Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The final week

Here we are, with 6.9-ish days to go. I've just passed 600 backers and 26,000 dollars. Those numbers mean nothing to my brain, of course. I can't picture a pile of 10,800 overpriced muffins. I can imagine six squares of people standing ten-by-ten, but I don't know what it would sound like if they all cheered at once.

This whole experience has been a little unreal, is what I'm trying to tell you.

I took this past weekend (the US holiday) as a bit of a dry run. I spent one day eating (that's the holiday), and then three solid days working on IF work. Not the game design, not yet. I answered email, and then did an extraordinarily dull bit of interpreter coding needed for full Unicode support. (Do you know what "Normalization Form D" is? No? Lucky rotter.) This is what my life will be like come January. Overall, a success. I have leftovers, too.

Kickstarter projects traditionally start with a big burst of love, then slow down for a long while, and then rush towards the finish line at the end. I suppose it's different for projects that cross the finish line so early. Nonetheless, and naturally, I'm hoping for a big clutch of last-minute donations. Not because I'm greedy, right? This is fundraising. I'm not allowed to shirk it, because the funds will help me. You know this spiel. So here's my last fundraising plea:

The Hadean Lands story flew around the gamer press right away. Everything since then has been word of mouth. Fantastic, enthusiastic, helpful word of mouth -- but inevitably low-volume word of mouth. I've pushed the story at some of the literary, science-fiction, and fandom news sites, but it hasn't grabbed. Nor is it much of a business story, except for that one (very gratifying) blog repost on CNNMoney.

Therefore: if you think that IF is cool, mention me to your non-gamer friends. I think this project has the potential to reach book-readers, e-book-readers, watchers of smart TV, followers of online narrative projects -- the border between old and new media. Who do you know?

Yes, it's early. I'll come around when the game is released, and try to reach the same people all over again. But that's the future, and this is the last Kickstarter week, so now is when I'm asking.

Whew. Plea ends. Thank you for all you people have done.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

The techy post, part 3 of 4

The current state of the Inform and Glulx universe...

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The techy post, part 2 of 4

Sorry, we've experienced a bit of post bloat. This series will be four parts, not three. (Just four, though.)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Halfway, and extended teaser

It's November 16th, roughly halfway through my little experiment.

(What do you mean, we blew past the edges of the Petri dish on day 1? How does that make any sense?)

Rather than stew in self-congratulation -- I can do that perfectly well in the confines of my own skull -- let me offer you a Halfway Present:

An extended game teaser for Hadean Lands. Now with a second ritual to complete! And many more objects to play with in the process!

I hope this gives a better idea of how the game's magic will play out. (Warning: some of the things you will find are not useful in this teaser. They're for rituals later on in the game.)

Now, just a little bit of self-congratulation: CNNMoney asked to reprint my Update #8, the post on running Kickstarter successfully. Very kind of them.

Overall, you can probably guess that I'm utterly thrilled with the way things are going. Contributions are still coming in steadily, if slowly. I'm hoping that the upcoming weeks see my plans percolate out from the gaming press into business reporting, writing circles, and -- heck, I don't know -- web comics journalism. I mean, why aim low?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The techy post, part 1 of 3

I spin a bunch of verbiage on the Kickstarter page (and in the video) about Glulx and Quixe and other silly words. Long-time IF aficionados (with your bottles of aficiolemonade, yes, I know I've made that joke before)... sorry.

Long-time IF aficionados already know what I mean by all those terms; you can tune out now. Contrariwise, if you have no interest in the software architecture of IF interpreters... you can also tune out now. But if you think APIs are cool, read on.

Hadean Lands posts and interviews

In this spot, I'm going to collect links to news articles, interviews, and random discussion threads about Hadean Lands and my Kickstarter effort. Apologies to those of you who have been voraciously reading all the links as they roll by. (Which is all of you, right? Right?)

Comment if you see one I missed.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Zarf Goes Independent: Hadean Lands

Hadean Lands cover art

Two weeks ago I put up a teaser image, which drew a lot of nice comments and anticipation within the IF community. (Thank you!) But one image in one blog post does not a lifestyle make, and today the real fun begins.

Here's the scoop: at the end of this year, I plan to quit my job and start working on interactive fiction full time. Yes, really. The space madness has struck and it's time to do this thing. I can't do this in my spare time any more; I have too much work to finish in the IF world, and it eats at me every time I leave for my day job.

Go to the Kickstarter page to watch the awesome introductory video! (A Gameshelf production, of course.) You can also play the teaser scene of Hadean Lands on my web site.