Category Archives: game development

One Game a Month – January Entry

Since I’m participating in One Game A Month (1GAM), I figured I should set up a page for it.

You’ll find it here.

You’ll find thin if not regular postmortems there, as well as links to my monthly entries.

January’s entry is completed… It’s a poor start, but it’s something.

Happy gamedev’ing to everyone. Good luck with 1GAM!

Indie Games Con 2007

Indie Games Con (IGC) 2007 is in Eugene, Oregon on Oct. 10-11th, hosted by GarageGames. From the IGC site:

Indie Games Con (IGC) is a fun, informal and informative gathering of independent game developers from around the world. IGC is designed to be a summit meeting of like-minded developers with the shared goal to focus on collaboration and building community. This is an unprecedented opportunity to meet other indie developers, professional guest developers, hardware manufactures as well as the GarageGames staff.

I’ve never been to this one, but friends and colleagues who have tell me it’s a great mix of information and fun. Registration is still open; if you’re (avail)able, check it out.

IF 2007 competition

The 13th annual interactive-fiction competition, IF 2007, is now underway. Voting is a bit involved, demanding a fair amount of your time, but totally worth it, in my opinion, if you’re into interactive fiction at all. Downloading the text-based games is entirely free, available via .zip or .torrent. There are 29 IF entries this year, so you can choose to be very, very busy indeed…

What is interactive fiction, you ask? Think early Zork, or any of the earlier Infocom games. Very imaginative, very detailed, and often very challenging. And always entertaining. Oh–and no graphics!

As both art and programming, interactive fiction has a very, very long history and legacy which continues quite strongly today. There is a lot of variety and material to choose from, be it playful roleplaying and puzzle-solving, or more deep and serious interactive prose.

There is plenty of software to get you going creating your own interactive fiction, too, like TADS, Hugo, and Inform, among others. I use Inform 7, personally (which is freely available). Inform’s latest version uses a fairly sophisticated natural language model to create IF, so you might write/’program’ something like this regarding your kitchen and refrigerator:

Inform 7 natural-language programming code

which then gives you this experience as the player:

Inform gameplay

Much more complex interactions are possible, of course…

There is a TON of info available online, if you’re interested in creating your own IF; is also fantastic for support and discussion if you’re a Usenet/newsgroups person.

There is another Usenet group,, that’s more for people playing rather than developing IF. The easiest way to check out both groups is to use Google Groups.

The IF community is really great, willing to answer questions, offer suggestions, all ultimately toward helping to keep IF alive. Most if not all share their games and their code, too, so you can play their games, read their stories, and participate in their created adventures, or use their code to help you learn how to better your own.

If you’re interested in playing old Zork and other Infocom/Adventure International/etc text adventures/games, quite a few of them are available online to play, usually for free. A Google search should find quite a few of them for you. And again, you’re strongly encouraged to try to create your own sometime!

Happy Frotzing!