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.

Please also refer to the ADRIFT 5 Wiki for more information.

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:05 pm

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


I've had the chat tab open for a couple hours now and I notice the 'user activity in the last hour' at the bottom of the forum is total BS, it forgets I'm there every 15 minutes or so unless I refresh.
Currently working on: Nada. Zip. Zilch. [Check this space later.]
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 1647
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby David Whyld » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:09 pm

Self-fulfilling prophecy describes it very well. It's probably also one of the reasons why Campbell has so little time for ADRIFT these days: lack of people using it leads him to suspect interest is waning so he doesn't bother working on it much, and the fact that he's not working on it much means no one bothers using it.

I'm not sure what can be done about it, though. Even if Campbell returned and actively began working on ADRIFT again, how much difference would it make? He was working on v5 a lot in its early days but interest in ADRIFT still died. A new version of ADRIFT - let's call it v6 because that sounds like a jazzy name and I doubt anyone has thought of it yet - with a lot of hype behind it might spark a resurgence, but I think we all know that's not going to happen.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6599
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:25 pm

I'm chatting with Po right now, and one of my 2018 resolutions is going to be...well not writing a game, because we know how well THAT always worked out...but I'm going to make a serious effort to give feedback to the people who ARE writing so they have at least a smidgen of encouragement to continue doing so. No one wants to put a ton of effort into something and then just release it into a void and I have a hunch that that more than anything else may be what's been killing motivation.
Currently working on: Nada. Zip. Zilch. [Check this space later.]
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 1647
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Po. Prune » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:45 pm

Lumin wrote:I'm chatting with Po right now, and one of my 2018 resolutions is going to be...well not writing a game, because we know how well THAT always worked out...but I'm going to make a serious effort to give feedback to the people who ARE writing so they have at least a smidgen of encouragement to continue doing so. No one wants to put a ton of effort into something and then just release it into a void and I have a hunch that that more than anything else may be what's been killing motivation.

And you can count me in on that one. :bravo:
D-Day V.5 in progress 79Kb so far (slowly getting there)
Anno 1700 in progress 111Kb
User avatar
Po. Prune
Moderator
 
Posts: 3975
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Po. Prune » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:02 pm

>Snip<
David Whyld wrote:It's probably also one of the reasons why Campbell has so little time for ADRIFT these days: lack of people using it leads him to suspect interest is waning so he doesn't bother working on it much, and the fact that he's not working on it much means no one bothers using it.

Like I wrote in an earlier post, Campbell's had a lot on his plate the last months. Having said that it's interesting that there are still people registring in the forum (for whatever reason)

David Whyld wrote:I'm not sure what can be done about it, though. Even if Campbell returned and actively began working on ADRIFT again, how much difference would it make? He was working on v5 a lot in its early days but interest in ADRIFT still died.

I believe that the interest in Adrift died because Campbell concentrated so hard on the V.5 that he completely forgot to update Adrift 4 and nurse the interest of all the many drifters using it. So people found other developers or simply just "drifted" away.
I have no solution as to what can be done, but I would wish that Campbell would appear and give us an update on what his intentions are.
D-Day V.5 in progress 79Kb so far (slowly getting there)
Anno 1700 in progress 111Kb
User avatar
Po. Prune
Moderator
 
Posts: 3975
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby David Whyld » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:36 pm

I'm kinda reluctant to promise anything as far as rating / reviewing games is concerned. I downloaded all the IFComp with the intention of voting for a good few of them and then only ended up getting half a dozen played during the entire voting period. But I'll make an effort at least. I see a good few games on the main site that don't have any ratings or reviews so I might try some of them. Even if I don't like the games, it'll probably do authors good to know that people are actually playing the games. There's nothing worse than writing a game and no one noticing.

