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Garry Francis

A member registered Aug 31, 2019 · View creator page →

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Short and puzzley is good. I can't help you with Inform 7, but if you need help with testing, I can help out. Good luck.

I agree with AZ. Godot may or may not be suitable. I can't say, as I've never used it. No matter what language or development environment you use, writing an adventure editor, compiler and interpreter is a huge task. Many have tried and failed. I really think you're better off using one of the established authoring tools. In that way, you will not only save yourself a lot of work, but you'll have access to lots of help and expertise from other users of those tools.

Holy mackeral! I don't think you will ever learn Inform 7, design and code a game and get it tested in one week. If you can, you're a better man (or woman) than me. Maybe ParserComp 2023 would be a more realistic objective.

Surely, you can test it, as testers can't rate it. At any rate (excuse the pun), it doesn't matter, as it looks like I've got plenty of testers.

I have written a small Inform 6 game for ParserComp 2022 and am looking for beta testers.

You play the part of a young man that has heard a rumour about an alchemist in a nearby forest that has figured out how to turn base metals into gold. You set out to find the alchemist’s house and steal some of his gold.

This is a small, retro-style game that should be a bit of fun for anyone that likes some good puzzles. I think it’s fairly easy. It should take an hour or less to play and at least double that to test it. The game feels like it is fairly robust, so I’m primarily interested in things you tried that weren’t supported.

Under the rules of the comp, testers can’t rate the game, so don’t test it if that’s a concern for you.

If interested in testing, please see the following link for further details:

If you're enjoying the journey, then that's a good thing. Let's hope your players enjoy the journey just as much.

Good luck with your game. Start with something small or you'll run out of time. The text adventure community is small, but very active and there's always someone that can help you out. Here's a few links to get you started:

Forum for help, competitions, requests for beta testers and anything IF related:

Database of IF games:

Archive of (mostly modern) IF games:

Database of game maps and solutions:

General info on IF:

The most recently finished comp with parser games written for beginners: Text Adventure Literacy Jam 2022

ParserComp 2021:

There is an FAQ (just before all the rules) that says, "Can I enter an English translation of a game previously released in a different language?" The answer is "Yes", so I reckon you're okay.

I guess that proof reading is a form of testing, so your proof reader would be ineligible for judging. Ultimately, that's a question for the organisers to answer. At any rate, good luck with your game.

I'm a bit concerned about rule 19 (and the last phrase of rule 18). Rule 19 states that "Beta testers may not rate any game that they tested." I know this used to be a rule in IFComp prior to 2021, but this isn't IFComp and I think beta testers should be able to rate games. My rationale is:

  • As an author, I need people to test my game, but this rule is a disincentive for me to get it tested, as there will be fewer people available to play and rate my game.
  • As a potential tester, I like to help authors write the best game they can, but this rule is a disincentive for me to test games, as I won't be able to replay and rate the final version.

Given that the text adventure community is pretty small, I would have thought that we should be encouraging testing and trying to get as many judges as possible. Doesn't rule 19 thwart those goals?

There is no rule that says authors must declare their testers. Any adherence to rule 19 would therefore be based on an honour system. The authors must be honest about declaring their testers and the testers must be honest about not voting. There is nothing in the rating system to check who tested what game and to prevent those testers from voting. Similarly, if there was no rule 19, we must trust the testers to vote honestly and not to rate a game higher just because they tested it. I think we can trust them to do that.

Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. I must confess that it was a lot of fun to write.

You'll  find a light source on the shipwreck and a means of lighting it in the chest.

I'm playing version 0.1.3, which I believe is the latest. Did you ever fix the bug reported by others that prevents you adding the note to the cauldron? I have the note, it's listed as an ingredient, but when I try to add it, I'm told that it's not an ingredient.

Unlike IFComp, there are no rules that prevent you rating a game that you play tested. So, go for it. I will certainly be rating the games I play tested, but only after I've played the final versions. I'm leaving that until I've played all the other games that I didn't play test.

Thank you. Found it. I've now got 40 out of 40.

(2 edits)

Thanks. I was very thorough, so I have no idea what those hidden tasks could be. I'll revisit this after I've played the other games in the jam.

EDIT: Aha! I have to do the tutorial task before starting the game. Now to find the Easter egg.

EDIT 2: I give up. I tried systematically clicking every item in every room and most combinations of items and I couldn't find any Easter egg. Maybe it's a command-prompt only thing, but I was never able to enter any commands that did not have a hyperlink equivalent.

I'm a bit baffled by this game. I've completed all four tasks, yet I've only got a score of 25 out of 40. As the game is extremely buggy, I'm wondering if the scoring is due to bugs or is there something obscure that I need to do in addition to the four tasks. Can anyone explain this?

Oh, crap. Is that the secret? I've been struggling with that for an hour or so.

For me, it was Scott Adams. The first adventure I played was Adventureland. That got me hooked. Then I gradually worked through his other games and bought every adventure I could get my hands on. Colossal Cave for the Atari 400/800 was one of those. I played a lot of magazine/book type-ins and still have a soft spot for those. I really liked the early illustrated text adventures from Sierra Online (i.e. everything before King's Quest) and all the Apple II games that were ported to the Atari.

Yes, but the time between my initial attempt to swim at the start of the game and wearing the thing we're talking about much later in the game was so great that I have no idea if there were any hints to connect the two.

Thanks. I was wearing the relevant object, but didn't connect it to swimming. I tweaked to this in the walkthrough. So, I'm now on the home straight (I think).

I'm stuck. I think I've been everywhere except the dark room, but haven't found a light source yet. I've got a few ideas, but no way of achieving those ideas. There might be something useful in the chest, but I haven't found a way of opening it or breaking it yet. I think this game would be pretty hard for a beginner. Or maybe I'm just dumb. Other than the difficulty, I'm enjoying it so far.

