Our Motto

It is very easy to be blinded to the essential uselessness of [the products of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation] by the sense of achievement you get from getting them to work at all.

In other words — and this is the rock solid principle on which the whole of the Corporation’s Galaxy-wide success is founded — their fundamental design flaws are completely hidden by their superficial design flaws.

– Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy


The Search Continues

In the long term I plan to write my own IF authoring system and am still looking for the proper programming language to do the job in. Sadly, none of the languages I’m proficient in seems to be well suited to this project.

I’ve had my eyes on Lua for some time, but it’s far too eclectic for me. Smalltalk looked good, but doesn’t seem to be able to provide standalone applications. I’ll check out Ruby next…


Name gesucht

Für mein erstes “richtiges” IF-Spiel (zu schreiben in Inform 6) suche ich noch nach einem Namen für ein Raumschiff — bevorzugt was Deutsches, da das Spiel in deutsch geschrieben wird.

Vorschläge?


While you’re waiting:

Here is a link to a wonderful blog catering to players of IF: Amongst a lot of links to other helpful sites, it also features the notorious “cheat sheet”, a small postcard-sized paper with a few notes immensely helpful for beginners in the sport of interactive fiction — Check it out!


Arbeit…

Ich bin noch über der deutschen Übersetzung der “Insel der Statuen”.

Da ist doch erstaunlich viel Text zusammengekommen. (Und nebenbei läuft die Ideensammlung für das erste “richtige” Spiel… ;-)


Man spricht Doitsch

Okay, ich mache Fortschritte: Inzwischen kann Inform 6 in meinen Händen auch recht geschmeidig zwischen Deutsch und Englisch umschalten.

Von daher steht einer zweisprachigen Version der “Isle of Statues” nichts mehr entgegen…

(Can work bilingual with I6 now, which means that future projects can be realized in both English and German.)


Teaching myself “Lua”

They say that working with the language “C” is like programming with a shotgun.

It looks like “Lua” is a shotgun with the sights removed.


Achtung Baby!

I’m still undecided with which system to proceed. Originally I had planned to go on with a German language game next, and ideally have a little of multimedia support included with it.

Despite numerous attempts, I failed in getting the multimedia extension for Inform, “Glulx”, to properly run at all. It also required quite some effort to get the German language library going, but I finally managed that.

As an alternative, I checked out TADS in the meantime, which, while providing a German interface and multimedia, is unfortunately a software behemoth which is difficult to come to grips with. There is a lightweight subset of TADS, but this doesn’t support languages other than English.

It’s a bit sad to see so a syndrome afflicting many of the IF writing systems: Much effort is going into their development, which results in tremenduously powerful and sophisticated algorithms, which at the same time are so difficult to use to make it almost not worthwhile to learn it. Documentation is rudimentary, library versions aren’t properly updated, configuration is obscure, and you have to fight hard struggles to get everything running.

It’s a habit which seems to be widespread in IF software, and this is a shame, because it makes it so hard to get going in writing IF. And, of course, the natural response of the software developer inside me would be to write my own system, which would be so much more cleanly designed and easier to use…

Oh my. But anyway, for the time being, I’ll translate the Isle of Statues into German, and then write the first “serious” game, probably in German as well, and using Inform 6 again.

Stay tuned!


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