First game, first jam, first post.

Hello everyone!  First post ever, first time developing a game in years and years, first time blogging about the experience.  It's a lot of firsts for me.

My game is called Carl and Neil Share a Dream.  It's a simple Interactive Fiction game that would have fit into the Fermi Paradox jam as well.   The player finds a  strange interstellar signal and tries to figure out its origins. 

So I've been thinking about developing an Interactive Fiction for a really long time.  I loved playing IF when I was growing up and the genre was in its Infocom heyday.  What made it hard for me was the programming aspect.   Way long ago, I had programmed in 20th century languages like Pascal and BASIC, which was essentially a living nightmare for Interactive Fiction type gaming.  Inform 7 tried to make it easier with a natural language syntax, but in the end, it was still like learning a new language.  I think Inform actually made things worse because it was so much like English that it was hard not to let English constructions take hold of my programming.  So I ended up with syntax errors that were gramatically correct to my writing eyes.  Ugh.

But: web-based graphical development engines make it a lot easier.  Just find the interesting bit in your text, make a link, and point it in the right direction.  Codeless.  Awesome.  All about the storytelling.

Texture is my game engine because it makes it simple to highlight the player's options.  No guessing the verb and endessly combining inventory items here.   It was a toss-up between Texture and Twine.  I decided Texture's drag-and-drop verbs provide enough clues to move the player along and allow for just enough flexability without overwhelming me with options.  The way the engine replaces in-body text feels dreamlike to me, too.  I want the player to explore a story, make a few choices, and get some thought-provoking feedback.

I came onto a few weeks ago looking for a new source of inspired video games.  One link led to another, and I soon found the game jams.  The Fermi Paradox themed jam really got my attention.  I love ideas about cosmology and human understandings of the universe.  I was inspired to start writing something of my own.  Then I found this jam, and now I'm committing myself to it.

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