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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:26 am 
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Over the last few months, I have learned Inform 7 from scratch and (with a lot of help from people on here) have finally finished up the game. I am looking for beta testers to give me feedback on how they enjoy the game, as well as any bugs, improvements and suggestions they may have! This is for a college project, so please, be as critical and in depth as you can!

Here is the video explaining everything and giving the links to the download and feedback form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRoQQBJ ... e=youtu.be

(Please bare my voice. I'm ill but needed to get this out as soon as possible!)

Thank you guys so much, and especially Jrb, HanonO, DavidC and Draconis or majorly helping me through this!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:56 am 
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Congratulations! Glad we were able to help.

Just be aware that "The Beast Within" is a commonly-used title for a lot of things, including a pretty well-known 1995 Sierra graphic adventure game which also features werewolves prominently.

You're certainly allowed to use that title (titles are generally not copyrightable) but you do risk confusion or comparison with that game. You may wish to consider a title or modification of that title that will set your work apart.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beast_Within:_A_Gabriel_Knight_Mystery

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:01 am 
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Thank you! I just picked the name because I have a shirt (that Ironically I am wearing right now) with it on. I probably wont change it due to it only being a college project, but I will take more care next time!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:25 am 
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I was not able to reach your feedback form:

Quote:
You need permission
This form can only be viewed by users in the owner's organization.

Try contacting the owner of the form if you think this is a mistake. Learn More.


Quick impressions from a few turns:

Spoiler: show
I appreciate the soundtrack, having done a game or two with sound myself.

In the intro:

"You are a 17 year old male, who owns the local farm." (don't need the comma)

"The main pathway through Wolf Forest. A dirt path that is half natural, half man-made. Mixed with stones and sticks all around you, it's a good job that you have your work boots on, or else you might slip over! The trees surrounded around you are letting the full moon's light shine through their canopies down below, it is a real nice sight."

There are several problems in this section. The first two sentences are fragments and the third is a run-on sentence. Suggestied fix:

"The main pathway through Wolf Forest is a dirt path that is half natural, half man-made and mixed with stones and sticks all around. It's a good thing that you have your work boots on, or else you might slip over! The trees surrounding the path let the full moon's light shine through their canopies. It is a nice sight.

I figured out how to get into and around the forest, but your descriptions are lacking compass directions indicating where the player can go. This is quite important in a text adventure that requires navigation by compass direction and would completely lose a player not familiar with IF parser conventions.

I pushed the wolf off me twice, and it was shot by an Archer. I'm heavily cued to "thank the archer", but I cannot type THANK ARCHER or TALK TO ARCHER, so without guessing the verb you want, I'm stuck.

It's somewhat of a common convention that if the text directly indicates something for the player to do, the exact phrasing in the text should work. If a game indicates "The jam in the pot is ready to be stirred," at bare minimum I should be able to use the command STIR JAM and not have to guess COOK JAM or WHISK JAM.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:34 am 
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@HanonO Use the Controls text document. I had difficulty with the asking and stuff, so there isn't actually a way to thank the archer. I have some speech though. But "Ask archer about thanks" didn't sit right for me. As for the direction, there is a map command which will bring up the ways you can go. Thanks for the writing tips, I have learned to write by myself, no teaching, courses or qualifications. Stuff like grammar and wording is what I struggle with. I will see if I can figure out why no-one can access the form. Thanks for letting me know!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:36 am 
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Feedback form should be accessible. I hate the way my college has the auto-restriction to college only. That is now turned off.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:41 am 
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Code:
Thanking is an action applying to one thing. Understand "thank [something]" and "say thanks to [something]" "say thank you to [something]" and "[something], thanks" as thanking.

Check thanking:
    if the noun is not the archer:
        say "You have no reason to say thanks to [the noun]!" instead.

After thanking the archer:
    say "You express your gratitude, and the Archer scuffs his foot. 'Shucks. T[']warn[']t nothing!' he says."

[or]

Instead of thanking the archer:
    try asking the archer about thanks. [or whatever action you want it to direct to]

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:43 am 
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Touche. I am stupid xD. Thanks, noted and will do!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:45 am 
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Zoroarrkk wrote:
Touche. I am stupid xD. Thanks, noted and will do!

