Development Diaries

Scrib-dev's picture

Scrib's Adventure


Hey everyone, this is Scrib's Adventure, it's a riff off the "Egglike" genre that was popularized by Vinesauce's Vinny. I have been working on this little ball of weirdness for about 8 months now. It's on its 8th version including releases only made for my friends. It's been a fun project and I feel like it's becoming its own thing.

Enjoy, everyone:

Johny L.'s picture

Just a reminder.

Hello again.

It's almost a year i've never returned here but this time i'm peeking on this place once again, to bring a re-release of the Mr. Cat games on GameJolt. Yes, nobody ever saw the thing again, and i won't know if there is the future for it.

In regards to that, i am remarking that there is a tentative future for the series, let's give it a read to a news feed post i published from this day:
Despite the fact i’ve never looked towards this game anymore and the constant slow population i’ve had, i’ve been thinking to expand this series into more, except you need help to spread this game so that it can get enough population for an attempt to make another game of the Mr. Cat series.

A year ago i used to work on a real fourth entry of the series, Mr. Cat 4, which introduced a new type of level that is a big map, and other crap but the story: A group of aliens start to take over Neo Los Angeles with their demand on taking revenge to Mr. Cat after the defeat of Arthur. I attempted to focus on the development of this game, however, i didn’t have anymore the thought power than i did when i made the Mr. Cat trilogy.

Another game i used to think of is another spin-off to the series which was a sports spinoff, which has to do with some baseball, a name i could think of was Mr. Cat and the Baseball League. From my thoughts, Mr. Cat and the Baseball League is most likely a melee-like version of the gameplay, instead of shooting diamonds, you had to knock down enemies with your baseball bat while surviving hazards. The setting for it was in a typical baseball stadium in where resides a crowd of dogs + Mr. Dog who has taken revenge from Mr. Cat by trapping him in here. However, this idea was soon replaced with Mr. Cat III, and the spin-off never happened.

Since two days ago some pal at one of my Discord servers got me TyranoBuilder, a visual novel making tool, and I thought that a possible side story or a sort of gaiden game is possible, but it’ll depend on when it’s reasonable to do so, as however i’m recently stubborn about the current situation i have.

Thank you all for understanding.

Owlor's picture

Because You're Mine - Post Mortem


Alright, I submitted a game to Ectocomp, an annual competition for interactive fiction made in under three hours (they also have a category without a time-limit.) And I decided to take the opportunity to submit something written in Inform7, cus I should be able to learn a whole system in 3 hours, right? (Spoilers follow below.)

I'll be putting examples of from my source in quotes like this.

Now, I didn't include the hours I spent browsing through the documentation, only the actual writing process. I'm gonna talk a little bit about what went right and what went wrong from the perspective of a larval parser game-writer.

"Because you're mine" was named after a line in the song "I put a spell on you" by Jay Hawkins. The theme of the comp is Halloween and it's one of the classic Halloween anthems. I was also inspired about old novelty songs by Marie Laveau. Y'know, she's an important religious figure, but in pop culture she mainly survives as a jilted sorceress, pop culture is seldom fair. There's also a bit of Zecora in there; the main character could probably be described as "Zecora, if the ponies were right." Oh, and they are also a Horse.

I should probably explain about that. Most of my text adventures take place in a fictional universe of my own devising that's a spin on the MLP-universe. I thought about justifying it by invoking the Houyhnhnms of Gulliver’s Travels, explaining to anyone who wants to listen that it's actually a brilliant Swiftean satire of... but nope, it's ponies. It's not just Ponyville in disguise though, even if people might be thrown off due to their association with brightness and pastel colors.

One of the things that's struck me about MLP:FiM in particular is how the pony society is portrayed, intentionally or not, as kind of a lacuna of stability in a world that's otherwise inexplicable and terrifying. And that's the aspect I've tried to amplify for my own universe, bringing in influences from HP Lovecraft, Sunless Sea and Ursula le Guin. In my world, this stability is something that's constantly having its edges chewed on by forces both outside and inside.

In this game, you actually play as one of those destabilizing forces, a spurned sorcerer who is trying to perform a ritual to ensnare their lover. Right away, it establishes itself as one of THOSE games; the first sentence includes a piece of jargon: "Rootwork", and there's plenty more made-up Fantasy-concepts, with that one being one of the more comprehensible. (Rootwork is basically voodoo, at least for the purpose of this story.)

In order to not leave people completely in the dust, I included in the inventory a book that when examined turns out to be an encyclopedia.


The description of the book is "An encyclopedia. You can consult the book about unfamiliar concepts. A few pages are bookmarked: Intimidation, Singing, Vatch and Rootwork."

Apart from explaining important jargon (Rootwork, Vatch), I used the encyclopedia to introduce two of the custom verbs: Intimidate and Sing. Intimidation was, if I get to say so myself, a fantastic idea and all games with a villain protagonist should have it.

