November 2008 Archives

You Can't Take Everything


When Aja Hannah tested my game, a few things were going through my mind. She stated that most of her problems stemmed from the fact that she was confused on where to go. Granted, the second floor wasn't finished yet, but her confusion prompted me to change the locations of the rooms and make them easier to go into. I also noticed that she was taking everything that wasn't nailed down (fridges and bookcases). I had to make them scenery and made it more interactable.

Here are something that I want to continue:

Add more NPG's (a difficult tasks)
Finish the upstairs rooms.
Tie the plotline more throughly into the game.

As I continue to make may way through Inform 7, I began to encounter some problems. Well... I don't want to say problems, more like snags. I would be able to go forward if I knew how to do certainly complete some of these particular phrase and actions.

For example, I want to make a NPG talk and have the player start the conversation. Afterward the man would leave. I need to know how I can make NPG's appear once. However, the wording to the actions rack my brain.

I also would like the player to die after drinking a potion. But I can even make the potion drinkable or have the game ended. It seems that simplicistic actions need a lot of direction. I've tried reading that confusing manual. The examples in it is a litttle bit vague and/or confusing to the problems that I have to solve for the sake of this project.

I still want to make the house as interactive as possible and have the objects drive the plot of the story. If you can help me, I will be in your debt. I still feel excited about this project.

Studying the rise of horror/science fiction IF games (Slouching Towards Bedlam and Shrapnel), I've decided to create a game using that mold. I'm on the verge of writing some of the terms and characters that will be very important to the plot of "Beckett Hill Manor". This is an idea that I had came upon while completing an IF exercise in class. In fact, I have completed the first floor of the mansion that the game will be based in. The exact details of the plotline I do not want to put in this progress report, for fear that it could can due to the difficult that Inform 7 choose to give me. However, I will give the inspirations that proppeled my to create this horror IF game.

Last semester, I took a class called "Horror and Suspense Writing", I was interesting in the concepts and the stories in that class. I know that writing about a haunted house is a little cliche even in the IF world. Nevertheless, this is a chance for me to take a different approach to this convention. I plan to use intergalatic instead of supernatural forces to push the plot forward and created tension. Think more along the lines of H.P. Lovecraft than Stephen King. The stories that I plan to use as inspirations are similiar to The Call of Cthulhlu, where the reader is taken through a journey to discover a powerful inetergalatic being capable of devouring worlds.

The focus of this story is the house itself. I plan to have the environment be as interactive as I could possibly make it. Similiar to Shrapnel, I will make the environment into a character itself, making decisions on what to do with the player. It may take clever writing to pull it off, be we will see what happens.   

I was informed that I should start in a single room to ensure that I'm not biting off more than I can chew. The thinks that I could most likely work on is how to make things happen only once, for I could make characters react to certain things that could advance the plot. It is possible that it could be a issue for me, since this is the first time that I have used Inform 7. That is the reason that I plan to try out an IF game.



Hats Off to Mr. Krug

I really enjoyed the contents of this book. I think that without it this class would be hard enough. The only problem I had with the book (and it had been stated in class) that is was a little outdated as far as the websites are concerned. I think that when someone is teaching usability, it is essential to get to the chase. After all that is what users usually do when they click onto a website, right?

Usability testing could possibly make the internet a less painful place to search through. I reminded of that exercise that we had to do in class. When we critiqued those websites, my jaw hit the floor. I think that it is beneficial to use this information, even if they are not a professional.

The Path is Forged

I think I've learned a great deal in this class. I'm really excited about my term project and I think this are the tools that I could use to help with that project. Nevertheless, I wish I had more time on the project than I know i'm going to have.  

Krug's Blog

Hats Off to Mr. Krug


"Bad Homepage, Naughty Homepage!"

Facebook is similiar to most homepages, all they do is confuse.

Are the Pilliars Cracking

How the five rules of Wikipedia are failing Wikipedia.


Edition to the Two Pages

My Wikipedia workshop results.

Maybe It's Your Fault

Wikipedia's force on research and academia.

Trying to Reinvent the Wheel

How design could affect a website.


"Bad Homepage, Naughty Homepage!"

This lesson started a conversation.


As The Lab Rats Scurry...I'm Trying To Counted Them

This sparked a discussion inside the classroom about the quantitative information of usability testing.

Look At All The Lovely Users

This also sparked a discussion inside the classroom about the educational benefits of usability testing.


Denamarie Ercolani

Wikipedia Edits

I was interested in her WIkipedia project.

Andrew LoNigro

Things to think about not thinking

Andy had his own little opinions about web designing.

