Annual IF Comp 2020

The home for all discussion of competitions for ADRIFT and multiformat IF
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Denk
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

One more public review of an ADRIFT game, this time Just Another Fairy Tale:
https://mikespiveyif.home.blog/2020/10/ ... airy-tale/
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DazaKiwi
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by DazaKiwi »

That was an interesting review. I am curious to know just how different inform is different to Adrift in terms of general parser as the reviewer mentioned so that we can try and curb some of the differences by expanding some commands to cover what would normally work in Inform as the reviewer mentioned the water skin issue and also the rope.
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P/o Prune
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

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DazaKiwi wrote: Tue Oct 20, 2020 10:24 pm That was an interesting review. I am curious to know just how different inform is different to Adrift in terms of general parser as the reviewer mentioned so that we can try and curb some of the differences by expanding some commands to cover what would normally work in Inform as the reviewer mentioned the water skin issue and also the rope.
Yes, it was quite interesting. And in a way flattering too.
I believe that is one of the things Denk is trying to accomplish with the combined library.
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Denk
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

P/o Prune wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 7:21 amI believe that is one of the things Denk is trying to accomplish with the combined library.
Yes, I try to get rid of the problems that the standard library has, so the ADRIFT parser will be closer to e.g. the Inform parser. But there are limitations to what you can do with a library.

Compared to the review of Just Another Fairy Tale, the WINESKIN issue will not occur when using the Combined Library.

But the SHOOT issue mentioned in the review isn't due to bugs in ADRIFT or the Standard Library. Issues like the SHOOT issue will always occur when the author does not implement new verbs as intended. I know it can be more work, but it makes the game much more user-friendly.

To implement a verb like SHOOT you should make a general task which takes care of all non-interesting responses:
SHOOT %object%
It could have restrictions informing the player if he hasn't got a weapon, he hasn't got ammo, you can't see what you are trying to shoot etc.
And if all restrictions are fulfilled, it could say "You see no reason to shoot %object%.name."

Whenever you want to shoot something specific, you should then make a specific task overriding that general task.

You might want to make one more general SHOOT task, something like:
SHOOT %object1% [with/using] %object2%
Again you should override this task for specific purposes, instead of using general tasks.
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Denk
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

Anssi has also reviewed the two ADRIFT games publicly. Both got a 6 out of 10.

Just Another Fairy Tale:
https://intfiction.org/t/anssis-ifcomp- ... s/47566/44


Return to Castle Coris:
https://intfiction.org/t/anssis-ifcomp- ... s/47566/49
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Denk
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

One more public review of Just Another Fairy Tale:
https://intfiction.org/t/stians-ifcomp- ... s/47584/56
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rovarsson
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by rovarsson »

Denk wrote: Wed Oct 21, 2020 11:43 am
But the SHOOT issue mentioned in the review isn't due to bugs in ADRIFT or the Standard Library. Issues like the SHOOT issue will always occur when the author does not implement new verbs as intended. I know it can be more work, but it makes the game much more user-friendly.

To implement a verb like SHOOT you should make a general task which takes care of all non-interesting responses:
SHOOT %object%
It could have restrictions informing the player if he hasn't got a weapon, he hasn't got ammo, you can't see what you are trying to shoot etc.
And if all restrictions are fulfilled, it could say "You see no reason to shoot %object%.name."

Whenever you want to shoot something specific, you should then make a specific task overriding that general task.

You might want to make one more general SHOOT task, something like:
SHOOT %object1% [with/using] %object2%
Again you should override this task for specific purposes, instead of using general tasks.
This is so very true. The first thing I did when I started on my rewrite of The Tree (Computercrash killed my files in august. Only a week since I mustered the courage to start anew.) was make a list of verbs not in the standard library that I knew I was going to use. I made the General Tasks for those, in effect expanding the library to my personal needs. Any other new verbs that come up while writing the game also get a General task first.

As it happens, SHOOT is one of those verbs. Also with pebbles, heh. So:
>SHOOT TREE
That would be a waste of pebbles. (General Task takes care of this)

>SHOOT SQUIRREL
The squirrel never did you any harm. (Specific Task to give an appropriate response to an unnecessary/wrong command)

>SHOOT UNICORN'S HORN
The pebble strikes true! The unicorns spiraled horn snaps off and flies through the air, rapidly twisting around its lengthwise axis. It strikes the cork of the giant's wine bottle right in the middle. The momentum of the horn forces it to corkscrew deep into the cork! (Specific Task to respond to the puzzle-solving command, paired with the necessary Actions: -move 'unicorn's horn' to in object 'giant cork' etc...)

(No, shooting unicorns will not be necessary in The Tree)

As Denk has repeatedly said: Adrift's parser is not bad. Just don't cut corners.

(BTW: Hi all! The crash mentioned above and some other business kept me from posting here for some time. Expect new additions to my WIP as soon as I reach the final puzzle of chapter one, which is where I lost my files.)
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Denk
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

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Now Stian has also reviewed "Return to Castle Coris": https://intfiction.org/t/stians-ifcomp- ... s/47584/59

He found it even harder than Just Another Fairy Tale.

I think I should mention that Stian is usually very good at solving parser games, e.g. it took him only a little more than two hours to solve "The Impossible Bottle" (Inform game in this year's IFComp). It took me seven hours without hints(!), since I got stuck many times.

Perhaps the authors should discuss their walkthroughs with a tester. As it is now, the walkthroughs give the impression that very special commands are needed, when often standard commands would work too. Also, difficult "extra points"-actions could be omitted from the walkthroughs.

