1
Issue 10 September/October 2003
Contents
News and announcements
1. Congratulations to the Wilds
1. InsideADRIFT Awards
2. ADRIFT games index
2. ADRIFT Mass Room Builder
2. Competition news roundup (includes
Summer Minicomp results; End of Year
Comp; DavidW’s Halloween Minicomp;
Annual IF Comp; Italian One Room Comp)
3. Forum news
4. ADRIFT Events Calendar
Regular features
2. Editorial
2. Drifters birthdays
3. Events diary
4. Drifters toolbox: TownGen
5. Portrait of a Drifter: Woodfish
10. Interview: Woodfish
Articles
5. One year down – where to now. By K F
6. Minicomp round up: Summer Minicomp
8.
The (big) idea
: Look at other IF systems
8.
Think piece
: Can ADRIFT earn respect
from a wider audience.
10.
Failed game intros
: WA Crabstick
Stairwell: Mystic librarian
Reviews
12. "The Night That Dripped Blood" by
Cannibal
Puzzles, competitions etc
7. Newsletter quiz DavidW (answers p11)
9. ADRIFT games wordsearch
Reference
14. Manual p17: Object advanced features
Issue Details
September/October 2003 edited by KF
Issue 10 (Volume 2 no 1)
Next issue out on 25th October 2003
News and announcements
Congratulations to the Wilds
Last week Campbell Wild was married to Suzanne, in an
amazing few days that also included both of their birthdays.
(Unfortunately we don’t yet have the pictures (or much in
the way of details))
The InsideADRIFT Awards
To coincide with the ADRIFT End of Year Competition, I am
going to launch the first InsideADRIFT Awards to honour
the best in the world of ADRIFT.
My aim is to have about ten categories of award, get
nominations by the end of November, and to then offer a
voting form with voting to be completed by the end of
December.
My first thoughts for some of the categories are:
1. ADRIFT game of the year.
2. ADRIFT Author of the year.
3. Best short game.
4. Best ADRIFT game by a new author.
5. Most unusual ADRIFT setting/plot of the year.
6. Biggest contribution to the ADRIFT community.
7. Most innovative Drifter.
That is for starters, I will start a thread on the forum for
others to put in their suggestions. My aim is that
ADRIFT
game of the year
would be the winner of the end of year
competition, so the judging of that will be important.
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
2
Editorial
This is the first issue of the second
year of publication. The first issue,
edited by Woodfish came out at the end
of August last year.
Hopefully it will be an interesting issue
for you, Woodfish is our star
interviewee, and MileOut is providing
us with a big tutorial in the use of
expressions. Thanks to them for
contributing.
My big initiative is the InsideADRIFT
awards. There have been frequent
discussions about some awards, so I
have decided to act. As described in
the article they are meant to add to a
sense of community and to reward
those who have contributed over the
past year.
Contact
Send any suggestions, requests or
comments concerning InsideADRIFT to
editor@insideadrift.org.uk
Find the newsletter at:
http://www.insideadrift.org.uk/
Drifters birthdays
September
1 Astridian (20)
4 RansomDchs (46); cewilson (44);
Lailokken (47)
5 Campbell (27)
10 Lycaon (20); brucehum (32)
13 Chaos (18)
17 Mystery (31)
20 ondre (25)
27 MadTom (17)
28 kolya (26)
October
1 ImpShial (32); SoftIron (23)
2 Narniagate58 (35); Morpork (20)
4 TheDataHacker (26)
12 skater_paulish (20); Lady_Juliet (22)
14 baXter (29)
17 Lil Dot (36)
23 davidw (30); theleaf (16)
28 Sarazar (16)
ADRIFT games index
On 31 August DavidW announced that he had compiled an
index of full ADRIFT games released, listed by author and
title. There are currently 155 games listed and you can find
the listing at
http://www.shadowvault.net/database-g.htm
.
This has led to some interest in the idea of gathering all
such games together in one location, with the IF Archive
seeming the logical location.
ADRIFT Mass Room Builder
Lancer Sykera has announced his intention to create the
ADRIFT Mass Room Builder (aMRB)
, a utility to allow you
to map out your game and then import the rooms as a
module.
