Short questionaire - What kind of author are you?

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Julio Juliopolis

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Jan 8, 2004, 6:31:24 AM1/8/04
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Just curious to see how some of the IF authors approach IF. Note that these
questions don't necessarily refer to completed or published games only.

1 - If there is one aspect of your games that you feel makes them stand out
from other games what would it be?

a. NPC interaction
b. Game mechanics - (the parser, the "reality" of what you can do even when
unnecessary such as tying a rope into a noose, etc.)
c. the prose
d. ingenious puzzles
e. the storyline

2 - If offered a potion to increase your skill in any of the above aspects
of IF autoring to that of a super-fantastic-ultimo-master, which you you
pick?


3 - What genre do you enjoy writing best?

a. Fantasy
b. Sci-fi
c. Surreal
d. Horror
e. Mystery
f. Reality based (slice of life)


4 - What was the greatest programming challenge you overcame in one of your
games?


5 - What was the greatest programming challenge you didn't overcome, as in
without just deleting it or putting something else in place of whatever was
causing the problem?

6 - If an IF hall of fame was created and you won a "great inanimate item"
prize, what item from which of your games would it be for?

7 - Do questionaires like this ever help you to look at your writing with a
new approach and improve it?

Thanks!
Julio

Rexx Magnus

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Jan 8, 2004, 7:30:29 AM1/8/04
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On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 11:31:24 GMT, Julio Juliopolis scrawled:

> Just curious to see how some of the IF authors approach IF. Note that
> these questions don't necessarily refer to completed or published games
> only.
>
> 1 - If there is one aspect of your games that you feel makes them stand
> out from other games what would it be?

Hopefully, the complexity of interaction with some of the objects in it,
though that might end up being a minus point.

> a. NPC interaction

None as yet, I want to avoid it.

> b. Game mechanics - (the parser, the "reality" of what you can do even
> when unnecessary such as tying a rope into a noose, etc.)

Nothing tremendously special in that respect.

> c. the prose

I try to make the descriptions of things as clear and evocative as
possible, so I hope that'll be a good point.

> d. ingenious puzzles
> e. the storyline
>
> 2 - If offered a potion to increase your skill in any of the above
> aspects of IF autoring to that of a super-fantastic-ultimo-master, which
> you you pick?

Can't I have one that fills all of the above? :)
I'd like to be much more knowledgable about the mechanics of writing IF
than I am, and also have a better grasp of writing a decent storyline.

> 3 - What genre do you enjoy writing best?
>
> a. Fantasy
> b. Sci-fi
> c. Surreal
> d. Horror
> e. Mystery
> f. Reality based (slice of life)

Fantasy and mystery.



> 4 - What was the greatest programming challenge you overcame in one of
> your games?

Making objects that can be split, but still referred to with one name when
in various states (and getting the game to pick the right one).

> 5 - What was the greatest programming challenge you didn't overcome, as
> in without just deleting it or putting something else in place of
> whatever was causing the problem?

The above, in varying degrees. I finished it, but only in a reduced form.

> 6 - If an IF hall of fame was created and you won a "great inanimate
> item" prize, what item from which of your games would it be for?

A bag, with the convenience of letting you drop stuff in it, then not
spewing out reams of useless item listings when it's on your person (as
you don't need to open it).

> 7 - Do questionaires like this ever help you to look at your writing
> with a new approach and improve it?
>

No they annoy me, by reminding me of what I can't do. :)

> Thanks!
> Julio
>

--
UO & AC Herbal - http://www.rexx.co.uk/herbal

To email me, visit the site.

Quintin Stone

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Jan 8, 2004, 9:36:10 AM1/8/04
to
On Thu, 8 Jan 2004, Julio Juliopolis wrote:

> Just curious to see how some of the IF authors approach IF. Note that these
> questions don't necessarily refer to completed or published games only.

Well, my modern non-completed games haven't even gotten out of the design
stage so far, so I'll base this on my one published game.

> 1 - If there is one aspect of your games that you feel makes them stand out
> from other games what would it be?
>
> a. NPC interaction
> b. Game mechanics - (the parser, the "reality" of what you can do even
> when unnecessary such as tying a rope into a noose, etc.)
> c. the prose
> d. ingenious puzzles
> e. the storyline

Game mechanics. Specifically, I tried to account for a variety of
reasonable actions and implemented a number of alternative solutions to
puzzles. I also added quite a few new verbs that I thought players would
want to try.

> 2 - If offered a potion to increase your skill in any of the above
> aspects of IF autoring to that of a super-fantastic-ultimo-master, which
> you you pick?

