Been a while

It’s been a while since my last post. I have just been so busy with life that I have not had time to update my blog. So here is my half arsed attempt at bringing my blog up to date, of sorts.
The game is still progressing. I have decided to split the game into smaller chunks to make both publishing and distribution a bit easier. I have also moved from Inform 7 to something called Adrift. The upside to this is that it makes game creation easier because I have a visual representation of the game world. The downside is that it is a Windows only bit of software. Which is a bit of a shame because I wanted to try and keep it open to other platforms.
The game world is pretty much completed. For the first part anyway. I am now working on items, puzzles and story driven content.
Life has been very busy. It’s getting to that cold time of the year when people start picking up allsorts of weird and wonderful things. So it’s this time of the year that the hospital because very busy. Plus my wife is now 30 some weeks pregnant with our second child. This is both exciting and tiring because our 14 month old is now getting into that “into everything” stage.
The joys :)

New bits of my text adventure

I have had a bit of a restructure of my text adventure(Interactive Fiction). I rcently discovered some old stuff that I had previously been working on stored on a floppy disk. Needless to say it was a chore getting the data off but I recovered snippets from a story I was working while I was at college.

Here is a revised version, using naming from the current Utopiana game, of something I had done to do with the story I found.

{22/10/2250 @ InfoNet News – Utopiana to launch next week}

Monday sees the launch of the first interstellar ship; the UTC Utopiana. A secret joint venture between Ishiguna Heavy Industries (Stock ticker IshHI) and the United Terran Council, the Utopiana is the first ship to use the new Space Fold Drive (SFD). Developed by a team, lead by Dr. Robert Nobel, at Ishiguna’s London based High Energy Lab the drive is claimed to make interstellar travel finally possible.

In a press conference last year Dr. Nobel announced that a trip to our closest star system, Alpha Centuri, would take around 110 years with conventional drive technology. However, technical data first revealed at the conference showed a test of the new drive was conducted 10 years ago, in secret, on a small unmanned shuttle and it arrived in just two and a half years. It was then speculated that if applied to a conventional ship it would take just 4 years to reach the closest star, Proxima, in the Alpha Centuri system. It had also been announced at the conference that the space frame, primary hull and most of the primary systems of such a ship, the Utopiana, had been completed and finalization of the drive installation were about to be completed.

News of the impending launch has caused Ishiguna stocks to skyrocket. There is also talk of the sister ship to the Utopiana, the Kamila, nearing final conventional drive testing.

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{19/5/2252 @ InfoNet News – Utopiana fails to phone home}

Ishiguna Heavy Industries and the UTC have released a press statement in which they reveal that the Utopiana, the first interstellar ship of its kind, has failed to send a scheduled progress report. They assure the public and family of the crew that the Utopiana is fine and is likely still in lowspace transit.

Dr Nobel form London based Ishiguna High Energy Lab, the team that developed the Space Fold Drive (SFD), has explained that “While in lowspace (A form of subspace) the Utopiana cannot communicate with Ishiguna or the UTC central command. They have to drop back into normal space in order to send a signal that everything is ok and even then, depending on any number of factors, it can take two weeks to receive the ok signal and that they have returned to lowspace.”

However an inside source at the UTC has revealed that the two week communication window ended last week. They also revealed that the captain of the Utopiana, Captain Cole, had expressed minor concern over fluctuations in the SFD’s primary power supply in a previous report.

The UTC Chairman, Mr Shiguri, has responded to this claim by saying “We are aware of the current rumours been peddled by certain news organisations.  May I first state that there have been no concerns over the primary drive power supply. That Captain Cole had, in fact, noted that during their entire trip there were no minor or major concerns over the safety of the ship or its crew and that everything was working as it should. Finally I will add that publishing false information, based on supposed inside sources, without first checking these details with us is nothing more than scaremongering and amateurish at best.”

Regardless Ishiguna stocks (Stock ticker IshHI) have taken a hit with a decrease of 5% in just 24 hours. With a further 10% projected in the coming days if nothing is heard from the Utopiana within the next week. The Kamila has also had its SFD drive test halted until next Tuesday further adding to investor tensions.

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{19/5/2262 @ InfoNet News – Utopiana lost, ten years later}

Ten years ago today all communication with the Utopiana had been lost. When a routine status report had failed to be received speculation had started about her fate. Some theorized that on return to lowspace from the previous report she had exploded. Some think that she failed to return to normal space in the first place. Others feel she is dead in space after the primary fusion reactor failed. The truth, however, will never be known.

Within a month of the confirmation that Ishiguna Heavy Industries and the UTC had declared the Utopiana lost, Ishiguna would near enough be bankrupt. Their stock lost 89% of its value almost overnight with investors pulling out faster than they got in. The Kamila had been mothballed and their Ishiguna High Energy Lab was closed immediately. Dr Nobal retired due to declining health and has not been seen since. Finally the entire board had been fired and replaced and the company restructured.

Meanwhile UTC Chairman Shiguri denied any involvement in a cover-up yet resigned his position in the council. 3 years later he would be brought before a court amidst allegations of gross misconduct regarding the Utopiana and his actions during his term in office. He would again appear in court a year after to face charges of sexual misconduct against an intern and embezzlement of UTC funds, however he committed suicide before a verdict could be reached. Since this happening the UTC has issued a formal apology to the families of the Utopiana crew and offered substantial compensation packages.

The new UTC Chairman, Mr Jackson, has released the following statement.

“We will never forget the Utopiana. She was a symbol of hope and prosperity for humanity. A fresh start in new and uncharted worlds. We will never forget the shameful acts committed by a select few as they tried to sweep this incident under the rug. I vow that nothing like this will happen again.