Having requested input via the forum, Lancer is intending to
produce a simple freeware version, with 4 room compass.
After which he is looking to produce a shareware version
which builds in extra support for things like the 8-way
compass.
Competition news roundup
In the ADRIFT world things have kept up the busy
competitive pace, one comp closes and another one opens
is very much the story of the summer.
The ADRIFT Summer Minicomp 2003 has come to an end
and the winner was "Sun Empire: Quest for the Founders
(Part I)" by Tech, from DavidW’s "Jim Pond & The Agents
Of F.A.R.T.". The competition had five entries and eight
judges voting, both highly respectable figures. Tech has
made the decision to give the $20 prize for a second prize
in the ADRIFT End of Year Competition.
The complete results and other details can be found on the
site at
http://www.kfadrift.org.uk/comp_sum_03.html
as well
as in the round up later in this issue.
The ADRIFT End of Year Competition 2003 is an event
for any games released during the calendar year of 2003,
and they can be updated for the competition. It is designed
as an ADRIFT end of year showcase, so get out the polish
and shine up any games you have that qualify. Remember
that any author can have up to two games in the
competition.(
http://www.kfadrift.org.uk/comp_win_03.html
)
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
3
Events Diary
September 15, 2003
SPAG out today
The new issue of SPAG is out today with
reviews of a couple of ADRIFT games.
September 27, 2003
2003 Interactive Fiction Competition
Entries to the comp to be in today.
October 01, 2003
2003 Interactive Fiction Competition
Judging for the Annual IF Comp is due to
start today.
October 24, 2003
DavidW's ADRIFT Halloween Minicomp
2003 - entries in
ADRIFT Halloween Minicomp 2003 has
been announced by DavidW to fill in all
those spare hours we all have in the
autumn. The competition is limit to games
with 20 or fewer rooms and unsurprisingly
it has to be on a Halloween theme, though
there is a bit of debate as to what this
needs to be. Entries need to be in by 24
October, with the judging c ompleted by
midnight on 31 October. Full details are
posted on the forum in the Halloween
Comp thread.
October 25, 2003
InsideADRIFT Issue 11 out today
The November issue of tha ADRIFT
newsletter is due out today.
October 31, 2003
DavidW's ADRIFT Halloween Minicomp
- judging ends
November 15, 2003
2003 Interactive Fiction Competition
All votes must be submitted by the end of
the day.
November 29, 2003
InsideADRIFT Issue 12 out today
The December Issue of the ADRIFT
newsletter is out today. This is the last one
to be issued in 2003.
ADRIFT Halloween Minicomp 2003 has been announced
by DavidW to fill in all those spare hours we all have in the
autumn. The competition is limit to games with 20 or fewer
rooms and unsurprisingly it has to be on a Halloween
theme, though there is a bit of debate as to what this needs
to be. Entries need to be in by 24 October, with the judging
completed by midnight on 31 October. Full details are
posted on the forum in the Halloween Comp thread.
Meanwhile in the wider world of interactive fiction things are
moving on with the monolith that is the Annual Interactive
fiction competition.
The 2003 IF Competition, the major event of the IF
calendar, is in the final stages of the authoring phase. By 1
st
September, when authors had to state their intention to
compete, 96 have put their names forward. Although this
may seem a large number, it is only marginally ahead of the
last two years when 52 and 38 entries resulted.
The next target date is 27
th
September 27 when authors
should have uploaded their games to the competition site.
The games are then due to be released on 1
st
October for
six weeks hard judging period. All votes must be in by 15
th
November. All timings are set to 11:59 Eastern Standard
Time on the stated days. All the details are at
http://www.ifcomp.org/comp03/
Italian One Room Competition details were brought to
Drifters attention on the forum by Woodfish. There is an
English language page that gives the rules for this all
formats event.
http://www.avventuretestuali.com/One_Room_Comp/ORGC2003/Orgc2003_eng.htm
Forum news
A proposal for an ADRIFT Store was made following
some discussion elsewhere. The idea of being able to
purchase a variety of ADRIFT branded merchandise was
popular, although there was some feeling that it needed to
wait until we had a more stable release of ADRIFT to
advertise.
In the end such an idea really needs to be run by Campbell
Wild as he created ADRIFT and should have any benefit.