The supply shop is west of the shore. "The supply shop is fuzzy and damp. The exit is east." The small horse is a woman in the supply shop. "It is staffed by a small Horse sitting in a cardboard box."

Crow's feet is a thing in the supply shop. " Rows of Crow's Feet line the walls."

Instead of taking the Crow's feet, say "'Hey!' the tiny shopkeeper says in an annoyingly shrill voice. 'This is a barter system. You need to give me something in return.'"

instead of giving [thing] to [someone]: say "You couldn't care less about the barter system."

intimidating is an action applying to one visible thing.

Understand "Intimidate [someone]"as intimidating.

understand "steal [thing]" as taking.

After intimidating the small Horse:
now the player is carrying Crow's feet;
say "You give the small Horse a glare and she's reduced to cowering in the cardboard box in terror.

'T-take anything you need!' she stammers from behind the cardboard armor.

You take the Crow's feet, which is what you need to enter the swamp."

This "puzzle" is probably my favorite part of the game, as it introduces the social mores of this place and then requires the player to break them. It helps communicating what kind of person we're dealing with here, one that doesn't even consider regards for others an option. I would've really liked to do more with the whole "intimidation"-thing, I especially like the idea of it being a double-edged sword, giving you stuff but increasing the fear and persecution directed towards them.

Instead of going to the swamp when the player is not carrying the Crow's feet: end the story saying "You sink down to your knees in the swamp, then your stomach. Soon, the filthy swampwater is up to your neck. You are completely and utterly stuck and will continue to sink to your death unless anyone finds you and helps you up, which won't happen. Frankly, if somehorse saw you sink, they'd probably just watch your head disappear under the surface and stay until they were certain you were dead."

The most interesting part about having a villain protagonist was showing their loneliness. People hate and fear them... for a good reason, but this doesn't make their alienation less palpable.

Your lover is a man. Your lover is in the quaint drinking establishment. "Your lover sits by a table, chuckling slightly to himself. Your eyes narrow as you gaze upon this worthless lout. He doesn't appear to have noticed you."

After talking to your lover, say "'You!' he exclaims 'l-look, I can explain, I didn't mean to...' he doesn't finish the sentence and turns his head away.

'It's just... you scare me,' he finishes."

After intimidating your lover, say "Your lover trembles at the mere sight of you."

The scene with “your lover” helps hammer the point home that you are doing a bad bad thing, and that you have no time for subtlety; you just take what you can get. If I had more time, I would've liked a more elegant puzzle here. It's not the worst puzzle in the game, though, that honor goes to the Mandrake Root puzzle.

The gallows tree is north of the swamp. "It is called a gallows tree because it is the right shape and size for it, but the Horses of Creola does not actually hang criminals. Much easier to send them out into the bog and watch as they slowly sink to the bottom."

The corpse is a thing in the gallows tree. "There appears to be a corpse hanging from the tree anyway, so someone hanged someone at least, probably themselves."

The description of the corpse is "It's been hanging here for some time; it looks almost mummified."

Instead of taking the corpse, say "You have no particular use for this corpse."

An underside called under#corpse is part of the corpse.

The mandrake root is a thing in under#corpse. The description of the mandrake root is "It is a root that looks like a face twisted into a constant scream."

In Zork, there's an infamous puzzle that requires knowledge of baseball most Americans don't have, let alone people from other parts of the world that doesn't really play baseball. This puzzle is my Baseball-Diamond puzzle: it requires the player to know something about Mandrake roots that I don't think most people know, and that frankly would increase the ESRB-rating if it was ever articulated anywhere.

I thought about mentioning it in the book, but I liked having it be unstated and something the player either knows or only realizes in retrospect, but I should've put some sort of hint when searching the corpse that “look under” is implemented. (I'm using the extension Underside by Eric Eve.)

Corpsekissing is an action applying to one thing. Understand "kiss [thing]" as corpsekissing.

after corpsekissing, say "You reserve your affection for your lover. And corpses."

Now, this is my favorite part. As a standard, kissing in inform only applies to inanimate objects, but your character in this game has... particular interests that requires a slightly different behavior. I have no idea if anyone ever discovered it; there's no hint anywhere that you can do it, but if anyone tries kissing the corpse, they are in for a surprise...

There's this particular feeling when you look at your code and realize you just implemented necrophilia, somewhere between accomplishment and shame... oh, who are we kidding? I have no shame.

After taking inventory:
if the player is carrying a mandrake root and the player is carrying a Briefling's wing and the player is carrying a strand of hair, end the story finally saying "You cut the mandrake root up, put the hair and the wings inside and then sew it shut. If everything goes to plan, tomorrow he'll be yours."

