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September 29, 2010

Not your everyday trip to the mall

Alright, now that we have Inform 7 projects out of the way and we are starting to move on to HTML and creating websites, now is the time to reflect on what we've done with this section of the course, which I have to say, wasn't as bad as it could have been.

With my Inform 7 project I started with kind of lofty ideas and was really excited because it was about shopping and blah blah blah, my little girl brain got quite the kick to reality once I started working on my project and remembered that Inform 7 is stupid and we do not get along too well. However, I have to say this time around went a lot more "swimmingly" than the last time because I knew how I had to word certain things so the game would understand me....it was kind of like talking to a man. (Low blow...I know.)

After I initially started working though, I began to write background information, further developed my character and really got into the whole process, I realized I need to cut back and the player should be more focused on all the text and not so much on going from store to store. So once I got that understood, I decided to (unintentionally) make the game a little creepy. So the setting was in a plain, old mall and everything seemed normal but based on what items the player decides to get first, depends on how the game finishes. Now granted I realize that at the beginning the player doesn't think that buying the stuffed animal bunny means anything different than the jeans but with the background information about the family the player comes from, they could put the context clues together to realize that they should think of their little sister (and buy the bunny) first and buy the jeans (for themselves) last since their credit card may bounce at any moment, so its better to be safe than sorry and get the essentials first.

I half feel bad for leading my players astray in that way but then didn't really care that much after I watched them play and get frustrated every time they would end up with the "bad outcome" and wonder what they could do differently, which was like a game to me as well and I used it as a teaching tool for thinking of others before yourself.

The piece of code that I was impressed that I actually figured out was being able to make the other characters say things based on what happens previously to the player. So for instance, if the player goes the "right way" the clerks are nicer to them. I don't really know how this happened and if I had to repeat it, I'd probably take just as long doing it again, but when I made one of my testers go a certain way (after she played once on her own) and the tone of the sales clerk changed I was happy about that.

Credits wise, I have to give some props to Megan, because she usually told me I was making things harder than I actually needed to, or had figured out something before I did and was able to help me figure it out for my own game as well.

Overall, I'm decently proud of this project. But I don't want to see Inform 7 ever again in my future. But if anyone wants to go on a normal mall trip, I'm game.  

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