IF

  • May 30th 2017

    Attempted: Building a general-purpose QBN system

    The term quality-based narrative (QBN) refers to a way of building interactive fiction most familiar from Failbetter Games' Fallen London, as well as other games built on their now-defunct StoryNexus platform. Voyageur is also built on this model. Earlier this year, I worked on trying to build a general-purpose QBN tool, working off of the Voyageur codebase, but I didn't get very far; this is basically a list of issues I encountered, as a sort of caution to people thinking of implementing those kinds of systems.

p>Emily Short recently wrote a post about what reasons there are for writing a parser game in AD 2017. In the comments, I added:

For me there’s another reason to make parser games, and specifically for using Inform 7: It’s a fantastic platform for experimental games. if I just have an idea that I want to explore or play around with, as long as it’s narrative and turn-based, I’m very likely to reach for I7 as a tool.

Using I7 cuts away 90% of the boilerplate labor associated with game development: You don’t have to think about or make UI (it’s text input), UX (it’s bad), assets (there are none). You write almost no boilerplate code; everything you write is doing work in defining mechanics, narrative, or environment. I really think more game designers should learn I7 because of its value in that role; even if the thing you make using it isn’t the final form of what you’re making. The 0 to 60 on it is just incredible compared to any other engine or game development tool.

Inform 7, if you're unfamiliar, is a system for writing parser interactive fiction that uses a purpose-built domain-specific language that somewhat resembles natural English. It's probably my favourite game development environment to work on, for a lot of reasons.

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  • April 30th 2017

    A Don't Mind My Apocalypse Head Postmortem; or: Designing a Parser Game Around Specific Interaction, Multiple Endings, and Protagonist Interiority

    March's patreon project, Don't Mind my Apocalypse Head, was a short parser game written around a fairly disturbing dream I had. If you haven't played it, it's fairly short and I suggest you check it out before reading on.

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  • April 3rd 2017

    New Release: Don't Mind My Apocalypse Head

    March’s Patreon project is out now for everybody on https://bonsequitur.itch.io/dont-mind-my-apocalypse-head. It’s a horror story about awkward social situations, extra appendages, and the recurring end of the world.

    Thanks to all my Patreon supporters! If you want to help me keep doing this (and get early access to projects along with source code), the Patreon page is this way.

  • February 10th 2017

    Voyageur is out now!

    Voyageur, the game I’ve been working on for the past year, has now launched. Read more about it at its website, or you can get it from Google Play or the App Store.

  • December 31st 2016

    New release: Not All Things Make It Across

    A follow-up to last year’s The World Turned Upside Down, Not All Things Make It Across commemorates the end of 2016 with another short vignette set in the Mere Anarchy universe. Taking advantage of the threshold of the new year, choose what debris of the past you want to destroy… or keep.

    I hope you all enjoy it. Happy new year, and thanks.

    You can play it on the web, or download the blorb for Z-Code interpreters.

  • November 13th 2016

    New release: The Recombinant Armorial Roll

    My project for this year’s Procjam, the Recombinant Armorial Roll is a procedurally-generated dynastic history of a fictional empire, assembled from a relatively small corpus and rendered in the form of a finite but very deep hypertext.

    Like the Annals of the Parrigues, the Armorial Roll is a finite document. It’s by necessity more repetitive than Parrigues, with a much smaller corpus for a much bigger text — there are theoretically 65,535 dynasties in the Roll, though I can’t guarantee they all are accessible through links from the starting dynasty; I literally don’t know.

    The Roll can also be seen here, which you can also use to save and share permanent links to specific dynasties.

  • November 10th 2016

    Brief reminder: The Imzy IF Community

    In addition to the Euphoria channel (a real-time, threaded web chatbox” for the IF community), I also help run an IF community on Imzy.

    Imzy is a link-, media-, and post-sharing website built around the idea of positive, well-regulated and kind communities. Going forward, I’m hoping to bring more activity to Imzy’s IF community and build it up as a safe and welcoming place for IF’s increasingly diverse authors and readers to come together and organize events, discuss IF, and encounter one another.

    Imzy has only recently left its closed beta, too, so now everyone who wants to can read and join the community here.

  • October 31st 2016

    New release: Four Sittings in a Sinking House

    Cover image

    Breaking my nearly yearlong hiatus of IF releases, I have an entry in this year’s ECTOCOMP. It’s called Four Sittings in a Sinking House, and you can download it from the competition website or play it online.

  • October 13th 2016

    Introducing Gall and Blotter

    Earlier this year when Inkle released their Ink scripting language, there was a lot of excitement from the IF community around using it as a tool for building sophisticated branching stories in the vein of Choicescript. Today I'm releasing a couple of open-source tools that should help people who want to experiment with Ink without having to build a full game UI to go around the story engine.

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