ADRIFT Forum


The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

This forum is the place to learn about and discuss ADRIFT 5. Feel free to mention any bugs you find here, but please also add these to the Bugs & Enhancements list.

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Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby David Whyld » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:11 pm

If Campbell really has abandoned ADRIFT for good this time, I wished he'd just say as much so we know where we stand. I've had the feeling for years now that his heart isn't really in it any more and that he's pretty much just kept the forum and the main site going for the sake of it. If he has given up - and I can't say I really blame him as ADRIFT has been around for a long, long time and v5 was never that well received - just say so. I don't know about anyone else, but if it's all over for ADRIFT I'd sooner just know for certain.
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Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Po. Prune » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:26 pm

I agree with you David. Not to be the one blowing my own horn (and here goes :wink: ) But I have been supportive of Campbell, Adrift and V.5 for a couple of hundred years and even I am beginning to lose faith.
I have written him on Facebook and his E-mail asking about his intentions regarding Adrift. So far, no reply.
In his defence I must say that he has a lot on his plate, (and I do mean a lot) but I would think that no matter how busy a schedule it should be possible to find 5 - 10 minutes to log on and write a few lines.
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Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Denk » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:20 pm

Even if Campbell has stopped developing ADRIFT completely(?), I hope he will let the website run for years. I believe it has value and despite its flaws, ADRIFT 5 can be used to make good games.

I am personally looking forward to Lazzah's 3 planned scifi-adventures.

Also, I am hopeful when it comes to Saabie's alternative Runner and the Unity-version of ADRIFT.
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Re: Campbell & the future of Adrift?

Postby Po. Prune » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:49 pm

Since Campbell has been invisible in the forum for quite a while (at the point of writing this last log in was Sept 28) I thought it appropriate to rise a topic where "Drifters" could talk about and express their thoughts about what's happening with Adrift and the (possible) future.
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Re: Campbell & the future of Adrift?

Postby Lazzah » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:04 pm

Po. Prune wrote:Since Campbell has been invisible in the forum for quite a while (at the point of writing this last log in was Sept 28) I thought it appropriate to rise a topic where "Drifters" could talk about and express their thoughts about what's happening with Adrift and the (possible) future.

I think it is very sad that Campbell seems to have abandoned us the way he has. I just wish he would do right by the people who have supported - and still are supporting - ADRIFT by being honest and telling us why this has come about. I personally think that ADRIFT is one of the best and user-friendly IF writing utilities currently in use. All the others might be "better supported" but they all involve some degree of programming knowledge to be able to use them to the level of ADRIFT, something that I have no aptitude in whatsoever. I cannot imagine using anything else. I would rather give up altogether rather than have to learn another programming method from scratch. At 64 I am getting a bit too long in the tooth to change now - the thought appalls me.

If Campbell is no longer interested in developing ADRIFT, for whatever reason, he should make it open-source, so that anyone with the required programming knowledge can take over the development and bug-fixing.
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lazzah » Fri Nov 17, 2017 4:59 pm

Denk wrote:Even if Campbell has stopped developing ADRIFT completely(?), I hope he will let the website run for years. I believe it has value and despite its flaws, ADRIFT 5 can be used to make good games.

I am personally looking forward to Lazzah's 3 planned scifi-adventures.

Just to update you, Denk, "Magnetic Moon" is 2/3 done! I also have tentative plans for a new Alaric Blackmoon game which will be called "The Call of the Shaman".
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:57 pm

Haha, did something go horribly wrong in the threadsplitting process? I thought some posts had been deleted before noticing there were two with identical titles over here.

Anyway, info of any kind would of course be appreciated. A last login date of September didn't seem that bad, but by going all stalkerish on the profile I can see that it was just to make one post, and the last post before THAT was back in January.

