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  1. #1
    Network Hub BTAxis's Avatar
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    Thoughts on Interactive Fiction

    Since a quick search revealed no topics about this, I'm starting one myself.

    A while ago my thoughts strayed on the topic of old school text adventures, better known as Interactive Fiction. Though I'm just a little too young to have played them in their heyday, I was nevertheless interested in learning a bit about them.

    After a bit of Internet operation I found out the past decade has been quite active when it comes to IF, and after trying a few games I can say that they can provide a reasonable amount of entertainment. I wouldn't go so far as to say that IF is for everyone, or even that it can compete with more modern forms of gaming, but I think it can certainly be worthwhile for some people. And since most games created since 2000 are freeware, there's no reason not to try it.

    So, if you're interested, here are some interesting links:
    Beginner Resources at the Brass Lantern. Explains all the basics.
    The IFDB, which as far as I can tell is the most active IF community around.
    Baf's Guide, an IF editorial site slash archive of games. I think it's slightly dead though.

  2. #2
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    At least post some good adventures!

    I think anyone curious about text adventures should definitely check out Galatea and Gun Mute, the first because it is slow and talky and thoughtful and the second because it is fast and simple and fun! Both are very well designed for beginners, especially Gun Mute, which I can't imagine most people here not really enjoying.

    When you're ready for more advanced stuff, check out Slouching Towards Bedlam (Steampunk adventure in the famous mental institute!) and Anchorhead (Lovecraftian horror in a small New England town!)

  3. #3
    Network Hub BTAxis's Avatar
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    Well, IF is a highly "to each his own" kind of scene, so I wasn't going to project my preferences on others. But there's some things I can link.
    Famous adventure trilogy Zork is in the public domain and can be downloaded for free. Manuals for the games are available here, and online InvisiClue hints for the games (and indeed all Infocom games) can be had here.
    Lost Pig is quite fun for having a PC who speaks in Neanderthal English.
    Curses! is a highly regarded title in the community, though I haven't played it yet myself.

  4. #4
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    You'll need an interpreter! I use Gargoyle! It's good!

  5. #5
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    I toyed with these as a kid in the 80's and found them really fascinating. I played some Infocom games (Planetfall, Infidel, and Wishbringer come to mind) and never got anywhere in them, but was compelled to try everything I could think of just to pit my brain versus the author's. I loved probing the environment to see what I could accomplish or get away with. I have fond memories of the opening areas of Planetfall, finding a survival kit containing goos of various colours, and eating each one just to see what would happen.

    Admittedly, I don't have the patience to enjoy these games for what they're supposed to be, but I love them superficially. Remember Humongous Entertainment, the children's graphic adventure game studio founded by Ron Gilbert, authors of the Putt Putt series? I played their games the same way I played Infocom interactive fiction - by probing every aspect of every environment to see whether it jiggles.

    P.s., Hitchiker's Guide's bloody babelfish puzzle. Really, Douglas? I just want to put the damn thing in my ear already!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by BTAxis View Post
    some interesting links:
    Beginner Resources at the Brass Lantern. Explains all the basics.
    The IFDB, which as far as I can tell is the most active IF community around.
    Baf's Guide, an IF editorial site slash archive of games. I think it's slightly dead though.
    The IFDB is active but the other two are old; there's a summary FAQ at http://ifwiki.org/index.php/FAQ that's current though.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    Worth mentioning that you can also download interpreters like Frotz on mobiles.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faldrath View Post
    Worth mentioning that you can also download interpreters like Frotz on mobiles.
    I love this on Android, especially with speech-to-text transliteration. I don't know why.. it's not like saying "go west" out loud is a better approximation of walking than typing those words.

    There's a version of Frotz for Nintendo DS and DSi as well, though it's not much fun to type on.

  9. #9
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    I promote Interactive Fiction every chance I get. Since I don't have a big enough soapbox, I reach about a dozen people each time and I'm very tired of doing it by now (It's been a decade). So instead of hunting down links and talking yet again about Photopia/Spider & Web/Shade and the other excellent old and new games posted in this thread, I'll just say 2011's winner Taco Fiction (http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=2ej7ntbmoit9ytvy) is pretty awesome, you should try it if you haven't already.

    Please excuse my half-heartedness.

  10. #10
    Adam Cadre just finished a new piece of interactive fiction. Beyond that though, his entire website is fascinating and full of incredible articles on all forms of media. His work has won some notable awards before, if accolades mean anything to you.

    Here's the IF section though: http://adamcadre.ac/if.html

  11. #11
    Lesser Hivemind Node frightlever's Avatar
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    I like Violet from Jeremy Freese - a one room puzzle about procrastination. It's short, and reasonably easy, so a good introduction.

    http://iplayif.com/?story=http%3A%2F...FViolet.zblorb

    edit - that link seems to hang after typing a couple of commands. Does for me anyway. Go look here for the offline files:

    http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=4glrrfh7wrp9zz7b

    OR use this link for the online version:

    http://jayisgames.com/games/violet/

    I had a look at Inform 7 a few months back. It's an incredible tool for making IF. Now if only my brain was up to the task.
    Last edited by frightlever; 13-06-2012 at 08:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by djbriandamage View Post
    P.s., Hitchiker's Guide's bloody babelfish puzzle. Really, Douglas? I just want to put the damn thing in my ear already!
    That's not as bad as some of the puzzles later in the game, like a certain one which can screw you over mid-game and not tell you you can no longer finish the game.

    If anyone doesn't know, you can play it for free with a visual interface here - http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/hitchhikers/game.shtml

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