He is yet to comment.
An idea of what was proposed can be found at
http://store.gcn.cx/
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
4
December 21, 2003
ADRIFT End of Year competition 2003:
entries in and judging starts
This is a competition for any game made
using the Adrift Interactive Fiction Creation
System that was released during the
calendar year 2003.
The entries must be sent to
competition@kfadrift.org.uk, arriving no
later than 15:00hrs GMT on Sunday 21
December 2003. I will then try and get
everything together for judging to
commence that evening.
January 04, 2004
ADRIFT End of Year Competition 2003
Judging ends
Judging ends today, with marks to reach KF by
15:00hrs GMT on Sunday 4 January 2003
.
January 10, 2004
InsideADRIFT Issue 13 due out today
The January/February issue of the
ADRIFT newsletter should be out today.
April 18, 2004
ADRIFT Spring Competition 2004:
entries due in
This is a competition for new ADRIFT
games, there is no limit on the game size
except that it should be les s than 400kb
OR if larger it should be hosted elsewhere
and a link supplied. More details will be
posted later. Judging will take place in the
2 week period to 2 May 2004.
May 02, 2004
ADRIFT Spring Competition 2004:
judging ends and results
ADRIFT Events Calendar
I have set up an online calendar to disseminate the various
dates that are hopefully of interest to the community. Once
you are registered you can add any ADRIFT/General IF
dates that you think will be useful. Already there are the
dates for ADRIFT competitions through to April 2004.
The Events Calendar is at
http://www.calendric.com/kf/index.html
Drifters Toolbox: TownGen
This is a rather different tool from others that have been
looked at here. What it will do for you is, when you specify a
size of town, create an appropriate number of
tradesmen/businesses for your town, giving them names,
ages, backgrounds and personality traits. All of these bits of
information can then be edited and saved.
TownGen businesses window
Although it was originally designed for use with RPGs and,
by the authors own admission is buggy, I would recommend
it for Drifters looking for some inspiration.
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
5
Portrait of a Drifter
Woodfish on Woodfish
I am a teenage boy, living in a
seaside town in the south of
England, in my last year of school,
and rather pleased about it. I’ll be
off to study English and Media
Studies in college, amongst other
things, and I suppose ‘Media’
covers most of my interests. I enjoy
reading, film, play guitar, and
regularly listen to music. Also, I like
computers, and especially
interactive fiction. My two favourite
things about ADRIFT are the
friendly community, and the power
and creativity it allows you, through
such a simple interface. At present
I have only released two games,
and they have been very small
ones - ‘The Game To End All
Games’ in the first one-hour-game
completion, which ranked highly,
and ‘Forum’ in the second one-
hour-game competition, which
came first.
Downloading TownGen
The software is available from:
http://www.telusplanet.net/public/vesivus/toolware/index.htm
You will need the roll tables as well as the TownGen
download (and update).
One year down – where to now. By KF
After so many false starts Woodfish released the first
ADRIFT newsletter at the end of August 2002, so this tenth
issue represents the start of the second year of publiction.
In the first year we have reached our third editor, as well as
third title.
History
The first two issues, under the name Drifters Monthly were
edited by Woodfish, with a website by NickyDude the
results can be seen at
http://www.madladdesigns.co.uk/driftersmonthly/index.htm
.
Issue one, produced as a plain text file, can probably be
seen as a high point of the newsletter as it was the
culmination of a lot of speculation over such a project.
Additionally the number of contributors was never to be
reached again, a favourite of mine is the
Let’s talk
interactive fiction
discussion between En Kerklaar and a
camel.
Mystery took up the editor’s quill with issue three, and went
for a web based format, with an additional PDF version
available. In many ways she set down the format that has
continued through to this issue. Issue three had the catchy
title of ADRIFT Newsletter, as a competition on the forum
was deciding the new name. Issue four, with the winning
title of InsideADRIFT appeared. The June issue seven was
Mystery’s last as editor, due to family responsibilities over
the Summer holiday.
