AnthonyScoffler, The Wordsmith

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10/1/2020 3:57 AM

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My first exposure to interactive fiction had to be R.L. Stine's physical books in the Goosebumps series. That was my sole interaction, first in 4th grade, all the way until I'd finished college. I wrote lots of technical hobby projects between, like games and utility apps. From D&D, from rogue-likes and descriptions of Zork, I made a text adventure engine during that time. You wouldn't recognize its name because it's totally obscure.

That was just about the sum of my exposure to interactive fiction until I suddenly discovered the community online, learned about the existence of ADRIFT and Inform, and subsequently got in touch with some of the community. I've also completed a small review of the free authoring tools in 2020, finding ADRIFT and Inform as the two best parser-capable software. Twine is popular for simple CYOA, and both the MUDs that might've once been popular are currently dying a slow death in obscurity.

At time of writing, I'm still green to the community and what it's produced. I first read Blue Lacuna, then Skybreak! followed by a few stories by EndMaster. Continuing to plod through the recommendations people give me, when I get the time.

I was going to resist, but... I've been mulling over the possibility of creating a new text adventure engine. I'm thinking of a parser that edits/runs directly in the browser, has a starting place (like Inform) and GUI dialogs to generate the story (like ADRIFT). I've considered a lot of technicalities related to this possible project. We'll see about it.

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Recent Posts

Anthony Teaches Geology on 10/1/2020 12:56:52 AM

How Earth formed (explains some planet-wide processes)

Earth formed from the cold accretion of debris from the solar nebula. About 4.6 billion years ago, it was a ball of magma due to gravity, radioactivity, and meteoric impact. Lighter compounds buoyed to the surface and created distinct zones: an inner core, outer core, mantle, crust, and early atmosphere. This planet-wide phenomenon of buoyancy is responsible for the ongoing convection currents of the mantle. These heat gradients drive seismic and volcanic activity. The movement of metals in the mantle also account for the magnetic field that bends charged particles away from the atmosphere, creating the Aurora Borealis and other solar storm phenomena.

A Mars-sized meteor struck Earth ~4.5 billion years ago, resulting in the formation of the moon (and raising the surface temperature to 2000°C). The existing atmosphere was replaced with carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and water. As Earth again cooled, the water rained down over a thousand years to form the oceans.

About 4.3 billion year ago, Earth was cool enough for life to form. The atmosphere was carbon dioxide and nitrogen; the ocean was acidic with iron. Anaerobic life developed and broke down carbon dioxide. Oxygen was the waste product; it bonded to the iron ions in the ocean to form oxides that fell to the bottom. Organic debris also fell to the bottom, creating layers of chert interleaved with the iron in what's known as a banded iron formation. These account for enormous quantities of iron mined today. After saturating the ocean with oxygen, the atmosphere and surface rocks were subjected to it. This was known as the Great Oxidation Event and gave us our "modern atmosphere". The convenient abundance of oxygen lead to life as we know it.

Anthony Teaches Geology on 9/30/2020 10:47:31 PM

Ah, thanks for creating the topic for me, Mizal. I'll be adding some interesting passages soon, and I invite others to do so at their leisure when they have pertinent information to share. We can talk about such topics as the placement of water sources and how it affects civilization, exactly what happens during a volcanic eruption, and much more entertaining perils to throw at unfortunate victims in stories.

Teleporting Error on 9/30/2020 7:01:35 PM

Ctrl + F5 is the fastest way to do it. (Only for the current site.)

Feedback on 9/29/2020 4:10:10 PM

Use pronouns to avoid naming the same people in short succession. Instead of "while Howard is stretching, Sandy is growling. Sandy hates", write "while Howard is stretching, Sandy is growling. She hates".

"dew is scrambled all over the ground" sounds a bit odd. I would go for "scattered", "strewn", or a similar word. This is subjective.

"Birds chirp, dew is scrambled all over the ground, a wind breeze flows in" should be "Birds chirp, dew is scrambled all over the ground, and a wind breeze flows in".

"The 4 of them would always do a system for where they would get food." sounds a bit awkward. "For where" should just be "where". Doing a system is a little strange. You could instead say they devised a system. I'd also say it's a good habit to spell out small numbers. It just looks a little nicer (this is a subjective rule).

In "they put dirt on the north", North isn't an object you can put dirt on. It's better to say they make a pile of dirt to indicate North.

In "a contribution to the spinning chicken in their yard", contribution is not the correct word. It could be an allusion, or it could be owing to the spinning chicken in their yard. It could be a phrase made famous by the spinning chicken, too. I believe the word you were actually looking for is "tribute".

I can't follow the last paragraph cleanly because of the ambiguous use of pronouns.

"It would land on one of them." suggests that the chicken will land on a plural entity, and the last plural entity listed was all the other creatures. So it sounds like we're spinning a chicken that lands on one of the characters. This doesn't make sense, though, because the dirt would be irrelevant. The last sentence says "The dirt is pointing at Howard", which should either be written in reverse ("Howard is pointing at the dirt"), or otherwise made clear. Since I'm not sure what objects the spinning chicken fell on, this paragraph becomes difficult to read. 

If you're trying to go for the "sweet" style (as Gower, at least, calls it), then all the sentences that use commas followed by a sentence fragment need to switch to semi-colons. Someone can correct me on this because it's not even valid grammar to begin with, but whenever I've read a published book that does this, they use semi-colons instead of commas. Some examples:
"She yawns, her bright teeth shining."
"dew is scrambled all over the ground, a wind breeze flows in"
"It's called 'Spin the Bird', a contribution to the spinning chicken in their yard."

If you're not going for the "sweet" style, you need to use the FANBOYS rule. Read over Gower's writing advice articles and take them to heart.

Collecting all Artists on 9/16/2020 11:36:45 PM

Drats. The thought occurred to me yesterday, but I failed to take action on it. I'm about to rectify the situation.

Collecting all Artists on 9/15/2020 11:12:02 PM

All my art:
I practice multiple styles and love to try new ones. I've got impressionistic / smooth / layered illustrations, vector or gradient art, pixel art, black-and-white and probably other designations floating around in there. So much of this was done before I picked up a tablet, so I can best some of my older art and hit on the upper end of what you see with some frequency. Characters can be hard, but I need and want the practice. Nice to be here!

Collecting all Artists on 9/15/2020 11:01:59 PM

Hey everyone!

Thanks to Mizal for forwarding me here. I've been dinkering around on the community since around May, playing and enjoying the games that people have made. I've really only played a few so far, but I've found them all enjoyable, and will continue to play and rate others. 

As an act of good will to the community and to Tim for the Kingdom of CYStia server, I'll be willing to take on small commissions (just about 5 dollars) to affordably give art to people who want it for their games, and to have that money be given to Tim for the Kingdom of CYStia server. We would just agree, I would tell Tim to expect it, and you would forward to his paypal he already has set up. I think it's a healthy and awesome way to help the CYS community on the side. I'm making a post on the aforementioned server following this one, which will have more details. :)