Well, you need to be motivated to keep creating. Cadre’s been around for so long, and came up with so many games, so many of them in very different formats… The joy of creating takes you only so far, and there’s a lot of frustration in the creation process; eventually you start asking yourself why you’re doing it all.
In some level you’re doing it for yourself; but mostly you’re doing it for other people, for the players. That’s what the design process is geared towards. If you find people aren’t talking about your game at all, that must feel like a failure.
Come to think of it, that may be why we don’t see Gentry around… Jack Toresal had a pretty abysmal reception. I mean, personally I have very little to say about the game - it’s competent in many ways, attractive in many others, but it totally failed to make an impression on both times I’ve played it. Unlike Blue Men and, of course, Anchorhead.
I though Endless, Nameless was too entrenched in IF past history (as an oldschool adventure) and in recent community (you’ll know what I mean if you’ve finished the game) to be really attractive for everyone. It’s a wonderful game, but a very specific one, every bit as experimental as Photopia was. Some experimental works find very wide appeal; others get specialised interest.
I would be very sad if we never saw another Cadre game.
I want to know that too. If the “IF Theory” book is anything to go by, there was a lot more discussion about theory.
Mind, I’ve a feeling the people around back then were not the same people around now. I6 and Tads and Hugo and Alan… heavy programming stuff. Now we have simple Twine, and attractive I7. People of a different mindset are getting into the game, and these may not be necessarily the programmer types who are really passionate about the intricacies of game design and exploration of the medium.
I’m just verbalising some impressions I have, mind. For what it’s worth.
I mean, recently someone started talking about relative movement. And what did I do? I proceeded to link him to the various existing threads on the subject. At the time it seemed sensible. Now, in light of this thread, it’s like I killed a conversation before it started saying “We’ve been through that already”. But the thing is, we have; it’s not productive to keep having the same conversation over and over again, is it?
So much has been said already. Newcomers who are interested in the theory and the heavy discussion have a lot to wade through. The veteran IFers here lived through it; me and tons more others here read about it after the fact. That makes a lot of difference.
EDIT - It could also be that we need a little more drama. Not the really ugly stuff, not the trolling. But it might be that there’s a balance that keeps a group healthy, and that balance includes a bit of drama, a bit of tension, and usually a bit of wit to disarm that tension.
This is not, however, something that the community in general will share, I know. Still. At least Pudlo talked about games, y’know? It was insulting and rude and pretentious, but it was about games and you could have an (exasperating) argument with the guy… or disarm him with logic. Before I derailed the Brothers thread too much, there was an interesting (and, for some like me, equally exasperating on some levels!) discussion about sexism in games. That’s where I learned where the line was that I could not cross, but hey, we were talking about games, which is great. And I found out that I seem to be in a minority where the really vast majority of the games I play are not sexist, which must have contributed somewhat to a certain naïveté on my part.
I felt the “IF is dead” thread did more damage to this sort of discussions than anything else. Not because of the thread itself, but because of the sudden escalation. If you’re in a place where things can escalate like that and veer off totally into something else entirely, and where that escalation is rationalised and accepted by outstanding members of the community, yeah, you’re going to think five times before posting, and by then you don’t bother.
Thing is, of course, there’s still discussion going on. It hasn’t been killed off. And it’s just as passionate, I daresay. Some recent discussion about game design with “A Long Drink” was very interesting indeed. I just think some headbutting now and again is a good thing.
EDIT 2 - Some things are also not quite as revelant. I’m not sure “Mimesis” is such a hot topic now as it was back then. Breaking mimesis was, and I get this impression from the IF Theory Book, almost a criminal act, and you can see a few games from that time making fun of that. Nowadays, mimesis is totally optional, depending on what sort of game you’re making, and no one blinks as long as the game is bug-free enough to be enjoyable.
Hey, maybe that’s because back then there were more programmers in the pot, and that might have meant there were less buggy games, and therefore the focus was on something else. Now that we have less programmers, due to the tools we have, we may be going “Yeah, well, mimesis is all well and good, but first you actually have to make the game playable”.
Again, I’m just thinking aloud. My impressions are probably totally off.