We must not let the incident stop us from exploring what is out there in the bigger universe. Even now we research new ways of reaching out and taming those stars. The spirit of exploration, the spirit the Utopiana embodied, still lives on and it is only a matter of time before we travel the deepest parts of space again.”

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Now this provides me with a interesting thought. Should I continue with the Utopiana game as it is. Or should I merge it with the story, named Starburst Project, and create a new Utopiana game?

New text adventure taking shape.

I have been working on a text adventure for a few months on and off. Writing the story and planning the scenario seems to be traight forward compared to the actual implimentation of the engine. While I work on this I plan to release some teasers and info about the project as it evolves. I am doing this for fun and to release it to the public for free.

So here is a sneak peak at some of the notes scattered around the game.


I have been sat alone in this stinking box for months. The recycled air is starting to irritate my lungs; making them itch like termites are living in them. The bunker is starting to develop the smell of a life gone stale. A life put on hold while the tragedy resolves in the world beyond the steel door.

Just how long has it been?



I don’t know anymore because I gave up counting after 6 months. Without natural light it is hard to tell when one day ends and another starts. Also considering I smashed my phone I have had no real way of finding out. I sleep when I am tired and eat when I am hungry. That is what my life has devolved to, nothing more than a rhythmic boring pattern of eat, sleep, shit and piss. Showering became a useless waste of time and water so I gave that up within the first week. I am down to simple protein and vitamin rations. My body weight has dramatically dropped since starting the rations but in fairness I doubt the people who came up with them thought that people would be living off them for this long (How long has it been again? ). So some of the needed fats were probably left out.

Entertainment is down to a minimum. My phone stored all my games (Which I smashed) and the Personal Data Slate developed a major fault and died a while back. All I have left is counting stock, and a really old dice game. And a lack of interpersonal communication has left me a little on the edge. I was never a social person but this is a touch extreme even for me. I know it’s in my head but every so often I can hear voices whispering, laughter comes like raspy breaths of air, scratching at the bunker door. All in my head but at the same time I have to wonder if it is actually in my head.

Odd I know but this is what happens when one person is left alone for however long.

I have looked many a time at the bunker door. The dull cold steel has not moved since I threw myself in here and the door slammed behind me. I heard screaming from somewhere else in the city that grew muffled and silent as the door slammed shut. That was the last I had seen of the outside world. Surely it is time to take a look outside. Surely the situation has resolved it’s self.

Well I suppose there is one of several possibilities.

1 – The world has continued absolutely fine and it was a minor blip. A minor panic over nothing.

2 – Human life in the colony has been wiped out except for the buildings and the local vegetation.

3 – Everything is fucked and I am literally the last one alive and this bunker is the only bit of civilisation left.

Maybe all three, plus any number I have yet to think of or unable to think of, are all existing right now. All in some sort of quantum flux. Waiting for me to open this door, observe it and collapse them into the right reality.

A kind of reverse Schrodinger’s cat experiment?

The thought of that is making my head hurt. I never did grasp quantum mechanics at school. Doubt going loony in solitary confinement has made it any more understandable.

No it’s time. Time I got myself out of here and looked beyond that steel door. Surely it would have resolved by now. I am sure I have read that it would have been over quick if it ever did happen. A few months and you would be safe. Lord knows I have come very close a few times but sheer cowardice stopped me at the last moment.

No today is the day. The day I find out what has happened.

Carpe diem……

So I hope this is a nice little sneak peek at what I have planned. More will be released as I get stuff done.

the Ballache: Teh Twitter Dramas!

I have often said Twitter is a odd place to be on the net. It is entertaining, scary, frustrating, perplexing and joyous all in one go. It is also like spitting into a sea of spit and trying to get your spittle noticed above everyone else’s. It just isn’t going to work without any great effort. Or so i thought.Yet you hear and read about people who have said stuff, expecting it to never get very far, yet managed to gather a fair shit storm around it.

I was sat on a public bus on my way home from work. When I overheard a conversation between two women, talking about how one of their children (I forget which woman’s child it was) had been “cyberbullied” by a group of people they didn’t know over a comment about them not liking Justin Bieber. Now I was sceptical about this at first. However I had my own brush with the bullies of the cyber realm when I got home.

I had innocently mentioned how I didn’t quite get the whole K-Pop scene. And what resulted was honestly disturbing. At first I found the initial exchanges between myself and two random strangers funny. After all here was two random people getting pissy because I didn’t get the fashion choices of some K-Pop artists. No biggy I figured as it will blow its self out after they got their tantrum out of the way. Then more people joined in triggered by the use of a hash tag to draw more people into the increasing debate. I still found it amusing that people were essentially getting involved in something without a clear view on the initial tweet that sparked this. What resulted from this was a bombardment of mentions from people who were now calling me names, calling for me to be banned, were actively trying to get me banned and telling me I should physically die from cancer and aids.

By this point it had progressed from been funny to mildly disturbing. These were people ranging from angst ridden teens to 20 somethings coming out with the most insane of comments over a simple innocent thing. The level to which some people sank was truly shocking. And I imagine most of the people involved won’t have even read what the initial tweet was.

While I am a thirty year old man I can ignore it and see it for what a feat of a pathetic show it was. However for a young person, who may take this to heart, I can see how a sudden influx of people commenting in such a negative way can seem overwhelming and distressing. Especially considering most of this will be pushed straight to their phones making it feel far more personal than it actually is.

What made me laugh about this whole episode was the simple fact that if this had been the real physical world, rather than some cyber domain, this exchange would probably have never happened. Sure there might have been some words said. But it would have not descended to the level it did. In fact it probably wouldn’t have even gained any response at all.  But this is the world of Twitter where a simple hash tag can cause so much trouble.