A few years ago, my coauthor and I released “Vain Empires,” which quickly became known as the best game ever, provided the one and only criterion you use in judging games is how many times they use the word ‘usufructuary’. (Our game has one, with every other IF game tied with zero.) Enough time has passed since then that I’m slowly starting to write another (unrelated) game now, and I thought hearing about other people’s works in progress might motivate me to get to the finish line. So, to whatever degree of specificity you feel like sharing: What new IF stuff are you working on?
Too many projects… I’ve even made myself a calendar to help me stay on track ( I won’t, I already know it).
But I’m almost done with my Recipe Jam
It’s a mini cooking sim parser. Bit (a lot) snarky. Definitely cursed in the food department.
This definitely brings out my PTSD.
Spoiler: Violent scene. NSFW
For some value of “working on”: Rise of the Necromancer.
It was inspired by playing the D&D video game ‘Neverwinter Nights’. The plot of NWN is broadly about a cult that try to take over the city of Neverwinter using a deadly plague. As the hero you try to foil their plans.
As much as I enjoyed playing NWN, I thought it might be even more fun to be the cult and to try to take over the city. So the titular PC is a junior necromancer, only survivor of a cult of necromancers purged by the lords of the The City, that vows revenge.
The idea is a game that is part narrative/part generative that offers a range of ways to take over and impose your dark will.
I’ve made a number of stabs at it. Most recently, during the pandemic, using Twine. It was my frustrations with that experience that lead to me building my own system, Rez.
Now I am mostly done with building Rez my attention is slowly turning back towards the actual game
Yep. I have one I’ve been fiddling with for 2 years but I can’t figure out how to end it. I have another that I think might just be too hard for me to do at this stage in my career and might not be worth all the work. A third that’s all sketched out except, of course, the end. And another that has a great story (and ending!) but crappy puzzles that I can’t seem to fix. I flit back and forth between them all but don’t get any real progress made on any of them. Although this might be because I haven’t had the time or energy to focus on writing/coding recently.
[Insert laughing gif]
I have a small project for Seedcomp that I’ve been working on every now and then but haven’t been super motivated for, where you have stolen power from a fairy and can swap the names of things, with everyone treating things according to whatever you named them (so if you name a dog ‘security guard’ he can walk through security checkpoints). I’m pretty sure that to motivate myself to finish it I’ll have to make it very small, but then I’m worried people would be disappointed in its small size.
Looks like someone found the sequel to Counterfeit Monkey, I guess! (set “dog” = “security guard”). And if this is the case, then it couldn’t be very small as you said.
Welcome to Hellwaters is underway, with a central gimmick that I’m not allowed to reveal at this point in time. Maybe closer to IF Comp '24.
You did just publish a gargantuan project. I think you have some leeway right now to do smaller things.
Why? They’d get a mathbrush game…
(sidenote: I really liked your SingleChoice entry last year. Small/bite size games are good and fun!)
I’ve got a few long standing projects. All parser games:
- a bibliographic/dreamlike short piece (largely written)
- a seaside community mystery (early days)
- a historical mystery (partially designed, much to do)
- another historical mystery (comes out of a MUD castle I coded 30+ years ago)
- a game based around museum artefacts (early days)
And the one I’m aiming to enter into IF Comp this year is called “Bad Beer”. Though I had hoped to be further along with it now. A dire start to the year with my neurological illness then a second bout of Covid has not helped! But back to it soon.
Hmm working on three projects at the moment:
 One King to Loot them All (version 2 - post IFComp release)
Due to overwhelming feedback from IFComp (thank you all reviewers and players!), I spent some time on updating my IFComp entry “One King to Loot them All” to version 2.
Now with “live” commentary by Roger & Wilco as you play the game, exposing the ultra secret Easter Eggs, things which tripped me up, little tidbits on where the hell I got some ideas from and the like. Now pending feedback from the poor souls (Pinkunz, if you are reading this, you are of course excused) who agreed to have a look at my latest attempt at writing…
 One King to Loot them All (Twine version) for Spring Thing back garden
Still in development - I migrated the complete story to Twine (including some of the tricks I pulled in my parser version), and am now attempting to add some artwork to the game. Also learning about colors and trying to find good combos for dark and light mode. Currently it looks something like this:
 Pack Rat for IFComp 2024
Sorry cannot share any details for the usual reasons. I am currently working to port some mechanics from my One King game into this one, and then it is back to getting things to work in Inform7 and a lot more writing…
It’s still in the early stages and I don’t know if it will actually go anywhere, but I’m currently working on a Twine game where you solve puzzles by changing the genre of the story.
I have taken a break from writing for a couple years, mainly due to my mother’s declining health before her passing, and I’ve now been trying to get flow going again. I actually was off with no obligations yesterday. My thing is if I have an idea I always set up a title screen in Twine and leave it there so it’s ready to write. I started this one in the afternoon and when I looked up it was 11pm and the cats were staring at me like “YOU MOOVING FROM CHAIR TODAY HOOMAN?”
That’s cool…because when I grab the muse-hand that is normally what happens - hours melt away and I’m in the zone. That’s also why I had to stop writing for a while because I couldn’t get so involved in anything for such a long period without interruption.
My other issue is I’ve always been a night-owl whose muse visits at night, and right now I work from home 430pm-1am, the last part of it is typing answering customer service emails. When I get off work the last thing I want to do is type more and if I grab the hand it’ll be 6am and I really should sleep when possible! It’s hard for me to wake up and write but that’s what I need to work on.
