PunyInform

I decided to join another game dev jam. This time it is the PunyInform Jam. PunyInform is a way to make text-only adventure games for anything from 8bit to 16bit to modern machines.

I thought it’d be interesting to try something new and this was a good motivation for me.
I started posting on the Interactive Fiction Community forum and wanted something a bit more immediate and talked to Fredrikr who codes the PunyInform software. I started up a Discord server so we can all chat online in real-time and it was a big success with lots of people joining and talking about PunyInform and other things.

The Jam required you to start the player in a Broom Closet in a Pub. From there, you had to extrapolate out an adventure. I had no idea what I was doing and was learning as I go. I decided to base the start of my game on the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text adventure game and you start out drunk! You have to figure out how to stop being drunk and exit the Broom Closet.

From there, the game sort of built out almost all on its own. I kept adding features and puzzles and they at times would harken back to somewhere else you’d already been or something you’d already done. It was quite fun!

I had 3 weeks to make a game and since I was still learning I kept it to a recommended 15 locations (I had originally planned 30!). I also added in quite a bit of humour and tons of Pop Culture references. The game ended up being named “Arthur’s day out” as you effectively start off as Arthur Dent.

I worked hard on it for the first week, then I was waiting for a new computer and setting that up, etc which gave me a 7 day break then I started again in earnest last Sunday to complete it. I finished it and still had 7 days left in the Jam!

I gave a copy of it to my friend Will and he streamed himself playing it to me so I could see if there were any problems I needed to fix. I soon saw some things which didn’t make sense or information was missing. It’s handy when someone else tests your game. I also discovered you could successfully complete the game in a way I had not thought! I soon fixed that.

I will add more to this post when the Jam is over and when I remember to.

The Cassette 50 Jam has concluded and my two BASIC mini games are going to be on the cassette which will be sold by BitmapSoft to earn money for a charity.

So that’s 3 game dev jams I’ve been in during the last few months and I’m really enjoying the new adventures. I’m also currently porting the game Joust to the VZ200 computers using MPAGD.

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