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Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby P/o Prune » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:12 pm

Lazzah wrote:I certainly agree that V5 is getting too complicated with all this "rocket science" that Campbell has introduced into ADRIFT (please don't get me started on THAT subject) but I also think that a major factor in the "attractiveness" of ADRIFT is due to the website - ADRIFT's home page is so dull and boring when you compare it to Quest's home page. A major re-design and jazzing-up of the home page would go a long way to attracting new users to ADRIFT.

Hmm maybe this should be moved to another topic since we're getting away from the original topic.
But since we're here I thought I'd give my 2 cents worth.
V.5 getting too complicated? Well, then don't use the stuff you don't need. :wink: I have a cell phone, who can do almost everything short of fetching my slippers and washing the car. But I only use a few of them, the ones that meets my needs.
To me, V.5 is a great tool. It does (for the most part) what I want it to and if the bells and jingels is interesting for some it's ok with me.
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby Lazzah » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:36 pm

Po. Prune wrote:
Lazzah wrote:I certainly agree that V5 is getting too complicated with all this "rocket science" that Campbell has introduced into ADRIFT (please don't get me started on THAT subject) but I also think that a major factor in the "attractiveness" of ADRIFT is due to the website - ADRIFT's home page is so dull and boring when you compare it to Quest's home page. A major re-design and jazzing-up of the home page would go a long way to attracting new users to ADRIFT.

Hmm maybe this should be moved to another topic since we're getting away from the original topic.
But since we're here I thought I'd give my 2 cents worth.
V.5 getting too complicated? Well, then don't use the stuff you don't need. :wink: I have a cell phone, who can do almost everything short of fetching my slippers and washing the car. But I only use a few of them, the ones that meets my needs.
To me, V.5 is a great tool. It does (for the most part) what I want it to and if the bells and jingels is interesting for some it's ok with me.

Yes, you've said that before, Finn, but as we are both ADRIFT users from the days before all these expressions and intellisense were introduced, we KNOW we can program a game without using them. Someone new to ADRIFT might not realise that and if, like us, they don't have the abilty to understand them and how to use them, they might drop ADRIFT as being too complicated and move on to a different system.
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby David Whyld » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:42 pm

Lazzah wrote:David, you are continually harping on about how slow V5 is compared to V4 and that this is the reason that V5 doesn't appeal to people. What you do not seem to take into consideration is that anyone looking at ADRIFT as a potential tool for writing an IF game in the last few years will have never used V4, such as myself nearly 3 years ago, so how can this be a reason for the lack of interest?


The point I was making isn't necessarily that V5 doesn't appeal to people in the same way that V4 did (i.e. V4's ease of use), but simply that V5 doesn't appeal to people at all. (To my knowledge, you're the only newcomer to the ADRIFT scene since V5 launched who has actually written a decent-sized game with it; everyone else has left. That doesn't indicate a high appeal factor for newcomers.) V4 filled a very important niche: a way for people with no programming experience to write a text adventure. It was almost unique in that respect and that's why it flourished. Were there better tools around? Almost certainly. But could any of those better tools allow a non-programmer to write a game without first learning a programming language? No. Now all that has changed. ADRIFT has lost its niche.

First of all, the IF world itself has changed, what with the advent of Inform 6 allowing non-programmers to write games (admittedly, it's still much harder to use than V4, but it's much more appealing because it's being actively worked on and improved, where V4 has long since been abandoned) or the Quest site going from strength to strength, or the rise of Twine. Second of all, by becoming more complicated. At a time when other systems are moving towards ease of use, ADRIFT is becoming more complicated and that's alienating the very people who flocked to the system in the past.

Lazzah wrote:I certainly agree that V5 is getting too complicated with all this "rocket science" that Campbell has introduced into ADRIFT (please don't get me started on THAT subject) but I also think that a major factor in the "attractiveness" of ADRIFT is due to the website - ADRIFT's home page is so dull and boring when you compare it to Quest's home page. A major re-design and jazzing-up of the home page would go a long way to attracting new users to ADRIFT.


