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Old 02-20-2011, 11:36 AM   #1
Zun
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Default One person developing a "dynamic" text adventure game with no relevant experience.

I've written a good portion of a text adventure game. I've been enjoying just doing most of it on paper with a giant makeshift bulletin board I tacked/duct-taped to my landlord's wall. Flowcharts and all these variables. I didn't think there could be so many immersive capabilities in just a text-based game. Totally a neglected medium, I think. It's great. I'm into it. It has to happen. Now, tell me how much of my baby I have to kill to squeeze it into a little demonstration of what I have so far.

Is there any software out there that can let me punch in little text animation effects, precise timing, variable tracking, multiple-choice selections, music and sound effects, images and icons. I don't even know what kind of software I'm looking for! I just feel like a multiple-choice text-based game is so basic there should be some creation software out there with some bells and whistles on it that doesn't require hundreds of hours to learn how to use. I'd commission someone to help me if I could afford it. I'd offer collaboration, but I want at least a small functional demo of what I have to test and show to people who might be interested in working with me. I don't want to get anyone else involved in this if it's just going to flop, even if they're almost as inexperienced as I am.
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Old 02-20-2011, 02:15 PM   #2
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Go look into Visual Studio Express.

It's free and you can easily jump right into making a text adventure after doing a few tutorials.
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Old 02-21-2011, 03:10 AM   #3
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You may want to consider using a Visual Novel engine/software to create the game.
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Old 02-21-2011, 09:27 AM   #4
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I'm looking into Visual Basic Express now. I hope that's the one you meant, Ryan. There's a few versions: there's basic, there's one for web development, one for phones, one for C#, and one for C++.

http://www.microsoft.com/visualstudi...ssCompareTable

Visual Novel looks shiny and less confusing. I'll try that once I reach my limit of Microsoft's help pages and the way they somehow disrespect your very humanity. (I don't get it; they're professional, explicit, and yet I feel like I'm being lied to or something. Probably just my prejudice against Microsoft.)

Thanks for these two suggestions. I was so disappointed in my google searches.
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Old 02-21-2011, 04:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaustar View Post
You may want to consider using a Visual Novel engine/software to create the game.
Probably want to try something like this: http://www.renpy.org/
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Old 02-21-2011, 05:17 PM   #6
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Oh, I found Ren'Py when googling visual novel engine and thought it was THE Visual Novel engine; so, that's the one I've been looking at. I really want to demonstrate the ideas I have about how to use fading and floating text, timed questions, music and sound effects. If I were to use Ren'Py, I think I might end up working around most of the features it offers and use just its animation stuff for text. Maybe I should go back to the Visual Studio online tutorials. (I have to open them up in Chrome because Microsoft's "Silverlight" wont work inside Microsoft's browser inside Microsoft's Visual Studio. I hate them so, so much.)
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:44 AM   #7
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If that is the emphasis, you are going to struggle to find a pre-built engine or software to work with. The fact is, if you want to prototype the idea as quickly as possible, learning how to program is going to be slow.

(Also I suggest using C# with XNA if you do intend on programming this).
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Old 02-22-2011, 06:12 AM   #8
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I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but you might want to look into Inform7. http://inform7.com/

It makes it super easy to write text-based interactive fiction games.
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Old 02-22-2011, 01:05 PM   #9
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I'll try doing the complex stuff with Visual Studio or XNS, but if I can't make that work, maybe I should put something together using choiceofgames.com 's "Choiceskript".

@kbaxter I like Inform7. The people who make it seem to be good folks, but it doesn't seem to have a multiple choice function.
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:33 PM   #10
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So, major bummer. XNA games wont run on my little netbook, even if they don't have any fancy graphics in them, because my graphics card doesn't fit the profile they've set. Seems like an arbitrary technological limitation is holding me back unnecessarily. . . Oh, look, Microsoft is here.
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