Creating an Interactive Fiction game:

Total posts: [20]
Has anyone ever done this before? If so, I'd like help learning to create one using Inform 7.

I have a basic idea for the story and how it should progress, but I haven't worked out all the details and dialogue yet. I'm wondering what puzzles there should be in the game, and whether or not the player can die.

The game world is a city with major locations that the player can visit by entering his vehicle, with more areas becoming available as the story progresses, yet I'm having trouble figuring out how to implement this.

I can tell you more about the story itself and its themes if anyone's interested.
Just passing by...
Interesting, tell me more. I got inspired to make my story one of these now...

edited 14th May '11 1:29:54 AM by TheBorderPrince

I reject your reality and substitute my own!!!
I need a drink
Yes, do tell

Theres sex and death and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime and at least the trains all run on time but they dont go anywhere.
4 chihuahua014th May 2011 07:07:16 AM from Standoff, USA , Relationship Status: I LOVE THIS DOCTOR!
Writer's Welcome Wagon
-leans forward-

5 annebeeche14th May 2011 07:42:21 AM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
I've always wanted to make one of these, but overhaul inform's conversation system so it's similar to dialogue systems from a typical videogame.

In the past I was also trying to work on a "hallway" extension that uses containers that pretend to be doors so you can have areas like hallways, the outdoors of a village, etc.

edited 14th May '11 7:43:41 AM by annebeeche

Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
6 Gault14th May 2011 08:49:51 AM from somewhere far, far away , Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
Laugh and grow dank!
This is definitely something I'd be interested in. Tell the rest of us eager folk what you got so far.
the ride never ends
Also known as Katz
I've written Inform 7 games. It's fun, although the language can be very frustrating.

Your questions and queries can go to the super-helpful interactive fiction forum, or I may be able to help.

Annebeeche: There are a lot of extensions that handle dialogue differently, such as this one that allows you to do proper menu-based conversation trees.

My best advice for beginning is to not make your game too long. Interactive fiction games can usually be completed in a long afternoon, a lot shorter than other types of computer games.
8 Dec14th May 2011 02:23:16 PM from The Dance Floor
Stayin' Alive
I've played with it before, but I never got that deep into it — mostly because I couldn't think of a story that would work better as a game than a novel.

On puzzles... I don't really know. Research logic puzzles or something, maybe? Or maybe you could look through the videogame tropes and find something there.
Nemo enim fere saltat sobrius, nisi forte insanit
9 annebeeche14th May 2011 02:56:15 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
[up] Game first, story second.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
Well, it sounds like I have enough people interested here. I haven't quite worked out the details of the story, but here's what I got so far:

You are a young man named Daniel "Steely Dan" Steel, who has awakened inside of a small chapel one evening with a headache and no memory of the past 24 hours. The chapel is empty except for him and the corpse of a mysterious woman. He heads out to the parking lot and enters its sole vehicle, an REO Speedwagon, to the police station where he meets Chief Sting, who begins the investigation into the murder of this woman, whose name turns out to be Eleanor Rigby, but nothing else is known about her.

Dan sets off to find out more about this incident by gathering information from around this town called Paradise City. He finds out that he is a member of a band scheduled to play a gig at Lonely Hearts, a club owned by war veteran Sgt. Pepper. Problem is, their road crew ran into Hal Ford and his motorcycle gang, the Freewheel Burners, and they vanished along with their instruments and equipment.

To make matters worse, the streets of Paradise City are unsafe to wander at night due to a group of murderers collectively known as the Manalishis terrorizing the city, and are suspected to be behind the theft of a jewelry store called Neil's Diamonds & Rust. Chief Sting has been hot on their trail and has uncovered some information about them. Each Manalishi is identified by a color and a code name: The Red Manalishi goes by the name of Chainsaw Charlie, The Blue Manalishi is called Johnny Blade, the Yellow Manalishi is named Molly Hatchet, and the Black Manalishi is none other than Maxwell "Silver Hammer" Edison. Their leader is the Green Manalishi, but nothing is known about him or her other than being said to wear a two-pronged crown.

There is quite a mystery for Dan to unravel, but he is not without help. He is told to seek the Man on the Silver Mountain, and sure enough, at a place called Silver Mountain near the city, he finds the home of an eccentric toymaker called Mr. Tinkertrain, who may be able to help...

edited 17th May '11 11:44:44 PM by Cysma

Yes, if you haven't noticed by now, I'm invoking Flintstone Theming with rock music references.
Also known as Katz
Sounds intriguing. No memory + dead person = surefire hook. And of course I'd be happy to play test.

Immediate impression: You have a lot of sets. Think carefully about how you're going to handle them so that people don't feel railroaded (scenes will be your friend) and so there isn't too much traveling back and forth. For instance, Dan goes to the police station and the chief of police begins the investigation. Do they go right back to the scene of the crime together to get information? Or does Dan go to the police station, then back home, then back to the police station later to get information? The sorts of scene changes you could just blow through in a book or movie can really drag when the player has to manually go to each location.

And think about the sheer amount of stuff and people that are going to be in this game. You start in a chapel, which will contain stuff like pews, stained-glass windows, hymnals, an altar piece, and so on. People are going to scrutinize everything for any clues they might yield before going outside (I know this from experience). You will need to individually create and describe each of these items, and that will be true for every room in the game.
Unless you're familiar and comfortable with Inform 7, I'd recommend Inform 6 from my own experience. I7 never worked for me.
I forgot to mention one location: Neil's Diamonds & Rust: Your one-stop shop for jewelry and de-rusting!

That aside, I have been considering all the things to describe in each scene. I can put items the player will need on the scenery where possible, and give him the ability to manipulate other pieces to solve puzzles. I can also write sarcastic responses to ridiculous things the player tries. In the chapel, if he tries to "take" the pews, the game might say, "When people tell you to have a seat, this isn't what they mean!"

Also, what does Inform 6 have on Inform 7?
15 annebeeche17th May 2011 04:45:39 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
The language is easier to work with, probably.

Programming in Inform 7 can be frustrating, but keeping your work grammatically accurate should be much easier, since the nature of the name you use can be implied through the syntax of the code instead of having to be explicitly stated every time.

I'm sure there are other freedoms that Inform 7 has, too, that 6 doesn't have.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
16 cutewithoutthe17th May 2011 04:50:13 PM , Relationship Status: Star-crossed
Gˇ­berit Nor­ling
@kspam: You could do more horror in The Fear Mythos.

17 annebeeche17th May 2011 04:53:25 PM from by the long tidal river
watching down on us
Also, I don't think the official documentation tells you how to do this, but it is possible to interject Inform 6 code into an Inform 7 source text. Browse the source for The Standard Rules extension (which is attached to every work) and you'll see what I mean.
Banned entirely for telling FE that he was being rude and not contributing to the discussion.
I shall watch down from the goon heavens.
Hey, I've got an idea. Can I create this game as a Choose Your Own Adventure in the Forum Games forum?
It has been done in this very forum, so of course it can been done there as well.

coughcoughShame it died at the very best part.coughcough

edited 22nd May '11 12:12:37 PM by Dealan

Well, I'm giving it a shot in the Forum Games forum for now. Higher-ups: If you feel another forum is more appropriate for it, feel free to move it there!
The system doesn't know you right now, so no post button for you.
You need to Get Known to get one of those.

Total posts: 20