Even if ADRIFT isn't being actively worked on and supported however it's still perfectly functional as is (and v4 still exists), so there's still the possibility of good games being made. There's a lot of factors in play in this rock bottom slump the community has been in (unappealing site design is still a big one IMO) but the main deterrent now of course is simply that only a couple of people are left. Something needs to happen to light a fire under this place and get people excited about making and playing and talking about games again, because a site can't get or keep new blood when it barely has a pulse.

What or how I don't know - - making new discussion threads, making new GAMES and above all, feedback for those who do would go a long way of course, but we're all adults with busy lives and maybe not able to be as enthusiastic about it all as we used to be even on our best days. I still love text adventures in theory, I have so many memories from when I used to play daily, and lots of ideas still that would really only work in this format. But I'm all about the CYOAs now because at the end of the day, I only have time for one or the other, and I want people to read the things I'm writing. (Same reason others eventually switched to Inform I suppose, although a lack of serious feedback outside the IFComp by as been a problem for everyone as long as I remember... the entire genre attracts more authors than players, and it's been that way for a long time.)

e: holy run on sentence Batman!
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby David Whyld » Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:20 pm

It’s a good few years since I last had any real involvement in the ADRIFT scene but something about it just keeps on pulling me back in again. I don’t know why. I know ADRIFT’s glory days are long gone but part of me still keeps thinking that maybe, some day, they might come back… but then, inevitably, they don’t and I end up disappointed with the whole thing and off I go again.

When the recent comp was announced, I didn’t pay much attention to it at first. I just figured it’d be the same as all the other ADRIFT comps: not many people would enter, feedback would be minimal, precious few people would vote… so why bother writing a game for it? But I did anyway. I just felt like it. It’s been years since I last wrote an ADRIFT game, or indeed wrote any IF game outside the IntroComp, and I just felt like doing it, even though I knew the feedback for it would be next to nothing. Which is pretty much what happened. Three entries, three voters, that’s about the size of it. My game’s now been downloaded 24 times in nearly two months, which doesn’t indicate a massive amount of people are playing ADRIFT games. Admittedly, the fact that it’s written in v4 and online play is disabled probably didn’t help. (Saying that, one of the other entries had 25 downloads and 23 online plays and the other 20 downloads and 16 online plays, so there aren’t a lot of people playing the games full stop.)

But… I enjoyed writing the game. It wasn’t my best work by a long way and there's quite a bit about it I’d change if I wrote it again, but it felt good to write it all the same. It felt good to use ADRIFT again. I was actually thinking about writing other games with it, maybe even finishing off some of the games that have been lurking on my hard drive for years now in a half-finished state, but is there any point? I want people to play my games, lots of people, and if that isn't going to happen, then there's not much point in writing them at all.

I'm sure there are lots of reasons for ADRIFT’s decline – I’d harp on again about how v5 is to blame, but even I'm getting tired of listening to me go on about it – but what can be done to save it? Any ideas? Suggestions?

Considering the way Quest took off a few years back due to its website redesign, might the same work here? ADRIFT has always been much better than Quest but there's no denying which one is doing better right now. People even seem to be using that godawful eyesore of a forum they have over there, even though no one appears to like it a whole lot. Unfortunately, people have been suggesting a website redesign for years now and nothing’s happened. With Campbell absent more often than he’s here, it’s even less likely to happen now than it was in the past.

Maybe someone with an eye for website design needs to step in and take over things? Or set up their own website? If this site is dead, there's no reason to stay here, but until a better alternative comes along, there's not much chance of people migrating somewhere else instead.

Or do we buckle down and just hope things improve? Recent history would indicate this is unlikely to happen. Even if Campbell returns at some point, it’s unlikely he’s going to make any large changes to ADRIFT or the site itself. Updates to ADRIFT have been pretty sparse for a long time now and updates to the site are non-existent.

