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Engineering Pride

So for the last two days, I’ve been completely obsessed with the StoryNexus game creation tools. It’s the system they use for Fallen London, a turn-based browser game (or I guess “Interactive Fiction” is the term we’re using these days.

They’re in open beta right now. I had been hearing about it for awhile—my friend Mur was working on something—so I finally checked it out and basically fell in sobbing “Where were you when I was fifteen and trying to write my own text adventures in AmigaBasic?!”

So I started building a little game for the stuffed animal world. (No, it’s not ready to even look at yet. No, it may not ever be ready. No, I don’t know when it will be done. You ever try to write a text adventure from scratch? Good lord, that’s a lot of words…)

Anyway, as with anything, there are design choices made by the people behind the engine that I’m having to work with (and sometimes around) and I’m still way in the beginning of the learning curve, so I keep breaking things.

KEVIN: That’s where the creativity comes in…

URSULA: No it isn’t. I’m plenty creative. Creative is not a problem. It’s dealing with other people’s engineering choices.

KEVIN: (suddenly misty-eyed)

KEVIN: ….sniff….I’m so proud!


KEVIN: I never thought this day would come!

URSULA: Swear to god, if you say “My little Ursula is becoming a woman!” I will shove my foot so far up your ass—

KEVIN: No! It’s like—like when the very sheltered child, instead of following his governess into the restaurant, turns the wrong direction and winds up in a dark alley somewhere.

URSULA: …I had no idea that watching me get stabbed by a wino would be such a source of pride.

KEVIN: Well, metaphorically.


(It should be noted that Kevin works with software, engineers, and technology, and is mostly used to me going “I don’t know! YOU make it work!”)

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

(or I guess “Interactive Fiction” is the term we’re using these days.


Everything old is new again. :)

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So That's what you have been playing with!
*wishes for a blend of Fallen London and Gearworld*

Welcome to the Wonderful World Of Computer Engineering!

Now turn those Digital Dials, crank the Cyber-Matrix Cylinders, and shovel more coal into the Cloud-Computing Furnace!

Might the code behind Horsehockey.org help?

No, the engine she's using is fine. She's just discovering what any of us in tech have discovered. I'm so proud.

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That's called Delegation Skills! Delegation Skills are a vital part of any General's repertoire :P

Awesome! Good luck with it all, it sounds like a blast!

This is all making me want to go hack up an interactive fiction engine in Lisp. Because I like Lisp.

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Guys, guys, we're forgetting our duty here to link awesome IF games!

Lost Pig
Spider and Web


*pokes suspiciously at (techno)fire with club* Call in the technomages!
I'm required to digress for a moment to inform y'all that Kevin reminds me strongly of The Bloggess' Victor. This is a Good Thing. Go Kevin & Victor!

I don't care if you never manage a game, I'm not a gamer, but I'd very happily read any stories of the Wool Tribe or other worshipers of Great Plushthanga you care to write.

And I'm still not sure I'm not Crazy Wool. They didn't break the mold before they made me.
They didn't break the mold after they made me. They broke the mold WHEN they made me...

Y'know, dealing with other people’s engineering choices really IS a lot like getting stabbed by a wino. In pretty much everything I've had to do, it looks like things are going well and then BAM! there's something jumping out of a dark alleyway, flailing wildly at me with a dangerous object.

I think getting stabbed by a wino is my new euphemism for putting up with the BS that goes on inside pretty much any browser that I've had to work with.

Thank you!

This comment made me snort and giggle in a public place.

I am the content manager for a support website. Dealing with project and product management is EXACTLY THE SAME.

Computer programming is the realm of sadists and masochists. I found three ways to solve my SQL problem at work using Oracle standard commands, but this particular variant of the Oracle driver does not support the Oracle standard commands.

Try telling work you want SQL straight and not through somethings standard like MSAccess - IT gets twitchy. Especially if you are in a med faculty and shouldnt know how to USE any of those things.

The current toy I'm playing with is Ren'Py, which also allows you to put in pictures and sounds. It would allow you to put in some of those fantastic drawings of yours...shoot, I might have to start working on a game based on all the Gear World pictures you've made.

I just posted a comment with a link in it, and the spam filter cut it out. Is that your standard policy? Because I promise that it was a nice link.

EDIT: Never mind, it's there now. But when it comes to spam, it's probably a good idea to block first and ask questions later. I'll remember that.

Edited at 2013-03-23 07:12 am (UTC)