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Archive for the ‘LD #24’ Category
It’s always fun when LD time comes around. I stop what I’m doing and start looking at all the various new languages and frameworks out there, and of course I feel the tug. Clojure had its womanly grasp on me for a while. Then I was heart-struck by a Monkey. CoffeeScript beckoned with its smooth curves and warmness.
But I was pissed this time because I didn’t finish my last entry for Tiny Worlds. And I had a great idea for that theme, with an interactive fiction about an experiment with nano bots. If you didn’t get the experiment under control, it would lead to the destruction of the whole planet. But I just couldn’t get to the finish line with TADS 3, or at least with my knowledge of it. Spent too much time just trying to figure out how to do things and looking stuff up.
So for this compo I was determined to create the decent interactive fiction game I couldn’t last time. So I went back to a language I was familiar with, Inform 7, the language I had used to make a crappy fiction game maybe 4-5 competitions ago. This time the week before I read and worked through the only book available on the subject, Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7. In retrospect, that worked out well, because though you can build things with just knowing pieces of a language, it is really helpful to at least know about all of the parts of a language.
For instance, Inform 7 had this concept of scenes that the book really didn’t touch on until the end, but it was a critical part of my game and allowed me to make it much more narrative than it would have been otherwise. There are separate chapters in my game and the state of things changes heavily between them, creating a tight narrative focus.
So to make a long story short I felt Erebus and the Terror came out pretty well. It was my best IF by far. I knew how to add the synonyms to keep people from getting too frustrated and I wrote in enough actions that people were surprised how well the parser could follow them.
It was not perfect though. After I laid out all of the rooms, I got sidetracked with implementing ship directions, ie, port, starboard, etc. But I ran into a bug with it and finally I realized I was as confused as heck with the directions and so would everyone else probably. So I just tossed the concept and I’m sooo glad I did.
I would definitely use Inform 7 again. In fact, I might go back and port what I have of my Tiny Worlds entry to see if I can finish it.
If you like survival horror or science fiction, you might want to give it a try.
I wanted to mention one more thing because I think I glossed over the most important thing I gleaned from this LD. That is that out of failure can come success. My failure to finish the IF game in ld23 was direct motivation for my success in ld24. I switched back to a language I had more success with, and I was determined to be more prepared so I invested in the purchase of a book and I spent a week working through that book before the ld. There’s no way my entry would have been as well done without having taken these steps of preparation. And there’s no way I would have bothered to do that if I had not failed at ld23. So take note in that, and if you failed in ld24, use that as motivation for ld25. Carry that failure with you and I guarantee that you will be more prepared and have more success as I did. I think it’s true that we really learn the most from our failures, if we open ourselves up to them and embrace them.
Finished the game just in time. Exhausted. Mentally gone. Will check back tomorrow. It was fun I guess but I can’t enjoy it yet.
My compo entry is an interactive fiction survival horror set on the prospector spaceship Erebus.
It should run on any system with a web browser. Even iphones or android phones.
Well, getting a good start so far on my interactive fiction. There are no graphic shots to post, so I thought I would post the intro text to the game, to give you a feel of it. I don’t want to give too much away, but it is a science fiction thriller set on a prospector’s ship, the Erebus:
Welcome Number Three, SERIAL NUMBER 4FJ394WS198. Your given name is Bobby, by the way. You have been awakened from stasis for active replacement duty and should now be in a relaxed and comfortable state.
I will now UPLOAD your duties. Process begins in 3…2…1–UPLOAD has failed due to unknown error.
Please remain in relaxed and comfortable state as the backup protocol is accessed.
Bobby, you are on the prospector vessel Erebus. I am the ship’s computer and I will be your companion and assistant during our time together. My systems are currently running at 23 percent, however the good news is life support is currently unaffected. You can listen and communicate with me at any time through the neuro-transmitter embedded in your skull.
Before I release the restraining straps Bobby, I need to advise you of a few things. Although you are human and have free will, you are property of the Issaka-Allen Corporation. You must endeavor to protect company property and resources above all else. Failure to comply will lead to criminal prosecutions being enacted upon the ship’s return to Earth.
Now that that is done with, I hope you are still in a relaxed and comfortable state. Due to memory UPLOAD failure, a manual tutorial will be run to prepare you for your duties.”
The straps are released. You are in a coffin-sized compartment attached to the side of the wall.
The voice in your head continues, “Bobby, you may refer to me as Raul. I am named after the sister’s brother-in-law’s cousin of the man who invented me, by the way. If you have any questions, you may simply ASK me, and I will do my best to answer, even though my systems are currently functioning at 23 percent.
Now Bobby, I have detected you are not in a relaxed and calm state, so your first duty is to locate the crew’s quarters and get some sleep. You have been in stasis 4021 days by the way. What is a few more hours?
Please have a look around the ship as you make your way to the crew’s quarters and feel free to ASK me any questions you might have.”
You step out of the hibernation chamber and have a stretch and a look around.
Hey, caught this wonderful documentary film last month. It’s a very inspiring story about successful indie gamer developers. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. Now is the perfect time to catch it to inspire you to greatness.
Check out the preview:
I was wondering if any of you know if any of the guys in the movie have ever done a Ludum Dare before? They definitely seem like the type!
Edmund McMillen (Super Meat Boy)
Jonathan Blow (Braid)
Tommy Refenes (Super Meat Boy)
And of course the unforgettable Phil Fish (Fez)
I thought I should mention a list of my favorite tools which I think really might help people out. These aren’t free tools necessarily, just some I’ve fallen for.
If you are interested in doing a cross-platform game, check out monkey. This language is really going places. Code your game once and it will run on: Mac, PC (OpenGL or DirectX or XNA), flash, html5, iOS, Android, PS Vita, Nintendo DS, and even believe it or not Amiga apparently.
If you need to do pixel art or tiles sets, look no further than Pyxel Edit. This is the best tool of this kind I’ve seen since Deluxe Paint!
Now if you’re a programmer type and want to make music, you got to check out this amazing DAW, Renoise. I just love this tool for making music, because it is 1) so well done, 2) so full featured for a tracker and 3) let’s me make music in a way that makes sense to us programmers, I think.
I am going to try to do a IF game this time, so I won’t be needing most of these tools. If you want to make interactive fiction, I don’t think there is a better choice than Inform 7. It’s the ultimate “natural language” programming language. The things you can do with it will blow your mind.
So what are the tools you are in love with?