Click here to read all posts from the IFDB statistics series. When we talk about development systems in IFDB, it’s good to remember that some systems have better coverage than others. Parallel communities like Quest (201 games in its own site, 26 in IFDB), non-parser systems and the AIF crowd are underrepresented. Another factor that [...]
Archive for the ‘Craft’ Category
Click here to read all posts from the IFDB statistics series. A few months back Mike Roberts, the curator of IFDB, together with Andrew Plotkin released the full IFDB database dump. This is certainly a great deed, since the IFDB is the most complete source of information about IF to date and there’s always a [...]
Almost one year ago to the date I released Starborn, a short keyword-based scifi story made with Inform 7. Now I’m proud to present an Undum-based version, enhanced with Vorple, of course. The content is essentially the same. Instead of typing the keywords you click on hyperlinks that are highlighted in the text and shown [...]
The tool formerly known as “Transcript recording plugin for Parchment” has been successfully used as a betatester transcript recorder with at least one game, and even in the currently running IFComp. Thanks to liberal version numbering scheme it has now reached version 3 and has been renamed IF Recorder. Here are the major new features: [...]
Here’s two more small Undum examples, with commented source code. They use slightly more advanced techniques than the previous one. Monty Hall Paradox An implementation of the Monty Hall paradox, this example lets the player guess which door holds the best prize in a game show. The correct door is randomized and the story text [...]
As promised, the transcript recording plugin for Parchment has now been published. As the player is playing the game, the plugin sends the transcript to the server where it’s saved to a database. The author can then later view the saved transcripts or use the information in the database to calculate statistics. The plugin saves [...]
Earlier I posted some statistics from transcripts collected from online plays of Starborn. Based on those statistics I released a new version at the end of January, mainly adding synonyms based on the most common typos players had made. Looking at the data from before and after the update, here’s what happened to the total [...]
Starborn is a short interactive sci-fi story that uses a simple keyword interface instead of a standard IF parser. It was made as a speed-if for this year’s New Year’s Speed-if event on ifMUD. It was released to the public about a week ago and at first gained the usual amount of interest: the logs show 7 online plays on the release day and less on the next two days.
Last Wednesday however C.E.J. Pacian wrote a blog post about it which was picked up by the IndieGames.com blog. From there a couple of people tweeted about it and suddenly the play count jumped to about 600 plays per day. The main Parchment site reported similar amounts of traffic.
I’m running the online version of the story on a modified version of Parchment that saves the transcripts to the server. I now have 1557 transcripts consisting of 23 896 turns (and counting, but the traffic is slowing down considerably). To my knowledge this is more play data collected than for any other single IF game so far.
So here’s a random bunch of analysis from those transcripts. There are no spoilers other than keywords used throughout the game, but if you haven’t played yet the data would probably make more sense if you at least checked out a couple of turns just to see what the parser looks like. Online version and downloads are available.
Sometimes it strikes me how deep the puzzle-centered thinking is infused into the medium. I have played, and been annoyed by, many games that tell a great story and then break the flow by haphazardly cramming in a couple of puzzles, presumably because “IF must have puzzles.”
I’ve had to learn this lesson several times. Here’s a couple of examples.
There was a lot of talk during PAX East and elsewhere about collecting real life data from people playing IF. I’m proud to announce that I’ve hacked the Parchment web interpreter to do just this: it saves transcripts to the server every time a game is played. Try it out yourself: Click here to start [...]
I made an Invisiclues-style HTML hints page for a friend of mine and decided to share it with the rest of the world. The page is here with instructions to use included. Feel free to use it for any purpose.
As you might have heard from elsewhere, I’ve been asked by the author of In the Company of Grues blog to design and code a game that would be suitable to teach newcomers how to play IF. This is a pretty sweet deal because we’re having the entire development process completely transparent. The development wiki [...]