Another hour of coding and re-coding. Now we have a multi-layer background, and the enemy ships explode when shot. Left Right and [Z]. Click here to launch.
Another hour of coding, and the .swf is up to a whopping 3.97k. Now the enemies fire back. As before, left and right arrow keys to move, [Z] to fire. Reload the web page to restart the game. Click here to launch.
The beginnings of a simple arcade game. Two hours of work. Arrows move left and right, [Z] to fire. Click here to launch.
Yup. I am finally reading it. Don’t know why it took me so long to get to it.
The nightmares appeared to Hungry Joe with celestial punctuality every single night he spent in the squadron throughout the whole harrowing ordeal when he was not flying combat missions and was waiting once again for the orders sending him home that never came. Impressionable men in the squadron like Dobbs and Captain Flume were so deeply disturbed by Hungry Joe’s shrieking nightmares that they began to have shrieking nightmares of their own, and the piercing obscenities they flung into the air every night from their separate places in the squadron rang against each other in the darkness romantically like the mating calls of songbirds with filthy minds.
Joseph Heller, Catch-22 .
There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. And that, I think, was the handle – that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting – on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave.
So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark – that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back. – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas .
Hunter S. Thompson
1937 – 2005
It has been ten days since I walked out of my former place of employment. The deep-down sleep deprivation is wearing off, and some of my friends have commented that I look “younger”. I certainly feel better than I have in a long time. I guess I didn’t realize exactly how poisonous stress is until I removed the major source.
So what have I been doing? Reading. Writing. Watching movies. A little coding and a lot of working out. Already people are finding out that I am “on the market”, so to speak, and the requests for web work are beginning to trickle in.
I have more time to prepare for the Kendall class, so my students are getting a better education, or at least more precise beatings.
I have made no long-term plans. I intend to make no long-term plans until the beginning of summer, at the earliest. The next four months are for me to try to regain all those things I lost over the past fifteen years of too much work packed into too little time.
Was browsing XYZZY News and came across a link to an online re-creation of the old Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game , done in Flash. From what I can tell, it is completely faithful to the original game. Kudos to the BBC!
…Continuing my train of thought from my post of January 16…
I guess the primary difference between Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) games and Interactive Fiction (IF) games is the role of the player. Is the player in the world, or of the world? Is the player a (semi) independent agent, or little more than a glorified bookmark within the story?
In the simplest CYOA game, the player will always be in a particular state when in a particular location. If you have chosen to open the Big Wood Door, and you go to page 52, you will always be in the same state on page 52. It doesn’t matter how you got there; if you are on page 52 then you got there through exactly This Route. There are variations on the CYOA games where you may Open The Door after you Acquire The Sword, and that takes you to page 111. This is still a completely deterministic approach as you do not have the option of, say, Dropping The Sword once you are in the room. Where you are is no different from what you are. You cannot interact with the environment. You are embedded within the story. While the story may be remarkably complex it is still mapped as a two-dimensional flowchart with exactly 1 entrance and n exits, and every possible route from the entrance to those n exits is written out before you make your first decision.
Some of the CYOA -type books are meant to be played along with a random number generator (dice) and a tally sheet (inventory), but this is a bad hack-ish attempt to duplicate the behavior of an IF game without resorting to either a computer or a live storyteller.
And you cannot interact with the environment. For all intents and purposes, you as a player do not exist.
IF-type games allow interaction with the environment around the player. You are in a room. There is a sword on the ground. You pick up the sword. You go to another room. When you go back to the first room, the sword is no longer there on the ground. You have interacted with the environment.
There are objects in the world which are separate from the player, and separate from the world. The objects are in the world, not of the world.
And this is the point where the story ceases being linear and is suddenly multi-dimensional. It is non-linear (or less-linear). Decisions and actions become conditional. You are in a room with a troll. If you have picked up the sword then you can kill the troll. Otherwise the troll kills you.
The game is still linear in that it has a single entrance point and n outcomes, but the path between beginning and end can be enormously convoluted. At this point we begin to differentiate between ending the game and winning the game. And depending on the complexity of the game, it becomes increasingly unlikely that any two sessions of play will be identical.
In case none of you heard, I quit my job yesterday. I will spend the next indeterminate amount of time doing contract work and freelancing.
But first, I am going to sleep in on Monday.
There’s a Unicode block for the Tai Xuan Jing tetragrams . Who knew?