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Subject: What’s that scratching at your sarcophagus? rss

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I've decided to experiment with text adventures and interactive fiction this month because... well, because I think they're cool and why not? For a super quick and dirty prototype, I'm trying to create a single room text adventure using Inform7. No clue what I'm doing but sure that's part of the fun.

The Game: What’s that scratching at your sarcophagus?

Play as an incorporeal Pharaoh awakened from their slumber by tomb robbers. Unable to interact directly with these vile desecrators of your sanctuary, you must experiment with weird and wacky items and traps to scare away the intruders. What could possibly go wrong?

This Thread:
A place for me to try and whack notes into shape and generally ramble. Even better, if you have any suggestions, tips, or critique for me toss them in here. Any and all welcome!

God bless,
Kezle
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Brain Dump:

Items for the Tomb
All very general at the moment, just collecting ideas before trying to drill down to specific items which can be interacted with and combined

Sarcophagus (of course)
Mummified cat
Canonic jars
Sarcophagus
Mummy mask
Entombed slaves
Hieroglyphic texts
Makeup (Cosmetics palette)
Musical instruments
Scepter
Mirrors
Eye of Horus Amulet
Weapons
Booby traps?
Scrolls?
Hieroglyphic spell tablets
Furniture
Torches
Preserved seeds


Potential special actions
Throw
Curse
Freeze
Haunt
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Interesting project! Subscribed.
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Caroline Berg
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Nice! I just checked an Inform7 book out from the library - I want to brush up on my IF skills this year too. Not to mention, fix the bugs in You are standing in a cave... and polish it up before working on my next IF project!
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Notes on your items!

Mummified cat - they also mummified Scarab Beetles and alligators! And even baby alligators which were placed on top of adult alligators... in kind of alligator stacks...
Canonic jars - Canopic Jars. What is the setting? Old Kingdom had plain jars. Early Middle Kingdom had 4 jars all with human heads, Late Middle Kingdom had the 4 sons of Horus as jar lids (what most people think of when you say Canopic Jars).
Mummy mask - don't forget the various amulets and necklaces that were placed on top of the mummified remains to protect against various evils.
Hieroglyphic texts - On the walls? Is this separate from the scrolls? They used wet clay to write things out first, before transferring text to papyrus scrolls or chiseling them in the walls.
Makeup (Cosmetics palette) - Lapis Lazuli powder for blue, malachite powder for green, galena made kohl powder for black. Charcoal was also used.
Musical instruments - Sistrum, menat (wood or ivory castanets), drums, lute, harp (only the wealthy had harps!), double pipes (two pipes connected at a 45 degree angle) are some of the common ones.
Scepter - Crook and Flail used by the Pharaoh? Or some other Scepter?
Mirrors - to get light into the room? Or reflect light? Lighting puzzle?
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Benj Davis
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What a fun premise!
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This is a really cool idea!
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Greg
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A game of Senet and/or Mehen, perhaps?



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Jlerpy wrote:
What a fun premise!


When I read that super fast, you don't want to know what I first thought you'd written, Jlerpy. laugh modest
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Thanks for the support, lads! For some reason this wasn't triggering in my subscriptions so I missed the comments but I aim to be working on this more steadily so shouldn't happen again, even if subscriptions fail me.

God bless,
Kezle
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adularia25 wrote:
Nice! I just checked an Inform7 book out from the library - I want to brush up on my IF skills this year too. Not to mention, fix the bugs in You are standing in a cave... and polish it up before working on my next IF project!

Ooo, looking forward to seeing that!

I've been reading through the Writing with Inform manual from their website but I'm sure we'll see how it will go when rubber hits the road and I try to actually make the thing. I want to prototype some items asap to get a feel for how it works and what might work well/not so well.

God bless,
Kezle
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Kezle wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
Nice! I just checked an Inform7 book out from the library - I want to brush up on my IF skills this year too. Not to mention, fix the bugs in You are standing in a cave... and polish it up before working on my next IF project!

Ooo, looking forward to seeing that!

I've been reading through the Writing with Inform manual from their website but I'm sure we'll see how it will go when rubber hits the road and I try to actually make the thing. I want to prototype some items asap to get a feel for how it works and what might work well/not so well.

God bless,
Kezle


It may also be worth mentioning the book Twisty Little Passages (official website)


It's currently sitting on my physical bookshelf but I haven't found the time yet to read it.

Quote:
Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literary ancestor, the riddle. Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors (including the I Ching and Dungeons and Dragons), and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed in response, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork. He then considers the introduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that created by Infocom. Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence of independent creators and the development of an online interactive fiction community in the 1990s. Finally, he considers the influence of interactive fiction on other literary and gaming forms. With Twisty Little Passages Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literary contexts, opening up this still-developing form to new consideration.


