Reading this, I’m reminded of some of the most passionate yelling in a song ever — Project 86′s Breakdown in 3/4: “Now so obsolete!” I wasn’t aware that a locked door was necessarily a (ooh, cue trendy word!) trope, or that score itself was a trope. I’m no stranger to IF, either, so I’m looking at this with mouth agape, slack-jawed wondering. I guess this is one of those moments where I’m a guy amid a wasteland, holding his head together with his hands, because nothing makes sense anymore. “You were so right to write me off.”
Perhaps score is a crude indication of progress, but progress is foundational to narrative, because narrative begins in one place and proceeds to another. Even circular scripts like Chinatown deposit a limn of understanding, a realization, a weary knowledge that you have learned something in all your trials. I don’t understand the war on score.
I’ve never been the kind of guy to just redo what others have done in some mindless-slavish imitation. My words are my own; my worlds are my own; those I admit to them are just visitors, people who probably shouldn’t be there, like visitors in a museum after it has closed. There’s an unsteady relationship, I admit.
Nevertheless, I don’t feel like Inform6 was a caterpillar and Inform7 is a butterfly. I think of Inform6 as an old rifle, that you had to pack with gunpowder: potent, complex, and rife with the possibility of self-injury. Inform7 I think of as Voyager, only I am the alien, and I am looking at these tablets and hearing this tinny voice repeating words that I have no possibility of understanding. The documentation is like reading the self-justification of very small tree mites who live only on the leaves of trees and imagine themselves conquerers of the world. Maybe it makes sense for a certain kind of game written by highly intelligent and strangely thinking people, but as for programmers, it makes no sense at all. “Obsolete, obsolete, we’re so obsolete.”
That’s about how I’m feeling today, after having spent 30 minutes on figuring out how to set a variable and how to implement a conditional response to an action.
There’s just no reason why it has to be this difficult. Thank God that I found this, the Inform 7 for Programmer’s Guide. Although even that guide is written for people who never see the sun, at least it tells me how to declare a boolean variable. I don’t think I would have ever found it in the endless verbiage of the Inform 7 docs.
The programmers’ cries have been ignored, it seems. Whether that’s out of a maleficent desire to hurt people, gargantuan short-sightedness spiked with ego, or some kind of community drug, I have no idea.
I know, I know. The Open Source bigots (I’ll just call them OS-holes) will cry that you shouldn’t complain because you, yes you, can fix it! That ignores the purposeful presentation of these docs in order to shaft developers. That ignores the zeitgeist that was set up. That ignores the feedback that I’m sure they’ve gotten from folks, and all of the above explains why the I7 Guide for Programmers exists. The powermad Inform insider clique has no use for anyone who thinks differently than they do at any given period of time.
I guess I’ll keep at it with New Cat. I didn’t think that it would take me very long, but it may be months due to the upside-down and backwards world of I7.