Monthly Archives: November 2008

Feedback For Better IF Parsing

Over on Twenty Sided, Shamus Young posted a blog today on, of all things, interactive fiction. Seems he’s been playing “Phantom of the Arcade” lately, an Inform-based text adventure written recently by Susan Arendt, his editor at The Escapist, and made available online. This spurred him to ponder the familiar issues and frustrations related to the IF parser, and particularly how the parser handles unknown or unacceptable input. “Feedback itself,” he states, “is a reward” — feedback that shows that, even though the command entered is invalid, the author and/or parser has anticipated it enough to provide useful information rather than a generic “I beg your pardon?” response.

One idea he came up with for this involves modifying the IF environment (particularly one that [More...] Read the rest

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The End of October Vespers Thing

Wow, October came and went in a hurry. Halloween and the ongoing IFComp took up a lot of my time toward the end of the month, which threw me off by a few days. So here, at the start of November, is an update on Vespers over the past month.

On the modelling front, N.R. and I spent much of the month improving the performance of the game with some creative workarounds for the problem we have had with portals in Torque. Portalization, for those of you unfamiliar, is a method used by people who model interior structures for Torque (such as buildings) to split up these models into “zones” in order to reduce rendering overhead. So basically, if a building has different sections or [More...] Read the rest

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IFComp: Capture Time

It’s November, so the deadline for judging this year’s IFComp is closing in fast. Time to move on with the next batch of entries, as I review my initial impressions of each game’s opening (introduction, “About” screens, and the first location), summarized by the Capture Score from 1 (intriguing; a definite play) to 4 (dreadful and forgettable). Just a reminder, no spoilers here, just early impressions.

Games covered here include “Project Delta”, “Escape from the Underworld”, “Opening Night”, “Afflicted”, and “Everybody Dies”.

“Project Delta”, by Emilian Kowalewski

Another Windows-only game. I can’t tell if this is a shame or not. I guess I’ll find out after the final Comp votes are tallied.

Capture Score: 4. The third of four

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