IW's google docs scratch pad


To mangle a quote from Role Models, I love the idea of IF more than I actually love IF, and this is pretty clearly demonstrated in my current project stalling out. My enthusiasm for that project is pretty low considering its ambitions. I feel comfortable setting it to one side.

I’d like to focus on something that I could conceivably create solo that’s not going to require me to learn too many new disciplines to complete, so it’s not like I’m going to jump into something graphics-intensive or that requires a physics model, but I do want to push a bit out of my comfort zone. More to come as I have time.


My current idea is a game with about as much complexity of input as a board game. I like the competitive qualities of high-level pokemon breeding, but I’d like to limit how much you can ride one successful tactic over and over again, which in my mind suggests a drafting element is necessary.

So: you are one of several commanders squabbling for control over a city after the last shift in the balance of power; circumstances are such that many new allegiances are up for grabs. It is your job to recruit officers and assign them to your military’s needs. An officer can be assigned as a liaison (providing funding and your victory condition), recruiter (providing soldiers from one of the unclaimed armies or general population), field marshal (dividing your recruits into one or more squads which will function as your actual combat “characters”, after a fashion), proveditor (provides equipment & supplies to establish unit types for your squads), tactician (unlocks attack types and other actions), drill master (set up gambits and criteria for them to take effect), and coordinator (communicates orders to deployed units and intercepts intelligence about the other factions).


Thanks to a post by @mauve on mastodon I’ve purchased aseprite, and at some point I had also purchased Game Maker Studio when it was on sale a while back, so I stayed up 'til 2 last night watching tutorials and making tentative first steps that I immediately deleted. Despite being pretty comfortable with code, I’m sticking with the Drag & Drop paradigm for now.

My first objective after getting a basic movement-and-interaction prototype working is to reproduce the functionality of Inform 7’s system of scenes. My provisional understanding of instances in GameMaker indicates scenes will be created as instances of an object inside the room, which means they will need to either move with the player from room to room, or (more likely) travel between locations in-game all happens within the same room, creating and destroying backgrounds and level objects as needed.

Scene objects basically need a variable (0 for has not yet occured, 1 for is occurring, 2 for ended in failure, 3 for ended in success, or higher numbers for any alternative outcomes) and the ability to have events of their own, such as is provided by making them objects. Inform provides “when begins” and “when ends” which work as you’d expect, but I’ll have to think about how you’d implement this behaviour in GameMaker, or just resign myself to tacking all necessary events onto the tail of the conditions which bring about scene transitions.

Note to myself: scene dependencies