The ending is a bit sudden and abrupt, and require you to bring up your inventory, which prolly isn't very good design. I've certainly never heard about another game where you take inventory and then you win.

Overall though, I am really happy about it as a first attempt to write a parser game. The results of the comp is still pending, but I hope it will stand up against more experienced IF-writers.

vampirkat's picture

Clickteam Fusion for cheap, let the world see your trainwrecks

Humble Bundle has Clickteam Fusion Developer for $15. Get it in y'all. 2 more days left to purchase! Make your trainwrecks available for all platforms!!!!

sergiocornaga's picture

RIP Mark Gobbin aka rhetoricstu, 1985-2016

It is with a heavy heart that I deliver the news that my friend and collaborator Mark Gobbin passed away on August 1st.

Mark posted numerous games here under the alias rhetoricstu. My first post on this site was a game we made together, and I feel he's partly to thank for the fast and fervorous approach to game-making I've had since. We worked together on so many creative collaborations over the years that I know I'll feel his absence in about anything I do from now on. He was a wonderful friend to me and a constant presence in my life for over 10 years. I will miss him immensely.

I've posted this for anyone to join me in mourning, or just appreciating his work. I plan to post more about his work as the days go by, along with (hopefully) finished versions of a couple of our regrettably incomplete long-term collaborations. Wish me luck...

Blueberry Soft's picture

Internet Archive

Mostly thanks to SpindleyQ all my KNP games are now up on Internet Archive!

Not all of them work great (Colour2 and Castlevania 10 for example), but hopefully one day they will!

I wrote a little guide on how to get things up too: (pretty straightforward, it just took some detectiving to figure out how to tell IA to treat it like a thing to be emulated (Just takes some metadata tags))

Healy's picture

Christmas in June-ly: A (failed) Gravity Falls game

gravi_falls_canned story map.png

Happy Soos's birthday, everybody! To celebrate, have this, an unfinished Gravity Falls twine game I started for Yuletide one year. It's about Stan and Mabel and Dipper and their crummy made-up holiday. It's an unfinished piece of junk, but I decided to upload it anyway because, well, because...

Emily Short hosted a game jam recently called Bring Out Your Dead, where you uploaded long-dead WIPs and experiments in the hopes that someone else could learn from them. The concept really interested me, and since this was the most well-formed WIP I had that I'd likely never finish, I figured it wouldn't hurt to try something out with it. I took the old, unfinished game and added some commentary to it, usually to point out its flaws, but sometimes to discuss Gravity Falls for a bit (or point out a line I liked). It's a very short game, and probably would have been even if it were completed; I only completed one ending, and the other two branches cut off suddenly. Still, I hope you get something out of it, even if it's just "Don't do what I did here, kids."

(Sergio, my man: I have gotten your message, and while I haven't worked on my Knytt Swap lately, I'll probably block out some time for it next weekend. For reasons.)

qrleon's picture

IVR adventure game for Asterisk, plus a Python version

Glad to see GT is still alive and kicking! I will try to post more often.

Here is a small adventure game you can add to an Asterisk dialplan. I'm sure you will agree that every PBX needs a hidden immature adventure game. Works well with RasPBX + a small analog gateway to a physical phone.

I made an alternate Python + Kivy version packaged for Windows. If you want a package for a different OS, let me know. There are some small differences but it's basically the same deal.

ihavefivehat's picture

non-game trainwrecks

I've been feeling kind of uninspired about making games recently, but I have been playing a lot of music. I figured I'd try to apply the trainwreck method to recording songs, since it's kind of intimidating to write and record music (especially since I have no good equipment or talent). This is the first like... actual "song" that i've ever written. I kind of wrote it as I went. It was fun! If you squint a bit, it's a late 70s pop punk anthem recorded by actual musicians. Maybe I'll do more.

If anyone objects to non-games, let me know. But I think this fits with the aesthetic & mission of the site. Maybe I'll post other stuff like art pieces and whatnot as I make them too... we'll see!


PART 2: May 20th 2016

I made an updated version of that song... actually this is my 4th attempt, but this time I had a slightly less crappy mic to use. I'm genuinely trying to make a tight and melodic pop punk song, lol. I'm just actually that bad at playing in rhythm. I'll get there eventually...


PART 3: May 21st 2016

I changed the previous recording a little bit. it's getting towards the mix of raucous goofiness and concerning subject matter that i was originally going for... i'm going to let this sit for a while and decide if i want to re record it again in a few weeks. i feel like i could do better, but i don't want to get burnt out on it.


PART 4: May 26th

I guess I'll post visual art here too. Here's a sketchbook page I like. might keep working on it. one thing on my 'learn how to-do' list is to get better at photographing art so maybe I'll try to figure that out this week.

PART 4, VOL. 2: MAY 26th and 1/2

I just made another song today also. look at me, doing things.

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