Ludum Dare is an online game jam where participants vote for a particular theme, find out what the official is at a particular time, and then they have 48 hours to make a video game (around said theme). I’ve always thought this was pretty badass, and I wanted to participate this time around.
I was busy on the weekend of August 23, 2013, when Ludum Dare 27 was happening. So I purposely avoided the event’s website until 12:01 AM on the following Tuesday, saw the theme (“10 seconds”), and started trying to strangle Inform 7 towards the goal of making a text adventure game. In the end the game took more like 49.5 hours to finish; it technically had an ending after 48, but I wouldn’t say it was really “done.” I hadn’t used Inform much at all before my personal jam or whatever you want to call it, and I have no doubt that I could have shaved hours off my time had I been more familiar with its byzantine syntax.
You can play the resulting interactive fiction Apart here–just click over on the left where it says “Play In-Browser” to begin. There is also an option to download the story as a Blorb file, which you don’t want if you don’t know what that means. If you get stuck, let me know and I can shoot you hints or a full solution.
If you’ve never played any interactive fiction or text adventures: movement is done by saying “go north”, “north”, or just “n” (all typed without quotes). All movement is done in cardinal directions and up/down. Actions are performed with simple sentences without punctuation and with or without articles, eg: “look”; “get tennis racket”; or “attack bear” (again, without the quotation marks). One of the handiest commands is “x”, short for “examine” as in “examine markings” or “x markings”. Apart is a little different from most interactive fiction, which will become clear as you play, but it doesn’t use any commands one would not expect in this sort of affair.
Let me know what you think! It only took two days to make, so you won’t hurt my feelings too badly. I’ll probably make a retrospective video in a while, and will post it here when that happens.
Update: I’ve put together a quick video on my thoughts about the game. I ramble a bit. Whups.