Learning is Tough. Tougher than I Remember.

Code_IFYes, I am still going on about IF – interactive fiction. Yes I am still writing ‘Lil Read’ and I do have an update for you and rather poignantly, considering the possible opportunities available to ICT teachers in the not so distant future. After getting to grips with the basics of IF with Quest, my learning focus has turned a corner. With the game planned out, developing the narrative has become a creative exercise and immensely enjoyable and rewarding. I am now tussling with the interactions, the puzzles and their solutions, the logic and ordering of variables, attributes and Boolean operators. In my efforts to be successful, I have even worked in the code view, albeit unsuccessfully although it was worth a go. Learning is tough,  tougher than I remember.

So to give you an example, this evening I narrated the kitchen area on the apartment, the cupboards, drawers, units, sofa, sections and spray cushions and change to the value of £1.46. And I almost forgot, an almost pointless auto-opening waste bin. (Not as tricky as you might think to code). I provided responses as to why you could not take the sofa and spray cushions, to what you might find in the kitchen units, cupboards and drawers and finally tried to create an interactive mobile phone that left sporadic text messages from workaholic, but caring parents to a dismissive teenager upset with her "naff" phone.

Most of my efforts focused on creating, enabling and disabling timers, pre-set to respond as the player completed tasks in the game to give the messaging a sense of timing and authenticity. Only I still have to find away to either stored or deleted messages on the phone. I have tried coding the message and I hope this pays dividends later. I may have to write in a faulty battery, switching off the phone and annoyingly deleting the saved messages if all else fails. As long as the player does not have to refer to them later, it should be fine.

What is great about IF, is that if you get stuck, there are any number of ways to solve the problem. Even in adversity, success opportunities litter your horizon. You can literally reinvent the story, however, the straightest and truest path is to code your way to a solution, and that is why we need help and guidance. I await Alex Warren’s "tutoring" advice via email over the next few days.

Who knows, with some help, I might even be able to release part 1 of ‘Lil Red’ – ‘Hitting the High Street’ by the end of half term.

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