Adventure Games and Interactive Fiction

Gamefic on Pivotal Tracker

by Gamefic on June 6, 2015

Today I created a public project for Gamefic on Pivotal Tracker. I'll be using it to manage the development of new features and measure progress. Read more

Managing and Customizing Scenes

by Gamefic on June 1, 2015

The concept of scenes has always existed in Gamefic. The simplest kind of scene was simply a block of code that got called by the cue method. There were also specialized kinds of scenes like pause, prompt, and yes_or_no. The system seemed solid in my initial tests, but when I started building a larger game that heavily relied on different types of scenes, I noticed a few shortcomings. As a result, I redesigned scenes so the shortcuts for creating common scene types were still available in plots, but under the hood there's a system that provides a lot more capability. The new system is based on three classes: SceneManager, SceneData, and the Scene itself. Read more

First Prototype of the Gamefic IDE

by Gamefic on December 21, 2014

The Eclipse plugin for Gamefic is finally a functional proof of concept. Basic features like creating projects and editing files work. Syntax highlighting is partially implemented. Embedded JRuby libraries allow for realtime code analysis and debugging on the fly. Read more

Using a Dictionary Database to Build a Smarter Parser

by Gamefic on December 10, 2014

One major challenge in parser-based adventure games is avoiding guess-the-word problems. Players can get frustrated when they attempt to push, activate, or turn on a button, only to discover that the game expected them to press it. Developers typically have to rely on extensive testing and their own meticulousness to make the parser as comprehensive as possible. Right now I'm experimenting with a more automated solution: querying a dictionary database for synonyms of implemented verbs. The game can use this data to make sensible recommendations for unrecognized commands. Read more

More Accurate Entity Detection with Recursive Queries

by Gamefic on November 25, 2014

The Query::match method is pretty good at uniquely identifying entities when all the possibilities have unique names. If two items have the same name, however, unique matches are impossible. Right now I'm experimenting with a solution that solves the most common instance: portals named for compass directions. Read more

Parser vs. Hypertext: Two Implementations of "Cloak of Darkness"

by Gamefic on October 20, 2014

Last week I updated the Gamefic repo with an SDK that can compile game code into pure JavaScript. There's a standard API that provides functions for sending player commands and receiving game data. Developers can use HTML and CSS to customize the game interface. As an experiment, I used the SDK to compile two versions of Cloak of Darkness. One uses a traditional parser-based interface. The other has a graphical interface that works completely through point-and-click. The world model and solution are functionally the same. Read more

My Own Private Hackathon

by Gamefic on October 13, 2014

It's been a while since I pulled an all-nighter, but yesterday I tried to work out a minor code puzzle that turned into a deep, dark rabbit hole, and I'm just crawling out of it this afternoon. Let's see if I still have enough wits to unravel everything I did. Read more

Bug Fix in Outpost

by Gamefic on October 9, 2014

I fixed a bug in Outpost that caused the game to crash when you try to drink the medicine. Read more

Everybody Dies

by Gamefic on September 30, 2014

I'm a little late to the party, but I just finished playing Everybody Dies by Jim Munroe. It deserves all the praise it's received. Read more


by Gamefic on September 29, 2014

This is a short escape puzzle. You're being held prisoner in an army outpost and you have to figure out how to get past the guard. I intended it to be the beginning of a larger adventure, which I may or may not still make; but I figured I was overdue for another demo, so here it is. Read more