Microsoft text adventure game!

"Microsoft has jumped onto the free-to-play bandwagon with its latest game, a text-driven adventure called Visual Studio 2010. The innovative new game marries the traditional interactive fiction text adventure with its arcane commands and exploration with the free-form, open-ended gaming" [Ars Technica, following the introduction of gamification and "achievements" to the coding app]


  1. >> You are surrounded by an IDE. Icons litter the navigation bar. A tab shows you the latest news from Microsoft. There is a Solution Explorer here.

    >> N

    >> You are on the tab bar. The current tab is here. Another tab hides in the shadows. Its title says _Default.aspx_


    >> You are on the Default.aspx tab. There are html, head, and body tags. ViewState is here. Five DataGrids are here. A hideous Page Lifecycle is here. A sense of dread fills you.

  2. Meh. I’ll stick to Inform for Text Adventure making and there’s all manner of zmachine compatable front ends to pick from (there’s even one that runs inside chrome.)

    Oh and Inform has a plugin system so if you want to include achivements in your game. That can probably be coded in.

    Oh and you want online gamery? GUNCHO! Even has plugins for Inform so you can try making things specifically need more than one player entity for puzzles. Or have room effects change pending how many folk are there.

    So please tell me. What compelling features are Microsoft giving us to go see what they have to offer?

    Edit: You know. When I made this post I didn’t realize what was being reviewed was a programmer IDE so… Meh. My assertions and praise of Inform still stand as a specialist toolset.

      1. Unsure there (the wiki entry kinda makes my brain go screamy and try murduring me.)

        It is, however, simple to whip up the basics for and you can drop down to a programming/script based interface if you want more complex actions or just don’t like the near english-ish looking system that gets used by default.

        My biggest problem with using is myself. I can whip together basic rooms fine. It all comes down to how much detail to put in. Viewable objects (or words you can go ‘view’ on such as ‘view bookcase’ from the room’s description to get a better look at the book case.)I’m bad at planning so I just kinda do at random till boredom sets in.

        Edit: After realizing the thing being reviewed is actually a programming environment with a set of achievement widgets plopped on I will concede that Microsoft has managed to beat out Inform in terms of flexibility. However given the price differences I will gladly accept a free, albeit limited and purpose designed, system rather than something that costs more than I’ve made in the past few months gross for a pure sandbox.

      2. Oh yes it’s Turing complete. There is even an educational adventure game called “Lists and Lists” written in Inform that implements its own Scheme interpreter.

        1. Should’ve known someone would have done something like that in inform just to show it can be done.

  3. That review shows the sad state of games journalism.  They didn’t even *mention* the interim boss, Intellisense.  Figures they published the review before playing all the way through…

    1. As you look on the Cursed Relic in horror an unseen hand grips your heart and siezes it tight. 

      You have died.

      Score: eF38C0 / FFFFFF
      Play Again y/n?

      1. I have to ask if there’s some kind of vacation package or prize for winning the game?  You could buy a very nice NEW CAR for that kind of money! 

        /me stares at Emacs with awe and wonder…

        1. vi!

          Nah. Never used either since I’m no code monkey (closest i get is tweaking settings in Nano, which does quite fine for what I want.)

          Emacs is one of those tools that will never die. Ever. Too low level. Too useful. 

        2. When a company is paying its programmers enough so that this works out to, say, 15% of their annual salary, you can justify the purchase if you believe it’s going to make even a relatively small difference to their productivity.
          I do find it a bit painful that 12 grand doesn’t actually buy you the product – it gets you a “subscription”

    2. WOW. I just now saw the price. For the same money, you could get a free framework/compiler and a year of state college.

    3. Holy hyperbole, Batman!  How many developers need the ultimate edition? The professional version is $799. 

      1. There’s also the free VS Express, which is perfectly decent for many things. (If you need large-scale collaboration, you probably work a place that can afford to pay for a pro or ultimate license.)

        Of course, I do my day-to-day programming in kate, so …

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