Taking up the cudgels with the July issue, I restricted my
changes largely to stylistic matters, except for the new logo,
and that pattern has been followed with issues nine and
ten. That said I am pleased to say that the amount of
content not supplied by me in this issue is up a bit. One of
my innovations has been to create an index for the issues
so that we can look back to when an article or review
appeared. I have purchased the insideadrift.org.uk
domain name and created a new website there. My aim is
to expand the information stored there as a major resource
for all, this includes making ADRIFT files available for
download.
Unfortunately Woody couldn’t supply a
picture, but I found woodfish.jpg which
will have to do.
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
6
Minicomp round up
Notes on the running of the Summer
Minicomp
One of the more interesting comps
to run as for ages it looked like we
would have just two entries, from
Mystery and DavidW. Then Mystery
knocked up a conditional entry to
make sure the three entries lower
limit was reached.
Later on in the week Tech sent in
an entry, followed on the morning
of the closing day by two more
entries.
My part in this
Putting the competition together
involves:
1. Putting out the details including
dates and rules, normally at least
three or four months in advance.
Announced on the forum, RAIF
newsgroup and my website.
2. Monitor expressions of interest
and keep up encouragement to
enter.
3. About a month before
competition closes start planning
for game distribution. I go for online
and also an executable installation
for offline use.
4. As judging period starts upload
entries and details to site and
announce availability on forum to
judges.
5. During judging period continue
pushing on forum in hope someone
will judge. Receive marks and
collate them so that you keep up to
date.
6. Competition ends, last duty is to
announce results, also send any
comments received to authors, to
help them improve games.
domain name and created a new website there. My aim is
to expand the information stored there as a major resource
for all, this includes making ADRIFT files available for
download.
Future
My intention is that there will be nine issues a year, as last
year, this will give my some breathing space in the
schedule. Currently the three double issues will be Jan/Feb,
May/Jun and Sep/Oct, although this may change. These
timings coincide quite nicely with my competitions.
I hope to continue the policy of mixing in interviews with
non-ADRIFT figures from the wider interactive fiction world
as I feel it is important to try not to be too insular. If I can
keep up the level of interviewee it will be gratifying as
Stephen Granade and Emily Short are names know
throughout the IF community.
The thing I will continue pushing is to recreate the breadth
of input from around our group. The only way that
InsideADRIFT can move forward is for it to not be the result
of the editor scratching together articles because no one
else will. One thing I do plan is for the Jan/Feb 2004 issue
to include a review of the ADRIFT year of 2003. If any of
you have things you want to contribute feel free, and I will
then pull the bits together.
I will do all I can to see InsideADRIFT through the next year
as editor, and hope that I can reflect in a years time on the
development of a thriving ADRIFT community. The hope is
that the current inertia caused by some annoying, indeed
critical bugs, along with Campbell’s quite natural
preoccupation with matters in the real world, will be
replaced by a more upbeat feeling that things are back on
track.
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
7
comments received to authors, to
help them improve games.
7. Take breath and then think about
next competition.
Entrants
"ADRIFT-O-RAMA" by Mystery
"Jim Pond & The Agents Of F.A.R.T." by
DavidW
"The Leviathan Labyrinth" by Cheryl
Howard
"Sun Empire: Quest for the Founders (Part
I)" by Tech
"The Worst Game In The World... Ever!!!"
by DavidW
“Crimson Detritus” by Mystery was
withdrawn when the third other entry
arrived.
Results
Reflections
I have to say I am relieved, and
grateful to DavidW and Mystery for
their assistance in boosting this
competition. It can be demoralizing
to put in the effort to run a
competition and get just two
entries, so this looks pretty good by
comparison.
This competition has achieved a
good number of entries and a
decent number of judges, and I will
call it a success, thanks to all who
have participated.
The next competition, being open
to games that have already been
released, should have a fair sized
entry I hope.
