Have story, will code – Do I need another obsession? ? Interactive fiction calling – again. The ideas that won’t go away.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Interactive fiction – Another game?

I wonder, as I so often do.
: I sometimes get this uncomfortably sharp urge to write another epic
Interactive Fiction game.. Several ideas sit and wait just a folder browse away. All I have to do is awaken that obsessive part of me and let it dominate.
There’s just something very soothing about building a world that is defined yet so random, creating rules that are insanely complex but purely logical, give it life, and have a limitations on how random the end result can possibly turn out. Very… compelling. Ultimate control, but not set in stone. It’s game in prose. A life in poetry.
A wicked waste of time.
But I miss it.
And I tell myself I don’t have that time.
But surely I do.
surely, I can just take a quick look see.

! section 1 Setting the scene
[Initialise;
location = SmallRoom;
move ivan to location;
move coat to ivan;
give coat worn;
move JanitorsKey to coat;
move letter to coat;
move dog to SmallRoom;
move collar to dog;
give collar worn;
startDaemon (dog);
startdaemon (rat);
print "Would you like to restore a saved game? ";
if (YesOrNo()) ;
print "You grew up never knowing what was real. You learned early on that fathers lie and mothers are too stupid to get it. Scam after stupid lie taught you that promises were as lofty as autumn leaves and that money, despite what your parents kept insisting, do not grow on trees or come without a price.
After nearly twenty years of endless expectations of shady fortunes that never actually manifested. Oh, what a shocker.
As soon as you could, you got the hell out of there, that town, that family of good-for-shit trash. You were better than them.
Now, your dad is gone. Someone caught up with him for reasons unknown and you could not care less.
they did him good. they did him dead. But before going into the stark and wormy night, as sonofabitch fathers sometimes do, he left you a rundown, rat-infested, crappy old house.
Yeah, thanks dad.
But that is why you are here. It could be nothing, just another lie. But maybe not. You touch the outside of your coat. In an inside pocket is an envelope and it rustles softly. His last gift to you.
you glance around and before you can change your mind and walk away from your past once and for all, you go inside.
Trespassing.
Because, your father didn't give you a house. Not quite. He gave you instrutions and a key. And another promise.
You breathe noisily through your teeth and look around. You catch the foggy outline of yourself in a filthy window pane and glare at it. Like father, like son. Dad, this better be good.";
];
!Section And here starts the fun. Starting with a dummy object.
thing window"Grimy window"SmallRoom
with description
"Seemingly placed there without any thought on symmetry or esthetics, set somewhat crookedly in the west wall, is a window. Flaking offwhite paint and grimy cracks in badly abused wood serves as a sad excuse of a frame. A long since dead spider probably haunts its abandoned dwelling that adorns one cracked windowpane. Beyond the dirty glass looms and even dirtier brick wall; not more than a foot away. You wonder about the view beyond the neglected barrier. This room could use a bit of light. ",
name 'west' 'glass' 'window' 'pane',
before[;
open:
if (crowbar notin player)
"With what? Your head?.";
"Okay, so you have a crowbar. do you even know how to use it? No, because I didn't write code for that yet."
thing crowbar"Crowbar"SmallRoom
with description "A crowbar. Very useful in a text adventure game with windows in it.",
name 'crowbar',
has ;

This is something I was working on years ago in Inform 6. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get Inform 7 -a natural language IF version– to run on my Mac. It appears to me that either it doesn’t play well with Mac in general, or with it’s screenreader, Voiceover. It’s not a big loss to me, even if I am intrigued by it, because I enjoy working directly in I6.
Want to see what a real Interactive fiction master does, visit Emily Short and be amazed. If you thought text adventuring has died in the shade of the new world of attention deficits, well it has not.

Gideon – a kitchen quest — Interactive adventure

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Gideon – A kitchen quest

Can you save Teddy?

A nightmare mother, a beloved toy bear, Pea soup for supper; what else could you ask for?

this is a beta version. If anyone feels like doing some beta testing on this; feel free to contact me. I’ll work on it, if and when I feel the need. It’s playable, not polished. Not even close. It is a children’s tale, with less than childish players. 🙂

Play this game in your browser.

