ADRIFT Forum


The place to discuss the ADRIFT Interactive Fiction toolkit

Let's play armchair site designer

The place to chat about ideas, writing, this forum, or anything related to Interactive Fiction that isn't specific to ADRIFT.

Please also visit the Interactive Fiction Community Forum for further discussions.

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby David Whyld » Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:55 pm

Have you personally tested every single V4 game with the WebRunner? Are you planning to personally test every new V4 game with the WebRunner prior to it being made available on the site? And by test I mean thorougly play through each and every one of them at least several times to ensure that every aspect of every game works perfectly?

I don't want to sound ungrateful here, and I know you're trying your best to make everything work fine, but sometimes the best thing to do is simply the easiest. In this case, disable online play for V4 games until such time as every last one of them is guaranteed to work perfectly.

The check box idea is good in theory but not in practice. How many of the V4 game writers are still active members of the forum? Most have long since moved on and are unlikely to return simply to tick a box as to whether their games should work with the WebRunner.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6979
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 35

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby ralphmerridew » Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:09 pm

jAsea (java) was designed to be playable in a browser, but I haven't touched it in a decade.

You could also convert a game with tAsea and run it with a TADS webrunner.

(jAsea and SCARE were fully clean-roomed. tAsea was based on the runner source and so should have very high compatibility.)
Bloodhounds can make you laugh and cuss in the same breath. They are endearing, faithful, and can sling drool ten feet in any direction. -- Virginia Lanier
User avatar
ralphmerridew
 
Posts: 2585
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2002 11:56 pm
Location: Missouri
Points: 10

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby Lumin » Wed Aug 28, 2013 2:51 pm

Well, I just lost a six paragraph post, and I have to go to work now so screw it.

Basically: We're a tiny community of adults with responsibilities, the time we do have for IF we spend working on our own games rather than playing or giving feedback. We need to start attracting new people, and soon, or what's the point? I'm already wondering why I'm pouring all these hours into this huge WIP of mine when I know damn well no one's ever going to play it. It doesn't matter if ADRIFT's a great program if the site doesn't hook people enough for them to bother to try it out in the first place. If you're trying to catch fish you need good bait and etc.
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Points: 49

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby Campbell » Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:18 pm

If anyone is willing to help with the website I would be very appreciative. Main things to note:

  • It needs to be quick
  • It needs to contain relevant searchable content for Google etc, particularly on the main page
  • It needs to fit in with the existing pages/functionality
ADRIFT Developer developer.
User avatar
Campbell
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4660
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2002 11:05 am
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby Lumin » Wed Aug 28, 2013 7:31 pm

Rereading my post it came out a little crankier than intended, but eh, I was in a rush.
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Points: 49

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby David Whyld » Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:42 am

I think it's a good idea to focus on the website redesign before the system itself - strange as that may sound. The important thing is to attract new people.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6979
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 35

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby arelim » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:59 pm

Well ... here is a question for you guys ... how many people think that other IF game creations systems like Inform 7, Tads, and Quest 5 are attracting people who are primarily game players rather than developers?

If other systems are successfully attracting a community of 'players who aren't developers' ... then I think the question is why are they successful and adrift isn't ... is it the website? is it the software? ... on the other hand, if other softwares communities are also primarily populated by developers and 'players who also develop' ... then it might just be a reality of IF ... maybe IF just can't compete with an x-box game or a game like angry birds or 3d games like World of Warcraft for peoples time...
arelim
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:11 pm

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby Lumin » Sat Aug 31, 2013 1:11 am

I don't know if those are the greatest examples. What about the people who find WoW soul-crushingly dull and Angry Birds only good for a five minute distraction? ;)

People always insist on comparing IF to other games, I think they miss the point that the target audience is really people who enjoy reading and figuring things out, which doesn't always coincide with the kind of people who self-identify as gamers. (Though sometimes it does...I'm always surprised at how popular CYOAs and IF are on the Something Awful forums, for instance...) It's like a Steinbeck novel vs a summer blockbuster--some people prefer one or the other, and some people enjoy both, but it's all a matter of taste. The big flashy movie isn't stealing audiences away from the book...many of the people watching it wouldn't have an interest in the author in any circumstance, and vice versa.

And when I first discovered IF, I was absolutely a player rather than a developer...writing my own game wasn't even remotely an option and I played and enjoyed pretty much every 5 star game on BAF before I discovered ADRIFT and started to consider the possibilities.

Most of the regulars on the forums were working on games on and off, but back then it was a larger community with at least a few members with time to play and discuss other people's work as well. And of course there were, and I'm sure still are, plenty of people who play the games but don't give feedback or get involved in the community. That's going to be 90% of people with an interest in any community.