I imagine the tone to be borderline academic, but I'd be surprised if there weren't ample room for inspiration contained within its pages.
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adularia25 wrote:
Notes on your items!

First of all: you rock, Carrie! laugh

adularia25 wrote:
Mummified cat - they also mummified Scarab Beetles and alligators! And even baby alligators which were placed on top of adult alligators... in kind of alligator stacks...

Learning something new everyday. Stacking, mummified alligators are 100% going in now!

adularia25 wrote:
Canonic jars - Canopic Jars. What is the setting? Old Kingdom had plain jars. Early Middle Kingdom had 4 jars all with human heads, Late Middle Kingdom had the 4 sons of Horus as jar lids (what most people think of when you say Canopic Jars).

I hadn't thought that far ahead yet (and also didn't know there were so many differences, but makes sense). So given that, probably Late Middle Kingdom because I think recognisable is better in this case plus sons of Horus might lend themselves to some puzzles/combinations.

adularia25 wrote:
Hieroglyphic texts - On the walls? Is this separate from the scrolls? They used wet clay to write things out first, before transferring text to papyrus scrolls or chiseling them in the walls.

I was thinking on the walls or maybe carved inside your sarcophagus. Perhaps different spells you can trigger or hidden clues?

adularia25 wrote:
Makeup (Cosmetics palette) - Lapis Lazuli powder for blue, malachite powder for green, galena made kohl powder for black. Charcoal was also used.

You know so many cool things laugh

adularia25 wrote:
Scepter - Crook and Flail used by the Pharaoh? Or some other Scepter?

Hmmmm, might wait and see what has the most mechanical potential.

adularia25 wrote:
Mirrors - to get light into the room? Or reflect light? Lighting puzzle?

Lighting puzzle was exactly what I was thinking! Just not sure what it will be yet . Maybe you can reflect the sun to relight the torches (or set a tomb raiders trousers on fire)?

God bless,
Kezle
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Sykurmoli wrote:
It may also be worth mentioning the book Twisty Little Passages (official website)

Ooo, yes, I saw that one but haven't decided. I was also looking at Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine by Melissa Ford (looks to be aimed at Twine and slightly more choose your own adventures but also seems to cover more overall theory and making puzzles).

But for now, I'm mainly drawing on advice from the awesome blog of Emily Short.

God bless,
Kezle
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Gregzilla wrote:
A game of Senet and/or Mehen, perhaps?

Oooo, that could be cool! A game within a game laugh

Maybe if you play the game, it interacts with the real world in the burial chamber? Bring a pit of snakes back to life?

God bless,
Kezle
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Kezle wrote:
Sykurmoli wrote:
It may also be worth mentioning the book Twisty Little Passages (official website)

Ooo, yes, I saw that one but haven't decided. I was also looking at Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine by Melissa Ford (looks to be aimed at Twine and slightly more choose your own adventures but also seems to cover more overall theory and making puzzles).


I worked through party of this book before abandoning it (not in any way the book's fault).

It was really well done, but probably a little stronger at explaining Twine's nuts and bolts than as a game design manual. I'd recommend it with enthusiasm to anyone who wants to make their first Twine game, but I don't think it'd translate all that well to other IF engines.
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Sykurmoli wrote:
Kezle wrote:
Sykurmoli wrote:
It may also be worth mentioning the book Twisty Little Passages (official website)

Ooo, yes, I saw that one but haven't decided. I was also looking at Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine by Melissa Ford (looks to be aimed at Twine and slightly more choose your own adventures but also seems to cover more overall theory and making puzzles).


I worked through party of this book before abandoning it (not in any way the book's fault).

It was really well done, but probably a little stronger at explaining Twine's nuts and bolts than as a game design manual. I'd recommend it with enthusiasm to anyone who wants to make their first Twine game, but I don't think it'd translate all that well to other IF engines.

Thanks, good to know!

God bless,
Kezle
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Oh yeah, I definitely want to hear about how this goes!
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Brainstorming Combinations/(Light) Puzzles:

Cat Attack
Your loyal pet cat refuses to wake up. Maybe if you a treat for it? Find a dead mouse and plant it on the tomb robber and the cat will attack.

Magic Bricks
'Magic' mud bricks at the four compass points. Swap bricks to magically swap directions and open up false passage which will trap tomb robber.

