Wednesday, June 15, 2005

IF: Risorg2

The header at the top of this blog claims that it chronicles work on interactive fiction, but there's been no mention of IF on here for quite some time.

I'm still working on a sequel to Risorgimento Represso. It's imaginatively titled Risorg2, for want of something better. I've got quite a bit of it planned out in my head, and I'm creating it by starting with a transcript, just to see what that's like. The transcript runs to about 4,000 words at the moment. A winning run-through of RR is about 19,000, so I guess you could say I'm about 20% done. Not that length of transcript is the be-all and end-all, but I'm trying to create a game of a similar scope, so it's a good metric to use.

I don't think I'll create the whole transcript end-to-end before doing some coding. As I run out of literary steam, I'll turn to do some of the coding. As I get to sticky patches of the coding that I don't feel up to banging through, I'll go back to the transcript.

I've made some fairly key decisions while working on this transcript. I worked very hard in RR to avoid gender-specific references to the PC. In the end, everyone I've talked to seems to have envisioned the PC as male anyway. So in Risorg2, the PC is definitely male. It helps me avoid some convoluted English usages now that I can refer to him as 'him'. It also allows the PC's relationship with the companion NPC, who is female, to be more fully defined. I could even give the PC a name if I wanted to, but I don't know if I'll go that far.

As a special treat for those visiting, here's an excerpt from early in the game.

Wizard's Way
Persecution by the Wizards Guild caused numerous wizards from Vechlee to seek refuge in this northeastern corner of the city. With the final dissolution of the guild, many have returned home, leaving their hastily built, slipshod houses in Blumph to fall into disrepair. Apart from Ninario's crumbling brick house to the north, only one other in the area looks inhabited, a squat brownstone house to the east.

Southwest, the cobbled road rises up towards Blumph's high street.

>look e
The squat brownstone building is neat and carefully looked after. A large archway leads into an interior courtyard, but the closed wrought-iron gate tells you that visitors are not welcome.

>x courtyard
The interior courtyard is a large open area leading to the various parts of the house.

>open gate
The gate appears to be locked.

>climb gate
"It's interesting," says Crystal conversationally, as you place a hand on the gate, "just how much those spikes along the top look like they're poised in groin-piercing readiness."

You let go of the gate and reconsider.

>climb gate
"I find it fascinating," says Crystal, just a bit acerbicly, "how some people seem content to permanently endanger a chapter in their life that likely hasn't even been opened yet. Are you aware of just how much damage those spikes could do?"

You let go of the gate and reconsider.

>climb gate
"You know what I hate?" asks Crystal loudly. "That particular kind of person who doesn't listen to what you're saying and just goes ahead blindly with his own misguided agenda."

You let go of the gate and reconsider.

>climb gate
"Look, Ninny junior," says Crystal bluntly, "I figure hanging around with you while you wreak whatever havoc is coming in the course of this adventure is my best chance to get myself out of this blasted rock, so if you think I'm going to idly stand by and watch you impale yourself on this gate just so you can get inside a house that hasn't even proven to have anything to do with our assignment, you're wrong. Step away from the gate, now!"

You let go of the gate and reconsider.

>climb gate
Crystal's resulting stream of invective is of such a high and abusive order that any attempt to reproduce it fails to do it justice. Let us merely note that you are left white, trembling, and certain of your desire not to climb over the gate.

>climb gate
A single glance from Crystal as you step towards the gate makes you reconsider.

That's a part of what I have so far.

I debated changing languages for this game, but I've got so much code invested in the original RR that I can reuse for this one... the autodoors, some of the NPCs, and general templates for a lot of base-level objects that I think it will help the development process to stay with Inform.

I am targeting both Glulx and Zmachine from the beginning though, and my Makefile is configured to build both targets automatically, so that should guarantee I don't do anything specific to one language and not the other.

I still have a pending RR release (RRR?) that adds a Glulx game file and fixes a few other bugs, but I haven't bothered to release it yet. I should probably do that soon, just to get closure. Make it the last release of RR, barring any major problems.

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