Emily Short, one of the more influential IF developers and a primary contributor to the Inform 7 project, has a great new post up on her site talking about the different approaches developers can take when writing an interactive fiction project. At this point I think I’ve gone through all of them except the “full transcript” and “exhaustive design” variations.
The full transcript idea I hadn’t thought of, and I have enough experience with real-world software design that I tend to shy away from exhaustive design when I don’t know what I’m doing backwards and forwards, as it leads to far too much rework on the design as you learn more.
I really enjoyed the article — it was an excellent overview of development methodologies as relevant for IF design. More importantly, it also gave me hope that I’ve actually found a decent approach for my work in progress — something that has allowed others to produce good results. At this point in the development process, that’s reassurance I need pretty badly.