So, after what seemed to be a long time, I was able to finish and publish my little text-based adventure dealie SNOW.
Making the game was a really great experience, especially giving myself a deadline. I felt as though I was giving myself a day to “ship” the game by gave me a grindstone to push my nose against and make something that I cared about.
I’d be foolish to say that it was a total success. There’s a few things that I have to go back and change before I re-promote it to the IF community or create new projects.
Here are some of the things about game design I’ve learned from this time around:
- Goals really do matter: The idea behind SNOW was to create a situation that the player had to react to, and the meaning of the story would change based off of character choice and interpretation. As a result, players didn’t know what they were working towards, and the game largely was an exercise in atmosphere that left people confused.
- Generic details first, fill in the gaps later: As a result of switching from hard-coding over to Inform, there was a lot of “end-quality” detail found in the earliest stages of the game. As more detail was added, there were things that were left out that did not leave SNOW up to interactive fiction’s usual standards.
- Focus in presentation: A wide focus can be disorienting to a player who are usually trained to achieve one goal. This also belongs to the presentation of how the player is to approach playing a game. An infinite canvas (to inappropriately borrow a phrase) will bore a player, who usually prefer to have an experience crafted for them.
However, even with all those shortcomings, SNOW was what I wanted it to be. It was an exercise in creating a situation where the player guided the game as opposed to the other way around.
However, taking what I’ve learned from SNOW, I’ll go into future game dealies and create an experience that is more driven to create a better experience for you guys!
I also want to take a moment and thank the people at the Interactive Fiction Forums for their helpfulness and attention to detail (one guy in particular who this post is for ).
I highly recommend them for anyone who wants to make a piece of IF! Tell ‘em Tyk-Tok sent you, and maybe a few guys will remember me.
Anyways, that’s enough for me today, laddies! I’ll talk to you all again soon, and maybe about something you care about.