I definitely agree about the website. I can't stand Quest, but the website is a killer feature.
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby saabie » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:51 am

Lazzah wrote: I also think that a major factor in the "attractiveness" of ADRIFT is due to the website - ADRIFT's home page is so dull and boring when you compare it to Quest's home page. A major re-design and jazzing-up of the home page would go a long way to attracting new users to ADRIFT.
So, find somebody that's good at web site design that is willing to volunteer to help Campbell improve it. :roll:

Lazzah wrote:we KNOW we can program a game without using them. Someone new to ADRIFT might not realise that and if, like us, they don't have the abilty to understand them and how to use them, they might drop ADRIFT as being too complicated and move on to a different system.
Expressions are not even mentioned in any of the tutorials or user guides, and on the wiki they are the very last line at the bottom of the page.
They only get mentioned on the forum if somebody is trying to do something that would be mind-bendingly complicated to try to do in V4.
If you want to encourage new users, why don't you write a beginners guide that shows how you would use ADRIFT.

David Whyld wrote:The point I was making isn't necessarily that V5 doesn't appeal to people in the same way that V4 did (i.e. V4's ease of use), but simply that V5 doesn't appeal to people at all.
I've been working on a comparison of V4 to V5 that shows what is easier to do in each system. I have found lots of cases where V5 is much faster and easier to use than V4, but so far I hav'n't found anything more than a couple of cases where you need an extra mouse click where V4 could be said to be faster than V5, and no cases where it is easier. :?
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby Lazzah » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:51 am

saabie,

I meant these functions such as %object%.Children.description and the like. I find these totally baffling and so do other ADRIFT users on this forum. The only one I ever use in my games is %Player%.Held.Count <= ? and that is only because there is no variable equivilent. I have it in the text window of a fake task so I can copy and paste it into a restriction expression whenever I need to use it.

Don't get me wrong, I think ADRIFT is a wonderful system, streets ahead of QUEST, which looks so naff. I had a quick look at a couple of games written with QUEST and my initial thought was that they looked like text adventures from the 1980's and 90's with their very brief room descriptions and messages. Ugh!
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby rotter » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:20 am

Well something is seriously wrong.

Only a handful of ADRIFT games created this year, no entries in the SpringThing, IFComp, Ectocomp, EOY and so on. Even the AIF ADRIFT world is quiet. QUEST might have a more inferior product but I agree it has a far better website and general presence all round. New games are even pushed on Twitter.
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby David Whyld » Sun Dec 15, 2013 8:47 am

saabie wrote:I've been working on a comparison of V4 to V5 that shows what is easier to do in each system. I have found lots of cases where V5 is much faster and easier to use than V4, but so far I hav'n't found anything more than a couple of cases where you need an extra mouse click where V4 could be said to be faster than V5, and no cases where it is easier. :?


Okay, so what's your take on why no one wants to write games with V5 then?
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby Lazzah » Sun Dec 15, 2013 9:23 am

rotter wrote:New games are even pushed on Twitter.

So we've got to start pushing ADRIFT on Twitter. Having never used Twitter, I don't know how to go about this, but am willing to have a go.

EDIT: OK, I have signed up for Twitter (Text_Adventures@ADRIFT_in_IF) and tweeted ADRIFT. Not sure if this is the right thing to do?!
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby KFAdrift » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:59 am

My general feeling is that making software more versatile by adding features works best where the features become clear as a user learns it. What you don't want is every esoteric thing there as a soon as the user tries to take their first steps as they become more tlikely to trip up.
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby P/o Prune » Sun Dec 15, 2013 10:59 am

Lazzah wrote:
rotter wrote:New games are even pushed on Twitter.

So we've got to start pushing ADRIFT on Twitter. Having never used Twitter, I don't know how to go about this, but am willing to have a go.

