Archive for January, 2012

As announced on, I’m running a mini-competition with a very specific style of game in mind. I call it the Ten Room Web IF Game Mini-Competition. The idea is to get people focused specifically on the art and design of a small game whose map fits on screen while balancing story and puzzle for such a construct. I have a web page site up for the mini-comp at
The rules are summarized below.

  1. Create a new and original Interactive Fiction game.
  2. The game must have exactly ten rooms.
  3. The map of all ten rooms must be visually accessible in 2D format or if you’re a snappy graphic artist, some sort of 3D imagery is acceptable. You must provide a graphical map.
  4. Use any tools you wish, but see #5.
  5. Game must be playable in a browser.
  6. Hosting Requirement *** REMOVED ***. You can send your games to me to host on Linux or Windows Server 2008 (IIS), or you can host them yourself. I’d still like to authenticate players completing each game somehow, possibly through an AJAX call with a game-embedded password or something.
  7. Bug fixes will be allowed at all times after games are “released”.
  • Competition Deadlines: February 1, 2012 – Sign up deadline. This gives you time to think about it, play around with some ideas, and decide if you want to proceed.
  • March 15, 2012 – Beta submissions.
  • April 30, 2012 – Final submissions, voting begins.
  • May 15, 2012 – Voting Ends, winner announced.
Competition Voting: Open web voting from people proven to have played through all of the games. Since all of the games need to be playable online, I’ll rig up an authentication system to allow voting once a user has completed all of the games.
Competition Prizes: I’m not sure what anyone will be interested in as a prize, so I’m open to suggestions. Textfyre will donate $100 to the best game based on my own judging (since the intended judging criteria are suspect and may not work out – if we can get that straightened out and there are more than a couple of submissions, the $100 will go to the judged winner).

It’s been five months since my last post and honestly it seems like yesterday for me. Having taken on a team lead/architect consulting role has pretty much sapped all of my free time. The result is almost no work done on the new Textfyre website and no progress on publishing existing content to mobile platforms. Trying to get Empath completed or even thinking about new games has been impossible.

I am pushing Klockwerk to the #1 eReader device (about which I can’t discuss openly until we are actually published), but there are a couple of artifacts in the works that need to be completed before that happens. One of which is artwork. There will be a unique and new drawing for each chapter within Shadow in the Cathedral. Some of these drawings include the tea machine, Covalt, and the Cathedral of Time. Trust me, when you see the results you’ll be amazed. The artist I’m working with is great, but slow.

I also have to pull together a good tutorial mode for the game and I’m working on that. It’s obvious that Jon Ingold is focused on Inkle now, but he’s been able to help with some of the required changes to the Shadow source code.

The Textfyre website with a Web 2.0 game play mode is mostly completed, but there are some performance issues I’m still working through. The big hit comes from serializing the engine every turn. I may have to work through caching logic to resolve these issues. I also need to get Shadow and Secret Letter implemented and run through testing on them. I plan to have Cloak of Darkness, Shadow, and Secret Letter available when the new site launches.

The cool thing about the website is that it works very well on the iPad.

Textfyre is still here, plugging along.