Quest 5 Day 1
I am playing, and really enjoying “As Darkness Falls.” I have watched ‘Get Lamp” on Youtube (insightful) and worked my way through to Chapter 5 of Aaron Reeds excellent INFORM7 book. So why the transfer to Quest5, especially as its still in BETA? There are three very good answers to this question.
- Alex Warren is an English software developer. He is now focusing all his efforts on developing Quest 5 and that, at the very least, deserves some recognition. Also, being able to discuss Quest 5 with Alex in the same time zone, via Twitter, EMail and Skype is an amazing resource. To add, Alex has been more than supportive, he is open to the application of Quest to education, now that’s just fantastic.
- INFORM7 maybe more sophisticated, with multiple views of the narrative, it is also presents a open editing interface. Quest5, at first look, appears to offer a somewhat structured editing interface and may well be a more appropriate starting point for 9-16 year olds.
- Quest5 also permits the inclusion of various media, image, sounds and video. Now that makes for an interesting multimedia experience and one I am keen to explore.
Creating a simple game with Quest
IMHO with just these five tutorials completed, about 3-4 hours learning, students could go on to create some very creative, complex and exciting games. Very quickly I was able to blue printing my game landscape, the room descriptions, objects and directions. It is also worth noting that Alex would advise creating small 1, 2, or 3 room adventure to explore and apply Quests capabilities rather than investing time and effort building an ‘amazing’ game map upon which to build a game. Alex noted that he has received numerous ‘big project’ emails from enthusiastic Quest coders, but as yet, no completed master pieces.
As for "top tip", I think you’ve already got the biggie in there – start small, don’t try to create an epic. I would also add, read the tutorial but don’t be afraid to ask questions on the forums – and it always helps to attach your game file to any questions, so we can see exactly how you’ve got things set up. (Alex Warren – Quest Creator and Developer)
See I told you he was an awesome and supportive guy. So, keep it simple, it does not stop you being creative. If anything, like Twitter, it will encourage you to be even more creative and efficient.
Tutorial 3 started to reveal the power of Quest5 and really got me thinking about the possibilities of IF. This is somewhat daunting as I am also acutely aware that we are scratching the surface of the platforms capabilities.
Tutorials 4 and 5 only served to confirm my initial impressions. Do not be deceived by Quests straightforward interface, there is power in the scripting and the attributes. I have only followed the tutorial examples, but I did notice the ‘many’ options presented in the drop down menu.
You all know I am not a ubergeek and most certainly no coder or developer. That said, I made my way through the first five tutorials without too many issues. My only pitfall was the use of a capital letter in a naming convention that I didn’t used in a custom attribute. Basically I references an object “Eggs” and when I wrote the attribute expression – "A box of eggs, weighing " + eggs.weight + " grams." Quest 5 identified a script error. Next step, commands.
I really enjoyed writing the narrative but even this task required a thoughtful appreciate of what described, of course anything you write into the description needs creating. Certainly these early steps have underlined the importance game infrastructure and planning in Quest. Here is hoping that the exam boards and teachers see that IF writing is a really taxing and amazingly creative, mathematical experience