It's a tough choice between d and e. I'd like to improve my writing, but
I really have a hard time coming up with puzzles or story ideas that are
original and clever.

> 3 - What genre do you enjoy writing best?

I find sci-fi probably the easiest, though I also enjoy doing fantasy.

> 4 - What was the greatest programming challenge you overcame in one of
> your games?

Probably my custom context-sensitive hint system.

> 5 - What was the greatest programming challenge you didn't overcome, as
> in without just deleting it or putting something else in place of
> whatever was causing the problem?

Conversation topic disambiguation. There wasn't time to do it, though I'm
trying to include it for the post-comp release.

> 6 - If an IF hall of fame was created and you won a "great inanimate
> item" prize, what item from which of your games would it be for?

I suppose it'd be for the helmet.

> 7 - Do questionaires like this ever help you to look at your writing
> with a new approach and improve it?

I've been trying to do that anyway. :)

/====================================================================\
|| Quintin Stone O- > "You speak of necessary evil? One ||
|| Code Monkey < of those necessities is that if ||
|| Rebel Programmers Society > innocents must suffer, the guilty must ||
|| st...@rps.net < suffer more." -- Mackenzie Calhoun ||
|| http://www.rps.net/QS/ > "Once Burned" by Peter David ||
\====================================================================/

Mikko P Vuorinen

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Jan 8, 2004, 2:35:15 PM1/8/04
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In <gcbLb.313847$_M.1813525@attbi_s54> Julio Juliopolis <Ju...@Juliopolis.com> writes:

>1 - If there is one aspect of your games that you feel makes them stand out
>from other games what would it be?

>e. the storyline

Or the lack of it, actually.

>2 - If offered a potion to increase your skill in any of the above aspects
>of IF autoring to that of a super-fantastic-ultimo-master, which you you
>pick?

Story writing.

>3 - What genre do you enjoy writing best?

>a. Fantasy
>b. Sci-fi
>c. Surreal
>d. Horror
>e. Mystery
>f. Reality based (slice of life)

Where's option g, silly?

>4 - What was the greatest programming challenge you overcame in one of your
>games?

Probably the rope in King Arthur's Night Out.

>5 - What was the greatest programming challenge you didn't overcome, as in
>without just deleting it or putting something else in place of whatever was
>causing the problem?

Can't think of any right now. I don't do anything too complex.

>6 - If an IF hall of fame was created and you won a "great inanimate item"
>prize, what item from which of your games would it be for?

The sombrero from The Adventures of the President of the United States.

>7 - Do questionaires like this ever help you to look at your writing with a
>new approach and improve it?

Perhaps.
--
Ei se mitään.

Anthony Fordham

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Jan 8, 2004, 4:24:06 PM1/8/04
to
> 1 - If there is one aspect of your games that you feel makes them stand
out
> from other games what would it be?

The prose - hopefully! (nothing published yet)

> 2 - If offered a potion to increase your skill in any of the above aspects
> of IF autoring to that of a super-fantastic-ultimo-master, which you you
> pick?

A special potion that would allow me to instantly understand all the nuances
of Inform plus be able to code 1500 lines a day.
Most of my time is wasted doing things from first principles only to find
out later there's a one-word function that does what I wanted - d'oh.

> 3 - What genre do you enjoy writing best?

Slice of life and sci-fi.

> 4 - What was the greatest programming challenge you overcame in one of
your
> games?

The mobile phone (cellphone) - it's my 'plot advancer' and it rings when
there's new info for the player. Plus it rings again once every ten turns if
the player doesn't answer it. Plus if you're in earshot you can hear where
it's ringing from - it 'tells' you its location. Simple stuff I know, but it
seems to work well.

Also, finally looking up the DM4 and learning the "receive" action - this
suddenly simplified the hell out of a lot of my objects :)

> 5 - What was the greatest programming challenge you didn't overcome, as in
> without just deleting it or putting something else in place of whatever
was
> causing the problem?

No stumpers yet, but there's some damn inelegant code in some of the early
locations from back when I was first learning Inform. Ugliness.

> 6 - If an IF hall of fame was created and you won a "great inanimate item"
> prize, what item from which of your games would it be for?

The coffee machine in the player's apartment - so far there's six ways it
can kill you.

> 7 - Do questionaires like this ever help you to look at your writing with
a
> new approach and improve it?

Absolutely! More questionnaires please!