Edition to the Two Pages


Yesterday, I made editions to the two pages of Wikipedia. One of them is the page about the 1989 film Glory and I added information about the health benefits of apple juice. In the Glory article, the soundtrack was briefly discussed, and I added a few details about the particular soundtrack. I remember this soundtrack being mentioned in much more detail, but some of the information was erased for some reason. That reason was never elaborated in the discussion pages in the article. I re-entered the information that was missing in that section and so far I did not get a response to the change.  

That is one of the flaws about Wikipedia, when a change is made it is hard to figure out who made it and why. However, any expert in any field could most likely be a part of the site. Wikipedia could be used as a forum to share proven and widely heralded theories. With that kind of research there is a definite need of proof.

On the apple juice page, I entered the website that I found the information on. I wanted to be a positive part to the article of my site by allowing my changes to be challenged. On this article, I'm allowing my findings to be peer reviewed in a way that no academic journal goes through.     

Examining The Skeleton

Before I was given this assignment, I was a little confused about the structure of Wikipedia and how it recieve its articles. I noticed how the Seton Hill and St. Vincent article is built on the national attention and the history of the colleges. What I'm not suprised about is the bickering on what should be on the article by the people who edit them. This is one reason why citing Wikipedia is impossible. Even though there is a discussion about what is changed, there is never a consensus about what's change. Seton Hill's information about potential conservative bias has always been a problem and, according to the article's history, being a catalyst for an editing war.

Consesus in some way, shape, or form should be encourged. Hence the reason why only peer-reviewed articles are the prime sort of information.

Are the Pilliars Cracking?

I would like to comment on the pilliars that Wikipedia uses as their support for the articles being produced.

I. Wikipedia is a Encyclopedia:
I think about all of the times,as a freshman, I tried to use an encyclopedia to recieve information and fell flat on my fact. Trivial knowledge doesn't help me at all. All students need more bredth so they can not only learn but reflect. An encyclopedia/Wikipedia article is only meant to fuel the fires of knowledge, making a student expand on their search.

II. Wikipedia has a neutral point of view:
True. Wikipedia's encyclopedia-style format is in need of neutrality. At the same token, their are pathetic people out there who will destroy an article about a politician they hate to make an agenda. Wikipedia, with all of its flaws, is the original point of knowledge. With experience and discovery, one should have an opinion about any particular subject. Wikipedia is not a place to argue them.

III. Wikipedia is free content:
The meaning of free content means that anyone under the sun can write about nuclear fusion. I think that free content of information (even trivia) is a big risk, for that Wikipedia is allowing potential lawsuits to for each article being written. It is stated that "any writing you contribute can be mercilessly edited and redistributed at will by the community." Hope that every single one of them are experts.

IV. Wikipedia has a code of conduct:
Really? It does? Wow! Due to the Seigenthaler scandel with Wikipedia, I really thought that it was the Wild West of the World Wide Web...anything goes. They beg on us not to interupt Wikipedia for a point, yet people do it all the time just to prove that they could do it.

V.Wikipedia does not have firm rules
That is why Wikipedia is struggling to keep itself decent. Research (even trival) needs structure to prevent miscommunication.

Maybe It's Your Fault

Wikipedia has tried hard in recent years to relieve themselves from as much responsibility as possible. That is simply because they gave up "quality as an issue". The whole act of research into make a claim by using respectable information. Now, how respectable can the information be when anyone can change the contents as they see fit. Anyone could make Einstien into a Catholic bishop and the Confederacy to win the Civil War by a few clicks and a few taps of the keyboard.

There is one thing that I don't understand about the people who use wikipedia as research is that how could they trust a source that could be easily altered. That is why university libraries spend thousands of dollars on buying academic journals, so we can trust them. It has gone through trial after trial by experts to give to a knowledge hungry public. But in some respects, we have to take responsibility on the information that we use, since Wikipedia isn't doing it.

How can they? Wikipedia is always changing. In the Spiro article, it is stated that "since Wikipedia is constantly undergoing revisions, it is too unstable to cite". It is similair to a choppy sea, unable to sail through it. Even though they are starting to freeze articles that has been vetted and check, you don't know which ones, so it's hard to cite. But it could be vetted and checked by those with malicious intent, right? So how can you trust Wikipedia for in-depth can't. If you are in desperate need of information for a paper and use WIkipedia and get it wrong, it is only you you have to blame.

The Sales Pitch

Being the salesman that he is, Krug entices the readers to use the information that helps with web design. I really learned a lot from this book about what to do in creating websites. I think that the end of the book seems to be a pat on his back from himself. He emphasizes that you should know what you are doing before you even think about doing it. Web designing is an exact science to some degree, you have to know your audience and what they want. The website itself is supposed to be the sales pitch on a way to make a website and what you can do to make it better.