Newsletter Quiz (Compiled by DavidW)
Are you a real ADRIFT game spotter. If you are can you
answer these questions. (answers at the end of the
newsletter)
Section 1 - Black Sheep' s Gold
1. Where is Campbell' s salamander hiding. (1 point)
2. For one point each, name the items you need to pick up
in the cave system to sell later at the store. (3 points)
3. Name one of the Trask boys. (1 point)
4. What is the name of the sheriff you report the Trask boys
to. (1 point)
Section 2 - Doomed Xycanthus
5. What is the name of the wizard who has cursed you. (1
point)
6. How do you get the key from the statue. (1 point)
7. How do you defeat the toads in the temple. (1 point)
8. Name the home city of Malevol. (1 point)
Section 3 - Goldilocks Is A Fox
9. What is the name of the cow. (1 point)
10. What does the big bad wolf want when he comes
knocking on the door. (2/1 points)
11. What do you order off the Fairyland Shopping Channel.
(1 point)
12. What kind of creature has Prince Charming been turned
into. (1 point)
Section 4 - Miscellaneous
13. In which game do Aphrodite and an acoustic guitar
playing giant leech appear. (1 point)
14. Vorgon is a dragon worshipping cult member in which
game. (1 point)
15. In which game does the organization known as
R.O.S.A. feature. (1 point)
16. The Blue Keg Pub appears in which game. (1 point)
17. Which horror game is set in the district known as Black
Hill. (1 point)
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
8
The (big) idea
Look at other IF systems
Too often when a Drifter says that
they are looking at TADS and
INFORM we tend to say “Oh no,
there goes another one”. There is
no need for it to be like that,
looking at other systems can be a
part of developing as an IF author.
Some will find that they like the
flexibility of a programming
language, while others will be
horrified at the complexity of
programming.
Only the most blinkered of Drifters
would say that ADRIFT is perfect,
and cannot be improved upon.
Looking around will give a better
idea of what is possible elsewhere.
18. The bizarrely named Devil of Operose makes an
appearance in which equally bizarre game. (1 point)
19. In which game does Chris Tyson (Sarazar) pop up as
the Devil. (1 point)
20. Which game features two boys sucked through a time
warp in a closet. (1 point)
21. Which ADRIFT game is based on the Spectrum classic,
Skool Daze. (1 point)
Maximum score – 25
Think piece by KF
Can ADRIFT earn respect from a wider audience.
The has been a lively discussion in the rec.arts.int-fiction
newsgroup. Starting out trying to answer the question what
is the easiest system for a new author to write a game in, it
has moved on to be very largely about whether ADRIFT is a
good system for producing good games.
It is intriguing to see the attitude of some in the wider IF
world, as well as some members of our community. A point
that must be conceded by us is that there is no ADRIFT
game that can be put forward as the great work. This does
not mean there are no good games in ADRIFT, merely that
none of them is a must play game.
A spin off of this thread is a discussion of ADRIFT as a
programming language, with questions about how, for
example, you could program the game with 250 lockers, all
of which can be looked at, and unlocked/opened if
necessary. It has been largely a question of how things are
perceived. With very little effort I can do looping and
branching in a manner using tasks and variables, yet the
perception is that there is no if then else take construct. The
truth is that there is using restrictions and task calling. The
programmer should think of a task as a procedure or
function, that is a building block.
ADRIFT does have a great limitation which is that you
cannot access the guts of the system from your tasks. A
question came up as to whether you could program so that
a thief could steal a random item from the player. A number
of us have looked at the problem but, as there is no easy
way of selecting an item randomly, and ensure it was held
by the player. This is an important fact as it does prove that,
in certain cases, ADRIFT is not as capable as the more
general IF languages.
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
9
Adrift games wordsearch
CDOGGNILEVARNUM
QSLYMOQZPKGIRLC
URACLMLWJOGYOVA
XEWOPDADKVUKTBM
FDNWLETRIGMKCJP
ANWBLKWEOLPOMWW
ROFOICDXSOOAQLI
FWOYWERSSTNCFLN
RFRBSRSXLEVEKDD
OOULAWOJPJMTDSY
MEMUMMENAGERIEL
HVWELBTSOLSRPGA
OATSEDDQBUKKFZK
MCYXSLYADFAUEEE
EMYSTERYMANORGS
Can you find the following names of
ADRIFT games in the word square
above.
MENAGERIE
SELMASWILL
FORUM
COWBOYBLUES
PKGIRL
UNRAVELINGGOD
FARFROMHOME
CAMPWINDYLAKE
CAVEOFWONDERS
GOLDILOCKS
LOST
MYSTERYMANOR
MAROONED
WRECKED
YADFA
TEST
Remember, it is just for fun, no prizes,
just the knowledge that you did it.
