(From Vault of Horror #15 - 1950)
Today I will be bringing down all of the Halloween decorations from my attic, so I thought it would be fitting to blog about my holiday-themed IF. I will be sharing the current build of the Hallow Eve with a few play-testers around the night of the 15th. If they have time to give the game an hour or two worth of testing within about a week and a half, I should be able to have the finishing touches done by October 31st.
In the meantime while they are doing the testing, I hope to complete a couple of other additions to the game. This should include slightly improved cover art, better general instructions, and maybe a hint menu for those that don't want to look at the walk-through. I will also include a map of all 46 rooms. I would like to not only include a scan of the development map I made on graph paper, but if I have time I will also make a fancier version that would make a good print-out. I had wished to include these things in the original release of Hallow Eve I submitted to Spring Thing 2011, but I was a brand new IF author at the time and really had no realistic concept of what I could achieve and polish before my deadline was up. The source code also needs a bit cleaning up if I am going to release it. It's bad enough that I find it a bit embarrassing now that I know more about programming with Inform7. The main thing is that the current state of the code is still quite sloppy.
I'm currently about 90% done with this revision. I just need to spend a little more time checking the timing of events and adding my fixes. With the new version, I am trying to address just about every issue that reviewers picked out in the Spring Thing entry. Hallow Eve 2.0 still starts off a bit slow. However, some time-jumps have been put in place and now a huge chunk of the time waiting for things to happen near the beginning of the game is "on the rails". This means that the game will move along regardless of player action for a bit, while the player enjoys a situation similar to a haunted trail.
If anyone else has interest in testing the current build of the game sometime after this Saturday night, shoot me an email to jizaboz (at) hotmail.com as soon as you have a chance and I will put you on a mailing list. To anyone else reading this who is looking around for some Halloween-themed interactive fiction to play but isn't interested in testing, I encourage you to try the work of other authors already released and to wait for version 2.0 of Hallow Eve. It should be a more enjoyable experience than 1.0. That is... unless you hate Friday the 13th movies.