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Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

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Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Lumin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:22 pm

As part of my ~*~triumphant return~*~ to the IF scene I've been doing a lot of reading this weekend in between bouts of fiddling with v5. The 'Are We Too Positive?' discussion and various threads at intfiction.org have gotten me thinking.

There doesn't really seem to be the kneejerk negativity towards Adrift out there that there used to be. I still and probably always will prefer the atmosphere here to that of the wider community, but there's no reason for us to stay holed up here all the time. There are some pretty cool guys who play games made with other programs too. Maybe they would play ours and even (gasp!) give helpful feedback if they only knew we existed. Except...there's no reason to expect anybody to go out of their way to come to a site for a dev system they don't use to grab a random game they've never heard of and aren't even sure if they'll enjoy unless they also come to the forum and search for reviews. I know it's been said a million times before, and I know a few of us are making the effort (Duncan and David especially) but we need to do what we can to make Adrift and the better games more visible to people outside our community.

So, any thoughts on how to do that?

The first couple of things that come to mind for me are:

1.) ADRIFT 5 is a huge change from v4, and it being free now is a big deal. How many potential new authors are even aware of these things? At the ifwiki, unless they scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to see the single line about v5 being fully available, the first thing anyone's going to see is "While ADRIFT games can be played for free, the latest version of the ADRIFT Generator, version 4.0 is shareware and costs $17 to register. (If you do not register ADRIFT 4.0 it is limited to: 10 rooms, 25 objects, 25 tasks, 5 events, 3 characters, 2 roomgroups, 10 synonyms, and 5 variables)."

At intfiction.org Adrift is crammed away in 'Other Development Systems'. While it might be better for people with questions about it to come here anyway...how are they supposed to know that? It would be great if we could get a stickied (or at least frequently bumped) thread suggesting they come here for a quicker response. And while Campbell's been announcing the new versions there, he hasn't really been going into detail the way he does over here. Someone who's not specifically interested in Adrift isn't necessarily going to click on a thread that simply says 'ADRIFT 5.0.19'. (I don't know if it's possible to edit thread titles over there, but Campbell, just suggesting that something like 'full version now free' would be a good addition...and then maybe swap that two line post out for your very best PR pitch. People on the internet are frickin' lazy, you can't expect them to actually move their mouse hand and click on a link unless you give them a really good reason to :wink: )

2.) Our games are woefully underrepresented just about everywhere. If you write a game you're proud of, upload it to the IF Archive, give it a write up on the wiki, and post about it at intfiction. And if you write a review, copy and paste it everywhere. This forum, the adventures page, ifwiki, intfiction, etc. (Any other major sites I might be completely oblivious too? Does anyone still use ifreviews.org?)

Even if you're not up to writing a full review, a single paragraph at Baf's can go a long way, as can two or three lines on the ifwiki - I see so many games there (including my own which someone else must have uploaded...) that are just empty stubs without even a basic description. And that makes me sad. :cry:

So come on, let's tear down the walls! :x (this is just an illustration please do not actually attempt to do so with your face) and join hands with the rest of IF community and sing hippy songs around a campfire while dropping acid or something! It should be fun!

.... :anyone:
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Duncan_B » Sun Aug 21, 2011 6:57 pm

IFDB is a good site to get your stuff up on (your stuff is all there, Lumin!), and people will notice if you get a review.

You should also see about joining ifMUD and, if not wading into the social scene, at least dropping by some Saturdays for Club Floyd. If we can get ADRIFT games on Club Floyd, we can guarantee the IF Community's exposure to them. One caveat: make sure any games you want to suggest for Club Floyd are playable using Gargoyle or a SCARE-based Runner. Games which use the built-in combat system, for example, don't work on the Club Floyd interpreter. No, I don't know why. But it's a bummer to suggest something and find out it doesn't work when people try to play it (this happened to Main Course, which I thought was too bad).

Another thing you might consider is getting a blog and hooking it up to Planet IF. People read this thing, you can blog about whatever IF things you want, and it's a good way to connect with other bloggers.

One last thing-- and I know this is a long shot for many-- but if you get the chance to meet with IF people in person, do eet. Face-to-face is the best way to talk about interactive fiction. PAX East is probably one of the best events for that (it would be great to see other 'DRIFTers there), but there are other events out there. Or maybe we could make our own event!? I have no idea where we'd hold it, though, given how spread out everyone is.

