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Feedback (or the lack of)

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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby Duncan_B » Wed Jun 05, 2013 8:22 am

If people are looking for games to play and discuss or review or whatever, I might also suggest Irvine Quik & the Search for the Fish of Traglea.

I can't comment on a lack of feedback, having written 12 reviews for ADRIFT games within the past 12 months, but I'm always happy to see people saying more about ADRIFT games. Have people seen the facebook page for Yon Astounding Castle! of some sort? Any thoughts? Perhaps you could give it a like or share it with some of your friends.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:56 am

Ideally we need a list of current games stickied on the forum with links to them on the main site so people don't need to visit two sites to see what's what.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby rotter » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:30 pm

The ADRIFT Games List on my Delron site is pretty much uptodate and can be sorted by date etc.
Currently working on "The Blank Wall" in ADRIFT 5 and "Again and Again" in Inform 7.
Delron, the home of Otter Interactive Fiction.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby Tyson » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:46 pm

Every now and then, I consider creating an ADRIFT game. Then I look at the ADRIFT forums and think, "If I created a new game, would anyone play it? And if someone does play it, will I get feedback?" I suspect the answer to one of those questions will be "no."

As much I enjoy writing games for myself, I'd like to have an audience that will play my games and give me feedback. (The same way an author will not be motivated to write novels if she knows they will be forever relegated to the inside of her desk.) The lack of feedback is discouraging. It discourages authors from writing, which in turn discourages players from playing. A vicious circle results.

Now, the question is: how to improve feedback?

The obvious proposal is that we simply do a better job of giving feedback. But this is easier said than done.

I think the proposals mentioned by others are helpful suggestions.

Personally, I propose an IF book club of sorts. Each week (or two weeks, or three weeks, or month), we would all agree to play a work of IF blind (without using hints or a walkthrough). We'd create a thread to discuss the game in one of the forums. In the thread, we would comment on the game in a free-style fashion (you know, like they do in book clubs).
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby Duncan_B » Wed Jun 05, 2013 6:52 pm

Each week is too often, but I'd be okay with something like this. I still think the obvious answer if we want feedback is not to focus on our forum here, but to integrate ADRIFT into the rest of the IF Community at intfiction.org, joining in their events like IntroComp, the Spring Thing, Ectocomp, or IFComp. These will get you guaranteed feedback.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby David Whyld » Wed Jun 05, 2013 9:13 pm

I like the idea of the IF book club because it's the sort of thing that a lot of people could participate in and it'd make for some interesting reading and, hopefully, interesting discussion, too. Heck, we might even encourage a few people from outside our little corner of the IF world to join in.

Saying that, I think the biggest problem with feedback in the ADRIFT community right now is that there just aren't enough of us to provide any meaningful level of feedback. Most of us just don’t full stop; the few that do can't produce enough (and, to be honest, even if we provided ten times the feedback we do, there aren't enough games being written to generate much feedback. If everyone commented on every game released within the last six months, we'd still have precious little feedback.) Five years ago it was pretty rare to have an entire day go by without a single post being made; these days it's par for the course, and an empty forum gives a very negative indication of ADRIFT on the whole because it makes it look like there's no one here anymore. Like Tyson said above, and I find myself thinking more and more these days, what's the point in writing a game if no one is going to play it? Right now, the forum is as lifeless as it's ever been, very few games are being released, almost nothing in the way of feedback / reviews is coming out - meaning ADRIFT just isn't an attractive proposition for someone wanting to try their hand at writing an IF game. Until that changes, I don’t see us attracting much new blood.

As for the various competitions, I intend to enter the Intro Comp (hopefully, though that deadline crept up on me pretty quick) and the Spring Thing 2014 (definitely, my entry's already finished), but not the IFComp for all the reasons I've stated in the past. Unfortunately, I'm still using V4 and I'm guessing most people will try and play my game with either the WebRunner or V5, which means that once I get through testing it with V4, I then have to go and test it again with V5 - which isn't something I have a whole lot of enthusiasm for - or simply release it as a V4 game and hope for the best (which leaves me in the unappealing position that my game might get hammered because of some issue with the conversion from V4 to V5).
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby pinosante » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:39 am

I'm giving Full Circle a whirl. Thanks for the loader, Lazzah. After that I'll see if I can fire up your game as well. It's good for me to see what others have come up with!
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby David Whyld » Thu Jun 06, 2013 1:45 pm

Assuming we go ahead with the book club idea – Drifter's Club? The ADRIFT Book Club? ADRIFT Linings Book Club? – how are we going to decide on a game to play? Have one person pick a game at random and everyone plays it? A forum poll with the most votes being the game that gets picked? Submissions by way of private message? Or just pick the most recent addition and review that?
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby pinosante » Thu Jun 06, 2013 9:33 pm

Difficult. I was about to say: well, make sure it's 1) not bad 2) not too long, because that saves people from playing an endless horrific game. On the other hand, opininos are personal, and the idea of not knowing what game you are getting into, can be part of the charm.

So now my stand is: I don't know :). Pick one. I think picking the latest game, might be a smart move from the PR view, since those people are still remembering writing the game and might like the boost of knowing that people are playing it. If you pick games from a few years back, the authors might not care anymore.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby pinosante » Thu Jun 06, 2013 10:25 pm

So, I have been playing Full Circle, and I'm hopelessly stuck on the second stage of the game. I passed the quicksand but I can't solve the two puzzles with the beast with the spike and the guy hitting me when I go up the ladder. Anyone? :)
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby David Whyld » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:53 am

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The puzzles need to be solved in the other order: the guy who hits you first followed by the beast with the spike.

To get past the man hitting you, you need to use an ability you should have gained if you've been inside the cave right at the start of the game.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby Tyson » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:40 pm

The Book Club could run like a dictatorship, a pure democracy, or something in between (representative democracy?). I suggest the final route.

One person (the organizer) nominates three or more relatively recent ADRIFT games. Then a vote is held to determine which specific games will be played for the book club.

I think this strategy works best. The dictatorship style is the second choice. I think the pure democracy approach would leave us mired in indecision.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby Duncan_B » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:02 pm

I say make it a dictatorship and hand it to the forum moderators to at least choose a game of the month every month and start a thread for it in the "Game Discussions" section of the forum. If there is disagreement amongst the moderators, they shall each nominate a game and open a poll with their nominations that will be released for a week before the new month. If there is a tie here, a run-off poll will be running for two days and two days only. In the unlikely case of a tie both times, there will be two games to talk about that month (which I don't think would be too much of a problem, really).

The general audience could from time-to-time also talk about what kind of games they would like to play, perhaps as a way of influencing the choices of moderators, or moderators may propose themes to the audience that will be discussed. Overall, though, moderators should be trusted to make the best available choices for games to play. They may offer their reasoning with their nominations in the poll thread, but are also encouraged to discuss possible choices/reasons publicly.

Would this work for people?
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby David Whyld » Fri Jun 07, 2013 9:21 pm

I'm fine with any of the ideas proposed (and who doesn't want to be a dictator? :) ), but the main thing we need is to keep the ball rolling. If we spend too long discussing the hows and whys of it, we'll end up getting bogged down in the details and nothing will come of it. If we choose an idea that isn't perfect, there's no reason we have to stick with it and not simply change it for something better next time around.
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Re: Feedback (or the lack of)

Postby Duncan_B » Fri Jun 07, 2013 10:45 pm

Sounds about right to me. David, you're a moderator... why not choose a game for us and make a new thread for it? We're already behind for starting at the beginning this month. We'll just see how the idea goes by trying, and adapt it as we find flaws or needs to be addressed in the system.
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