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New game?

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New game?

Postby Duncan_B » Wed Apr 04, 2012 5:59 am

Hey, did people see there's a new game posted on the Adventures page? I think David Whyld's gonna have to swoop in and teach these n00bs how to write a game description...
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Re: New game?

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Apr 04, 2012 9:10 am

Hey be nice :wink:
I've played it and given it a review...
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Re: New game?

Postby Duncan_B » Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:36 am

Po. Prune wrote:Hey be nice :wink:

I should say the same! A scathing review from Po. Prune...

I wonder when ADRIFT's next 5 star game will come around? Or did we peak at The Warlord, the Princess, and the Bulldog?
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Re: New game?

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Apr 04, 2012 11:25 am

I should say the same! A scathing review from Po. Prune...

I would like to see your review after playing that game... 8)
Anyway, it had some good points, which I pointed out, but it's a typical newbie game.
But give it a go and let's have a discussion about it in the game discussion thread.

I wonder when ADRIFT's next 5 star game will come around? Or did we peak at The Warlord, the Princess, and the Bulldog?

It'll come... patience, my friend, patience :angel:
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Re: New game?

Postby David Whyld » Wed Apr 04, 2012 7:28 pm

It’s frustrating when newcomers bring out games that have massive problems in them, even more so when the majority of the problems could so easily have been fixed with some time and effort. And some beta testing. Saying that, I can understand why it happens.

When I released my first game, way back in 2001, I wouldn't have dreamed of asking on the forum for anyone to test it. I barely posted on the forum at the time, didn't know anyone here and would have felt really uncomfortable asking complete strangers to test my game. I also suspect that if I had asked for testers and they'd told me my game sucked (which in all fairness it did – it even had a maze!) I’d have either ignored their criticisms and uploaded the game as it was, firmly believing that I knew better than they as to what made a good game, or gone off in a huff and never released the game at all, convinced that the world wasn't ready for my masterpiece. I doubt very much I’d have gone and rewritten it to fix all the things that were wrong.

Unfortunately, it always seems to be the case that no matter how many times games by newcomers get bashed, the same mistakes get made year after year after year.
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Re: New game?

Postby Duncan_B » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:34 pm

I didn't really think this game had "massive problems." It's a far cry from "Escape from Camelot!"

That aside, I know where you're coming from about your first game, David. Seems everyone wants to start with the one big thing... like how untrained writers will start planning to write a trilogy and then never get past chapter 2. Irvine Quik was one of the first games I started making and it is quite changed from its original form (it also included a maze in its original form... glad we haven't seen any newbie games with those lately!).

I wonder if the bar for newbie games has been raised since early 2000s? I wonder, too, if maybe we're in general too unfriendly to newbies' games. Bashing them doesn't really want to make new authors fix their games, it just makes them think we're grumpy. Backmasker withdrew his game after I carelessly wrote a 1-star review for it (and trashed it in a blog post), and I'm not surprised we haven't seen him around again. His game definitely deserved more attention than I think I gave it, especially if 1 star is reserved for things like "Death Agency" and their ilk.

What gets a game over the one-star hump into two- or three-star category? Especially for new authors, this seems to be a hard thing to achieve.
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Re: New game?

Postby P/o Prune » Fri Apr 06, 2012 10:48 pm

I don't think we are too hard on newbies. I really want to be positive when I play a game, and I do try to find positive things to say in my reviews. But It's really hard to be positive when you get a first timers game that's full of holes.
I just can't get it through my skull why newbies don't use the tolls available and by tools I mean the forum and fellow drifters. We've got some pretty good people here who know a lot about both Adrift 4 and V.5, so there's no excuse not to use the tools available.
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Re: New game?

Postby J. J. Guest » Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:07 pm

One of the things I've learned over the years is never announce that you're working on a new game until you've nearly finished it...
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Re: New game?

Postby Mel S » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:43 am

When you're new to ADRIFT, I think there's something so intoxicating in knowing that any game you create can so easily be uploaded and played and critiqued by others that your excitement to contribute and get feedback tends to far outweigh your actual skill with the developer at that point. I was only 15 when I started churning out awful ADRIFT games and even though they rightfully got terrible reviews, I continued out of sheer naive enthusiasm and very, very slowly got better at it as I improved as a writer and got more familiar with the developer. As long as it's so easy to upload and make whatever you create accessible to everyone, newbies are always going to want to get something out there as quickly as possible and I think all we can do is rightly criticize whatever they choose to release while still encouraging their enthusiasm for ADRIFT.

We should also have "Please, do not make the first 5 games you make in ADRIFT public" written in bold font on the top of the downloads page.
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Re: New game?

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:57 am

Mel S wrote:I was only 15 when I started churning out awful ADRIFT games and even though they rightfully got terrible reviews, I continued out of sheer naive enthusiasm and very, very slowly got better at it as I improved as a writer and got more familiar with the developer.

The difference is that you kept going and got better whereas lots of newbies only release this one game and are never heard from again.
As for the last game released "How did I get into this" the author even asks perople to tell him how they liked it, but I haven't seen any response to my review.
Mel S wrote:We should also have "Please, do not make the first 5 games you make in ADRIFT public" written in bold font on the top of the downloads page.

8) Not a bad idea... or just please be sure that you're game is tested ...

