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Stiffy Goes To Technical School, February 22, 2013
(This is a pornographic game. Expect discussion of porny things.)
I7 never really caught on in among AIF authors. Bob's Garage and its available source code, released in the ancient history of 3Z95 (that is, in 2006, the first year of I7's public beta), offers some clues as to why.
The case for I7 flopping as an AIF platform would have been pretty good on its own: I6 was never hugely popular with AIF authors, so I7 didn't have a pool to draw on. Too, AIF often relies on libraries for its sexytimes modeling, and has a smaller community to produce those libraries, which makes for a certain amount of inertia.
And to a great extent, Bob's Garage looks like a first draft of an I7 AIF library; the game itself doesn't ever make use of a lot of the terms it defines. But it also shows strong signs of being a learning exercise. The plot (hot women blow mechanic in a bathroom for some reason, later one of them coincidentally needs her car fixed urgently and only the mechanic can save her) is hackneyed even for AIF, and the interminable-busywork to actual-sex ratio is high. It also makes heavy use of scenes, which at the time were one of the most-touted aspects of I7's design: and the result feels heavily scripted, constrained and dominated by textdumps. The conclusion you'd draw from Bob's Garage, if it was your model for how I7 worked, would be that it was a lot of effort for a rather shabby return.
But perhaps most importantly, I7 is natural-language, which makes code statements feel more explicit as declarations about your world. It's hard to write "ass is part of every woman" or "assfucking a man is being inappropriate" without feeling a tiny bit skeevy about yourself (or else hearing it delivered as if by a preacher in a second-tier SNL sketch). Natural language code means that you read and hear the content of your world-model as you build it, and hearing the built-in assumptions of AIF is usually going to be ridiculous, creepy or both.
(More entertainingly, and an important chapter in the history of AIF penis-modeling: to avoid the player's penis showing up in inventory listings, before inventory is taken, said penis is teleported to a room called FakeStreet, then teleported back again afterwards. In itself this says very little about I7 -- even back then this could have been avoided by using part of --, but it's funnier in I7. The two stars are mostly due to the amount of time I've spent giggling about this particular hack.)