Sorry if I missed your favourite, but
there wasn’t space for more.
by the player. This is an important fact as it does prove that,
in certain cases, ADRIFT is not as capable as the more
general IF languages.
A lot of us would like to see ADRIFT expanded by changing
the nature of the file structure to implement a language, as
the module system sort of does. Were modules to be
expanded to provide an interface to the whole game we
would be in a stronger position, although the ease of
breaking your game would be a problem.
Where ADRIFT can always score, and it is interesting that it
is now THE default system thought of when discussing GUI
IF creation systems, is that a new user can put together
something without great effort. As always this is a double
edged sword as the new users efforts will normally be
lacking technically and be open to attack. Nevertheless it is
the new non-technical user who is the lifeblood of ADRIFT.
If we just tell them they have written rubbish, rather than
suggest where they went wrong, they will probably look
elsewhere.
Perhaps ADRIFT will achieve a place in the niche market of
short story IF. While major works will probably be put
together with INFORM or TADS, that may well be a lot of
effort for someone who is in essence writing a short story.
This is not a bad thing as the short story is a large market, if
we can just target it right. Remember that the writing is just
as important in a short story as a long one, and because
you have less words to tell the story the text has to be
better written to get the story over in a more limited amount
of time.
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
10
Failed game intros
Just an idea, we all have on our
hard drives games that we have
started, but have failed to get to the
point of release. Thought it might
interesting to see how some of
these games start off, to that end I
have included on of my many failed
game intros.
It is inspired by the weird story of T.
Lobsang Rampa, who was
originally a plumber. He wrote
books of a spiritual nature after
allegedly being entered by the spirit
of a Tibetan Monk. Many
completely believed him because
his stories so actually reflected
Tibetan life.
W.A. Crabstick Stairwell: mystic
librarian
W.A. Crabstick Stairwell was
contemplating, as he often did
since his body was entered by the
spirit of a Tibetan monk, the
meaning of life. As a librarian who
had discovered the spiritual
Nirvana that is UDC, he had
concluded that although, you could
never classify everything that
happened in the world, you could
have a pretty good try. You are his
pupil learning the art of Zen
librarianship.
If you have an intro or just an idea you
think Drifters might enjoy, why not
send it in to InsideADRIFT.
Interview: Woodfish questioned by KF
Thank you for agreeing to answer a few questions for
InsideADRIFT.
Q1. In preparation I have been looking back to the first
couple of issues of the newsletter that you edited. I was
quite surprised by just how good the content was at that
time, there appeared to be a lot of Drifters contributing.
What are your memories of that time when you managed to
actually get something published after all the false starts.
I was overjoyed at first, to actually have worked at
something and had it published, where others have tried
and failed. To add to this, it was something that the whole
community was involved in, so as well as me trying hard at
it, everyone else was eager to contribute and make it a
success. When the first two issues came out, they were
quite packed and I was pleased at the assortment of
content we had in there - it took a lot of organizing, but the
end result was worth it, and led the way for others (such as
this fine publication!)
Q2. In a bid for inspiration, I have been looking at your
interview with DavidW. The important question appears to
be, how did you get involved in the world of interactive
fiction, and more particularly ADRIFT.
I have always been a fan of adventure games, but since I
am fairly young in relation to other fans of the genre, I don’t
have the memories of the ‘adventure era’. When I first got
my PC, a friend introduced me to interactive fiction, and
being the sort of person who isn’t content with just playing a
game, I took to the internet and began to search for
something that would help me fulfill my desires. ADRIFT
was the first one I actually found, and after downloading the
software and playing around with it, I logged onto the forum,
began chatting, and I was hooked. The close forum and
community are still one of the main reasons I stick with
ADRIFT.
Q3. The last few months have been quite tricky for the
ADRIFT community. So many of us have had bad
experiences with bugs which caused them to consider other
ways of creating their IF. What was your take on the
situation.
Maybe I’m just lucky, but I think I have only ever
encountered about three bugs with ADRIFT in my life. On
the forum, though, I’ve seen bugs springing up all over the
place, and I understand it is a big obstacle currently
blocking ADRIFT’s advance through the IF community. I
think that now Campbell is back working on ADRIFT after
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
11
Newsletter Quiz
Answers
Section 1 Black Sheep’s Gold: 1. In the
toilet; 2. Plate, cross, watch; 3. John, Mike
or Bill; 4. A Marcus.