Blatant Mummy Reference
Drink the jars to reanimate your form and take over the world. Tomb robber won't know what hit them.
- Do you also need your heart from your body?
- Could potentially do a compass based puzzle with these as well but might rely too much on knowledge of which god represented which direction.

Let There Be Light
Clean and tilt the mirrors to catch the light and start a fire, driving out the robber.

Crocodile Stack
Stack the baby crocodile on the mother and read off the charm of Sobek from something or other. The robber will make a nice snack.

More Random Musings
- Lure the robber into the sarcophagus and slam the lid
- Awaken your mummified guards
- Play games of mehen to activate serpents


Just tossing out anything at the moment. The goal is not tricky puzzles but quick fire combinations rewarding exploring the possibilities with whacky surprises. There is no 'one right way' to drive out the robber. I don't want to go overboard though and make it too hard to keep track of. More interaction between the objects would be nice and could help, rather than a series of totally separate scenarios (which also means a lot more items which are all single use and not as interesting). Not sure yet how to pull that together...

God bless,
Kezle
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Kezle wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
Makeup (Cosmetics palette) - Lapis Lazuli powder for blue, malachite powder for green, galena made kohl powder for black. Charcoal was also used.

You know so many cool things laugh

Well, I did want to be an Egyptologist... until US/Middle East relations went to hell (I was in the archaeology lab washing/sketching artifacts when 9/11 happened over here...) So I studied ancient Egypt for quite some time! (Half the reason I'm running Nefertiti Overdrive - to use that knowledge!)

Also, all the make-up can also be used to make paint - just add oil or animal fat. So if you wanted to make the puzzle for summoning Sobek a little harder, then you could add making green paint from dried malachite flakes mixed with lamp oil, finding a paintbrush, and filling in the hieroglyphs with green to make the summoning spell work.
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Kezle wrote:
Sykurmoli wrote:
It may also be worth mentioning the book Twisty Little Passages (official website)

Ooo, yes, I saw that one but haven't decided. I was also looking at Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine by Melissa Ford (looks to be aimed at Twine and slightly more choose your own adventures but also seems to cover more overall theory and making puzzles).

But for now, I'm mainly drawing on advice from the awesome blog of Emily Short.

God bless,
Kezle

Ooo, that blog would be good! I'll share any tidbits from the book I'm reading on Inform7. I know that setting things as scenery is very important! (And something I need to learn more of!)
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adularia25 wrote:
Kezle wrote:
adularia25 wrote:
Makeup (Cosmetics palette) - Lapis Lazuli powder for blue, malachite powder for green, galena made kohl powder for black. Charcoal was also used.

You know so many cool things laugh

Well, I did want to be an Egyptologist... until US/Middle East relations went to hell (I was in the archaeology lab washing/sketching artifacts when 9/11 happened over here...) So I studied ancient Egypt for quite some time! (Half the reason I'm running Nefertiti Overdrive - to use that knowledge!)

Also, all the make-up can also be used to make paint - just add oil or animal fat. So if you wanted to make the puzzle for summoning Sobek a little harder, then you could add making green paint from dried malachite flakes mixed with lamp oil, finding a paintbrush, and filling in the hieroglyphs with green to make the summoning spell work.

Ooo, that could be fiendish but also cool. At the moment I'm struggling with how to handle so many items in a one room environment. Maybe it would almost be better to handle it as multiple rooms or somehow divide it into north/south/west/east sections. I'm worried if I tried to make it truly one room it might be one massive text dump and make it difficult to pick out things to explore.

God bless,
Kezle
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adularia25 wrote:
Kezle wrote:
Sykurmoli wrote:
It may also be worth mentioning the book Twisty Little Passages (official website)

Ooo, yes, I saw that one but haven't decided. I was also looking at Writing Interactive Fiction with Twine by Melissa Ford (looks to be aimed at Twine and slightly more choose your own adventures but also seems to cover more overall theory and making puzzles).

But for now, I'm mainly drawing on advice from the awesome blog of Emily Short.

God bless,
Kezle

Ooo, that blog would be good! I'll share any tidbits from the book I'm reading on Inform7. I know that setting things as scenery is very important! (And something I need to learn more of!)

Yes, please do! What's the book called, by the way?

God bless,
Kezle
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Literally: Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 by Aaron A. Reed. It looks substantial - I got it from the library and intend to start reading it this week, now that I've finished the book on narrative design that I was reading.
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adularia25 wrote:
Literally: Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 by Aaron A. Reed. It looks substantial - I got it from the library and intend to start reading it this week, now that I've finished the book on narrative design that I was reading.

Oooo, thanks! Also narrative design book sounds great. What was it called? (This is quickly going to turn into a book thread )

God bless,
Kezle
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