Monday 30 January 2017

The first three stories

When the game goes live on the 18th of February, the first two stories will be:
  1. Journey to the Centre of the Earth
  2. Gilgamesh
Then I start work on "The Time Machine"

A story takes about two weeks to create. Plus I'll take time out to add player suggestions: I'm relying on you to make this game good!

The endless do anything game is... real life

It's no great secret that "the endless do anything game" is life itself. That's the secret. And it will stay a secret because most people find it either incomprehensible or not worth their attention. :)

My hero embodies my belief that real life is the life of the mind. That your identity, what makes you YOU, is not really your memories (those are constantly changing) but your underlying values.

Imaginary people embody real values. Your values are based in one physical body, and theirs are shared across MANY physical bodies. So which of you is more real?

My theory of consciousness

I argue that consciousness is ideas and feelings: that is, information. Therefore YOU are information, and your physical body is merely a carrier. And since information can easily spread, so YOU spread out. So death is no barrier. So life is endless and you can (eventually) do anything. Hence life is the endless do anything game. And real life is the life of the mind. 

Good stories are a guide to real values, and real possibilities. So they are real. But a more compressed, high speed version of reality.

What I expect from wizards

I remember as a child, I loved reading about very clever people in books. Until one day I realised that they were not really clever, the wizards and wise men in books usually just mumble platitudes and hocus pocus. So I decided that if I ever wrote a book with thinkers, my thinkers would have something genuinely deep to say.

Of course all my theories could be nonsense. But they are all optional. You don't have to click on any of that stuff. It's up to you. Most of the game will just be fun adventures. Or whatever else you want me to add.

Sunday 29 January 2017

How to get YOUR idea into the game

I hope to add at least two user-added pages (that is, two pictures with accompanying text) every day. But a single suggestion might require ten pages. So clearly I can't to add everything. But do not despair! This is how to make sure I add your brilliant idea, and not those dumb ideas from other people.

I'm more likely to use your idea if it's...
  1. Fully scripted:
    Thinking is hard for me! If you say "why not do X" then I have to think about how to do it, what to draw, what to write, what choices to add, what do do on those pages, and so on. That takes time and makes my brain hurt! But if you tell me exactly what to draw and what words to write, and I like it, that's quick and easy for me, plus you get exactly what you wanted.
  2. With choices:
    Every page should have at least two choices at the end (unless the hero dies!) Those choices mean either MORE new pages, or they should link to slightly later in the same story, or the start of a different story. Or if you design your idea carefully you could add a loop back to one of your previous new pages, but it has to make sense (or be funny). Thinking of choices is hard,! So if you do it for me I am more likely to use your idea.
  3. Fun.
    I want people to feel rewarded for clicking! Don't be afraid to be silly, or random.
  4. Mind expanding.
    It's all about the ideas!
  5. Fixing a bug.
    Found a spelling mistake? A line that doesn't make sense? A link that obviously goes to the wrong place? Please let me know! I always fix those first.
And now you know the secret. Happy scripting! 

P.S. Let me know if you want your name on the pages you suggest.

About TEDAgame and this blog

This blog is where:

  1. I tell you what's new in TEDAgame
  2. You tell me what to add

TEDAgame will be updated constantly. Hopefully every day, or at the very least every week. All the news will be here! And as you play the game, you will often find a page that's a dead end, waiting for somebody to tell me what to do. This blog is where you tell me! And where others can say "that's a good idea" or "what about changing it so..?"

The idea behind TEDAgame

I love books, But I hate it when a good book ends: I want to stay in that world and go further. And sometimes I want to stop half way through the book and go in a different direction. And that, in a nutshell, is TEDAgame.

How TEDAgame evolved

Years ago I started making adventure games based on books. But it didn't really work how I hoped. First, even the best technology is very restrictive: you can't really do "anything", you can only do what the programming allows. Second, I spent most of my time designing and programming, so there was less time available for the story. Third, and worst, it takes so long to make a game that you can't be responsive. If a player wants a change then tough luck. And if the player wants more of the same they can just hope for a sequel a year or two later. Even if it happens it might not be what they want.

So I thought, what if a game was so simple that it could update every day? And if a player wanted something different they could ask for it, and a couple of days later it's there! A nice side effect is that the game would get bigger, and bigger, and bigger, until after a few years it would be a huge, rich place where you could get lost for hours! And so, The Endless Do Anything game was born.

At first I was worried that the game is so simple that people will get bored. But people can get bored in cutting edge games too. (Endless forests, endless grinding to level up, or games that all try to be the same). What matters is the story. And that's where you come in.

Tell me what to do!

If you're playing this game and think it should be different, tell me on the blog! If the change is easy to make then I'll make it! And all those changes will add up. It might not become the best written game in the world, but at least SOMEBODY should like every part of it. And it will certainly be unusual.

After a few months I hope to add between five and twenty pages every day. Most of those will be adapting books that I find interesting, or that others have asked for, But some will be extra pages suggested by users. This is YOUR game. it's only as good as the enjoyment YOU get out of it. And if it isn't enjoyable, tell me what to change!

My long term plan

I expect to do this for at least another 20 years, whether other people like it or not. I've been planning this for 20 years already, and I want to leave something substantial behind when I die. (I first began thinking about how I would code a "do anything" game in 1997, and it took 20 years to realise it should have no coding at all.)

I hope to add the equivalent of  a short book - maybe 50 to 100 finished pages - every week or two. I want this game to include all 54 of Jules Verne's "Extraordinary Voyages" books, many of the 1001 Arabian Knights, all of Shakespeare's plays and much more. Plus Jane Austen, some non-fiction, and more. If there is anything that stimulates the mind, I want it here. And when I'm too old or tired to add more I hope others will be making their own stories that I can add.

These are still early days. I think it will be a couple of years before the game is good enough and big enough and I am experienced enough and my art improves. But we have to start somewhere!

Thanks for reading. And if the game does become a big hit one day, remember that you were here from the start and I couldn't do it without you!