Section 2 Doomed Xycanthus: 5.
Malevol; 6. Kiss it; 7. Throw the pouch
containing the dead snak e into the pool; 8.
Helipoli.
Section 3 Goldilocks Is A Fox: 9. Dais y;
10. He says he wants the three pigs (1
point) but you actually get rid of him by
giving him the pork chops (2 points); 11.
toast-o-mastic 3000 atomic 3 slot toaster;
12.A frog.
Section 4 Miscellaneous 13. Invasion Of
The Second-H and Shirts; 14.
O.N.N.A.F.A.; 15. The PK Girl; 16. The
Lost Mines; 17. The Woods Are Dark; 18.
The Wheels Must Turn; 19. When Beer
Isn' t Enough; 20. The Timmy Reid
Adventure; 21. Report Espionage.
Maybe I’m just lucky, but I think I have only ever
encountered about three bugs with ADRIFT in my life. On
the forum, though, I’ve seen bugs springing up all over the
place, and I understand it is a big obstacle currently
blocking ADRIFT’s advance through the IF community. I
think that now Campbell is back working on ADRIFT after
his absence, there will be more solutions to these problems.
Q4. Recently you ran a competition for ADRIFT games to
be written in one hour. As well as organizing the
competition you were the winner with the highly amusing
"Forum", for which many congratulations. What sort of
experience was it running the competition.
Well, that’s a hard question to answer, because it doesn’t
really come into the category of an ‘experience’! I simply
liked the idea of these short minicomps which people can
easily enter, not have to spend to long working on, but still
receive good comments and feedback. Also, the very spirit
of finishing a game and coming high in a competition,
however ‘mini’ it may be, can be inspiring and make people
want to release proper games of their own. And, of course,
it’s a bit of fun for everyone. I am very happy I came first in
the One Hour Competition, and I’m grateful for all the
comments people have given me - I also hope I haven’t
offended anyone in their ‘ mutilations’!
Q5. Do you have any views as to the future of ADRIFT and
the community. Are we on the up, steady, or heading for a
fall.
I think the main selling point of an authoring system is a
good number of amazing games, which people will play and
be inspired by. This also gives the chance of the system to
show off its capabilities, which I think ADRIFT should be
really trying to do now, as many people seem to
underestimate its power. The PK Girl was a good example
of this, and hopefully there should be many more heading
for release and following along its lines. We also need to
sort out all these bugs, and hope that v4 will eventually turn
back to freeware, which I think will increase the popularity a
lot. So over all, I think that we are rising in popularity, and
hopefully that will be highlighted with the Annual IF
Competition coming up.
Q6. Do you have any current projects that you are prepared
to discuss at this time.
Of course! I have a fantasy adventure in development at the
moment, which will be my first full-sized game released. It is
a story-based adventure, and I intend it to contain a mix of
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
12
Q6. Do you have any current projects that you are prepared
to discuss at this time.
Of course! I have a fantasy adventure in development at the
moment, which will be my first full-sized game released. It is
a story-based adventure, and I intend it to contain a mix of
genre elements, but I don’t want to say to much about it,
because I might jinx it. I am very proud of it so far and I
hope I get round to finishing it off. Also, I have a surreal
adventure called ‘ Active Fiction’ awaiting release, which I
may enter into a minicomp.
Thanks once again for cooperating with this interview, and
for your
great contributions to our community
.
A pleasure.
Review by DavidW
"The Night That Dripped Blood" by Cannibal
The Night That Dripped Blood isn' t, as I' d first suspected, a
story
about vampires but instead about the sinking of a U Boat
from the Second World War and… well, saying more would
give away too many details of the storyline. The gory title
aside - which brings to mind the sort of blood ' n' guts image
of pulp comics - there isn' t a lot about “The Night That
Dripped Blood” that is particularly horrifying. Only once is
there any real violence in the game and even that is over
with pretty quickly.
The town of Critch, where the adventure place, is large and
sprawling with several non-critical locations thrown in for the
player to wander around. The game is quite linear though
the few extra locations go quite a way to making it seem like
there is more to do than there really is.
