Re. Floatpoint v2

Since several people have contacted me about this in the last couple of days (it seems to happen in waves): no, a new build of Floatpoint is not imminent. I realize it is annoying that the current build has a few bugs, one of them unsightly, and I agree it’s not entirely recommendable to new players in the current state. But I am, at this point, disinclined to release a build that only fixes those problems, because feedback indicates that what the game really needs is a rewrite: for best effect, it needs to be a four- to six-hour piece, featuring much more conversation with significant characters, more internal structure, better exploration of the back-story and justification of the central problem, and so on.

I am working towards this, in various ways, but it is not likely to be done in the near future; and (perhaps obviously) Inform 7 support also consumes a fair amount of my available time.

Anyway, I apologize to those who are vexed by this, but that is the state of affairs.

Two really quite minor extensions

Now that the I7 extensions page has RSS, it may be redundant to announce these at all, but I have added two little extensions in the last couple of days. One is called “Modified Exit”, designed to deal more sensibly with cases where the player wants to go somewhere but is sitting on an enterable supporter or is inside an enterable container; it makes a few other tweaks to the standard rules on exiting as well.

The second is even more tiny: Property Checking goes through and makes sure all your rooms and objects have descriptions, as a test. (It will not do this in released games — this is purely a debugging function.) I built it because I was startled to find in my (slowly ongoing) Floatpoint revision that I had one or two things about which the player could still see nothing special. Oops.

Inform 7 for the Fiction Author

Jeff Nyman recently raised the idea of having a guide to Inform 7 specifically written for an experienced fiction author without background in IF, and I posted a brainstormed outline for such a project. The formatting was pretty ugly on Usenet, though, and I had a few ideas for revisions, so here is another, longer and better-laid-out version of the same thing, with more links to relevant games and articles.

This still isn’t nearly into the shape I would use if I were actually going to write this book — and I don’t have time to do any such thing right now anyway; I have a bunch of things to do for Inform 7,, and the long-neglected theory book before I could take up a project of this magnitude. (And I’d like to have a little time to work on a WIP of my own — IF support work has pretty much wiped out my time for that kind of thing lately.) But possibly people will find the brainstorming interesting, even if it isn’t worked up into a complete document.

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On Stephen Bond on Player Freedom

Stephen Bond recently (very recently, I think) posted an essay on player freedom, essentially arguing that IF shouldn’t be about offering the player moral choice, and that not forcing the player to make a specific choice is a kind of artistic abdication, giving up the opportunity (or the responsibility) to Say Something.

Now I’m about to disagree with him, at some length.

Continue reading “On Stephen Bond on Player Freedom”