It seems that there is a tendency to make the games too hard. It could be interesting to make a game much easier. We might think the game is too easy, but we might find that players would find it appropriate. After all, players know better than the author, what is easy and what is hard. Cluing is not a bad thing - sometimes needed in situations where it would be close to impossible to "guess what the author is thinking".

Perhaps we should also try harder to get testing outside the ADRIFT Forum. E.g. I have completed 12 of Larry Horsfield's games (I beta-tested 9) so I might be "too familiar" with those, to estimate the difficulty level.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by P/o Prune »

Denk wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 12:34 am Perhaps the authors should discuss their walkthroughs with a tester. As it is now, the walkthroughs give the impression that very special commands are needed, when often standard commands would work too. Also, difficult "extra points"-actions could be omitted from the walkthroughs.
Discussing our walkthroughs is a very good idea indeed. I will keep that in mind.
It seems that there is a tendency to make the games too hard. It could be interesting to make a game much easier. We might think the game is too easy, but we might find that players would find it appropriate. After all, players know better than the author, what is easy and what is hard. Cluing is not a bad thing - sometimes needed in situations where it would be close to impossible to "guess what the author is thinking".
What do you mean by a game being too hard?
We once had a competition for a kids game, but I think it crashed and burned due to the lack of interest on the authors part. In the "old days" we had tons of competitions, but unfortunately during the long wait for Adrift 5 most authors dropped Adrift altogether. So now, apart from the occasional newcomer, it's only us hardcore veterans that are left.
Perhaps we should also try harder to get testing outside the ADRIFT Forum. E.g. I have completed 12 of Larry Horsfield's games (I beta-tested 9) so I might be "too familiar" with those, to estimate the difficulty level.
A while ago there was a website where authors could request testers for their game(s) I used it a lot, but unfortunately it closed down and the only other source apart from our poor family and friends are posting in the IntFiction.
I hope that the more the Adrift developer is enhanced, and the more good games are published, the more people will be interested in testing Adrift games.
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Denk
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

P/o Prune wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:00 am What do you mean by a game being too hard?
We once had a competition for a kids game, but I think it crashed and burned due to the lack of interest on the authors part. In the "old days" we had tons of competitions, but unfortunately during the long wait for Adrift 5 most authors dropped Adrift altogether. So now, apart from the occasional newcomer, it's only us hardcore veterans that are left.
Not sure I understand how this relates to your question: "What do you mean by a game being too hard?"
Do you only make games for the ADRIFT Community or do you aim for the broader IF Community? I can only speak for myself, but I aim for the entire IF community. I am aware that there are not so many that play ADRIFT games (not even within the ADRIFT community!) but if only a few people from the general IF Community plays your game, you have already doubled the amount of players ;)

We might be veterans when it comes to MAKING games (and we lack feedback), but only a few of us seem to PLAY games (not counting testing, as that is VERY different).
P/o Prune wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:00 amA while ago there was a website where authors could request testers for their game(s) I used it a lot, but unfortunately it closed down and the only other source apart from our poor family and friends are posting in the IntFiction.
I hope that the more the Adrift developer is enhanced, and the more good games are published, the more people will be interested in testing Adrift games.
I agree good games will enable us to get more testers on intfiction.org. I doubt the state of the Developer has an influence on testers, but improvements in the Developer might reduce the number of bugs in released games and thus the games will be better.
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Denk
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by Denk »

Viv Dunstan reviews Return to Castle Coris: https://intfiction.org/t/viv-dunstans-i ... s/47507/36

Quite positive - not everyone seems to find it too hard :)
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Lakanar
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

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P/o Prune wrote: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:00 am We once had a competition for a kids game, but I think it crashed and burned due to the lack of interest on the authors part. In the "old days" we had tons of competitions, but unfortunately during the long wait for Adrift 5 most authors dropped Adrift altogether. So now, apart from the occasional newcomer, it's only us hardcore veterans that are left.
IMO, getting more people to use adrift is a mixture of development moving forward and those that are left, pumping out good games.
Most IF I see are CYOA, mostly because you need to know programming to use Inform or Tads 3. Adrift having a renaissance would be a good thing, but that's a matter of sparking interest once again.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

Post by rotter »

Lakanar wrote: Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:34 am IMO, getting more people to use adrift is a mixture of development moving forward and those that are left, pumping out good games.
Most IF I see are CYOA, mostly because you need to know programming to use Inform or Tads 3. Adrift having a renaissance would be a good thing, but that's a matter of sparking interest once again.
Also, not having Anti-virus software throw up alerts and block the exe's would help.
Currently working on "The Blank Wall" in ADRIFT 5 and "Again and Again" in Inform 7.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2020

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rotter wrote: Wed Nov 04, 2020 6:32 am
Also, not having Anti-virus software throw up alerts and block the exe's would help.
A thousand times this. How complicated would it be for Campbell to register Adrift with the Microsoft store? Does it even have to be him that does it? Same things I asked three weeks ago in the new version thread I know, but I'm not sure if he's been on since then. If this really is the magic fix to our biggest problem then I'm pretty antsy for someone to try it.

My interest in the mainstream IF community has been reduced to zero, not that there was much to begin with. But I still have access to some fifty or sixty odd people on CYS who are into text games and give some pretty damn good feedback when you can catch them in the mood. They'd be the main ones I'm writing for, and there are things that can be done with ADRIFT as a writing tool there are just no substitutes for anywhere else. But just installing the thing is such a hurdle. The online player is there but hard to take seriously as a substitute when I don't know if the clunkiness with saving and problems with the games loading over each other will ever be fixed.
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