Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Spellchecking your WIP: instructions, and a question

I've realized that spell checking can be tricky to do for a tester on the other side. It can also trip them up if there are bad typos. So someone I was testing for, for IFComp, asked how I was able to do it for them, for a twine game. This may seem late in the game for such a post, but I think it will give high value for the time it takes. So, have away!
I have Windows, so I run Notepad++. Which is a really awesome app if you don't have it. Worth the install time and not just for this spell check.


Right click to get the source of a twine game, then ctrl-a, copy and paste. Then paste to a document in Notepad++.
Do ctrl-f to find, then click the "regular expression" radio button.
For what to find, type <[^>]*>
This translates to <(bunch of HTML tag stuff)> but nothing outside the tags.
For what to replace, type \n
Replace all

Then I ran the native spell checker in notepad++. ctrl-shift-alt-s.

You may have to also define c:\program files (x86)\aspell\en.prepl as not read-only in windows explorer.

INFORM 7: was a BIG help for me.

Ctrl+F --> go to the Mark tab --> toggle Bookmark line --> Click Mark All. (you want to search for say ")
Select menu Search --> Bookmark --> Copy Bookmarked Lines.

Then you can replace say " with nothing, and \[[^\]]\] with \n, and then spell check as before.

If anyone knows a good text editor this works for with Mac, that'd be a big help.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Grubbyville Postmortem

Well, it was nice to be able to place, which was my competitive goal for IntroComp. Thanks to Jacqueline Ashwell for holding and organizing it, for so many years.

But what about creative goals?

It's always a bit frustrating to read criticism of stuff I should know, or I thought I fixed or looked at, and realizing--yeah, I didn't quite nail that down. And that's what I got from various reviews. Part of this was picking the project up maybe a week before the deadline, after a lot of on and off futzing, and a few years' failed entry.
So I'm grateful to my testers for helping me cut down a lot of extraneous stuff (enough I won't detail here) and for their positive contributions as well. One bug that slipped through was a special case I could/should have checked for. I'll describe it later. Doing so now immediately after seems like a backhanded compliment to my testers.

It was nice to be on the other side of the criticism, which was civil and helpful. And a note: there was more than enough, but I think IntroComp is a fantastic tune-up for IFComp judging: less pressure, no dreams destroyed, less of a big deal if you're wrong, and because your complaints are anonymous, that can help. Even if it's not a major one, it helps the writer. So I really hope to contribute feedback at the very least next year, and hopefully reviews to push Introcomp as much as I can. Being on both sides of the competition has been very positive for me, for relatively less investment than IFComp. Maybe it can work for you, too.

As for the game: Grubbyville is almost based on a real story. I remember the Valedictorian Wars at my high school. Two years ahead, someone got a B+ in Health, costing them the #1 spot. One year ahead, someone got a B+ in Food for You (no! Really! They apparently smart mouthed the teacher. On a more serious note, they were icky and manipulative to the new #1, and when someone reminds me of #2 that is a huge red flag) costing _them_ the #1 spot.