I7: Game Organization

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Joe Majsterski

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Jun 22, 2006, 1:19:10 AM6/22/06
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My initial project continues to grow at a steady pace. As I approach
3000 words, it's getting harder and harder to jump around from one
thing to another. I've read the documentation about Sections,
Chapters, etc., but I'm curious just how people organize their work.
This is only my third serious IF project.

With my first project, in Alan, I had all my locations together, all my
custom verbs together, all my objects together, and all my actors
together. When I did my second project, I started grouping primarily
by locations, and then having all associated objects and actors
directly after each location.

However, that just doesn't seem to be working too well for me at this
point. I've got rooms, things, persons, and rules scattered all over
the place. I'm just looking for some opinions on what works best, or
personal experience with different methods, before the situation gets
(any more) out of hand. Thanks.

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Michael Martin

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Jun 22, 2006, 2:30:57 AM6/22/06
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Joe Majsterski wrote:
> However, that just doesn't seem to be working too well for me at this
> point. I've got rooms, things, persons, and rules scattered all over
> the place. I'm just looking for some opinions on what works best, or
> personal experience with different methods, before the situation gets
> (any more) out of hand. Thanks.

My work in progress is up to 15,000 words or so now. I've split it up
into two "Books". The first Book is basically library modifications,
and the second Book is the game itself.

The first Book has one chapter for each major change I've made to the
world model.

The second Book has one Part for each episode, each of which has one
chapter for each scene. The chapters tend to lay out their geography
in one Section, and then have followup Sections to discuss various
long-term activities the player might perform.

This is a very plot-driven, multilinear game, however. For a
traditional broad-map-with-puzzles, I'd probably have one chapter for
each major region, and then have one section per puzzle in that region.
Multiregion puzzles would probably get their own chapter.

--Michael

Loquat

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Jun 22, 2006, 6:41:04 AM6/22/06
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Joe Majsterski wrote:
> My initial project continues to grow at a steady pace. As I approach
> 3000 words, it's getting harder and harder to jump around from one
> thing to another. I've read the documentation about Sections,
> Chapters, etc., but I'm curious just how people organize their work.
> This is only my third serious IF project.

I'm new to the genre, and to Inform 7, but my first I7 project has just
reached 10,000 words and I feel I've finally got a good handle on
organization, after a little frustration.

I'm creating a very plot-heavy work (if somewhat linear), and as a
result I've been organizing things more in line with order of
appearance than geographical grouping or anything else. I think this
makes it similar to writing conventional prose, as you can lay things
out in the most probable path to be taken by the player, and just let
the writing flow.

Of course, depending on how interactive your interactive fiction is,
this could be a totally worthless approach...

Matt Rebholz

Joe Majsterski

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Jun 22, 2006, 6:54:17 AM6/22/06
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So far, it's more interactive than fiction. The prose is fairly slim,
up to this point. I can't decide if I'm going to keep going with my
current project and fatten it up for the fall festival, or start
something new. Seeing how I've already let two other Alan-based
projects fall by the wayside as I've become more and more familiar with
I7, I don't think I want to start from scratch AGAIN, at least not
until I get a really solid idea to work with.

Thanks to both of you for the advice. I'm still hoping to hear from
someone about a more free-form work. I suppose I should've mentioned
that was how mine is shaping up in the first place.

Joe

Blank

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Jun 22, 2006, 8:26:00 AM6/22/06
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Well, my efforts so far have all been intended as disposable 'pseudo
WIPs' while I get the hang of the syntax and what writing with rules
changes, but for what it's worth my current layout is:

General Information
Bib. Info
(esp. the seed, or rough idea as the jacket blurb)
When play begins
(introductory text before the banner)
Initialisation
Scenes
Scene 1
(brief statement of scene's intended purpose, begins when, ends when
etc. Any special rules for that scene)
Scene 2

Geography
Room 1
(Scenery and simple objects that begin play in room 1)
complicated object(s) in room 1
Room 2
...
Actors
Actor 1
Actor 2

etc.


I've found that this format makes the writing flow quite naturally:
beginning with the hook, then plot overview, followed by where it all
happens, and finally who does what.

Of course it may all collapse into ludicrous chaos as I progress.

Jayzee

chev...@gmail.com

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Jun 22, 2006, 11:08:50 AM6/22/06
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I've taken the object oriented approach and spun everything out into
extensions. It would be better if there was a proper way of
modularising (sp?) the code, but this works the same. For instance I
have an extension for each map area, and extension for the rules, and
extension for special objects, and each scene gets its own extension.
This leaves the main project at about one page of easily readable text.
It does make debugging a bit tricker but I find the best solution is
not to turn the code into an extension until it is finalized.

Neil Cerutti

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Jun 22, 2006, 11:20:55 AM6/22/06
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That makes my head explode. ;)

--
Neil Cerutti

Inviato da X-Privat.Org - Registrazione gratuita http://www.x-privat.org/join.php

chev...@gmail.com

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Jun 22, 2006, 6:44:11 PM6/22/06
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Neil Cerutti wrote:
> On 2006-06-22, chev...@gmail.com <chev...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I've taken the object oriented approach and spun everything out
> > into extensions.

> That makes my head explode. ;)

I know it sounds crazy, but it keeps each section of the code
manageable. My game has over 200 rooms, about as many objects, complex
NPCs, and a large rule set. In fact it doesn't even fit in the Z8
machine at present, but using this system I can test the individual
bits, even though the whole thing is too big to compile. I do plan on
figuring out what is breaking the spec though.

Knight37

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Jun 24, 2006, 12:35:53 AM6/24/06
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"chev...@gmail.com" <chev...@gmail.com> once tried to test me with:

> I know it sounds crazy, but it keeps each section of the code
> manageable. My game has over 200 rooms, about as many objects, complex
> NPCs, and a large rule set. In fact it doesn't even fit in the Z8
> machine at present, but using this system I can test the individual
> bits, even though the whole thing is too big to compile. I do plan on
> figuring out what is breaking the spec though.
>

Holy crap.

--

Knight37 - http://knightgames.blogspot.com

Once a Gamer, Always a Gamer.

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