I've been looking at the IntFiction.org site and kind of like their beta tesing thread. Maybe we should have something like that here? A specific thread where authors can ask for beta testers.
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Re: New game?

Postby David Whyld » Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:25 am

To be honest, I can’t say I have a whole lot of sympathy for newcomers who write a bad game then go off in a huff because no one liked it. I think one thing they need is a thicker skin when it comes to how their games are received. If you write something with a system you're only vaguely familiar with, don't have it tested by anyone else, and haven't even covered the basics that are expected in IF games these days, then of course people are going to have negative opinions of it. If you're going to throw a tantrum because your dismal game wasn't heralded as the best damn game in the history of the IF world, then you're better off not writing a game in the first place. Film directors don't release awful films and have people tell them they're great. Authors don't write awful novels and have people sing their praises. Why should it be any different for game writers?

My first game wasn't well received. Did I throw my dummy out of the pram and go off in a huff? No. I sat down and wrote another one, and another, and another. Sooner or later, if you persist at it and try hard enough, you get better. If I had gone off in a huff because of the reaction to my first game, I'm sure I’d have regretted it in the years to come because I've had a lot of fun writing and playing games since that time.

One idea I had a while back was maybe including a file in the ADRIFT download clueing newcomers in to the kind of things that they should try for in their games. Testing it, where to find people willing to test it, including synonyms for useful commands, handy abbreviations, making sure all items mentioned in locations can be examined, etc. It might not help, but if it stops one more newbie writing a terrible game and getting it soundly bashed, it would be worth the effort.
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Re: New game?

Postby David Whyld » Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:23 am

Duncan_B wrote:What gets a game over the one-star hump into two- or three-star category? Especially for new authors, this seems to be a hard thing to achieve.


For me, a game gets a 1 star rating if it’s an unplayable mess, there are typos in every sentence, I can’t get out of the first location because the author forgot to include an exit, the game crashes at random intervals, etc, etc. I rate 2 for anything better than that but which isn't good enough for a rating of 3, which on the 1 – 5 chart is what I consider an ‘average’ game.

The problem, of course, is that any game I play which isn't quite good enough to be considered average gets a rating of 2, just as any game which isn't a total stinker gets a 2. As such, there might be a world of difference between games with the same rating.

Likewise, I rarely rate a game a 5 because that's the most a game can get and, no matter how good something is, sooner or later a better game will come along and then I’ll be thinking “well, I can’t give this one a 5 as well because it’s better than the other game I rated 5”, so I tend to rate anything but the absolute best a 4. Of course, if an average game is worth a 3, then a game slightly better than average must be worth a 4, right? But a brilliant game not quite brilliant enough to be a 5 is also a 4, and there's a lot of difference between a slightly better than average game and a game which isn't quite brilliant, but they still have the same rating.

Which is really confusing.

Maybe we could switch to a 1 – 10 system? That would allow the real stinkers to keep their well-earned scores of 1 and there'd be more variation as to what other scores we could give.
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Re: New game?

Postby Duncan_B » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:40 pm

Here's how I've interpreted the scale lately. Please note it's quite subjective... this way I'm safe giving a 4 or 5 star rating to something without feeling like I have to back up a claim that a 5 star game is the greatest thing since the cheese wheel.

* = I did not like it. There is not much that is redeemable in this game. It requires more than a few changes to be enjoyable.
** = I could've liked it. With a little change (be it testing, polish, or a minor plot change), it could be enjoyable.
*** = I liked it. Simple as that. I recognize that sometimes my taste is odd, your mileage may vary. Others might enjoy it, but it might not be the first game I'd recommend.
**** = I liked it and recommend it with confidence. I saw a good deal of merit in this game, and I think others are likely to.
***** = An incredible game. I do believe everyone should play. Likely to be one of the first games I'll recommend.

So for me, the threshold of getting a good score is nothing beyond getting me to personally enjoy the game. If people have that, it's worth a 3. I can imagine an edge case where I enjoy something that's really messy... a good game with poorly-written prose or something. In those cases, it really comes down to how much I enjoyed it and why-- but chances are, it's going to get a 2.

David, I always enjoyed your in-depth style of giving a rating, but then providing a further scoring breakdown of puzzles, logic, etc. I've generally found them invaluable as a potential player looking for good reviews. You used a 1-10 scale for those... I don't think it would be totally unsound to give a 1-5 star rating (I like these because they line up with IFDB), but then give a numerical 1-10 rating in the body of a review.

As a sidenote, I'm going to go ahead and send a PM to these two new authors (S11m0nic and shaunace) and see if I can't get them to introduce themselves on the Forum...
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Re: New game?

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:26 am

In a way it's kind of tragi-comic that we complain about newbie games being released without proper testing when reality is that it's next to impossible to find someone willing to help beta testing games within the community.
Not that many (if any) newbies ask for help getting their game tested, but I wonder what I'd do if I had just made a game and wanted to share it and then had to wait month on end for someone to help give it a test run.
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Re: New game?

Postby David Whyld » Wed Apr 18, 2012 11:58 am

That's a good point, but it’s worth bearing in mind the fact that the ADRIFT community isn't really big enough to provide much in the way of betatesting. How many people do we really have here? A couple dozen at most, of which some don't post very regularly at all. Unless every single forum member is going to throw themselves into betatesting on a full time basis, you're always going to struggle to find people willing to test your game. Lengthy delays while asking for testers are inevitable in a community this size.
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