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Dream Games

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Dream Games

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:14 pm

Assuming you had endless amounts of time to work on it, what would your dream game be? Also assume that ADRIFT can handle any kind of game you want to write and that you have the technical know-how to pull it off. What kind of game would you write? Some massive sprawling fantasy epic? The new Star Wars as a text adventure? Or something much smaller but equally as impressive?

Have you ever tried to write this dream game but never managed to get it finished? If so, what stopped you? Lack of time? Unwilling to undertake such an ambitious project because you weren’t sure you'd ever finish it? Limitations of your chosen system?
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Re: Dream Games

Postby The0didactus » Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:20 pm

Six Silver Bullets was, in large part, my dream game. When I first picked up adrift more than a decade ago, it was specifically to make that game...while the final product was not without flaws, it came out more-or-less how I imagined it would.

Having said that, my new dream game is Lost Coastlines. I would love to take six months off, move to a beach somewhere, and make this game: a game where you explore a dream-world of surreal, procedurally-generated islands full of bizarre adventures and hidden terrors. There is no "objective"...you simply play until you choose to type the words "Wake up"...at which point, you wake up, and get a summary of your adventures.

What usually stops me is simply a feeling of hopelessness, brought on by the fact that I invent largely SETTINGS, rather than STORIES. This is more acceptable in game-world than in book-world, but I still feel that a game should have an animating purpose, a plot or goal, if you will, and often, I spend so much time creating a setting and then realize I have no story to tell there. I'll confess this has happened in at least two distinct points with Sykbreak!, a game that, for all its positive points, still feels a bit directionless in my opinion. There's a whole galaxy in there, but it's open world and the player largely is a tourist. As you can see, Lost Coastlines was my attempt to "lean in" to this but it still feels futile sometimes, because it feels like I'm not really telling a story.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby David Whyld » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:53 am

I think a lot of the issue I have is never being able to decide on which game to write. I have loads of ideas which seem amazing when I first come up with them, but the more I write them the less amazing they seem. I've lost count of how many half-finished games I have floating around my hard drive that seemed amazing at first but never went anywhere after the initial burst of enthusiasm faded. Some I persevered with long after the point I ever expected to get them finished because I’d spent so much time and effort on them that I didn't want to simply give up.

And then there's the time factor. I've noticed that whenever I come up with an idea for a great game, it’s some huge epic. Never a small one, never the kind of thing I could finish in a few weeks or a month, but some monstrosity with hundreds of locations and thousands of tasks and probably enough text to give War and Peace a run for its money. Even when I try to write a small game, I end up adding loads of extra bits and the size shoots through the roof. Whatever size I initially imagine the game being, it’s going to end up being at least twice that big when it’s finished.

Ideally, my dream game would be some kind of huge open world role-playing fantasy epic spanning thousands of locations. Which is weird because whenever other people talk about these kind of games, I tend to roll my eyes and point out how they're wasting their time because they'll never get it finished. I think a lot of that's because I've been hearing people talk about their epic RPG masterpiece for years and I've yet to see anyone actually finish one of them. But with enough time and effort, a system capable of handling it and the technical know-how to do it, I'm sure an epic RPG could be pretty damn amazing.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby P/o Prune » Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:29 am

I can't say that I have a specific "dream game" ie. a title or a story if that is what you refer to.
My dream game would be a game that would make Adrift stand out and give it the credit it so rightfully deserve (in my opinion) a story that would captivate the player and make him/her want to keep playing.
In short, give the player the same experience that I had when I first started playing IF.

I don't know if I will ever make that game.
I have tried with D-Day, but the V.5's limitation on handling graphic was discouraging and made me put the game on the backburner for quite a while.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby The0didactus » Tue Jul 23, 2019 11:31 am

I'm certain there are numerous threads on the matter already, but what exactly are the outer limits of what ADRIFT is capable of?

Skybreak has rounded 850 KB, and I am starting to notice some performance issues, oddly, in the EDITOR. As I type, my keystrokes are "lagging" slightly as I enter text into the primary textbox, in a way that didn't seem to happen before (It is distinctly possible I'm imagining it). When a player selects an option in Skybreak (IE "option one" in a decision) the game checks hundreds of possibilities with no noticeable delay.

and I can also attest that Lost Coastlines runs several actions at the beginning of the game that each have hundreds of subroutines. It does "hang" for a few seconds as it runs this complicated process, but it still performs them with a speed I'd consider impressive.

all in all adrift seems quite capable of supporting a sprawling RPG with thousands of rooms and tens of thousands of items. Hopefully I'll finish mine sometime in the next month.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby David Whyld » Tue Jul 23, 2019 1:12 pm

I don't think anyone’s ever written a game big enough to truly test ADRIFT’s limits. I know v4 used to slow down quite a bit once you hit a certain size – editing or adding a new location would cause a noticeable delay – but I'm not sure what v5’s limits are. Probably much greater because it’s a much newer system so it'd stand to reason that it would take a much bigger game to slow it down. My current WiP has 192 rooms at the moment and there’s a delay when I try to edit or add another in v4, but I've noticed from testing it in v5 that the delay is gone. Locations can be edited or added without delay.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby The0didactus » Tue Jul 23, 2019 4:53 pm

David Whyld wrote:I don't think anyone’s ever written a game big enough to truly test ADRIFT’s limits. I know v4 used to slow down quite a bit once you hit a certain size – editing or adding a new location would cause a noticeable delay – but I'm not sure what v5’s limits are. Probably much greater because it’s a much newer system so it'd stand to reason that it would take a much bigger game to slow it down. My current WiP has 192 rooms at the moment and there’s a delay when I try to edit or add another in v4, but I've noticed from testing it in v5 that the delay is gone. Locations can be edited or added without delay.


No noticeable delay in adding rooms, and Skybreak features over 250 unique locations. What I begin to notice is that when I write long descriptions for tasks, it...starts...to...take...a...second...for...each...word...to...appear. It's possible I'm imagining it, but I don't think that happened with lengthy descriptions before this last round of the project.

I can also attest: Tingalan has two large EVENTS, and adding new tasks to an event does take a loooonnnnnngggggg time when you have more than 100 tasks chained to it (like 30 seconds). Oddly, this is not true about adding new subtasks to a task. As mentioned above the procgen function that creates the map for lost coastlines has hundreds of subtasks and I can add new tasks to it easily.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:48 am

I won't promise anything since Campbell has been AWOL since March and he hasn't answered any of my emails or messages on FB. :cry:
But I'll try contacting him again and ask him about the delays.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:26 am

I've seen occasional posts from Campbell on Facebook so he's not shuffled off the mortal coil or gone to live in a cave in the Sahara, but if he's not responding to you that's not a good sign.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby The0didactus » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:18 pm

P/o Prune wrote:I won't promise anything since Campbell has been AWOL since March and he hasn't answered any of my emails or messages on FB. :cry:
But I'll try contacting him again and ask him about the delays.


I'm not sure it's really worth it. There are like 1000 things that should take priority if he returns.

There, that's my dream adrift game: a game that you can play online. I'm going to take another crack at launching a server over the weekend.
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Re: Dream Games

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jul 24, 2019 2:43 pm

Honestly, it'd be nice to just hear something from Campbell about ADRIFT one of these days. He keeps the forum going so he hasn't totally abandoned things but it's kinda worrying when the key figure in the whole ADRIFT scene goes missing for such a long time. Failing anything else, I'd like to know if he ever intends to work on ADRIFT again.
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