Thursday, 14 June 2018

Plug 2 of 2 - Time Warp

Back in 2014, I put an easter egg inside Leadlight Gamma (By the way, don't buy that game right now, it'll be on sale in about a week). The easter egg consisted of a second game: Time Warp, a CYOA I programmed on the Apple II when I was eleven or twelve. I included it verbatim, complete with spelling mistakes and in its original all caps presentation:

Time Warp's thrilling title screen. There are more intrigues here than in the court of the Medicis.

Time Warp is a self-contained Inform 7 extension. That means you can hook it into it any other Inform game with almost no effort, and without affecting the code of that game. Going into Time Warp, staying there for any duration of play, and then leaving it, takes a single Inform turn. Or no turns if you know how to suppress the advance of time using the Variable Time Control extension or its ilk.

As far as I know, Time Warp is the only technically non-intrusive whole-game-in-one-extension out there so far.

Therefore my very serious proposal is this: If it suits you to do so, why not put Time Warp in YOUR next Inform 7 game?

Whether Time Warp turns out to be an actual feature of your game, appearing on a playable computer, console, arcade cabinet or tablet of the glowing future, or whether you bury access to it in some ridiculous nook or cranny, or whether you make its appearance conditional on the use of an especially unpopular command phrase – it's a whole game! And you could do much worse.

Let's face it, easter-egging XYZZY is pretty old hat these days, and you can't put Zork in your game without breaking a bunch of copyright laws. Plus it's probably really hard to put Zork inside your own game, just from a technical standpoint.

Personally I think it'd be great if Time Warp could become the Wilhelm Scream of Inform games.

If I can't convince you to brandish Time Warp, how about you make your own easter egg game, bottle it in an extension, and increase the inventory of this particular app space to two? That would be neat. In the meantime, consider Time Warp. After all, it considers you.

Where are the links to Time Warp, you ask? In the spirit of easter eggdom, I've made it so that to get to the Time Warp page from this one, you have to find the easter egg entity in this post and click on it.


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  2. An Easter egg in a bottle? Count me in! What kind of license does Time Warp have?

    I would love this to be a thing. It would be great if authors could choose from a library of mini-games-as-extensions that would suit the tones of their games.

  3. I should probably specify a licence, right? Thanks for reminding me that this is the kind of thing people would want before including this in their own game. I will get onto this.