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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Randolph Carter, Where Art Thou?

I haven't neglected working on the interactive fiction The Case Of Randolph Carter, it's just that some of the changes that came up with the grue demo caused some decent sized ripples. Namely not advancing the page upon a "missed" interaction (assuming it to be a wait). This throws off the original cadence which would even assume at times that the player would mostly be waiting and also decreases the overall number of actions a player might get per page (because now each one is a "hit"). So I've had to rework the code a little and rewrite a few of the pages. Most of that is behind me now, though, and I'm working more on tightening up the actual prose and game aspects again.

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Writer Response Theory said...

Is anyone beta testing this project, and what is authoring for it like compared to say CYOA or IF authoring?

It might be interesting to do a designer interview at some point about your development process....

Josh said...

Kind readers of the blog gave feedback on the grue demo, which I've been bleeding back into Randolph Carter. The first release of RC will undoubtably still be a rough a draft which anyone will be welcome to beta and comment on.

The authoring process is a little like both, I suppose. It's not as programmatic as standard IF and not as basic as CYOA. You write the story tangentially in specifically marked up HTML and then apply script (in Javascript) when necessary. I was looking for a format which would simply allow me to write a story first, and the apply the game logic later.

RC is a relatively non-linear story with little game logic involved (like grue). Next, I'm hoping to do Tell-Tale Heart which will be more of a textual puzzle the player has to piece together. After that, I may apply actual instances of traditional games ... like dice rolls or card games ... into the next.

I'd be happy to do an interview/answer any questions, although I probably should get RC at least to beta so that I have more to show than a simple demo that took about 15-30 minutes to whip up.

Writer Response Theory said...
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Writer Response Theory said...

Email feedback from the grue demo - got it.

This experiment is quite interesting. The mode of interaction is different from but reminiscent of both Mike Tolar's Clink (Eastgate-style hypertext prose driving an interactive story) and Jon Ingold's My Angel, an IF which used "Novel Mode" to progressively reveal passages of text as a byproduct of play.

Josh said...

Excellent comparisons, I'd say. I'm surprised I hadn't stumbled on those before when I was doing research on modern IF.

Randolph Carter might see the light of day as early as next week. I'm mostly down to adjusting the actual prose now, which I'm OK with doing through a beta at any rate.