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Showing posts from October, 2011

[Inform 7] Complex interaction, events, and rulebooks

Suppose that your game involves people that can be sleeping or awake; and a huge gong, that, when struck, wakes up everyone in the room and all adjacent rooms. This is the most natural way to implement something like that in Inform 7:
Carry out hitting the huge gong:
   say "You hit the huge gong!";
   repeat with guy running through near people:
      now guy is awake.Where I am, of course, assuming that you have already created a definition for "near", and so on.

This is fine if your game is simple enough that (a) waking people is the only effect of hitting the huge gong, and (b) hitting the huge gong is the only cause of waking all near people. But if you are aiming for a complex world model, this will often not be the case; and even more often, you will not be certain whether it is going to be the case.

Why is this a problem? Because you do not want your code to look like this:
Carry out hitting the huge gong:
   say "You hit the huge gong!";
   repeat …

[Results] The Interactive Fiction Top 50

The results of the Interactive Fiction Top 50 are in! No fewer than 35 participants cast a total of 437 votes on 183 different games. Of those games, 48 got three votes or more, and those are the games that will appear in the Top 50 below -- so it is actually a top 48. Games which have the same number of votes appear in the same spot, and will be listed in alphabetical order (ignoring "the", "a" and "an").
Does this mean we finally have proof that game X is better than game Y? Of course not. But I hope you will be inspired to try some of these games. Or perhaps you will be inspired to tell us about that game you think really deserves a spot in this list but hasn't received enough attention. Most of all, I would like you to click on the link above and read the reasons that people gave for choosing one game or another. After all, a reason close to your heart may be more important than a large number of votes.
Fuller results, including a list of games whic…

IF Comp, doctorate

In a couple of hours, the IF Comp 2011 will start. Or at least, the deadline for uploading games will have passed; it might take a little longer before they actually become available. Since I will be participating, I won't be publishing reviews during the competition. In fact, I won't be saying anything at all about the competition, because I don't want to be disqualified.

So let me take this final opportunity and wish the best of luck to my fellow authors, the greatest of wisdom to the judges, and the finest of times to us all.

Also, although this is not a blog about my personal life, I cannot resist the temptation of sharing with you the elation I still feel about getting my doctorate two days ago. Impression of me with my two 'paranimfen': photo. Imagine a committee of 11 people to the left, and an auditorium full of friends, family and colleages behind the photographer. In the Netherlands -- this differs widely between countries -- the actual defence is a big …