Would greatly appreciate your opinion...


Hi everyone, my name is Tom Garner and I’m new to the Interactive Fiction Community. Although, I have had an one and off obsession with the idea of text adventures since I was a boy. My grandad gave me an old Tandy TRS80 colour computer with no cassette device to load games but using some old Marshall Cavendish INPUT magazines my dad had kept from when he was a kid I taught myself the basics of programming (without being able to save anything on tape!) and shortly after followed the text adventure tutorial in those magazines which massively captured my imagination. By the time I was in college I discovered earlier versions of Inform and have dabbled on and off since attempting to implement text adventures of my own with Inform, QBasic, Java and even Commodore 64’s version of Microsoft Basic.

Lately, I decided to get a little more serious as an IF writer and try and do something with the intention of sharing it. I still see myself as relatively new to IF game design as I’ve never formally written a completed a game. However, to address this I’ve recently started an Inform 7 project, inwhich I attempt to revisit some of my older ideas and I guess rewrite them into my first serious game. I want to approach this in an incremental and iterative manner and thought there would be nothing better than getting some early feedback from the IF community on what I have put together so far!

I have written a very short piece so far, which is the beginning of the game (which is based on a previous game I started a long time ago, with the intention of expanding, rewriting and also finishing it!) and this will expand over time as I iterate over the design and add more rooms, more narrative etc and address any points based on feedback.

So I would be extemely grateful if anybody would play my first room and provide some valuable, critical feedback. I am not a sensitive soul so feel free to tear this thing apart with your honesty so I can drastically improve on my ideas and get better!

The game is yet to be titled, and the working title is ‘The Furnace’ for now, but this is simply based on the first room and will be swapped out for something much more fitting later on. The attached version of the game requires an interpreter that will play gblorb files as this is what Inform released the game as.

I am more than happy for comments to be put straight into the thread or simply PM’d to me.

I thank you ahead for your kind contributions and I would also just like to take this opportunity to say, “hello everyone, I look forward to chatting on the forums about interactive fiction. I am also playing Anchorhead at the moment, and I think this is a great game! I am quite stuck at the moment, on day 2 but I’m forcing myself to plod along without using any hints.”
The Furnace.gblorb (711 KB)

Naturally, there isn’t much yet.

Sadly, I had to cheat to realize that there was a Back object. Some more hinting that there are parts of the protagonist beyond the hands may be helpful, since that is unusual in most IF works. I did try to refer to feet and head, and when these didn’t yield any results, I figured that the hands were the only part of the protagonist. As I write this, I have yet to unlock the door, too - ah, I see, that is my fault here. Should have examined the key.

The room you have is rather gory. It might not be wrong to start with a content notice that there is gore in the game. I think I noticed one instance of dilirium, rather than delirium, but lost the context, unfortunately.

thank you for the feedback. I will check the spelling! And also implement all the obvious body parts for the protagonist for a future iteration. I have also updated my post with a disclaimer regarding the gore!

Hi, just an update from me. I’ve updated the file based on the comments I have received so far and began to expand the game further into the second room. I whole hearted welcome your comments and feedback and I would like to thank those so far who have offered there very useful opinions. I look forward to hearing from you!

[spoiler]Something seems to have gone wrong with the description of the body parts. They all just say “You see nothing special about your (body part).” The body parts are also all capitalized.

If I “x hands” in the presence of the angelic being, I get prompted to disambiguate between my hands and the angel’s hands, but there seems to be no way to refer to the angel’s hands. I suspect the same will be true of the other body parts.

The Grove of oaks seems like it wants some scenery objects, at least oaks. It’s also a rather too dry of a room description. In several cases, the “an” in the angel’s printed name is left uncapitalized. The article shouldn’t be part of the printed name, really.

I tried to ask the angel about “unclean”, “life” and “unclean life”. It feels that topic should warrant some reaction.

Is it intentional that the player’s description becomes the default one after moving through the door?

Saying yes in the presence of the angel awards the point, even if we haven’t asked the angel about us yet. Also, it feels that saying sorry should count if saying yes counts. Finding out that saying yes works was a bit trial and error. It makes sense if one thinks of it as a confession, or taking responsibility for our apparent sins, but I feel it is under-hinted. The angel should probably also admonish the player should they say no.[/spoiler]

Oops! It seems I messed up somewhere with the implementation. I’ve done another quick update to fix the issue with the body parts but it seems I still have a lot of work to do regarding the second room which is still very rough. I probably released this latest version a little prematurely, I’ll be sure to do much more of my own testing in future before uploading. Thanks again for the feedback!