I'm considering putting together a TADS 3 study group. I've found in
the past that study groups are a good way to learn -- they keep you on
task, and there are other eyes to look over stuff that's got you
stuck. Also, helping someone else out is a good way to maintain
My thought is to have a topic every week, such as doors, or NPCs, or
conversation. And people can talk about non-topic items at any time,
We'll keep it private, so you can post spoilery stuff about your game,
and members will be expected to contribute, or they'll be (eventually)
be bounced -- not to be mean, but to keep people motivated, and as a
kind of dues-paying through contribution.
Having said that, I'm unsure about a couple of things. First, how many
people are currently working on learning T3? I know Radical Al is taking
a look at it; are there other lurkers?
Second, T3 is so complex that it's hard for me to imagine that everyone
is going to want to work on learning the same facets of the system at
the same time.
I can think of three things I'd like to learn right now
(SensoryEmanation, how to see what's on the stack, and which Msg strings
can easily be substituted in a given object), but I'm not sure whether
anyone else is on any of those pages.
But yeah, let's give it a try and find out.
I've had some email action. I'd say it looks like we'll have a
It's probably inevitable that people will be at different levels. In
my experience with study groups, people learn from teaching, as well.
People who know more, and are usually teachers, can still work things
out in thorough discussions. It takes longer.
How many people are into TADS 3? I don't know. And your questions, I
think, would have to be addressed in one of those thorough discussions
-- maybe someone on here can answer off the top of their head, but I'm
not able to.
Can utter newbies join? I'm interested in TADS and I think this would be
a great way to learn it.
> Can utter newbies join? I'm interested in TADS and I think this would be
> a great way to learn it.
Absolutely -- just sign up and start pinging the Study Group with questions.
I just went back and had a quick look at the Getting Started Guide. It
packs a lot of information into the first few pages! Once you've set up
your system so that you can compile your game, it becomes possible to
learn quite a lot about the language by jumping around in the GSG and
the Tour Guide. But if you can manage to slow down and work through a
number of pages of both, step by patient step, I suspect that ultimately
you'll be better off.
In my view, the learning curve of T3 is convex (steep at first, but it
levels out later). The learning curve of I7, in contrast, is concave
(shallow and easy at first, but it gets steeper as you go on).
I only gave up on T3 twice -- because the initial learning curve was so
steep -- before I came to grips with it. So hang in there!
> My thought is to have a topic every week, such as doors, or NPCs, or
> conversation. And people can talk about non-topic items at any time,
> of course.
The recent Interactive Fiction Writing Month (based on Inform 6 or 7)
used a similar approach, and it worked very well. It encouraged me to
get writing in the system, rather than forever procrastinating! See
http://www.instamatique.com/if/ for the main IFWM blog page. There was a
bulletin board system to support it, where people could discuss things.
Obviously IFWM only ran for a month, so had a more limited scope than
what you're planning, but the model worked well.
Good luck with the TADS group.
> Having said that, I'm unsure about a couple of things. First, how many
> people are currently working on learning T3? I know Radical Al is taking
> a look at it; are there other lurkers?
In for a penny in for a pound.
Conrad, sign me up
Cool. Count me in.
> Cool. Count me in.
I'm guessing your email, at "nospam.com" is not your real account. So
I can't invite you.
But, you can apply for a membership (which is easiest):
Or you can write me backchannel from your real email.