Anyway, those are my thoughts for now.
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Lumin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:11 pm

Duncan_B wrote:IFDB is a good site to get your stuff up on (your stuff is all there, Lumin!), and people will notice if you get a review.


Oh wow, you're right! And there's actually a brand new review of Bringing the Rain I would never have even seen. :D

...he gave it two stars but he had some good points and hey, I'm just thrilled to see that anyone outside the people who voted on the contest actually played it. It's a really well-written review, I'm going to paste it to the Adventures page later.
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby rotter » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:13 pm

Duncan_B wrote:One last thing-- and I know this is a long shot for many-- but if you get the chance to meet with IF people in person, do eet. Face-to-face is the best way to talk about interactive fiction. PAX East is probably one of the best events for that (it would be great to see other 'DRIFTers there), but there are other events out there. Or maybe we could make our own event!? I have no idea where we'd hold it, though, given how spread out everyone is.


A Drifters Conference? Sounds a great idea. Only one real location for it though and that would be home of the creator. Edinburgh.
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby David Whyld » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:47 pm

Duncan_B wrote:One caveat: make sure any games you want to suggest for Club Floyd are playable using Gargoyle or a SCARE-based Runner. Games which use the built-in combat system, for example, don't work on the Club Floyd interpreter.


No big loss really. Have you ever played a game which used the combat system that was any good?
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Duncan_B » Sun Aug 21, 2011 7:59 pm

Hmm... for a trip from San Jose to Edinburgh, I'm getting no prices under $1000, slightly more with hotels. There's a chance I might be able to get my university to help me cover that cost, but (for those of us flying from the U.S.) I imagine that price might be quite prohibitive for some people.

Maybe there would be some way to do, like, a fundraiser or something? Or perhaps we could consult with Zarf and some of the others who help organize for PAX East. They might be able to offer us some tips. Although in traveling to Boston, the cost is still all on the individual. Maybe we could just all crash at Campbell's place, if he has enough couches...?
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Duncan_B » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:01 pm

No big loss really. Have you ever played a game which used the combat system that was any good?

Just the one, Main Course, and the combat system was admittedly its weakest point. I'm just saying, I know that's one of the things that breaks games when they run 'em at Club Floyd, so there might be other things. Would be a good idea to test a game before suggesting it.

Also, games for Club Floyd should be finishable within just a couple hours. In general, it's built for sprints, not marathons.
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Campbell » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:10 pm

I specifically haven't done anything with the combat system for v5, basically because it was rubbish. It should be possible to create a bolt-on system using a library if anyone has the time or inclination, and I'd be happy to distribute it with the files if it's up to scratch.

As for everyone coming to Edinburgh, sounds like a great idea to me! Lazzah actually mentioned to me recently that he used to do that sort of thing. Perhaps we should arrange something?
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby NickyDude » Sun Aug 21, 2011 8:23 pm

I think I'd be up for a trip to Edinburgh. :)
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Lumin » Sun Aug 21, 2011 9:40 pm

I don't think I could afford a trip to Edinburgh, but if we're serious about this I could probably fit into someone's suitcase.
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby BlueMaxima » Sun Aug 21, 2011 11:21 pm

Ponies can do that sort of thing.

I imagine for me to get to Edinburgh it'd cost me a couple of grand and 3 pairs of crapped pants.

...Skype?
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Lazzah » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:23 am

Campbell wrote:Lazzah actually mentioned to me recently that he used to do that sort of thing.

I used to help organize the "Adventurers Convention" which ran for many years in the UK from 1990. For the first 11 years we held the convention at a hotel in Birmingham, switching to Coventry in 2000. It was decided to hold the convention at a central location, as people would travel to it from all over the UK. You can read about the convention at this website:

http://www.adventureconvention.co.uk

Unfortunately, due to declining numbers, the convention is no longer held, but a group of us still get together once every 3 months at the Hamilton Halls pub.

BTW, this was started all in the days before the www - communication was by letter or phone!
Last edited by Lazzah on Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Campbell » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:03 am

That's outrageous, there's no link to ADRIFT on that site...
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Lazzah » Mon Aug 22, 2011 7:12 am

Campbell wrote:That's outrageous, there's no link to ADRIFT on that site...

Damn, I knew there was something I'd forgotten..... :blush:
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Re: Okay so yes we probably are too isolated

Postby Lumin » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:10 pm

I don't know how many of you are paying attention to the IFDB right now, but it's kind of neat how almost all fifty of the newest activity notices are related to ADRIFT. :bravo: Get on there and let's keep this trend going!
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