Aftermath

OurJud

Finally finished my game. Been working on the last few steps and testing since about three o'clock this afternoon!

Despite spending the last twelve hours (almost) on finishing I have to admit I rushed it through. It's no where near as long as I'd imagined, but if I try to follow that dream it will just end up another unfinished game like all the rest.

Anyway, it is what it is.

https://aftermath2090.wordpress.com/


OurJud

NB: Tiny error. There's a point where you are invited to take two things from a cupboard, but the response suggest you only take one item.

This makes no difference to the game and is purely a message error.


OurJud

Also, as an aside, I had some trouble getting this game to launch from my blog as desired. It kept embedding it in a little window, within the blog post itself.

I finally got it functioning how I want at my end, but there still seems to be some confusion as to what the various itch.io (the site where my game is hosted) links actually do.

Can I ask that if you play the game, you at least confirm back here that when you click the 'Play' button, the game launches in full-screen browser mode, rather than taking you to the itch.io site or embedding it in a little window somewhere.

Thanks.


XanMag

I ran into a problem after starting the car. I got this message.

Error: passage "village" does not exist - my game could not progress from this point.

EDIT: I had to delete the two pairs of greater than, less than signs for that to post. They were around the word goto which is just before passage.

Also.... a small typo... before is typed incorrectly in the car scene.

The game does launch just fine from your site though. I'm on my PC on chrome.


OurJud

Thanks, Xan. And you're always so sure you've thouroughly play-tested, aren't you?

I'll go fix that now.


OurJud

Fixed. Forgot to correct the typo but not going through all that again for a typo. I've no doubt there are others anyway.


The Pixie

Looks really good.

Some minor typos:

a feint trace of a road

to penitrate the

smell of buring wood

the wood panelled walls
(hyphenate)

man remains,still clutching
(space after comma

befpore picking up speed


thetruespin

I like it. Will play properly this evening, but big fan of the minimalist approach to descriptions.

My only initial thought is whether links might best be placed as clear options, rather than in the body of the text.

Anyway, will give it a proper bash soon.


OurJud

Thank you both.

If I do any updates, TP, I'll fix those typos.

Glad you like, trs. The minimalist descriptions were trickier than I ever imagined because I still wanted to give a feel for the locations without resorting to multiple paragraphs. You might notice they get less minimal (if that's not a double-negative) the further in you get.

I uum'd and ahh'd over the links pretty much the entire time I was writing it. I definitely want them as part of the body text, I know that much, but I still wonder if I should have just left them as clear links instead of the fade effect I used.


OurJud

First comment on my game:

There appears to be no typing box.
:C

The mind boggles.


thetruespin

Sadly, I think that might be a side effect of your decision to have links almost indiscernible from the main body of text. I appreciate you make this clear on your welcome screen, but I suspect most people wont read it.

I remember your reasoning for this approach was to encourage players to actually read the text, rather than just click on random links. The problem is, your current set-up actually encourages the reverse, because links are initially visible but then fade to become more obscure - so the tendency is to click the links the moment you see them.

If anything, I'd suggest having the links become more noticeable as time passes. This would prevent random clicking, but also avoid player frustration.

I still haven't played through the whole game yet, but my initial thoughts are:

  • As you know, I think the short descriptions work well. I appreciate they get more wordy as the game progresses, but keeping it brief in the early stages gets the player invested without requiring too much commitment. Too many text adventures want new players to read thousands of words before they even get a say in the story, so it's a nice chance to be able to slowly immerse yourself.
  • The sound effects are very good. A very nice touch that you seemingly refrain from getting carried away with.
  • The setting is a little cliche as far as text adventures / gamebooks go, but it's clear you've spent a lot of time thinking about the world and I do find myself eager to explore.
  • It might just be me and my lack of imagination, but I found it hard to build a mental image of where I was in "the world". I was going north here, east there... but I couldn't map out the route I was taking in my mind. I would love a crude hand drawn map plotting my progress!
  • When I pick things up, it would be nice to have some sort of inventory.

potential spoiler

  • I like the deaths I have encountered so far (I very much deserved to be shot after looking out the window knowing a sniper was outside). I also like the death messages.

Honestly, for your first game I think you've done a good job.


OurJud

Thank you very much, tts - very encouraging words.

I think you're right about the links. I was stubborn even though I was warned it might be a bad idea. Happily it's no biggie to go and change it so that the links just remain a slightly different colour to the body text, so I may just go and do that (it's all the re-uploads that will be the pain - my blog, IFDB, here...)

To be honest I wouldn't know how to implement a map - even a crude one. I wrongly assumed people would see the world as I did, but of course I was the one building it so of course I could see it.

Problem is that because gamebooks seldom have the traditional 'back and forth' wandering of text adventures, it's a bit difficult to map as such.

Anyway thanks again for playing.


thetruespin

I'm not familiar with Twine, but in Squiffy you could use Javascript to update a page element, essentially replacing the previous map image with a new one when key milestones were reached. Something like:

document.getElementById("mymap").src="img/mapgraphic1.png";

If the story is fairly linear with limited backtracking, such an implementation would be fine. If there's a chance people might backtrack and explore multiple routes, you'd need a more complex solution.

That all said, it might just be me and I'm certainly not suggesting you add an entire new feature on my account :)


XanMag

Interesting. I am NOT a fan of gamebook style games. I feel like my freedom is taken away from me. I want to try things, be creative, swear, retrace my steps, develop NPC characters with varying dialogue, etc... I have not played a gamebook that gives me that luxury. Your game is no different in that aspect... but... it is different than most in a positive manner. I like the fading text. I feel like a second grader reading with my finger but now I am using my mouse cursor. If it were fading to a different color (or sheen or w/e), I feel like I might honestly get bored and wait for text to arrive so I can click on it. Hmmm.

I get so bored with reading 99% of gamebooks that it becomes a clicky-click-clickity-click adventure. Here, at least, I feel like I must read the descriptions. After I give it another play through or two, we will see if that becomes a tedious effort or an immersing one.


OurJud

Thanks for playing, Xan. All these positive comments are encouraging and make me eager to do a traditional style parser text adventure.

I'm reluctant for a few reasons; I only know Quest and I'm not sure I want to start learning the other creators out there, like ADRIFT etc, but Quest seems to have a few issues such as the resume/css bug that I need to know are fixed before I put any work in. I'm also aware that I have a tendency to quit/get bored when things get difficult. I might just do a stupidly short one so at least I'm familiar with the process of completing one.


XanMag

My challenge to you, OJ...

Make a one room game. Keep it short and "simple". My example is Furby McQuack. It is short, but not so simple. Lots of stuff behind the simple appearance of the game. Try to make a one room, escape the room type game. I'd like to see how it goes. If you need a primer or a premise, let me know! =)

Good luck.


OurJud

Thanks, Xan.

Many apologies for not noticing this post earlier. As it happens I must have been in the process of writing precisely the type of game you describe when you posted this.

You've played the Twine edition so it's not going to be much of a challenge to you (or anyone else for that matter), but It's on its way.


Ewald

Congratulations on your game!
I like it. The atmosphere is great and the locations are original.
The minimalist approach is alright with me. First of all English is not my native language. Second, it brings a lot of speed into the game and that's a value.
I very much like the fact that the links are not too obvious, forcing me to think and search for them rather then clicking away on anything I can see. Nice.

Keep up the good work, looking out for more..


OurJud

Thank you for playing, Ewald.

I had a quick blast of your game earlier but couldn't play long as I had to go out.

I'll leave my comments when I've played more, but one thing I did notice is that early on I couldn't go NE even though the description told me I could.


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