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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cathanized

While being unable to follow some cafeteria dialogue about fantasy baseball this afternoon, my inner monologue came to the almost definate conclusion to start from scratch with the Cathan, the text adventure I've been writing. I'm constantly doing this to myself and I kinda hate it. I get so far into a project, but then I see how it's turning out and it I'm almos prematurely disappointed with the results. Frequently the urge to simply rewrite overwhelms the urge to hammer it out.

This is getting to be one of those times. I can definately salvage, and probably clean up, most of the AJAX engine that made it work. That was getting fairly workable, really. It's the actual story that annoys me. There's a distinct conflict between trying to create a narrative and trying to enable user choice. While the extent of this truth has been debated here and far, it's still true. Worse is when the usability starts to beat down on the actual voice you are trying to enforce on the story.

So I'm altering the setup a bit and modelling less on Zork and more on HitchHiker's. Zork is very free form, allowing to wander aimlessly for as long as you like. HitchHiker's will kill you for such meandering. I want somewhere in between, to be honest ... but I was starting out way too "classic" for my own tastes.

Hopefully this won't just amount to continued meandering and procrastination on my own part though.



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2 comments:

Patrick Dugan said...

Dude, you sound like an alright kinda guy. IF is definetly a genre that could use more interesting titles. I'd like to see that when its finished, in the meantime you should check out Chris Crawford's website and tell me what you think of the LinGUI (linguistic graphical interface) he's using for his drama engine.

By the way, are you in highschool? College? What are you jockeying for professionally?

Josh said...

I'm old. Out of college for quite some time and have been doing webdev work for close to a decade now. Game design has just interested me since I've been on a computer, just never on a professional level.

I used to mod for the Unreal engine pretty fervently, which is probably the most public work I've ever done.

I'll check out Crawford's LinGUI. I'm trying to absorb a lot about the genre, and have Twisty Little Passages to get through at home.