Request for Beta-Testers for ParserComp Game: Daddy's Birthday

My 8-year-old daughter typed a walkthrough of a game the day before my birthday. That night and the following day I turned it into a real Inform 7 game so that she could play it after school. It reacts in exactly the same way as her walkthrough, but with some extra parts to guide the player along, and a second potential ending.

It would take about five minutes for an adult to complete quickly – a bit longer for a young child, or an adult who’s exploring as well as following the story along.

We would like to enter it into ParserComp to see what people think, and to give us ideas for improving a couple of earlier (and bigger) unfinished games that we have been working on together. We’d be very grateful to a beta tester for bug hunting and suggestions.

Please reply here or by private message if you are interested. Thank you!

8 Likes

Hi Jonathan,

What an amazing birthday gift! I’d be happy to play through your game and send you a transcript and my thoughts.

You can send me the gamefile in a PM and I’ll get back to you in a few days.

(I’m replying here because your public profile seems to be hidden, making personal messaging impossible.)

2 Likes

Me too. I love to get kids interested in adventures. I’ll be working on my own game during the weekend, but it sounds like it’s only a small game, so I should be able to squeeze it in.

I can’t send a PM because your profile is blocked, but if you can send me a PM with download details, I’ll try to test it in the next few days.

4 Likes

@Jonathan, same as Rovarson and Garry, I would also like to test the game.

3 Likes

Yes, please! I tried to write a parser game for kids a few months ago and I realised how much work it requires, to simplify the standard responses as well as some input commands. I would love to play your game, as it will also teach me lots of things on creating games for kids!

So, yeah, count me in! :sunglasses:

3 Likes

I think the best thing here is that it’s based entirely on a walkthrough written by an eight-year-old. Instead of having an author “dumbing down” adult patterns of thought, this one is built with a child’s approach to adventure as foundation.

5 Likes

Absolutely. “Designed by kids, for kids.” :grin:

Still, since the 8-yo wrote the walkthrough but probably didn’t predict the parser responses, I’m curious to see ways that Inform’s default replies can become more… 8+

EDIT:

but probably didn’t predict the parser responses

… or maybe she did? This makes me even more curious. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

3 Likes

I have to ask , Jonathan, which games does your daughter play, and which game introduced her to IF? My seven-year-old son is interested in the whole adventuring thing, but I have yet to suggest a game that holds his attention past the first puzzle.

2 Likes

For what it’s worth, you will most likely see a game entered by a 10-year old in ParserComp.

I’m not sure if you’ve checked out the games in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam, but the aim was to create a text adventure suitable for children with no prior experience. I haven’t played all the games yet, but I did test five of them. The top rating games are fantastic. Check them out at Submissions to Text Adventure Literacy Jam - itch.io

6 Likes

You’re right! Thanks for reminding me. I’m a bit slow in following everything that’s going on with Adventuron.

1 Like

It wasn’t only Adventuron. At least two of the entries were non-Adventuron. These were two of the ones that I tested and both were very good. Admittedly, 4 of the top 5 were Adventuron, but it was a really tough comp.

2 Likes

Thanks everybody! I will be away this weekend so if you don’t hear from me by PM this afternoon I’ll definitely send it to you on Sunday everning. Is it possible to do that via the itch.io website? I need to get used to it anyway.

Yes it was lovely! I’ll probably release her original story/walkthrough with the game.

That’s odd as the “Allow other users to send me personal messages” option is ticked, and I received a PM yesterday. I wonder what’s up.

She did very well, which made it easy for me! There is one difference, when Inform displays the room description again – but I think I’ll be able to get round that by replacing the relevant standard rule.

Last summer (when she was 7) she saw Zork 1 and loved it. I played it with her, mapping it out as we got to new rooms. We haven’t finished it.

Then we played and finished Lost Pig. It’s a great game but, although it’s child-friendly and fun, I found some of the puzzles quite difficult myself. And she had a go at the beginning of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. We haven’t played any other games yet. It’s more something that we have in the background than an everyday activity.

She wasn’t long into Zork before she was asking about creating her own game, so I had to do some research and decided that Inform 7 would be the easiest language for a child to use, as it’s like writing a story about a story.

I’ve had a quick look at these. As they’re written especially for children they should be good games for her to play independently.

4 Likes

If you’re using itch.io, on your Edit game page:
Set Release status to In development.
Set Visibility & access to Restricted.
Under Restricted access settings, select Also allow a password to view page.

Then send us the url of the game page and the password in a PM.

2 Likes

This is so great! The Dad & Daughter combination and the support being shown is wonderful. Thanks everyone, you are the best. :smiley::pray::+1:

Adam

5 Likes

I highly recommend @Grizel’s ‘Sentient Beings’ and ‘Reflections’. These came first and third respectively in the Text Adventure Literacy Jam. Brilliant graphics, background music and game play that a young girl would really enjoy. Maybe try ‘Reflections’ first. It has a sort of fantasy them and is a little more girlie. ‘Sentient Beings’ is more on the science fiction side, with the emphasis on science, but done in a really cute way. (Tristin is a science teacher.)

I must confess to a certain degree of bias, as I play tested these two games and am Tristin’s number 1 fan. I believe she will be entering something in ParserComp and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.

3 Likes

I’d be interested to play-test, if you still need more play-testers.

3 Likes

Thank you for the honour!

3 Likes

I just realized that what you really got for your birthday was a clerk job. Your daughter did the creative writing and she needed someone to type it out. :grinning:

2 Likes

Yes, she explained that she had not written the game because “that would take months”…

2 Likes