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02/27/2004

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Mike

I'll have to read it when I get the chance. I've had a constant love for Interactive Fiction probably more than any other genre. I may get bored of RPGs, and my strategy game time changes from month to month, but I'll always love a good text-based game.

One of my favorite things about text-based games (which I really like a lot more than Interactive Fiction, as I feel almost all games are interactive fiction) is that no matter how bad the computer I'm on is, I can play it. And secondly, no matter how good graphics cards get and how many tricks programmers come up with, I can always come up with a better image in my mind.

ClockworkGrue

This is one of the better gaming retrospectives I've read. I actually remember back when Curses came out. I played a fair ways into it without using the hints. I was an Infocom junkie back in the day. I do have to say, Shade is probably my all time favorite of the "new" text adventures. Sort of a Twilight Zone meets survival-horror meets Burning Man.

You can play Shade in your browser as a java applette by going here.

It took me about 30-45 minutes the first time I played it, but you can start to get the jist in maybe 15.

People who lament the lack of a "indie film" community for gaming haven't seen today's Interactive Fiction: it's low fidelity, no-budget, often experimental, sometimes amusingly/annoyingly pretentious stuff that is almost always expressing the unique vision of a single creator. I've never had so much fun being a bourgeois elitist!

Bill MacKenty

There's no way around it, I am a diehard text-based adventure fan. I enjoy MUSHing these days, but can't resist playing the Interactive Fiction games.

* sigh *

I wonder if this is a generational thing (I'm 34 - you know, an Atari 2600 kinda guy) but text-based games have always been more immersive for me. I've played Everquest and a slew of other graphical games. Nothing has really grabbed me like text adventures do.

Thank you posting the link!!!!!

Warmly and xyzzy,

Bill MacKenty

Mike

If it's a generational thing, I'm out of the loop. I'm only 19, and I've been playing them all my life.

ClockworkGrue

Likewise at 24 1/2, I still somehow grew up on text adventures. I think my first was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy when I was 8, which is at least partly responsible for making me such a voracious reader.

Also, since back in the day most of the games I played were those that I could borrow from the public library, text adventures (the original Zork series for Commodore 64) were among the few entirely non-edutainment games available. Probably because they figured text adventures would improve kids' reading. Or perhaps just because librarians rocksor.

Exick

What a great article. I'm a huge interactive fiction/text adventure fan. The earliest one I remember playing was on an a super old Mac (it was someone else's, so I don't remember the model). It involved some sort of mansion. Figuring out which verbs did what and playing with the parsing engine have been one of my favorite gaming pasttimes. I was always impressed when finding places where the designer decided to craft a clever response to an off the wall action.

Incidentally, I'm approximately the same age as you, Grue. I'm twenty four and five twelfths.

Mike

Come to think of it, Adventure and Interactive Fiction are the only genres that are able to handle humor really well on a regular basis.

Ken

Appropriately enough, Interactive Fiction is where all the best writing is in games. I think any studio could stand to benefit a great deal from looking at these games and getting themselves someone to make sure their plots and dialogue aren't godawful.

Mike - I think IF and Adventure are the best genres for handling *intentional* humor.

Andrew

I think the games industry should look towards IF for ways to integrate the interactive element of storytelling that is video games' largest advantage over film and literature. I haven't played many games where the story is meaningfully integrated into the gameplay (and I don't necessarily mean "non linear" when i say this), and I think that IF is the place to look if you really want to start doing that with more "mainstream" games.

Flatlander

I was a big fan of games like Advent, HHGG, and the Infocom games back in the 80's -- they were the first computer games I played, and they remain among my favorites. When I discovered that the amateur IF community was alive and well (a happy side-effect of Douglas Adams' passing -- Infocom made HHGG available for download in tribute, but you needed a Z-machine interpreter to play it, and I discovered Baf's guide as a result) it was like opening the door to Narnia. Lately I have been more into gaming than any time since the NES days (thanks to a hand-me-down PS2 and a decent PC), but the jaw-dropping, spine-tingling, mind-bending experiences that Photopia, Spider and Web, Tapestry, and Shade have provided are unequalled in any commercial game.

Perhaps this article (and coverage in gaming blogs like GGA) will provide some much-deserved publicity for IF (at least in the gaming community).

I also love the illustrations of the interviewed authors -- nice to put a face to a name, even if it's a cartoon face (perhaps that's only appropriate).

Flatlander

I was a big fan of games like Advent, HHGG, and the Infocom games back in the 80's -- they were the first computer games I played, and they remain among my favorites. When I discovered that the amateur IF community was alive and well (a happy side-effect of Douglas Adams' passing -- Infocom made HHGG available for download in tribute, but you needed a Z-machine interpreter to play it, and I discovered Baf's guide as a result) it was like opening the door to Narnia. Lately I have been more into gaming than any time since the NES days (thanks to a hand-me-down PS2 and a decent PC), but the jaw-dropping, spine-tingling, mind-bending experiences that Photopia, Spider and Web, Tapestry, and Shade have provided are unequalled in any commercial game.

Perhaps this article (and coverage in gaming blogs like GGA) will provide some much-deserved publicity for IF (at least in the gaming community).

I also love the illustrations of the interviewed authors -- nice to put a face to a name, even if it's a cartoon face (perhaps that's only appropriate).

Flatlander

I was a big fan of games like Advent, HHGG, and the Infocom games back in the 80's -- they were the first computer games I played, and they remain among my favorites. When I discovered that the amateur IF community was alive and well (a happy side-effect of Douglas Adams' passing -- Infocom made HHGG available for download in tribute, but you needed a Z-machine interpreter to play it, and I discovered Baf's guide as a result) it was like opening the door to Narnia. Lately I have been more into gaming than any time since the NES days (thanks to a hand-me-down PS2 and a decent PC), but the jaw-dropping, spine-tingling, mind-bending experiences that Photopia, Spider and Web, Tapestry, and Shade have provided are unequalled in any commercial game.

Perhaps this article (and coverage in gaming blogs like GGA) will provide some much-deserved publicity for IF (at least in the gaming community).

I also love the illustrations of the interviewed authors -- nice to put a face to a name, even if it's a cartoon face (perhaps that's only appropriate).

Flatlander

I was a big fan of games like Advent, HHGG, and the Infocom games back in the 80's -- they were the first computer games I played, and they remain among my favorites. When I discovered that the amateur IF community was alive and well (a happy side-effect of Douglas Adams' passing -- Infocom made HHGG available for download in tribute, but you needed a Z-machine interpreter to play it, and I discovered Baf's guide as a result) it was like opening the door to Narnia. Lately I have been more into gaming than any time since the NES days (thanks to a hand-me-down PS2 and a decent PC), but the jaw-dropping, spine-tingling, mind-bending experiences that Photopia, Spider and Web, Tapestry, and Shade have provided are unequalled in any commercial game.

Perhaps this article (and coverage in gaming blogs like GGA) will provide some much-deserved publicity for IF (at least in the gaming community).

I also love the illustrations of the interviewed authors -- nice to put a face to a name, even if it's a cartoon face (perhaps that's only appropriate).

outsider

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