Yeah, this is supposed to be “what are you working on” and not “excuses for why you’re not working on something”…
I’ve kind of started the same conceptual story in three different styles. Essentially it’s yet again "erotic thriller with hidden layers* - I know ho-hum, Hanon’s writing nasty stuff again… I’ve gotten request messages from my itch audience specifically for a “gay” M/M only game which I’m up for and started but doesn’t have enough ingredients yet. So that’s a fourth game I’ve written an intro for. That’s not unusual since I usually have several disparate ideas and then eventually go I can Frankenstein these all together into one thing…
I probably need to write some shorter, less complex games rather than the usual epic-length projects. But that complexity is what I really like - the Doki Doki Literature Club kind of trick where you play for two hours and go “oh, this is something else completely…”
Still working on Budacanta. Currently trying to figure out how to get the characterisation to develop in a manner that is both mechanically and emotionally satisfying. Will probably look back on it after it’s done and realise there was a much easier way of doing it, but I won’t get that lightbulb until after I’ve done it the difficult way.
Requested by one of my lecturers as a bonus project: an interactive fiction game with adaptive music where you are an octopus. I’d tell you the title if I’d thought of it yet, but I do have a plotline, I’ve completely worked out the emotional arc (in that sense it is ahead of Budacanta) but not quite there with the mechanical arc (in that sense it is behind Budacanta). However, it’s a much smaller-scope of game, so I’m tentatively hoping to have a testable version done by the end of May.
I’ve thought about this! Like, how to do a game where your brain/consciousness is split up 9 ways and each part has its own intelligence and independent decision-making ability, yet somehow it all works together.
Very cool project!
For historical reference:
Suspended has the player immobile controlling five robot NPCs each specializing in one of the human senses: vision, touch, hearing, tasting, smelling. Each one would describe locations and objects differently from their point of reference. Often a description wouldn’t make sense and you’d have to send the vision robot over to the touch robot to explicitly figure out what they were interacting with. The puzzles involved that some of the robots were blocked from reaching each other to use that strategy.
(Maybe it wasn’t taste…the fifth one might have had a data recorder instead? This is a hard Infocom game I never got far into.)
Excluded what is on the drawing table or <8 k source and the candidate IFComp entries:
the main effort today is on the main project, provisional name Isekai, whose is still largely incomplete, but as actual project, barring issues, I have two under Inform 10 (one is the other main WIP, “Trial of a With (not the classic meaning)” and the other is a rearrangement of my “self-teaching program”, whose can be useful as example source (having comments like:
[WI, 5.7; Handbook, p.292-3]
[modeled after ex.159, WI 10.4, RB 4.2]
whose I suspect will helps in understanding how Inform 7/10 works.
the other TADS3 major WIP, under adv3, is “The putsch of 1908”, set in an alternate Germany.
I’m active also on inform6, both standard library and puny, and the main WIP remain “Chronomancy 1”, a time travel story.
This allows presenting the two TADS2 project, one being “Chronomancy 2”, again a time travel history, few years later, the other being “high school drifter”, a sort of homage to, well, everyone can easily guess which work.
now, the third of the classical “great three” IF languages of 90s and early 2000s, Hugo:
one project is under wraps (IFComp candidate) but Chronomancy 3 will be in Hugo (yes, one for every one of the trio of Great Three)
under ALAN 3, both main project are under wrap for IFComp reasons, but everyone can guess that the flexibility in parsing will be exploited…
back in time, Inform 5 has many WIP, some floating around since late 90s/early aughties, so I cite only the oldest WIP around, “The Martello Tower”, an interactive tale of ladies, magick, space and time" vintage late 90s. and yes, there’s a favorite plot & narrative canvas from “The Martello Tower” to “Isekai” and “Trial of a Witch”…
Lastly, the “dark horse” dialog, I’m still fooling around, no true WIP there.
I use ZILF only for historical research (= compiling Infocom-era source; I remain convinced that isn’t 0.9, is 1.0, because compiles correctly EVERY infocom source, if one edits the INSERT-FILE, because of linux’s case-sensitiveness.
for the rest (ALAN2, Magx/AGT, advSys), after the Creative Cooking failures, I have retired ALL candidate IFComp entries, so, in brief:
ALAN2 has nothing worthwile of reporting, MagX has “The Last Atlantidean”, and a project just started, stemming from the fact that Creative Cooking’s source was not precisely well-tailored as demo code, because of the repetitive (ab)use of the code for simulating decoration, so I’m doing a new story, more tailored around demonstration of MagX coding.
on AdvSys, I kept coding for release because is supported by Gargoyle, one project is tagged for porting to a more modern language for IFComp because of its boatiness factor but the other two are “Nightstanding”, whose was the forerunner of “Trial of a Witch”, w/o Magic(k), being a mixup of “explore the empty mansion” and “WTF happened”, and “oldfort” an interactive romp inside a decommissioned RN coastal fortification, complete of old rusty guns and not-so-rusty FC (Fire Control) devices, a story requiring uncommon knowledge; more a pet project than an playable IF, because has RAK (Read Author’s Knowledge) issues; I’m still looking on how to insert a “tourist mode” in AdvSys coding for this “beyond nightmare difficulty for non-Naval players” story…
There’s languages whose has no modern 'terp: ADL, LADS, scen, and scott Adams’s format, so, please not ask about WIP on these…
I guess that is enough. No wonders about my long dev time…
Best regards from Italy,
You sure you can’t squeeze one more in there? (/jk)
I think Gargoyle plays scott adams games if you rename the file extension to something (can’t remember what)