As for Campbell's long absence, I'm sure he has his reasons, but it'd still be nice to hear from him every now and then. It's hard to really summon up any kind of enthusiasm for ADRIFT when the person who created it has gone off and no one knows when / if he's going to come back. If he's not coming back, at least make ADRIFT open source so someone else could step in and maintain it if they want. The way things are, if Campbell decided to never come back, ADRIFT would be well and truly screwed because he's the sole person behind it.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6599
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Sat Nov 18, 2017 8:48 pm

I was terrible at beating games even before I got rusty about playing them at all, but even just twenty minutes of bashing around is enough to get a sense of how engaging the writing style and premise of the plot is, and see at least a couple of puzzles. I figure even if I just fill up a folder with ADRIFT games and go down the list, playing until I get bored or hit a brick wall I'd still wind up with a few things to say about the experience.
Currently working on: Nada. Zip. Zilch. [Check this space later.]
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 1647
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby ralphmerridew » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:20 pm

Po. Prune wrote:I believe that the interest in Adrift died because Campbell concentrated so hard on the V.5 that he completely forgot to update Adrift 4 and nurse the interest of all the many drifters using it. So people found other developers or simply just "drifted" away.
I have no solution as to what can be done, but I would wish that Campbell would appear and give us an update on what his intentions are.


Part of the reason why Campbell stopped working on ADRIFT 4 was that it was designed in a way that was increasingly difficult to expand.
Bloodhounds can make you laugh and cuss in the same breath. They are endearing, faithful, and can sling drool ten feet in any direction. -- Virginia Lanier
User avatar
ralphmerridew
 
Posts: 2509
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 11:56 pm
Location: Missouri

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Po. Prune » Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:43 am

ralphmerridew wrote:
Po. Prune wrote:I believe that the interest in Adrift died because Campbell concentrated so hard on the V.5 that he completely forgot to update Adrift 4 and nurse the interest of all the many drifters using it. So people found other developers or simply just "drifted" away.
I have no solution as to what can be done, but I would wish that Campbell would appear and give us an update on what his intentions are.


Part of the reason why Campbell stopped working on ADRIFT 4 was that it was designed in a way that was increasingly difficult to expand.

I realize that Adrift 4 had its limitations and that Campbell wanted to expand. But his "mistake" was that he pretty much totally abandoned Adrift 4 while working on V.5. That left us all not knowing what was going to happen.
D-Day V.5 in progress 79Kb so far (slowly getting there)
Anno 1700 in progress 111Kb
User avatar
Po. Prune
Moderator
 
Posts: 3975
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby David Whyld » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:35 am

While I understand the reasons why Campbell abandoned v4, it's still hard to see it in anything but a negative light. v4 was a great system. It was by far the easiest IF system out there and had a very active userbase and lots of games were being released with it on a regular basis. It was the only system a complete newcomer come pick up and use without having to wade through a lengthy manual or learn a coding language first (which did tend to backfire admittedly when you had newcomers releasing buggy, half-finished one room games they hadn't tested). Ideally, Campbell should have continued developing v4 alongside v5 so the v4 users didn't feel they'd been abandoned, at least until such time as v5 was finished.

Right now, ADRIFT is in dire straits. v4 doesn't appeal to newcomers because it's an old system that's not being actively worked on, and v5 doesn't appeal to newcomers full stop. (And also because it's not being actively worked on.) A few new updates to v4, even if they're fairly minor in the scheme of things, might help.

As for v4 being difficult to expand due to the way it was designed, was there ever really a need for it to expand? Sure, we all want shiny new features but realistically how many of us ever use them? v5 can do things that v4 couldn't, but how many of the games written with v5 take advantage of these features? Of the v5 games I've played, none seem to do anything that couldn't be done more quickly and much more easily in v4. Which begs the question: what's the point of v5? If a popular old system can do all the necessary things an unpopular new system can do, wouldn't it make more sense to at least update the old system from time to time?
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6599
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby rotter » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:16 am

I wasn't keen on V5 at first but I've warmed to it, I certainly would do anything in V4 now. It has some great features that make creating a game very straightforward. Being about to group things in folders, properties, three types of tasks. I believe it gets over some of the parser problems that the rest of the world used to moan about - "Adrift games misinterpret what I meant", "it carries out the wrong action by mistake" etc etc, The problem we have in the only experience people are getting of Adrift in the larger world is not good.
Currently working on "The Blank Wall" in ADRIFT 5 and "Again and Again" in Inform 7.
Delron, the home of Otter Interactive Fiction.
User avatar
rotter
 
Posts: 1293
Joined: Sat May 08, 2004 12:12 am
Location: UK

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lumin » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:22 pm

Properties are probably the biggest appeal v5 has for me. If we could just staple those onto v4 somehow I'd be golden. But realistically, the type of game I most want to make that would make extensive use of them is so ambitious it was never going to happen.

And, well, certainly not going to happen now because at this point there'd be no one to even play it.