EDIT: OK, I have signed up for Twitter (Text_Adventures@ADRIFT_in_IF) and tweeted ADRIFT. Not sure if this is the right thing to do?!

What about Facebook?
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby rotter » Sun Dec 15, 2013 11:29 am

I understand the issues some people will have with the 'dark arts' (programming). In the V5 game I have underway I use some of the newer features but not loads of them. I have another problem with V5, it seems a little more 'clicky' than V4 when creating a game. In other words I seem to have to click the mouse far more. I do find things like the new types of task extremely useful and features like properties. But that is just my opinion.
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby Campbell » Sun Dec 15, 2013 12:17 pm

Which bits would you say are more clicky?
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby saabie » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:08 pm

Lazzah wrote: The only one I ever use in my games is %Player%.Held.Count <= ? and that is only because there is no variable equivilent. I have it in the text window of a fake task so I can copy and paste it into a restriction expression whenever I need to use it..
Thats what user functions are for. so you can make your own variable equivalent :)
Actually, I did say I was going to make a module to provide variable equivalents for the most common functions. I have some free time in about 14 hours time so I will try to get that done. If anyone wants any simplified variables for long expressions please make a list of what they should do and what to call them.
rotter wrote: Even the AIF ADRIFT world is quiet.
Not that quiet. The biggest most important AIF of the year, BBBen's pervert action crisis was written in ADRIFT 5, and SPAC is underway for next year.
David Whyld wrote:Okay, so what's your take on why no one wants to write games with V5 then?
I do agree that the web site home page could do with a makeover.
But I think the biggest problem was that ADRIFT is an enormous project for one person to be doing by himself in his spare time, which has meant it has taken years to get to the point where it is (mostly) usable.
It really needs to be a stable finished product before lots of people are going to want to use it, but we are getting close now.
The only obvious missing functionality now is the hints back-end, and the proposed WhatYouSeeIsWhatYouGet text editor would make formatting text a lot simpler.
A few rounds of bug squashing after that and it should be ready for an official non-beta release.
Lazzah wrote:So we've got to start pushing ADRIFT on Twitter.
Microsoft and the VHS/Beta war proved that its not the one with the best product that wins, its the one with the best advertising.
KFAdrift wrote:My general feeling is that making software more versatile by adding features works best where the features become clear as a user learns it. What you don't want is every esoteric thing there as a soon as the user tries to take their first steps as they become more tlikely to trip up
Thats why Campbell added simple mode. 8)
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby ralphmerridew » Sun Dec 15, 2013 5:25 pm

I think the big problem is that ADRIFT 5 is combines the negative features of ADRIFT 4 with the negative ones of the more powerful languages. The sweet spot of "This game I'd like to write is possible in ADRIFT 5 but not in ADRIFT 4 (or at least easier to do in A5), while being easier to do in ADRIFT 5 than it would be to learn Inform 7 and do it in that." is

For example, every dropdown is a feature that must be specifically handled in ADRIFT Developer and ADRIFT Runner. Adding a new feature can only be done be Campbell; changing an existing feature potentially breaks any existing game that relied on it.

In Inform, there is substantial flexibility for moderately skilled programmers to write extensions; from the POV of users, extensions act like adding new kinds of dropdowns to the language, but don't involve changing the compiler or interpreter. Extensions are more powerful than A5's user-defined functions while being easier to read.
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Re: Adrift End of the Year Comp.t

Postby Lazzah » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:53 am

Po. Prune wrote:
Lazzah wrote:
rotter wrote:New games are even pushed on Twitter.

So we've got to start pushing ADRIFT on Twitter. Having never used Twitter, I don't know how to go about this, but am willing to have a go.

EDIT: OK, I have signed up for Twitter (Text_Adventures@ADRIFT_in_IF) and tweeted ADRIFT. Not sure if this is the right thing to do?!

What about Facebook?

There is already an ADRIFT page on Facebook, just search for ADRIFT.
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