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You've been chosen to appear on the TV game show Catchphrase! Can you say what you see and beat your opponent?

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An insight into the mind of greatness.

And for no extra cost, an insight into mine too!

Okay, so I'm probably the only person who didn't do a graphical game for this, and from my pedestal of uniqueness I feel I should comment on how this came about because hey blog why not.

I didn't actually have any knowledge of this contest until about 3pm on the day, at which point I was like "Well, I won't be able to come up with a suitably bad adaptation so there's no point in entering."

It wasn't until someone said "game show" in the thread that it hit me: I could totally do an adaptation of Catchphrase!

Now I was in the middle of recreating Day of the Tentacle as my fledgling Inform 7 project, learning the ropes of the engine and all that. As I already had a project there I wasn't going to do a text adventure for my contest entry. Initially I had this idea in my head of using static images in RMVX and making shitty little Roy Walker sprites and spriting a game show studio tileset. Which admittedly would have been pretty badass and I honestly might revisit the idea at some point, but not the kind of thing I thought I could get done in 5 hours.

So then I looked at Inform again, and it hit me. I was about to make an adaptation of a game show that relied on absolutely nothing but graphical information to play properly...USING TEXT. The sheer irony of this was just too powerful for me to back down, so I fired up a new Inform project and began.

Ever one to push the envelope of originality in gaming (ha) I decided that rather than making the game about playing Catchphrase, it would be cool if I actually made it more of a realistic simulation and place the player in the role of the contestant before the show began, subsequently having to make their way to the studio in time for filming. This was my first mistake.

It wasn't a mistake because of the idea itself, which if I say so myself was brilliant. The problem was that I ended up spending too much of my allotted time modelling the world outside of the show, to the point where there's actually more game about getting to the studio than there is playing Catchphrase. Which depending on how you look at it is either great or awful.

Where I fell down having wasted all this time was that, when it came to writing the rules for playing the game itself, I hit two roadblocks. The first was when I started getting a fatal error when the game show itself started, and I could not for the life of me figure out what was causing it. All I knew was that deleting phrase hints from the table that stores them sometimes stopped the error from occurring.

After several painstakingly panicked minutes of deleting stuff and trying to play the project again, I eventually realised that the problem was being caused by my rule for drawing the status line at the top (it was conflicting with my catchphrase table for reasons that will elude me until my dying day). So I changed that up a bit and all was well.

At this point I had just under 20 minutes left, I reckon. I'd modelled an easy-to-add-to system for generating catchphrases, I had coded all the stuff that happens when you buzz in and when you wait (your opponent makes a guess; I had intended to sometimes make her pause because she doesn't know the answer but didn't have time to add that in)...everything worked...except one thing.

I hadn't coded in the player guessing the catchphrase correctly.

Unfortunately, when you're making a game of a game show, allowing the player to win is probably one of the more important parts. There was a finicky syntax issue where I wasn't able to match the player's guess against the table that contained the answer, so there was no way for me to tell when the guess was correct. I have since fixed that, but it was after my time ran out so I can't add it to my contest entry.

Which is really a shame, because I honestly believe if I hadn't wasted so much time at the beginning modelling the rooms outside of the studio (and I truly hope you explore all that's out there and get all the endings) and finished what I believe to be a pretty damn impressive textual version of the game show, I would have had a chance at winning.

As it is, at least I get my Dino.
  • Completed
  • Trihan
  • Custom
  • 06/03/2012 10:05 PM
  • 07/24/2015 11:02 AM
  • 06/03/2012
  • 13607
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I saw the title of this and actually burst out laughing.
"It's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."
That's what I was going for. I had decided to do a text adventure (since I'm in the process of learning Inform) and then tried to think of the funniest TV show I could possibly do as one. Catchphrase was the obvious choice really.
*** You may not have made it onto Catchphrase but the compensation package was pretty nice. ***

"It's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."
Haha, that's my favourite ending. XD
if i had an allowance, i would give it to rmn
What, is this like an HTML file? Looks cool!

nevermind i might be wrong
"It's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."
Yes, it's an HTML file with the player embedded into it.
Can you tell me what engine you used? I want to create a text RPG of my own, and I'm flat broke. Got any you could recommend? I'd prefer a free one, being broke as I am, but I could probably find a way to scrounge together enough money for a purchase, and a computer for it. -_-

Anyway, could you give me some advice?
"It's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."
I used Inform 7 for this one. It's free, so don't worry about having to purchase anything.
I managed to get it to work once or twice but then ended up not finishing it. And now it just keeps buffering .. possible solutions?
"It's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."
Wow, didn't think anyone was still interested in this! When you say buffering, what do you mean exactly?
I tried switching between playing it via my file and playing it in the browser, but no good.

"It's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly...timey wimey...stuff."

I'll take a look, but in its current form it's honestly not worth playing. I hadn't intended to do anything more with it since I made it for a contest, but if you're genuinely interested I can put it on my to-do list for an update. :)
Would be really neat! I enjoy text games (even if the input is always a little bit awkward).
Of course, it is your choice to make :)
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