I think a lot of v5's bells and whistles were about wanting to make it be seen as a a 'real' development system, but as long it was going to continue being Windows only and GUI driven it was pretty obviously not going to impress anyone, so Campbell might as well have kept the simplicity that we liked and had already built an active community around.

Right now however my priority wish list has nothing to do with the generator itself, and everything to do with the runner. We're talking YEARS of v4 games and still at this point maybe 99% of all ADRIFT games. They need to be converted properly (or at the very least recognized enough to spit out a warning message) and ideally some reliable online functionality would be there too.

I'd donate cash money even now to see some real focus put on that. Maybe someone who knows about programming could correct me if I'm wrong, but how hard would it be really to have the v5 runner include a 'v4 mode', that simply ran these very simple games without breaking them?
Currently working on: Nada. Zip. Zilch. [Check this space later.]
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 1647
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Po. Prune » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:41 pm

Lumin wrote:>Snip<
I'd donate cash money even now to see some real focus put on that. Maybe someone who knows about programming could correct me if I'm wrong, but how hard would it be really to have the v5 runner include a 'v4 mode', that simply ran these very simple games without breaking them?

Speaking of donations. How many have donated money since registing Adrift became free?
We all came up with a lot of bug reports and enhancement suggestions but I doubt that many of us donated.
I'm not saying that it would have solved everything, but maybe it would have given Campbell incentive to continue working on V.5.
D-Day V.5 in progress 79Kb so far (slowly getting there)
Anno 1700 in progress 111Kb
User avatar
Po. Prune
Moderator
 
Posts: 3975
Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2002 8:18 am
Location: Denmark

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby Lazzah » Sun Nov 19, 2017 2:53 pm

David Whyld wrote:Right now, ADRIFT is in dire straits. v4 doesn't appeal to newcomers because it's an old system that's not being actively worked on, and v5 doesn't appeal to newcomers full stop.

On what evidence do you base the statement I have highlighted, David? If you are, or were a newcomer to ADRIFT since v5 was released, you would have only used v5 as I did when I was a newcomer back in 2011. I found it amazingly easy to use and took to it straight away. Although I say it myself, I believe that since then I have produced some decent games using v5. They may not be everyone's cup of tea, but some people have enjoyed them, as is proved by the reviews. I had, and have never, used v4 so I could not make any comparisons between the two. I don't ever want to use v4 because I consider v5 to be the best thing since sliced bread.

The main reason that ADRIFT (it doesn't matter which version!) "doesn't appeal to newcomers" is that there is no support from the developer whatsoever at the moment.

What would give ADRIFT a kick up the backside would firstly be a complete overhaul of the website, which is so dull and boring. We also need a developer (or developers) who is going to be there ALL the time, to answer queries and help Drifters with their problems. Unless he has a major epiphany, I can't see Campbell coming back full time. His Facebook status is "Separated" so I guess that is the main reason for his absence from the forum for so long. (Personally, I would've thought that concentrating his time and effort on ADRIFT might help him forget about his personal problems!) Over the past year or so people have asked questions on the forum which have gone unanswered. If I had been able to help them I would have tried, but the questions were about things which were beyond my knowledge level. They were mainly newcomers and obviously moved on purely because their questions went unanswered.

We all know your opinions of v5, David, but to say that "v5 doesn't appeal to newcomers full stop" is completely wrong.
OUT NOW: The Lost Children
Current W.I.P.: Magnetic Moon
Also available: The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust - The Fist of Fire
User avatar
Lazzah
Moderator
 
Posts: 2050
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:54 am
Location: London, England

Re: Campbell & the future of ADRIFT

Postby David Whyld » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:04 pm

Lumin wrote:I'd donate cash money even now to see some real focus put on that. Maybe someone who knows about programming could correct me if I'm wrong, but how hard would it be really to have the v5 runner include a 'v4 mode', that simply ran these very simple games without breaking them?


I've suggested that a few times over the years, but nothing's ever come of it. Now I'm not a programmer, so I don't know if there's some technical hurdle to doing it or if it's just a case of Campbell not wanting to support v4 any longer, but it would seem like the best of both worlds: a Runner which runs both v4 and v5 games flawlessly without the need for the player to figure out which version the game they're trying to play was written with.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6599
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom

PreviousNext

Return to ADRIFT 5.0

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests

cron