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EL 405: Project 2 Progress Report...

After many hours of laboring and coding I am ready to blog about the progress I have made on project 2. I have chosen to elaborate on Stormy's IF game about the kids on the playground and so far it has been a real blast for me. She has taken on the task of re-vamping my rainforest game and I can't wait to see what she comes up with. Already I can see a difference by looking at the compiler's statement: "The 930-word source text has successfully been translated into a world with 5 rooms and 8 things, and the index has been brought up to date" that now reads "1244-word source text has successfully been translated into a world with 5 rooms and 12 things." So it is at least evident that I have added a signifigant amount of changes to not only the layout of the game, but also the amount of objects it has in it. The addition of objects was something I really wanted to emphasize.

I have strived to make this game more user friendly as well as more interactive and logical. In the sense of making it a more logical game I removed certain parts from descriptions that were not constants. For example the description of SAM cannot be playing with the ball if you just took the ball, so I generalized about her rather than what she was doing. This spares the player a lot of confusion. Some of the more prominent changes I have made involve character to character interaction and how extensive this can be. I thought we were supposed to conduct a beta test of our games on Tuesday, but that was not the case and instead we worked on HalfLife 2. It is all good though because I have had 2 non-classmates play the game I am working on and have taken notes on their reactions. In one instance I removed a player from the game after he is helped because his description and presence are no longer valid after the task that is required has been achieved. It was pointless to have the player keep doing the same action over and over again, so I made that impossible.

Project 2 Screenshot.JPG

Some notable changes that I have made are mainly visible in the meat of the game where you [EARL] are trying to help the other kids on the playground during recess. For example there is a scene where you are in a room called "Monkey Bars" but in the original version of the game there were no actual monkey bars to interact with. I added a jungle gym to this section and had the computer recognize it as "jungle gym" or "monkey bars" so that it fit a little better. I also used one of the beta testers inclination to "climb bars" as inspiration for making this possible in the game. It was their natural instinct to do so [climb], and it is the job of an IF author to anticipate what people will try to do so I added that to the game. I am rather pleased with this game and I feel like it still stays true to my wacky roots in a family oriented way. One of my favorite lines in the game is: The description of Charles is "He was fine until he became distracted by a butterfly in the distance. Oh no! Charles is dangling from the monkey bars, his sweaty hands are slipping and he is losing his grip!" I was able to have a lot of fun with the game and not be repulsive and inapropriate/weird as I normally might lean towards being.

Comments (2)

Stormy:

Simply fantastic. I like that you kept most of the descriptions I wrote though, and I'm glad we decided to do this. Our blogs for the final projects will be titled: The meaning of life...Interactive Fiction. Don't forget to send me those HTML tags to put the game in an entry, thanks buddie.

I think it would be cool if we put both versions of each other's games on our blogs. Like a before and after thing. Just throwin' that out there.

Leslie Rodriguez:

Sounds good man. We will talk about this more tomorrow when we are making quiche with Moira and Evan.

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