December 2008 Archives

Bomb Squad! (Suspenseful Theme Music)

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Over the past few weeks in EL236: Writing for the Internet, I have been working on an interactive fiction or text-based game.

Basically, since I did not have enough time to create a game with a good NPC, I decided to create a game that was short but challenging.  Basically, there are only three or four commands that work for the entire game.  It is about medium on the difficulty scale, but I have tried to make the descriptions interesting to lessen the pain of not finding one of the two winning endings.

The plot, or lack thereof, of the game is to simple.  You have been locked inside the whimsical lobby of an apartment building with thirty four of your favorite objects.  Ten turns (which can denote minutes or seconds, which ever you prefer) is all the time that you have.  The bomb will go off if you choose to take more time than that, and the game will end.  You must search for clues on how to disarm the bomb in the soon-to-be rubble.  If that is not difficult enough, there are many traps that you can fall into.  As I said there are only two winning endings, and one that is ... Well it is what it is.

I don't want to say too much more and ruin the ending.  If you want some hints, or you just want to witness the evolution of my mad experiment, read my blog, and especially read the final portfolio (ignoring my incoherent reminiscing).

Otherwise, here is the link to the full version of Bomb Squad.  Thanks for playing, and, since I am interested in how the general public feels about the game, feel free to leave a comment below. 

The End of an Era

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Before I recollect about the blogging of the past three weeks, I would like to discuss the saga of EL 236.  It seems like it all happened so long ago, but it has really only been less than six months.

It all began at summer orientation for my freshman year at college.  Dr. Jerz did my scheduling, and somehow managed to slip in a little promotion for his course.  As I think about it now, I don't even think he described much that we would do aside from writing online.

So, when I finally arrived for good in the fall, I remember having this sinking feeling.  I wondered what I had got myself into.  "It deals with computers, and I hate computers.  And you have to program them.  And I hate programming."  Those are just some of my (censored) thoughts from late August.

This class will always hold a special place in my heart though, as sickening as that sounds.  It was my first college class.  I remember walking in on the first day, five minutes before class, thinking that I was doing something showing up that early on the first day of class.  I walked in to a packed room, with Dr. Jerz in full-lecture mode.  I was the last person to enter class on my first day of college.

The biggest effect of this class, along with STW and a few others, is the ease in which I write now.  I remember the essay that we had to do from the first day of class (which really P.O.ed me, by the way).  It was three pages, and took almost as many hours to write.  Now I routinely write twice as much in the same amount of time.  And I think that MT's lack of a spell checker causes me to constantly think while writing my blogs, and that has raised the accuracy of my writing.

I have also accomplished a lot this semester.  I created three or four websites from scratch, using HTML.  I can create basic interactive fiction games with Inform 7, which we will discuss later on.  I have written 58 blog entries, and I am currently working on number 59.

Perhaps the most profound change is the way I feel about the internet.  I know that there is no way to measure this, scientifically or subjectively, but I feel that because I have taken this class, I can use the internet to my advantage over my peers.  I am still a traditionalist; I would much rather use a pen and paper if I could write fast enough without making mistakes, but I recognize that technology is an ever growing segment of society and college, and that I need it to succeed.

No, I am not trying to earn brownie points by saying this: I recommend EL 236 to all current and prospective English majors at Seton Hill.  It touches my ego to complain about somebody using an e-mail attachment, or forgetting to write something in the subject line.  I am constantly looking at the layout of websites, and still watch for artistic tabs.  It is not naivete, I know that my understanding of the internet and electronic texts is rudimentary, but coming from a place where I HATED the internet, rudimentary is good.  Thanks Dr. Jerz for being so persuasive.

And now for something completely different...

Over the past three weeks I have posted the trials and tribulations of my term project on my blog.  My term project is an internet fiction game about diffusing a bomb.  Stop back later this weekend for the official overview, or click the links below for an in depth explanation of Bomb Squad!  I have tried to use the blogs to my advantage, by asking questions to the other members of the class.  The three people who come to mind for help are Daniella, David, and Dr. Jerz.  I thank everyone who took the time to post some of the random ideas they had in response to the random ideas I had.  Play the game, and maybe you'll see your idea.

My Part is Finished - The last blog before beta testing; tells about the final changes in the game.

This Just In... - This one had less about the game itself, and was more about my insights into the world of IF authorship.

Update - A short entry to let everyone know that I hadn't forgotten about working on it.

Alpha Test - The results from the much anticipated alpha test.  The game was shaped a lot by what happened here.

Alpha Prep - The early stages of the game, where I was just catching glimpses of what it was to become.

Bomb Squad Progress - This is where the idea was formed.  I am proud that my game has stayed true to this form throughout the entire process with the exception of NPC interaction.

I have also tried to post helpful comments on the blogs of others.  This time the lucky ones were:






I am so happy that the final portfolio of the semester is done!

December 2008

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Recent Comments

Diane Ludlow on My Part is Finished: Does anyone how to trademark a
Daniella Choynowski on My Part is Finished: I never thought of that...prog
Dennis G. Jerz on This Just In...: You could search Flickr or You
David Wilbanks on This Just In...: Hmmmm.....mail boxes? An uncon
Jed Fetterman on Alpha Test: Thanks, for the help. I'm jus
Daniella Choynowski on Alpha Test: I've gotten so used to using "
Jed Fetterman on Alpha Prep: Thanks Dr. Jerz. That sounds
Dennis G. Jerz on Alpha Prep: You can make objects "scenery"
Jed Fetterman on Bomb Squad Progress: I think I might use the blue/r
David Wilbanks on Bomb Squad Progress: You could just make it so the
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