Middle of Summer Update

Well here we are, nearing the middle of July already and plenty of stuff going on.  As many are, I’m working to finish up my entry for IntroComp…finish up is an interesting way to put it since the point is it’s not a finished game…but I’m trying to polish up what I have. Working hard as I have less than a week before the deadline for submission.  I have to say, I have a great group of beta-testers for this.  I’ve learned more about writing and putting together a good game from this group of guys and gals over the last couple weeks with ShuffleComp and this entry, than I couldn’t learned on my own.  All of these testers are IF developers themselves whom are part of my IF writing group that I’ve mentioned before.   My takeaway from this, is surround yourself with good people to bounce ideas off of and to help test your works.  Not only will you learn, grow and create better works, but you’ll have made some virtual friendships with people from around the world and all different walks of life.

Speaking of ShuffleComp, I’ve released an update to my entry, White Houses.  This update has some minor bug fixes and one major one that a buddy of mine found that is kind of embarrassing and humorous at the same time.  No one else reported it so perhaps no one else noticed it.  I’m working on another release with some more features, expanded back-story and hopefully clean up some of the ambiguous parts of the story.  It’s been put on hold while I finish up my IntroComp entry, but hope to get on that next week.

I also opened up my source repository to White Houses.  So if you feel the inkling to look at some code or to see where I’m at in the next update, you can now.  I hope to move more of my code for other works there and to open it up to the public.

So what’s on tap for the rest of the summer?  Well, I obviously want to continue work on my entry for IntroComp.  I want to put together another release of White Houses as mentioned.  Maybe I’ll even revive some changes I had planned another release of Jack, my EctoComp entry from last year.  I’m also part of a small team of developers that are working on some non-IF games.  That has been taking up a large portion of my free time the last week or so as I’m pretty excited about that.  More to come on that later.

Anyway, back to work…..as always, Go North my friends.

Puzzle Design – Resources

As I’ve recently been struggling a bit with some puzzle design issues (basically my mind is coming up empty on ideas lately), I thought I’d put together some resources that I’ve found that I’ve read (or queued up to read).  I’m sure I’ll add to this over time and I invite you all to offer up suggestions in the comments.

Note this list is more for me to have handy when I need inspiration.

Designing the Puzzle – older article, but the information seems to be very relevant.

Emily Short Puzzles – Emily puts together a nice list of types of puzzles with gaming examples.

Making of Counterfeit Monkey – Emily discusses the making of her game and contains a lot of puzzle design comments.

Coding puzzles – Another article by Emily detailing some concepts of puzzle coding in Inform 7.

Emergent puzzle solutions – OK…one more by Emily sharing some thoughts on a simulationist puzzle design.

Making Better Puzzles – Stephen Granade gives us a simple article on designing better puzzles.

Designing the puzzles of escapade – Great article on how Juhana designed the puzzles in this game.  Great usage of mind-maps.

Puzzles, what are they good for?

This is a nice start to a list.  Please add comments to what you may think is useful.