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Final Project Development Journal: A puzzling beginning

Well, I did it again. I changed my mind about my final project, and went in a totally different direction than I had first intended. But I don't think that's a bad thing--I'm actually having a lot of fun with it.

The initial development of my game was pretty smooth, devoid of most of the coding complications I ran into in my earlier interactive fiction projects this semester. I started out with a basic premise that places the player in the role of a prisoner who must escape his cell and make his way out of the prison by solving puzzles. It has a decidedly "PC-adventure game" feel to it, especially since the player is traveling primarily through areas that are deserted (there is reasoning within the story for this). In the first few turns, the player has the chance to check his inventory, use an item to assist in escaping from a cell, and then wander through a few dark passageways encountering obstacles that must be overcome or looking for hidden switches. It's simple, really, but still entertaining, especially since some of the puzzles have multiple solutions.

One thing I don't like about the early stages of the game's development is that I couldn't really find a way to implement a torch item that is essential for completing the game without forcing the player's death upon dropping the torch (because, realistically, a torch's flame would die after dropping it, thus leaving the player hopelessly lost in the prison's dark depths). I could just change the code to give the player the option to relight it somehow after dropping it, and that's something I've worked on since the beta tests for my game.



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