This is not a request, but more of a questionnaire. Would you possibly be interested in being part of a smaller-scale collab game?
Like Cragne Manor, the rooms/areas (some people might get areas, but we’ll see) could be as complex or as simple as you want. This game would be less horror and more open to different genres. It would go with one of these:
a sci-fi comedy adventure with a clear overall objective (find an antidote to a poison gas brought on by the Greybackians!). It would obviously be quite more strict, as in the areas would usually be on a planet with either an alien race or some interesting sight, etc. TV broadcasting, Brady Bunch dolls and more would be involved.
A more open game set in a range of biomes (from pyramids and forests to cities), which means more open to what you could do - but basically a classic “find treasures to summon something powerful”. Of course, it also leaves it a little on the vague side, with less than a complete objective. Possibly a little Zorkian.
Would you guys be interested in being part of this?
Would each author involved have a clear objective and area for their part? Like, you are assigned the human probing lab and when the player is done with your room, they should have the code for opening the mysterious hatch in another area?
The first option doesn’t really chime for me (like, I have no idea what ‘Brady Bunch doll’ even means), but something like the second might be fun. Especially if the game is in a language I already know.
If anyone were to organise such a project, I think there are two things to be aware of:
This can cost a lot of time if many authors sign up. So you’d either have to have a lot of time, or limit the number of authors somehow and communicate clearly about that.
It seems very desirable to have two or three organisers to help each other out, make sure the thing stays on rails, but also, for instance, to be able to discuss potentially problematic contributions. (It’s crucial that all authors have confidence in the organisers, knowing that their name won’t appear on a game that also contains someone’s hateful anti-whatever game.)
I had a lot of fun with the last one; just be aware that organizing something like this is an enormous undertaking. I’m still in awe that Jenni and Ryan pulled it off last time.
I think another one would also have to put some sort of spin on the formula, so it’s not just trying to measure up to the last one (which will be hard to do when the first one had novelty and a bunch of big names on its side).
If I recall, Cragne happened in the summer before IFComp. I’d suggest anyone who does this might want to run it early in the year away from the bigger comps to acquire participation, or right after comp season in November December.
Personally I’m not against, but I think that can be very useful if started after the release of Inform 10.3, becoming a major shakedown for I10.
seems the best setting, allowing an interesting general structure, a central hub connecting these diverse biomes, linked thru a “solve (in free order, preferable) every biome, then the end-game in the central hub” plot.
I’ve considered trying to organize a smaller collab before, where each person designs a section that introduces some particular mechanic, and the endgame involves using all the mechanics together. (It was part of the original plans that eventually became Stormrider.) But you’d need to make sure you don’t end up with 85 people for that!
The horror theme worked well for Cragne Manor because it was open to so many diverse interpretations; supernatural horror, body horror, comic horror, flexible to each author’s style. The central director of such a project needs to be someone who can provide some framework for the whole thing and assign mini goals without impinging on the participants sense of their own style, skills and time commitment.
Whatever replaces horror ought to allow for the same broad assortment of style
This was meant to be just a question, but it seems like 2) is a better option, and maybe do it… but not now.
For the record, 1) was actually an idea made by Infocom called Timesync. The Brady Bunch Dolls is a reference to the Brady Bunch, which is (I think?) a TV show from from, like, the 70s or something. There was a more complex idea to do with broadcasting and 70/80s TV shows.
Seeing as Jigsaw was on my mind relatively recently, each person taking a different historical setting could be fun. But you’d need to lean into the styles not meshing.
Maybe beforehand, everyone in the collab agrees on a list of special skills you gain (magic spells, perhaps, or weirdly specific talents), and one is gained in each area; while coding, you include ways that all the others can be used, and the result is something Metroidvania-esque.
Again, this would depend on having a relatively small number of collaborators, and trusting that all of them would follow through. But I think it could be fun. Maybe once my workload goes down I’ll pitch a more detailed concept.
That’s the way they all became a wrinkle bunch, for sure. Blaming it on Max is far easier than simply accepting that this is the age where I stop having the face I’ve always had and start having the face I’m always going to have. Kids these days.
Something Land of the Lost-ish, another TV show from, like, the 70s or something, could be fun, with a juxtaposition of stuff from all over time and space. But that’s even vaguer. Land of the Lost (1974 TV series) - Wikipedia (No, there wasn’t a Will Ferrell movie by that name, why would you ask such a thing?)