Have fun.

Trust – an interactive fiction game in the making – To code or not to code. Appears I have abandoned this.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Trust – and interactive thriller

Update December 2018:

Oh I am so full of it. It is true that Ivan lives on in my head but he is way way way back in the darkest possible corner where nothing and no one checks for inspiration anymore. Will I give up on him?
Nah, he’s fine in his universe where I placed him so long ago, doesn’t even think about me anymore. I’ll get to it when I get to it.

***
I have started. Soon we will be able to meet Ivan. Bits and pieces of Ivan, snippets and thoughts about Ivan an how he comes to be. Right now, the game is very slowly coming together in my mind so it’s not going to be a quick process. Six months to write the main code, another six to beta test and then unknown hours to correct, rewrite, revise, and hunt errors in code.

It’s funny but I am looking forward to every bit of that, and I hope I can live up to any expectations after the last game; Crystal and stone, beetle and bone.
Peter, think I can? lol

Recent

Refreshing my brain in inform 6 code.
Added needed extensions and created basic files.
Learned that my main character is a bit unstable.
Is reinforcing my main characters instability while brainstorming about secondary characters and location classes.

[spacer size=20]

There’s not much more I can say at the moment but it is all coming together. here’s a bit of Ivan himself:

Ivan stares blankly into space for a long moment. Insanity has never been a huge concern for this down to earth metal head but he is starting to wonder what’s going on with him. A shiver runs up his spine and he glances nervously at corners, shadows, and unknown phantoms of fancy. “Too fucking creapy in here.”

***

Ivans eyes widen and for some odd reason, guided by instinct rather than logic, he ducks and turns around. Tense and ready for anything, he glares at the gloom surrounding him. Nothing. Slowly, he relaxes and stands up. “I’ll be fucking madder than my crazy-ass mother soon.”

Crystal and stone, beetle and bone — An interactive fiction game. Playable here.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Crystal and stone, beetle and bone

An interactive not quite fantasy.

Updated! Play this game in your browser! (Opens in new window.)

Note: If you use a screenreader, allow a couple of seconds after pushing enter on your command. It seems as if being too fast on the cursor keys moves focus away from where you ultimately want it; starting at the beginning of the new text. It’s not a biggie, but can be a bit annoying.

Of course you can always download the game, and check out the Crystal and Stone Game map

The editing

I believe I am done. It will have to be done as I can’t dedicate the rest of my life to this game. I did some rewrites and lot’s of error checking. Spelling, yes, spelling errors a plenty. I’m always in a hurry it seems and i always pay for it in the end. But this should be the last and final version of this game. Considering I started writing it in 2006 or thereabouts, it has taken far too long. But here it is. Crystal and stone, beetle and bone Version 4.

Enjoy!

From the game


The beetle airs out its wings in an attempt to look bigger and the spider stands up to its maximum height. After a moment of this comparison of strength, the spider backs off, scrambles away from the beetle and up on Lornedei where it curls up and acts as if nothing at all has taken place.



Deini sniffs around. After a while she comes back, carrying an old torch. She drops it at Lornedei’s feet.





In the southeast corner of the big desolate field the ground slopes down and turns into a ragged hole in the ground. Heat ripples the air around it. A large fire burns within a ring of stones.



She circles the fire. She is in a hurry, searching for the thing that should be but is no longer. She returns to the ruin. There is a high wall east of the castle and she stops to rest on top of it.




The world wavers its way back to reality and Lornedei looks pale and a bit unsteady on her feet. “Too high! Master? If I die and must come back, please do not make me a bird!”





Lornedei watches the amulet for a short while. Then she tries to stab herself in the face with it. Fortunately it’s not sharp enough to draw blood.




The beetle clings to Lornedei’s finger while shaking its antennae. After a moment of fruitless coaxing Lornedei gives up with a sigh. “Never mind then.”




. Her legs betray her. They are all over her now, reaching for her, grabbing, ripping. Their hatred and need has given them substance, temporary bodies, and the strength to take what they need. Lornedei does not stop screaming until her throat is ripped open. The black bird watches in silence and the forbidden forest shudders in delight.





