Text Game – Afterwards

Posted by
August 22nd, 2008 11:36 am

Post mortem, thoughts on things, etc. This post is mostly just going to be me rambling about my game, and this particular Ludum Dare. Basically, I didn’t really like the theme. Sure, it’s not a bad theme, really, but I couldn’t think of anything original to do. My ideas pretty much went from “Climb the Tower” to “Tower Defense” to “Build a Tower”, and back. Honestly, both styles of games would be pretty cliche, and I didn’t really want to do that. I figured there’d be plenty of other games with these basic rules, and I was right. That said, there were plenty of awesome and inventive games made too, and games that took these ideas and turned them on their head. Congratulations to everyone who submitted a fully fleshed out game, and good job to those who worked all weekend. I am not one of those people. (Rest of this, plus solution to level 3 after the more.. link

I decided with about 6 hours left to make a simple text adventure, using some of the base code from other projects I had done to make it online. To anyone who downloaded the source and wants to know what code is original to the competition, and what was reused code, well, the connect.php and Page.php were both reused from elsewhere, everything else was either modified code, or original.

Anyway, I spent about an hour getting the entire thing to work, including setting up the database that would store the game content, and the code for making a choice. Then I spent more time getting a editor set up, so I could make the game easily, by just clicking a link, filling in some text boxes, and hitting “save”. This made the game easy to make, and it only took about 2 hours to finish, polish, and put online. I still ran into a few bugs, such as the ‘reset game’ bit not working, and I added in a ‘start over’ option around the end of the competition time.

The two major problems I have with the game at this point are that it’s impossible to draw a map of level 3, due to the way some rooms loop backwards (it’d be possible if you looked at the page source for each part, and mapped things out that way, but it’d be time consuming, and might not help), and that I didn’t add in items. Adding in items would have made it possible to have puzzles that didn’t require having a maze, or going to the correct room first. Thus, it would have made branching paths and other complicated things that make a text adventure good, as opposed to just a choose your own adventure book about Schrödinger’s Cat.

As for level 3, I’m sorry if you got stuck on it. I realize that I should have put room numbers in the areas, so it’s at least possible to find your way out. The ‘good’ thing to know is that it’s still a pretty small area. There’s only 10 rooms in the entire game that consist of level 3 text, and the way out is located when you reach a room that you can go only straight, or left. Go straight.

Maybe I’ll expand on this little engine and add items, then I can make a much more complex text adventure that would actually be fun, and challenging. Who knows. Until the next LD, folks.


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