I see that there is now a walkthrough, so I guess I'll have to resort to that, much as I hate resorting to walkthroughs.

I've started a hint request page at Feel free to join in.

I have no idea. I've been so busy with the Text Adventure Literacy Jam, that I haven't started yet. I think I'll finish off one of my many unfinished games that I recently ported to PunyInform. The most likely candidates are a time travelling saga that revisits some famous disasters from the past and one set in a school that is due to be closed down due to lack of funding. Both are retro-style puzzle fests. The first is probably medium length, the second is somewhat smaller.

Thank you. They are the two hardest puzzles. For anyone else reading this, HINT practically gives it away.

I'm pretty sure that you can do that from within Adventuron without mucking about with Javascript. If you can, join the Adventuron Discord server and the people on there are very helpful.

I don't think that counts. The two-sentence restriction only applies to the room description itself. Even then, it is more of a guideline than a rule, as it is better to have several short sentences than one long sentence with lots of commas that is hard to read. This doesn't include object lists or exit lists.

Sounds okay to me. The main things to cover are LOOK, GET, DROP, INVENTORY and one or two other commands such as LOCK, UNLOCK, OPEN & CLOSE. Also, don't forget movement.

In your case, after getting the key, tell them about INVENTORY (or I) to see what they're carrying. After unlocking the door, you can tell them how to DROP KEY, as it's no longer needed. After opening the door, you can tell them about movement (N, S, E, W, U, D).

It's nice of you to say so. I really appreciate it.

I haven't started on my ParserComp entry yet, as I'm working on a couple of games for the Text Adventure Literacy Jam 2022. For ParserComp, I will probably finish one of my incomplete games. The potential candidates do not have a fantasy theme. I will probably use PunyInform, so I can't incorporate any music anyway.

I plan to do a game set in feudal Japan later this year. The instruments in your two sample tunes sounded very Japanese to me. I don't want to commit to anything yet, as that game isn't even started, but I was tentatively thinking of a short theme tune at the start and a soft, non-irritating background loop of a minute or so in duration (to minimise the file size) to play during the game. Is that something you would be interested in?

That depends on the engine you're using and the grammar that you've defined for the pattern matching. The first example boils to a verb phrase, direct noun phrase, preposition and indirect noun phrase. Most engines can handle that. 'blah' would cause most parsers to spit the dummy and print an error message. I think Adventuron omits any words it doesn't recognise and continues as though the word wasn't there.

Sorry to disappoint you, but it's only a small game. This was my first Adventuron game and I only had two weeks to write it (although that was later extended to three weeks).

If you like a bigger game with graphics, you might enjoy 'The Witch's Apprentice' and 'Santa's Trainee Elf'. They both have some nice puzzles ranging from easy to medium, or maybe hard, depending on your experience.

For a longer game with a Scott Adams' feel, I really like 'Igor's Quest'. This was restricted to two-word input, two-word responses (which made it really hard to write) and no graphics, but it has some great puzzles oriented around word play.

If you don't mind playing a text-only game, a couple of longer games that you might like are 'Acid Rain' (for something with a bit of an old-school feel and mostly easy puzzles) and 'Captain Cutter's Treasure' (for something with a rich story and some devious puzzles).

You've got the right idea, but you're missing one vital item. If you examined the troll, you would have noticed that he's wearing a pouch, but he won't let you take it. He's bigger and stronger than you, so you can't fight him. Once you get past the troll, he'll have his back to you. You can then take advantage of the situation and throw something heavy at him to knock him out.

Thank you for the kind comment. I'm glad you like them.

This is just my impression, but I don't see any problem with that. When I was a child, mermaids used to be portrayed with shells covering their breasts. If you were to think of the parentheses as the outline of the shells, then there's no nudity. Problem solved.

The times shown on the jam's home page are local time. If you're using a computer with a mouse and hover over the closing time, it will show you the time in UTC. It doesn't matter whether you use local time or UTC, so long as you submit your entry before that closing time and make it public so that it is visible to everyone as soon as submissions close. The only unknown factor here is how long before submissions close is acceptable to make it public. This is just my opinion, but I think 24 hours before the submission deadline is reasonable to account for people living in different time zones.

Whatever you do, don't leave it until the last minute in case you have internet issues. I had internet troubles one time and ended up submitting just minutes after the deadline. Fortunately for me, the deadline had been extended and I didn't realise it.

Did you talk to the troll? I seem to recall him saying that he was hungry. Try giving him something to eat. If he rejects it, make use of something that was in your inventory at the start.

I started on an update, but was diverted onto other projects. The new version will have an in-game hint system and you no longer throw like a girl.

Please read the jam rules carefully. The objective is to write a parser-based text adventure suitable for beginners. I don't think Ren'py is suitable for this. I might be wrong, but it looks like it's for visual novels and choice-based games.

That was my impression, too. The major "theme" is that it must have a tutorial that helps new players to become familiar with text adventures. The plot, goal, storyline, characters, map and puzzles are entirely up to the author.

Definitely multi-word parser, but I'll try my best to allow implicit actions. For example, if you enter UNLOCK DOOR without specifying which key and you have the right key in your possession, it will respond '(with the brass key)', then proceed to unlock the door as if you had said UNLOCK THE DOOR WITH THE BRASS KEY. I think this is the best of both worlds and makes it easier for newcomers.

I have no idea. I have ported a lot of my unfinished games from the Inform 6 standard library to PunyInform, so I'll probably use Puny as a starting point. However, Puny doesn't support graphics or sound, so I might develop it in Puny and port it to Adventuron. The Inform 6 to Adventuron workflow has worked well for me in the past. We shall see.