Question about soliciting high-level design feedback on the forum

As I wrap up work on v2.0 of my first Inform 7 game I want to start work on my second game, which I also plan on creating with Inform 7.

Since my Inform experience is limited to a single game, and my second game will be slightly different from the first, I was wondering how people would feel about me posting a high-level scenario and mockups here for comment and feedback.

My hope is that people with more development experience with Inform 7 could help identify areas that might be difficult to implement using Inform 7 (I’m quite willing to change the design to accommodate the tool).

Has anyone ever done something like this before on the forums or is it better to solicit feedback and opinions from a smaller group?

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I feel like this sort of use case is almost perfect for the new Story Research section.

Just be clear about what sort of feedback you’re looking for.

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I’ve been doing this with my recent game in this thread (I actually came on here to make another post there). It’s been pretty good; some times it gets a ton of feedback and sometimes little, depending on time of day, what kind of content, etc. I think it helps to indicate what kind of feedback you want on your post and each sub-post, because for me sometimes I just want to talk and don’t care if no one is listening, but other times I need crucial help fast. So indicating that is good.

If that doesn’t work, messaging people you trust can help, and mockups can too. When I had the idea to make a game called Grooverland honoring Chandler Groover, the first thing I did was make a very basic mockup in Inform and send it to him, asking if it was okay. I’m not sure he even looked at the mockup because he liked the idea either way, but it was nice to have the option.

If you do post a mock-up, it could help to indicate how long it is; people are often leery of starting a game and having it last for hours, so if you say ‘this is five rooms and you can look through them in 15 minutes’ it could draw in more people.

Releasing your game publicly can disqualify you from several events, but publicly shared code does not (at least for IFComp (rule 3) and Spring Thing), so if your mockup is small you could post it all here in a collapsible section, or, if larger, you could just dm people the file. (edit: I decided not to post on my dev diary right after this after all because typing it out fixed the problem for me).

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I tested your game up in it’s v 1.0 version. That was a good game. I ran out of time in the v2.0 but I will be proud of testing your game if you need some testing.

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Excellent! I was looking for a section like this and I’ll use it for any solicitation of feedback (I also moved this thread to that section).

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Not remotely dictating, to be clear, but you may get more traction posting your concept to a new topic instead of adding to this existing post. If that isn’t your intention please forgive the assumption.

By “mockups” I meant rough screens created with a tool like Balsamiq Wireframes outlining how the screens would look and some additional verbiage as to what you could do on each screen. Very high-level and “sketchy” (sorry, I should have been a bit clearer in my initial post).

I would be looking for feedback like “This should be easy using XYZ extension but ABC is totally impossible with Inform 7.” so I could modify my initial design or do some research spikes to get around potential obstacles.

I don’t think this type of post would disqualify the final game from being entered into a future competition. Do you?

Haven’t thought about doing this during actual development but I’ll keep it in mind (I usually write notes and design docs for myself during development but don’t publish them on the forum, saving that type of posting for specific code questions).

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Thanks. If I move ahead with this I think I would create a new topic instead of adding to this post (this one was just to feel out the possibility).

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