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What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

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What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby ElliotM » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:33 am

What sort of IF techniques or effects is Adrift particularly well-suited to implementing? I was thinking that a list of these would make an excellent article for the Adrift Wiki and could give ideas to future Adrift authors. I believe the Inform 7 recipe book has a similar purpose.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:32 am

For me, it would be the possibility to add graphics to your games. And when the new update is released you can add sound to that too.
But I would say that the strongest force of Adrift is that most people can go right at it and start creating a game. Less now than with the old V.4, but still.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby David Whyld » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:11 am

To be honest, I don't really find ADRIFT 5 that "newbie-friendly". When I first started using ADRIFT, at V3.9, it was literally so easy to use you could download it and start writing your first game five minutes later. ADRIFT 5 is a lot more complex.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:20 am

David Whyld wrote:To be honest, I don't really find ADRIFT 5 that "newbie-friendly". When I first started using ADRIFT, at V3.9, it was literally so easy to use you could download it and start writing your first game five minutes later. ADRIFT 5 is a lot more complex.

I think it's because we oldtimers tend to think in V.4 terms. You have to look at this as a whole new developer and start from scratch.
I had problems going from V.4 to V5, I kept trying to do things the V.4 way, but now I'm pretty confident with V.5 and things goes a lot smoother.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby Campbell » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:36 am

David Whyld wrote:To be honest, I don't really find ADRIFT 5 that "newbie-friendly". When I first started using ADRIFT, at V3.9, it was literally so easy to use you could download it and start writing your first game five minutes later. ADRIFT 5 is a lot more complex.
So what do you think it is about v5 that makes is feel more difficult to get started? Are there too many options in your face? Should I perhaps be hiding some of these away?
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Dec 15, 2011 1:40 pm

So what do you think it is about v5 that makes is feel more difficult to get started? Are there too many options in your face? Should I perhaps be hiding some of these away?

No, please don't do that. I think there's more than enough things hidden away as it is. (The fact that you can right click in the window to add an alternate description, the fact that you can click on some of the icons and change the option ... Thinking about my blunder yesterday when I wanted to be able to use direction in locations to let player go to a room group. I managed to suggest it as an enhancement until Saabie was kind enough to tell me that all I had to do was to click on the little house symbol.... :blush: )
This is just to mention a few.

One thing that may get the V.5 to seem more difficult is the lack of a manual.
The one created for the V.4 was incredible valuable when a newbie was going to make his own game.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby ElliotM » Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:33 pm

I wasn't thinking of newbie-friendly-ness as an IF effect or technique, but the ability to associate graphics (and sounds?) with nearly anything that prints text is certainly powerful. What I'm looking for are the sort of things Adrift makes easy to do that the typical author might want to try in their game. A good example would be the ease of creating alternate descriptions through right clicking. Another would be that the Developer asks if you want room connections to go both ways and does it for you if you click yes (same goes for restrictions). The Ask/Tell conversation model is built in and can now have actions associated with topics, whereas in V4 this wasn't possible I believe. NPC's can have multiple walks that are each triggered and terminated by different conditions, and during a walk the NPC can be told to do things, such as if they encounter something specific like an object or another character.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby David Whyld » Thu Dec 15, 2011 8:46 pm

Campbell wrote:
David Whyld wrote:To be honest, I don't really find ADRIFT 5 that "newbie-friendly". When I first started using ADRIFT, at V3.9, it was literally so easy to use you could download it and start writing your first game five minutes later. ADRIFT 5 is a lot more complex.
So what do you think it is about v5 that makes is feel more difficult to get started? Are there too many options in your face? Should I perhaps be hiding some of these away?


I think the main problem is that it isn't immediately obvious how a lot of the stuff works. For example, take creating a new task. I'm presented with the option of it being a "general task", a "specific task" or a "system task" without any clear indication as to the difference between them. If I select "specific task", I'm then given the options to make it "display parent message" and "execute parent actions"... er what? Under the advanced tab, I have options like "task priority" and "auto-fill priority" and "prevent this task from being inherited" and my favourite "if task fails and input references 'all', display this instead of restriction comments". None of that makes a whole lot of sense to me.

On the left hand side of the screen there are a whole lot of options in the "folders" sections but again it's not immediately apparent how to make use of these. Double clicking on "library messages" brings up a new window which is currently blank. Right clicking on the new window and selecting new brings up more options, but none to add a library message or give me any idea as to what library messages might be. The same goes for things like "player movement" and "attacking".

Right now, a newcomer is probably going to be scratching his head and wondering what the heck half of this stuff does. If they've previously used an older version of ADRIFT and have got used to its simplicity, they'll be doing even more scratching and wondering. Sure, the program is still in beta and I know there's the online Wiki, but there's no documentation in the actual program itself to clue people in to what most of the stuff does.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby NickyDude » Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:38 pm

I think is mainly the wording in the wiki that has the uninitiated scratching their head. It does seem more like a technical manual than a 'getting to know..." type of guide.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby saabie » Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:09 am

NickyDude wrote:I think is mainly the wording in the wiki that has the uninitiated scratching their head. It does seem more like a technical manual than a 'getting to know..." type of guide.
Thats because the part that's been written so far is mostly the technical manual part :)
There are lots of tutorials, FAQ's, tip's etc. written for Adrift 4, but no-one is updating them and adding them to the Wiki for Adrift 5.
NickyDude, why dont you add your excellent Adventure Creation Tips for Newcomers.
I wrote a "getting started" tutorial that goes through the most basic stuff, and I'll try and write a GUI guide, a FAQ and a more newby oriented introduction to the most important items soon, but we need a lot more people to write introductory articles and tutorials and add them to the Wiki.

The main page of the Wiki could do with a bit of a reorganisation though, with simple introductory tutorials & articles progressing to more advanced stuff and finally the technical reference at the bottom.
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Re: What kind of effects is Adrift particularly good at?

Postby ralphmerridew » Fri Dec 16, 2011 3:55 pm

ADRIFT 4 made it very easy to make a game that ran, but very difficult to make one which ran correctly.

Take my example from viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3850&p=79992 (When writing the example, I forgot that "history" has a special meaning in ADRIFT. Feel free to change the history book to a different subject if handling the example.)

Inform 7 handled the disambiguation without missing a beat. I think ADRIFT 5 did as well. Getting that to work correctly in ADRIFT 4 is nearly impossible.
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