More games and more feedback would help, of course, but new games are few and far between and it’s always proven a real pain in the ass to get people to provide feedback. When I ran the Reviews Exchange years ago, it was a constant struggle getting people to contribute anything to it and eventually that’s why it died out. And that was in the days of v4 when there was a large userbase here and games being released on a regular basis. These days, you'd be lucky to manage a single issue a year and even that'd be a quick read.

Is there any good way to get some new blood around here? A dead website and forum doesn’t exactly scream “come here instead of all the other sites”.
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:51 am

David Whyld wrote: Or set up their own website? If this site is dead, there's no reason to stay here, but until a better alternative comes along, there's not much chance of people migrating somewhere else instead.


This is not a bad idea. A clean, simple site with emphasis on the games themselves first and foremost is so simple to set up. Some wiki style thing would let anyone easily add feedback or reviews, games can be searched by tags or compiled into lists, etc. I'm willing to look into it more later if no one else can, but right in the middle of NaNoWriMo is not the best time. :P

I should probably also make a more serious effort to review a few games. I am just really really out of the habit of even playing the things, but I guess I can't really be here complaining about how dead things are if I'm not making an effort to contribute myself.

e: Also, I completely forgot we had a chatroom here. Does that thing even still work? When's the last time anyone used it?
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby David Whyld » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:59 am

I also forgot we had a chatroom and had to look around the site to figure out where it was (the mini-chat link at the top of the screen). No one's used it since July this year so it's hardly in high demand. Then again, unless you like talking to yourself, you're going to need at least two people to hold a conversation and it's pretty rare to find two people on the site at the same time. I'm currently the only person logged onto the site.
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby rotter » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:20 am

I feel that ADRIFT is all but dead, the activity on here just emphasises that. I love ADRIFT and even V5 is so easy to get a game up and running pretty quickly. V5 does seems to be a bit "clicky" (have to click into a lot of things) but it is a powerful engine. My recently Inform 7 IFComp entry took me years to write. My old ADRIFT IFComp entries on the other hand took about six months plus any testing. The trouble is, it is self-fulfilling prophecy. I've stopped doing anything now with ADRIFT, it isn't worth my time. No point releasing a game on here. No-one is entering good quality games into the main comps. People outside the ADRIFT world only see low standard games. But trying to find an ADRIFT tester is all but impossible. Not sure what the answer is.
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:59 pm

'Self-fulfilling prophecy ' is exactly what's going on here. We all say ADRIFT is dead so we stop working on games and participating on the forum, meaning after a certain point no one else has an incentive to either. This has actually been happening, just very slowly, for years now even before the forum was 'dead' properly.

It really does all come down to the community to maintain interest as much as updates on ADRIFT itself. Despite Quest's general strangeness, it's not difficult to get a handle on the basic command / task structure and to be honest, if they hadn't shot themselves in the foot completely hosing the forum, I'd be making Quest games today. Because people were talking to each other there and excited about games, and that was something I'd missed. (Still WEIRD how few in the community had ever even played a traditional IF game however...standard verbs and the usual ways of getting across info and progressing the plot were like alien concepts, and half were trying to make Skyrim.)
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Denk » Sat Nov 18, 2017 1:44 pm

Lazzah wrote:Just to update you, Denk, "Magnetic Moon" is 2/3 done! I also have tentative plans for a new Alaric Blackmoon game which will be called "The Call of the Shaman".
Sounds great! :yeah:
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:47 pm

David Whyld wrote:I also forgot we had a chatroom and had to look around the site to figure out where it was (the mini-chat link at the top of the screen). No one's used it since July this year so it's hardly in high demand. Then again, unless you like talking to yourself, you're going to need at least two people to hold a conversation and it's pretty rare to find two people on the site at the same time. I'm currently the only person logged onto the site.


Okay this is amusing. I'm in there now and I can see David popped in to have a nice chat with himself earlier, and before that there's some stuff from Duncan_B, from last year.
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Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Po. Prune » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:00 pm

No you're not... I'm here and I brought drinks ... :wink:
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