Friday, August 31, 2012

Zarfplan: On through August

Last time I said, "I can confidently say I'll finish the alchemical ritual code in August." Which I did! Barely. (I just finished the last unit test, at 8:30 pm on the 31st.)

I now have 34 alchemical rituals working. And 265 unit tests, which demonstrate that they're working. I'm feeling a little dizzy, honestly.

You'll recall I said something about "burning bits of wood and an alchemical retort" being the last bits of infrastructure. Well, inevitably, those were a nightmare. Burning things is one of the archetypical Hard Things To Do In IF. The other two are mixing liquids, and rope. Well, I implemented all the liquid-mixing back in July... and this game is not going to contain any rope.

(There's a silk cord, but you can't tie it to things.)

Long story short: I now have a setting-things-on-fire engine, to go along with the liquid-mixing engine and the ritual state machine. This is where I get very grateful for Inform 7 and its rulebook architecture.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On behalf of Dominique Pamplemousse

I know this project has been widely spoken of in indie-games-land over the past few weeks, so maybe I'm just gilding the grapefruit here. But Deirdra Kiai's indie musical claymation adventure kickstarter(*) is moving into its final week of fundraising, and it has half a progress bar still to go.

(* Kickstarter in this case is Indiegogo, but you know what I mean.)

Check out the online demo of Dominique Pamplemousse in "It’s All Over Once the Fat Lady Sings!" (Demo is Flash, but the completed work will be Win/Mac/iPad.)

The Kickstarter world is currently full of remakes, re-releases, decades-belated sequels, and other wonders of nostalgia -- do I even need to hunt down example links? Amid all this, we need some attention for new, original games by people who weren't already famous in 1995.

I think a stop-motion light-opera adventure game counts as original. I mean, I'm not familiar with too many games that do either of those things(*). And if you're still hooked on nostalgia, well, Pamplemousse is a third-person graphical adventure of the old Lucas/Sierra model.

(* I never managed to play The Neverhood.)

The artwork is charming; the music is charming; the sung and spoken dialogue is well-done and apropos. But this is not the soul of the matter. When I played Deirdra's last graphical game, Life Flashes By, I wrote: "Not too many authors sit down to write a straight-up high-quality story, in the interactive mode." That is what we are offered here.

It will be a shame if, amid all the crowd-funding frenzy, this project gets lost on the wayside. So, please give Deirdra some money. The funding deadline is the end of August.