Zarf unveils mad plan to do IF full-time

If you’ve been wondering what I’ve been hinting at for the past couple of weeks, the bag is off the cat:

In one sentence: Andrew Plotkin sets up Kickstarter project for new, original iPhone text adventure. Yes, for money. If funded, I will quit my day job and go to town on this thing. That includes an iPhone Glulx interpreter (which will be open-source, obviously). Plus I’ll have time to do all the Glulx update work that I keep promising.

As for the game itself, I have a short intro teaser up:

If you don’t have an iPhone (iPad, iPod Touch) then you can pre-order the Special Limited Edition of my planned game. Which means I’ll send you the Glulx file on a CD – play it on whatever you want. This release is only available through Kickstarter. When the game actually ships, it’ll be iOS-only.

The Kickstarter page is open through November (plus the first week of December, to leave room for the US Thanksgiving holiday). If all goes well, I’ll be out of my day job by Christmas, and IF work will begin New Year’s Day.

Whew. We’re off.

This is great. Good luck man, I hope you meet the target!


Awesome! I burned through my discretionary income early this year, but looking at the total now, I think you’re going to make it.

And, indeed, I already have. Fantastic!

Thanks to all of you who have helped.

Note that, even though I’ve passed my target, the “pre-order a CD containing the Glulx game file” reward option is still open. That will only be available through Kickstarter preorders, so hopefully the total will continue to rise.

Now, I just have to write up a plan for a business database product…

(Zarf is then buried under a wave of screaming gamers wielding halberds and sharpened spatulas.)

…blame Gunther for that one.

I pledged purely for the More Cowbell option. I have been waiting for More Cowbell support in Glulx for years!

This is really, really great. Congratulations!


I guess everyone on this forum has already taken a look at the project, but on the off chance that someone hasn’t done so: Today’s the last day for contributions, which also means it’s the last opportunity to get the game as a platform-independent Glulx file.

I hope he makes the glulx available sometime, or at least allows us to pay for the game directly. Not everyone can pledge a certain amount and, by the time it gets withdrawn, still make sure he won’t need that money. I’ve twice had the opportunity to do it, just for getting the glulx. I’ve twice had the further opportunity to regret it if I HAD done it.

Just, you know, in case everyone thinks 25 dollars is a trivial amount of money for everyone. It’s the impression I get.

I hope there is a way to get the Glulx outside the Kickstarter, too. Seems a bit unrealistic to expect people not to get their hands on it regardless, so y’know… providing them with a way to do it legally without buying a phone from Apple would probably be wise. (It’s my understanding that Zarf hasn’t ruled out releasing a desktop version to the general public later on, it’s just not part of the initial project.)

BTW 25 dollars is not a trivial amount for me, either — which I why I put it off until this past week.


Oh, I hope I didn’t come across as exhorting people to pledge. I was really just posting for the benefit of those who might have missed or forgotten the whole thing.

I totally agree that 25 dollars is not a trivial amount.

[rant]It is actually a bit ironic that people who can afford an iPhone, which almost by definition means they’ve got more disposable income than the average, are able to get the game for 3 (/5) $. (Of course, iPhone app prices are quite low across the board, as far as I know, so that’s part and parcel of that way of publishing.)[/rant]

Hey, that final amount in zarf’s kickstarter… that isn’t l33t-speak by chance, is it? :nerd:

I have not ruled out releasing the game for any platform. It will depend on where the effort of building a saleable release looks worthwhile.

Since I really enjoyed the first part and as it’s always nice to Support the Artist, I’d love to donate. A question, though: I don’t use an iPhone, so the postage for the CD could prove steep. Is that a problem?

Wonderful to know. I would surely feel better if I could pay directly, instead of pledging. And I feel even better knowing that my only chance of getting that game on a form I can play isn’t gone forever because I didn’t pledge.

I mean, I love your games. $25 isn’t trivial, but the day I can pay them and get the game in Glulx form, I’ll feel it’ll have been worth it.

The donation period ended last night. We are now into the Zarf Actually Writes the Damn Game period. (Although I won’t be quit of my day job until Christmas.)

I do not plan to accept further donations outside of Kickstarter. It would be a distraction and a hassle, and I can hardly say that I’m underfunded at this point.

I’ll accept payments when I have a game to sell.

What fascinates me about this announcement is the possibility of porting the game to the Kindle, mentioned on the Kickstarter page. If the game can be ported to the Kindle, that will allow people who do not own iPhones to play it on their computers, because Amazon has released free Kindle software for both Windows and Mac that will display Kindle ebooks. Assuming Hadean Lands would work as well with the desktop Kindle software as with a hardware Kindle, this seems like a good solution to me. Also, I’m fascinated with the prospect of IF going mainstream through ebook technologies! I’d love to be able to by IF by Andrew Plotkin from :slight_smile:

Ah, no. I’m afraid that you’ve misinterpreted that. Amazon has released software to read Kindle e-books on other platforms. Kindle applications are (or will be) a different thing.

Hey Zarf, Aside from the game itself, When are you planning to release the iphone interpreter?

I haven’t put any deadlines on my project, because that would be silly.

The iPhone interpreter source code will be an open repository, so you will be able to compile it at any stage of its done-ness. Probably it will be usable well before the game is finished. But maybe not polished.