Lornedei glares at the bird. The bird stares at Lornedei. Lornedei crosses her arms. The bird shuffles uneasily. Lornedei shuts her eyes. The bird croaks. Lornedei opens her eyes, pulling up her upper lip in a grimace. The silent exchange is over. “This bird would be of better use to me in a stew. It’s thinking of bugs. It’s probably hungry.”

Check this game on the Interactive fiction database (IFDB).

Back to obsession – Interactive fiction — It’s pitch dark in here.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Studio Chaotic, a dark corridor

It is pitch dark in here.

Or is it? No, you see something; there is a flickering light ahead, growing brighter for each step.

Listen. A rustling, an offbeat percussion, a disharmonic pan flute.
Smell. Your nostrils flare, mouth crumples in disgust from the sour cold stink of fear, your own fear.
Run. You can’t go that way.
Look. There is a desk. On the desk is your doom. A pile of something. Papers in a frayed uneven pile sit in the centre of the desk. The type on the top sheet is dense and crooked. You step closer.



You reach with trembling fingers. The letters shiver as if sensing you drawing nearer. they blurr and rearrange themselves on the dusty page. The first few pages stirr restlessly, then the entire pile of tightly typed code shudder, the top sheet rises slowly toward your touch. You quickly place your palm on the pile and try to hold it in place as it starts moving more violently. You press down hard but there is nothing you can do. A cloud of dust emits from the neglected pages and surround your head. Holding the struggling papers down with one hand, you cough and choke, wiping grime and grit out of your eyes. It’s no use. There is no stopping the thing that will happen. No hope of reprieve. No end in sight.

You take a deep harsh breath, pulling swirling dust into your lungs. You grimace and spit but then you suddenly relax. You have known a long time that this day would come. “Ok, damn it.” You sputter in resignation. The air clears and the pile of inform 6 classes, objects, and endless hours of troubleshooting settles down. Grinding your teeth you slowly move your hand and hiss at the disgustingly selfsatisfied bundle of code. “Ok, ok, fine, you win. You win you little bastard, I’ll do it.”

Interactive fiction – another obsession

I knew the day would come when i would get a great idea. I have that idea now. I’ve started a bit cautiously to build the world I want to create, the characters i want to breathe life into, the types of objects, classes, files that need to be modified, adapted, or created in addition to the main source code.

It doesn’t even have a name yet, this game. the temporary work name I’ve assigned though is:

Frustrations

It is so named partly because of the initial scene in the game, and partly because I know the work that is ahead of me. It’s not just writing a simple inform game. I couldn’t settle with that. The first game Crystal and stone, beetle and bone, proves that I am unable to keep it simple. In CSBB I had one character, commanded in third person, who had three different states of self. Yes. Each action had three different responses. then if you add that this character had a companion that would or would not follow the MC depending on the state, would or would not follow commands given to it depending on the state of the MC, as well as several important characters that followed the MC around the game. Alternative ending? Yes, that too.

Thinking about it now, I find it hard to believe that I did it. I spent the better part of a year on creating that game. Note that I learned the coding from scratch at the same time as I started writing the story and game world.

This time I have the advantage of knowing what I’m doing. Much of the habit of writing code on the fly is gone and there is quite alot of retraining. But it will be easier this time.

That’s what I thought.

>

Now, I’m chewing on ideas to make my teeth ache:

Initially:

One character – second person. I.E the normal game-play mode for interactive ficction. For example you type “take knife” and the game replies “You pick up the bloodstained butcher knife. Immediately it slips out of your grip and it plants itself firmly in your left foot. You scream like a girl.”

the second character, existing in a parallell story line in the same game-world – third person action mode. I.E You type “go west” and the game replies “Papa roach stares at the west door in disgust for a long moment. He snarls, sniffs his armpits and spits on the floor. ” I don’t think I feel like going that way.” He strolls off east while muttering under his breath. “Mother-fucking control-freak.”

Update 1, massive change in thought:

Okay, I changed my mind. This will be another third person game with characters tagging along. The genre is contemporary thriller. Protagonist is a guy with little or no clue… about anything.

Crystal and stone, beetle and bone files and info coming up.