I think the reason for the drop off in new members is due to a lot of factors. I7 does catch the attention of a lot of first time authors now because it looks so slick and deceptively simple on the surface, and CYOA is enjoying such a huge resurgence I think many people who would have wound up as IF authors a few years ago go for that instead. And honestly, I think ADRIFT 4 and 3.9 were much more intuitive and easier for a complete newbie to pick up, even if they weren't nearly as powerful as the current version.

The way the site looks isn't the only factor, but IMO it is a big one. Even in a niche hobby like IF, the internet is a competitive place. With so many other options out there, even a free product requires a certain level of marketing and PR to get people to notice it enough to even try it to begin with. First impressions are everything.
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Points: 49

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby arelim » Sat Aug 31, 2013 3:49 am

ARGH ... okay. I just lost a super big reply. (beats head into desk) ... there went an hour of my time that I could have been spending doing just about anything else ... ;)
arelim
 
Posts: 57
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2012 5:11 pm

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby Lumin » Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:17 am

Oh man, the site just looooves doing that. Make sure to check 'keep me logged in' (or whatever it says) when you log in. It helps. A little. (just to be safe I always try and copy my post before I click submit...unfortunately I tend to forget and it's caused me many :x moments...)
User avatar
Lumin
 
Posts: 2104
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 5:48 pm
Points: 49

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby Lazzah » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:30 am

If you are writing a BIG message, why don't you write it in a WP such as Notepad, as I am doing now, then copy and paste it into your reply, as I have just done?
The Axe of Kolt, The Spectre of Castle Coris, The Fortress of Fear, Die Feuerfaust, The Lost Children, Run, Bronwynn, Run, The Call of the Shaman, The Lost Labyrinth of Lazaitch, Magnetic Moon, Starship Quest, Revenge of the Space Pirates
User avatar
Lazzah
Moderator
 
Posts: 2350
Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 4:54 am
Location: Clacton-on-Sea, Essex
Points: 65

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby David Whyld » Sat Aug 31, 2013 6:42 am

I quite often type my big posts in Word in case my browser crashes or I accidentally hit the wrong key and delete everything. And it also helps highlight any typos.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6979
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 35

Re: Let's play armchair site designer

Postby David Whyld » Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:48 pm

arelim wrote:Well ... here is a question for you guys ... how many people think that other IF game creations systems like Inform 7, Tads, and Quest 5 are attracting people who are primarily game players rather than developers?

If other systems are successfully attracting a community of 'players who aren't developers' ... then I think the question is why are they successful and adrift isn't ... is it the website? is it the software? ... on the other hand, if other softwares communities are also primarily populated by developers and 'players who also develop' ... then it might just be a reality of IF ... maybe IF just can't compete with an x-box game or a game like angry birds or 3d games like World of Warcraft for peoples time...


I don't think it's case of IF having to compete with other kinds of games. If you like IF, you'll play IF irrespective of whether there's a new graphical extravaganza out there or not. Or you'll play both. I've played WoW for years now, and plenty of other MMOs as well, yet I've still carried on playing and writing IF.

On the writing front, I'd love to be able to write a game like WoW, but that's hardly the sort of thing one man can do alone. You need to be part of a huge team, have great programming skills and devote many years to the project – basically it stops being a hobby and becomes a full time job. As far as writing IF is concerned, I can do that on my own in my spare time and I don't need to be a programmer (beyond what's required to write text adventures, and with some systems there's no need to be a programmer at all).

I think a lot of people are attracted to Inform 7 because of the shiny interface, its great reputation, the fact that most of the big names in the IF world use it and the fact that it dominates the IFComp every year. It's also easy enough to get to grips with (the basics anyway) that complete newcomers don't feel intimidated by it.

TADS? I don't see that as really being very popular these days. It seems to produce fewer games each year, and I guess a lot of the reason for that is Inform 7. If you have two very powerful systems that each have a great reputation, but one is considerably easier to use than the other, which one do you choose? Maybe if TADS goes the Inform 7 way and introduces a new version which is easier to use, then it might start gaining popularity again, but until that time I don't see a hard programming language ever being able to compete with an easy one.

Quest? It has a very nice website, a very active community and calling the main website 'text adventures' probably didn't hurt, either. Of all the IF systems out there, I'd say it's the worst by quite a margin, but when you have a jazzy website you don't need a great product to back it up. Marketing is king.

I don't think many people are attracted to ADRIFT these days. The new version hasn't taken off, the old version isn't being developed, there are all the issues with V5 and the WebRunner playing V4 games, the website is dated compared to the Quest site, etc, etc. Changing the website would be a good start, and one I think should be undertaken before any improvements are added to the system itself. It's one thing to keep improving a system but if no one is using that system, then what's the point? Change the website, attract some new blood and then work on improving the system.
David Whyld
 
Posts: 6979
Joined: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:15 pm
Location: United Kingdom
Points: 35

Previous

Return to General IF

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

cron