TextFiction really needs a bit of love…

Funny story: some three years ago or so, someone suggested that smartphones would be the ideal platform for playing text adventures (after all, people used to text like crazy). Seemed plausible, so I made TextFiction and lo and behold! Nobody cared back then!That was until recently. Not sure what changed (I certainly didn’t do anything except rewriting the appstore entry and occasionally adding a game or two to the catalog), but the app has slowly and steadily been gaining new users in the last couple of months (yeah!). If the trend continues, I can justify working on it again (rating the app, writing a review or recommending it to a friend certainly works as an encouragement!).

One thing, I’d really love to do would be overhauling the game catalog. Currently it’s kept in Drupal and I have had it to the brim with PHP based content management systems:

  • They use obscene amounts of RAM (content just has to be kept in an SQL database…)
  • They are incredibly slow (let’s parse mixed HTML/PHP templates at runtime, then do a couple dozen database queries to fill in the blanks…)
  • They are ludicrously hard to customize (unless you use dirty hacks…)They are notoriously buggy and constantly need security updates (did you customize through dirty hacks? Hope you remember what you did, because the latest patch just overwrote it).

Currently, I’m looking at Hugo and it looks like a dream come true: just write catalog entries as plain textfiles (no more web forms!), start the template engine when ready and five seconds later, the entire website will be rebuild from scratch, consisting only of static HTML pages.

Posted in Tinkering