One of the game' s major failings is a lack of items to be
examined. Listed in the rooms description are numerous
items yet attempting to examine them invariably leads to the
dreaded "you see no such thing" - never a positive sign.
Indeed, interaction with static items is on the whole quite
poor. You can' t open cabinets, lie on beds, turn on or watch
the TV, etc… While static items often play no real part in a
text adventure as such, it' s never a good idea to not
programme a response for at least a few of them. In this
sense, “The Night That Dripped Blood” harks back in a way
to the text adventures of the 1980' s which seldom contained
descriptions for all but a few of the static items, but whereas
those adventures were restricted by size and thus couldn' t
include descriptions of everything, this adventure isn' t. Due
InsideADRIFT Issue 10 September/October 2003
13
programme a response for at least a few of them. In this
sense, “The Night That Dripped Blood” harks back in a way
to the text adventures of the 1980' s which seldom contained
descriptions for all but a few of the static items, but whereas
those adventures were restricted by size and thus couldn' t
include descriptions of everything, this adventure isn' t. Due
to lack of examinable items, playing the game can quickly
become frustrating. Trying to examine one item after
another and being told you see no such thing leaves a lot to
be desired. Indeed, there were a number of locations that
didn' t seem to contain anything I could examine
and I found myself wondering at one point if this was really
a finished work and not a demo in progress.
One feature which is used, though not very well, is the
ability to choose which sex you are. Unfortunately, as is
often the case with choosing the sex of the main character
in a text adventure, it makes precious little difference
whether you choose to be a man or a woman. Indeed, I had
sex at the end of the adventure with a woman whether I
played as a man or woman which I felt was strange. Kinky,
but strange. A little more effort into programming some
separate responses for male and female characters would
have been nice.
On the plus side, The Night That Dripped Blood is well
written and as the storyline unfolds there is a genuine
sense of unease. The only time the game really lives up to
its title is at the very end when the submarine rises from the
depths of the sea. A sequel, we are reliably formed in the
end credits, is forthcoming. I judged “The Night That
Dripped Blood” as a first attempt at a horror game that
doesn' t really work that well but suspect that the follow up
will (hopefully anyway) be quite a bit better.
Logic: 7 out of 10
Nothing terribly illogical although several of the events
seem strange to say the least.
Problems: 5 out of 10 (10 = no problems)
Lack of examinable items was a major flaw but aside from
this there was little actually wrong with the game.
Story: 6 out of 10
A slow starter but a reasonably good storyline starts
developing towards the end of the game.
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14
Characters: 3 out of 10
Several different ones but, alas, they have little in the way
of conversation aside from a few programmed pieces.
Writing: 6 out of 10
Above average.
Game: 5 out of 10
An okay game that could have been a lot better.
Overall: 32 out of 60
Reference
Finishing the manual pages that cover objects we come to
advanced features. This details how you can customize
how the program will describe objects, changing the default
options. This is a powerful feature that came in with Version
4.0 and can often be ignored.
Manual pages 17: Object advanced features
Advanced features
Clicking on the
Advanced
tab brings up the following
display:
By default, all dynamic objects are listed in a room
description if they are in that room, and static objects
are not listed – you are expected to describe them
explicitly in your room description.
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15
In the advanced tab, if your object is static, you have
the option to select
Specifically list object in room
descriptions
. This lists the object in the form “Also here
is …” as though it were a dynamic object.
If the object is dynamic, the checkbox becomes
Do
NOT list object in room descriptions
. This prevents the
object being listed. The object will still be there; just
there will be no notification. You would usually want to
use this feature if you were to explicitly write the object
into some other description.
You can also override the default “Also here is
<objectname>” with your own custom message by
filling in the box
When the object is listed in the room
description, display this
. This will then be displayed on
it’s own after listing any other objects.
If you want the custom description of the object to
only occur when the Player first comes across the
object (i.e. before they take it for the first time), check
the
Only show above for the object’s initial location
box.
© Campbell Wild, May 2002
Information is copied and pasted from the manual and while every effort
is made to be accurate, there are no guarantees that it is error free.
© 2003 Edited by KF. Please send any contributions or
suggestions to kf@kfadrift.org.uk