> Thanks!
> Julio


Giancarlo Niccolai

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Jan 8, 2004, 4:30:31 PM1/8/04
to
Julio Juliopolis wrote:

> Just curious to see how some of the IF authors approach IF. Note that
> these questions don't necessarily refer to completed or published games
> only.
>
> 1 - If there is one aspect of your games that you feel makes them stand
> out from other games what would it be?
>
> a. NPC interaction
> b. Game mechanics - (the parser, the "reality" of what you can do even
> when unnecessary such as tying a rope into a noose, etc.)
> c. the prose
> d. ingenious puzzles
> e. the storyline

e,c,b in this order.

>
> 2 - If offered a potion to increase your skill in any of the above aspects
> of IF autoring to that of a super-fantastic-ultimo-master, which you you
> pick?

c. I am strong in the rest ;-)

>
>
> 3 - What genre do you enjoy writing best?
>
> a. Fantasy
> b. Sci-fi
> c. Surreal
> d. Horror
> e. Mystery
> f. Reality based (slice of life)

a, c, b in this order.

>
>
> 4 - What was the greatest programming challenge you overcame in one of
> your games?

The FIGHT_REFEREE object. In my adventures, I have suceeded in making NPC
fight each others in an RPG compliant ruleset in background. A player can
leave his companion(s) in a room to fight some enemie(s) go walking around
and come after to see how the fight is going. And NPC mages will decide to
use weapons or given spells to attack their enemies...

The whole fight system is a big achievement in my opinion.

>
>
> 5 - What was the greatest programming challenge you didn't overcome, as in
> without just deleting it or putting something else in place of whatever
> was causing the problem?

None. I always overcome programming challenges.

>
> 6 - If an IF hall of fame was created and you won a "great inanimate item"
> prize, what item from which of your games would it be for?

Enchanter scroll of "survive unnatural death".

>
> 7 - Do questionaires like this ever help you to look at your writing with
> a new approach and improve it?

No. But they're fun anyhow.

>
> Thanks!

Bests,
Giancarlo.


Robin Johnson

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Jan 9, 2004, 8:55:50 AM1/9/04
to
On Thu, 08 Jan 2004 11:31:24 GMT, Julio Juliopolis
<Ju...@Juliopolis.com> wrote:

>Just curious to see how some of the IF authors approach IF. Note that these
>questions don't necessarily refer to completed or published games only.
>
>1 - If there is one aspect of your games that you feel makes them stand out
>from other games what would it be?
>
>a. NPC interaction
>b. Game mechanics - (the parser, the "reality" of what you can do even when
>unnecessary such as tying a rope into a noose, etc.)
>c. the prose
>d. ingenious puzzles
>e. the storyline

I try for d., though I think I'm probably better skilled at c.

>2 - If offered a potion to increase your skill in any of the above aspects
>of IF autoring to that of a super-fantastic-ultimo-master, which you you
>pick?

d. Most important to enjoyable gameplay IMO - but I don't see a very
distinct line between d. and e.

>3 - What genre do you enjoy writing best?
>
>a. Fantasy
>b. Sci-fi
>c. Surreal
>d. Horror
>e. Mystery
>f. Reality based (slice of life)

g. Adaptation/parody. But I'll try everything.

>4 - What was the greatest programming challenge you overcame in one of your
>games?

Writing my own game engine in HTML/Javascript!

>5 - What was the greatest programming challenge you didn't overcome, as in
>without just deleting it or putting something else in place of whatever was
>causing the problem?

Support for browsers other than Internet Explorer - sorry. Javascript
is just so damn unstandardised. But hopefully it will be at least
Netscape compatible in the next release.

On a more game-related note, I wanted you to be able to rip the bat's
wings off in Hamlet, but my stupid game engine didn't properly support
'thing' names with spaces in them (ugh) and I didn't want to call the
bat's wing just "the wing" so I didn't bother. (But I've corrected
that in my working copy of the engine, of course.)

Yes, I know this sort of thing is the reason the FAQ tells us to
please, please use a 'proper' game authoring system - but writing the
engine code is half the fun for me.

>6 - If an IF hall of fame was created and you won a "great inanimate item"
>prize, what item from which of your games would it be for?

Hmmm. Things like postcards and telegrams I find the most fun to code,
probably because I enjoy writing.

>7 - Do questionaires like this ever help you to look at your writing with a
>new approach and improve it?

Yes. It never really occurred to me before that even inanimate items
should be great.
--
Robin Johnson
rj at robinjohnson.f9.co.uk
http://www.robinjohnson.f9.co.uk
"Please [...] quote me out of context."

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