aforethought into trying to model time in an interesting way, per the same Theoryclub as Maeja tackled. But I didn’t want to fess up until it was over.
Per that Theoryclub, my Shufflecomp entry “Tea and Toast” uses Variable Time Control, which from the intro text was pretty rare. But I don’t know that it otherwise does much with the concerns of that discussion. Basically, I used it to speed up player actions so there would be enough time to do stuff before an in-game alarm clock went off, to make looking and examining go extra fast, and to make waiting take more time in case the player was waiting for the water to boil or the toast to pop.