Monthly Archives: June 2013

A Verb Analysis, Redux

A long, long time ago—it looks like over five years ago, actually, which makes me wince—I posted a blog article here about an analysis of verb use in some well-known IF games. These were based not on actual player transcripts, but rather on the published walkthroughs of these games. The walkthroughs weren’t necessarily the quickest solutions to the games—they included commands that were technically unnecessary for solving the game, but which provided a more complete experience of the game for players who followed them. Still, they were by no means game transcripts, so they didn’t truly reflect the typical use of verbs that one might expect from players. The idea was to get a sense of the breadth and depth of verb usage in these [More...] Read the rest

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Game Design Docs II

In the last post, I talked a bit about my game design documents for Vespers, although technically they’re really more like level design documents. Vespers doesn’t have levels, of course, but it does have Acts that are organized chronologically, so design docs for each Act help to organize the content and action into discrete compartments. I thought this would be an interesting look at how the game is structured, where the action takes place, and how the docs have helped in the design and development of the game.

Previously, I showed the design docs for Acts I and II, which represent the first day of the game. Most of the action involves talking with the various NPCs to understand the backstory and current [More...] Read the rest

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Game Design Docs

Since Vespers has mostly been a one-man operation, I haven’t spent too much time on formal game design documents. Some detailed information can be helpful for collaborators, particularly on the art side with N.R., but I’ve mostly dealt with those issues as they’ve arisen. But one area that I’ve found helpful for myself has been mapping out the locations and activity in the game, so I can keep track of what happens in a particular Act and where it happens.

Since I’m using the text version of Vespers as the basis for the game, I’ve had to play through the text game and read through the source code countless times, making sure to account for all different kinds of approaches to game play. Jason wrote [More...] Read the rest

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