You're not stupid at all! Text Adventure Authorin' is hard. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:07 pm 
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I played for about fifteen minutes but finally gave up because I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do at a certain point.

Let me preface my comments by saying that I am also learning my way through I7 these days, and I am in the process of writing a game of my own, so I know how difficult it can be. I've tried to make my comments as detailed as possible below in an effort to be helpful, but I hope I've not come across too harsh.

Oh, and I agree that the people here are very helpful. I would definitely not be as far along in my game as I am were it not for them.

Anyway, my comments:

Spoiler: show
I played through the first chapter and into the second chapter, but stopped once I got into Helastrom and then could not figure out what to do.

Getting Around

  • I'm with Hanon on the compass directions; map command or no, this game really needs explicit instructions on where the player can go.
  • In general, it is a good idea to avoid relative directions like "left" and "right," as most game don't keep track of which way a player is facing in a given direction.
  • Some things I found particularly difficult were: figuring out how to get upstairs in the house ("enter staircase" is not intuitive), figuring out how to get into bed (again, "sleep on bed" was not intuitive, especially when "sleep" gave me the standard reply), and figuring out how to get into the tree.

Conversation

This may be incorrect, but I did not get the impression that you implemented any conversation options. At two points in the game I was prompted to ask questions, but none of my questions brought a reply. I honestly have no idea what I am supposed to do in these situations. The second such situation was where I stopped playing (after asking at least a dozen questions).

Implementation of Objects

There are many times when objects are mentioned by the game, but are apparently not implemented:

  • In the first "dream" sequence, the name "Ulfr" is mentioned, but I cannot refer to him.
  • Hay is mentioned in the description of the stable but not implemented.
  • I am told that I look up at the sky and experience a burst of energy, but I cannot then "x sky".
  • In the clearing with the tree, the tree itself doesn't seem to be implemented!

These are just a few that I included in my notes.

Room Descriptions

If you are going to include references to things that might change in a room description, you need to reflect those changes. For example, the description for the bedroom has a reference to the bandage in the end table, but this remains in the room description even after I have bandaged my wound.

Verb Implementation

Some of my comments above mention this, but there is a lot of "guess the verb" going on! It often seems that there is one specific wording you are looking for, but it often takes me a number of tries to figure it out.

Player prompting

This is more of an amorphous thing, but the game very much leads the player by the hand through certain sections. I don't know if this is necessarily a bad thing, but at some points I did feel a little railroaded. For example, during the second transformation, my actions were dictated to me by the game: grab something, crawl away, roll over, howl, etc. I didn't feel like I had any agency at all.

Writing

There are two aspects to this, namely the grammar and the style.

In terms of grammar, the writing needs a lot of help--it abounds in sentence fragments, dangling modifiers, improperly used modal verbs ("would" being the most noticeable offender), inconsistent tense (use of past perfect with present tense), etc.

In terms of the style, many sentences were awkwardly worded, and often the writing failed to bring across the urgency or excitement of the moment. To take one example that sticks in my mind, when you are talking about how incredibly painful the transformation process is at the beginning of chapter two, you suddenly drop in: "It is rather uncomfortable." This sounds like you might be talking about an awkward conversation or a narrow airplane seat, not the player's body being torn apart as he or she transforms into a werewolf. Also, try not to tell the reader how he or she should be responding to a description--for example, don't say, "It's a nice sight" or "It's a beautiful sight." Let your descriptions paint a nice or beautiful picture for the reader.

If I could give you one piece of advice about writing, it would be this: Read as much as you can. That is, read some really good writing and try to figure out what those writers do to make their writing so effective. Also, be aware that some writers are very good storytellers, but in terms of technique they are not actually very good writers. Don't look to these writers for inspiration when it comes to writing, but see what you can glean from how they tell a story. I hate to name names, but without doing so this advice is less helpful, so I will say that Dan Brown tells a rip-roaring yarn. His writing, on the other hand, is often technically wanting.


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