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Weekly Links #314

05 April 2020 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! The big news this week is of course Tee-Wee Editor reaching version 1.0:

To discuss an obvious change: the user interface now sports a second toolbar; I tweaked the widget layout to account for it. Makes the user interface kind of busy, which is reason enough to refrain from adding much more. Beware, young programmer: people always ask for features they don't really need. But any new feature is a burden not just on you, but them as well. Makes it that much harder to spot the stuff you actually need and then click on it. That's why people are desperate for simple software in an era when even command-line tools suffer from way too much complexity.

Three times now Tee-Wee has been praised for being much more accessible than its older cousin. Which in turn is much simpler than some of the competition.

Weren't these authoring tools supposed to let anyone make games?

In the way of news, this edition we have an interview with Jon Ingold and a retrospective of The 7th Guest, in addition to my own detailed release announcement from Itch. Details under the cut.

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Tags: interactive-fiction, interview, writing, tools, classics, adventure

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Weekly Links #300: interactive fiction edition

15 December 2019 — No Time To Play

Hello, everyone! The week had just started when Leaf Corcoran gave a heads-up that Chooseco was sending takedown notices to Itch.io over games labeling themselves as Choose Your Own Adventure. (The Verge has details.) Which, as Robin Johnson promtly pointed out, is incredibly hypocritical: but for hobbyists reviving the genre since ten years ago and change, they wouldn't have a business anymore, let alone a brand to defend.

"Intellectual property" in all its forms is an absurd notion to begin with. That trademarks live forever is Kafka-esque. To attack the very people who give you any brand recognition at all should be suicidal. It's time we start making it so.

Then again, earlier this autumn the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation trademarked the name Twine, more than ten years after the tool was created. And their first warning was also to fans, as opposed to any commercial interests you might argue they are defending against. Funny move from an organization supposedly founded to preserve and advance, you know, a cultural heritage.

Good thing I settled on making my gamebooks with Tweego instead. Hint, hint.

In the way of news, this week we have a discussion of choice in story games, and a technical issue with the aforementioned CYOA tool. Last but not least, three more links without any commentary, and what you can expect during the holiday break, which will be unusually long this year. Arguably appropriate for the end of the decade. Details below the cut.

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Tags: interactive-fiction, business, game-design, writing, philosophy

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