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Halfway, and extended teaser

It's November 16th, roughly halfway through my little experiment.

(What do you mean, we blew past the edges of the Petri dish on day 1? How does that make any sense?)

Rather than stew in self-congratulation -- I can do that perfectly well in the confines of my own skull -- let me offer you a Halfway Present:

An extended game teaser for Hadean Lands. Now with a second ritual to complete! And many more objects to play with in the process!

I hope this gives a better idea of how the game's magic will play out. (Warning: some of the things you will find are not useful in this teaser. They're for rituals later on in the game.)

Now, just a little bit of self-congratulation: CNNMoney asked to reprint my Update #8, the post on running Kickstarter successfully. Very kind of them.

Overall, you can probably guess that I'm utterly thrilled with the way things are going. Contributions are still coming in steadily, if slowly. I'm hoping that the upcoming weeks see my plans percolate out from the gaming press into business reporting, writing circles, and -- heck, I don't know -- web comics journalism. I mean, why aim low?

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Zarf Goes Independent: Hadean Lands

Hadean Lands cover art

Two weeks ago I put up a teaser image, which drew a lot of nice comments and anticipation within the IF community. (Thank you!) But one image in one blog post does not a lifestyle make, and today the real fun begins.

Here's the scoop: at the end of this year, I plan to quit my job and start working on interactive fiction full time. Yes, really. The space madness has struck and it's time to do this thing. I can't do this in my spare time any more; I have too much work to finish in the IF world, and it eats at me every time I leave for my day job.

Go to the Kickstarter page to watch the awesome introductory video! (A Gameshelf production, of course.) You can also play the teaser scene of Hadean Lands on my web site.

IF is bigger this year -- probably the biggest it's been since Infocom fell apart. (You all caught that scene on Big Bang Theory, right?) I don't mean that it's challenging Portal for the hearts and thumbs of the gaming world; but people are interested and people are playing. So I think that IF on the iPhone (iPad, iPod Touch) will sell. And I'm willing to touch the mirror and try it.

You'll note I just linked to Kickstarter. Here's the cone under the scoop: I am asking for donations to get this IF project off the ground. Hadean Lands will be a full-length game -- think Dreamhold size -- so it will take some time to write.

But this is not solely a song of "give Zarf money to write an iPhone text adventure". I have other plans. You know how I keep saying things like "Yes, I certainly do have to add CSS to Glk" and "Yes, I certainly do have to add a clock API to Glulx" and "Yes, for the love of Zog, I certainly do have to add graphics to Quixe"? And then I look sad and complain about my lack of free time? That has to stop.

So, starting in January, I will be splitting my time between Hadean Lands and open-source IF infrastructure projects. (And other iPhone projects to be named later.) One major open-source project, of course, will be a Glulx interpreter for iPhone. That way, anybody (who's signed up as an iPhone developer) can put a Glulx game in the App Store -- complete with artwork, help screens, embedded feelies, Gamecenter integration for achievements... All the trimmings. (If at all possible I'll make this usable with Z-code as well. Yes, iPhone Frotz already exists, but that's not a path for single-game publication.)

Want to support this plan? Give me buckets of money.

Don't have an Apple mobile device? Naturally, you'll want to support my Glulx work regardless. And I would like to do Android (Kindle, anything, etc) versions of this game somday -- those ports just aren't part of the initial schedule.

But I have a special offer: only as a Kickstarter reward, you can pre-order the Special Limited Edition of Hadean Lands, which comes on CD. That will be playable on any Glulx interpreter (Mac, Windows, Linux, or any web browser). This will only be available by donating on Kickstarter during the month of November! So eat up.

And, as they say, thank you for your support.

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Project HL teaser 5

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Another Secret Project KLD image

Back in July I posted a teaser image from Secret Project KLD. I said I'd say more in "three months, or six, or a year, or however long it takes".

Well, it's taking a while. I still don't know when it'll be done. But it's been three months, so the least I can do is tease you some more.

Project KLD Teaser

This image is actually a month old. I've done a heck of a lot of work since then. But it wouldn't be much of a secret project if I showed off everything I had.

(Note: Some of you reading this post have already seen this image, because... I like to talk about my secret projects. And show off. But I'm trying to keep it within strict bounds now.)

Anyway, see you in another three months! Unless I change my mind some more.

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Secret Project KLD

I've been quiet recently, and this is because -- well, it's because I'm a reticent person. But specifically because I've been working on a very secret game project.

Now, I know as well as any developer the perils of premature announcement. (Do I even need to joke-link to an example? No, I don't.) And this one is nowhere near maturity. I don't even have a complete design document, much less any idea of how long the work will take me.

Project KLD Teaser But I have mostly finished the introductory scene. And that's worth posting a teaser screenshot. I'll take a line from Andy Looney and call it: "Secret Project KLD".

What does this image mean? Only the Secret Underground knows! ...Meaning, only the people I've talked to in person about it. I'm (a little) less secretive in real life than I am online. Sorry, folks.

I will be little bloggier about KLD when I have a better idea about timelines. See you in three months, or six, or a year, or however long it takes.

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