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Troels Pleimert

HELP: Interactive fan fiction

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Hi, guys. I'll get straight to it, then bore you with the details: Can anyone recommend some good software, preferably costless, that will enable me to do simple text adventure games? I've checked out a few "text adventure creator" apps, but I'm trying not to over-complicate matters.

 

I don't want to do anything fancy. I just want to be able to do:

  • Room descriptions
  • Look, Get, Operate, Push, Pull, whatever
  • Inventory puzzles
  • Dialogue trees for NPC's
The "dialogue tree" thing is probably what's going to trip up most of the already-available solutions.

 

Anyway, here's what I want to use this for: In light of the Two Guys reunion and the resurgence of the long-slumbering SQ community, I feel the fan fiction itch start to, er, itch again. But I don't just want to do standard text fan fictions, because frankly, I'm a bit embarrassed of those I did ~15 years ago.

 

I want to do interactive fan fiction. I want to do small, content-driven text adventures starring our friend Roger Wilco. I have a number of story ideas ready to go. But I'm not much of a programmer (case in point). So what I'm really looking for is an easy-as-pie GUI-thing that lets me concentrate on writing crazy shit and less time learning a new scripting language.

 

Any help? Anyone?

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I'm giving Inform a whirl now, and it seems to be just the ticket. It's one of those things I wished existed when I was a kid, and dismissed as an adult, thinking, "Nah, how would that even work?" But here it is.

 

I'm building a test game called Roger's Quarters (guess what that's about), just to get a feel of the stuff and teach myself the basics before I start terrorizing you all with deviousness. :)

 

Thank you very much for the recommendation! This seems like just the ticket.

 

Others are free to jump on this bandwagon, by the way. I'm through with regular fan fiction; this stuff is the future. ;)

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I've actually been tossing this idea around for a while myself, mostly to contribute to the fangame craze that's whirling around with the Space Quest series this year, so I too will give Inform a try tonight and, well... inform you all about the progress that I make with it.

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@Mad_C33: Awesome! :D

 

Well, I can see there's a slight learning curve, so a fully fledged game might be some time away. Still, this seems like just the sort of "programming language" I could get my head around. Once I get the hang of it, this should be tremendous fun.

 

I can't wait to see what you cook up, Mad_C33. Maybe we could pool our resources and learn this stuff together. If I achieve any significant progress tomorrow, I'll post my findings in a "make your own interactive fan fiction" thread.

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You know, this could be the perfect outlet for that collaborative fangame effort that was brought up a while ago. We could decide on a red thread to carry through the games, and then do a bunch of smaller text adventures that fit within the larger scheme of things.

 

The thought of users submitting SQ-text adventures to SQN/VBC is also sort of mindblowing to me right now. Must be the red wine from last night still talking.

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Bit of an update: I've found that Inform is a bit irritating for my tastes, language-wise, so I'm using Quest and am finding the interface to be very intuitive and open-ended, almost exactly what I need. Will provide further info as I go along. For all intents and purposes, I've started my interactive fan-fic. :)

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That sounds awesome Troels :) I wish you luck on your project. Also, this thread has inspired me to take a stab at making my own IF. I have zero programming experience, so I'm going to find the easiest one, and teach myself how to do it :P I'll do something really simple and easy, just for fun.

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For somebody who enjoys writing a lot, and the idea of games, I have to say I've found trying to make interactive fiction absolutely infuriating. Maybe I'm spoilt by how easy AGS is but I actually find graphical games much, much easier to work with. I might give Quest a go, I suppose, but INFORM and whatever the Infocom system were I found terribly fiddly.

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Tawmis and Jared: From my research, I gather that Quest is supposed to be good for beginners, with little to no prior programming experience. This is the system that I messing with now :) I also found another one called Adrift, that is supposed to be equally easy, if not more so. I haven't tried that one yet though, so I can't really give my personal opinion. You can find Adrift here and Quest here.

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I can learn programming languages (fluent in VB and Java).

 

Do not be offended... but I was torn between finding a picture of 3CPO saying, "I am fluent in over 6 million forms of communication. What? VB and Java? Why it's a second language to me, sir!"

 

But instead went with something more SQ related...

post-926-0-85877400-1339805490_thumb.png

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For somebody who enjoys writing a lot, and the idea of games, I have to say I've found trying to make interactive fiction absolutely infuriating. Maybe I'm spoilt by how easy AGS is but I actually find graphical games much, much easier to work with. I might give Quest a go, I suppose, but INFORM and whatever the Infocom system were I found terribly fiddly.

 

It feels really odd, but I agree completely with you. Maybe it's just because I have very limited space in my brain for learning programming languages, but I somehow managed to squeeze the AGS scripting language in there, next to Microsoft QBasic and basic HTML. INFORM just seems so easy on the surface, but I just can't wrap my brain around it.

 

I hate to harp on about this, but if we just had a pool of graphics to pick from, I could whip up a fan game in AGS in no time.

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