Posts Tagged ‘interactive-fiction’

The Text Adventure Evolved? CYPHER

By John Walker on September 3rd, 2012.

The text adventure, as we’ve known it for years, is finally beginning to evolve. It’s adding graphics, using new techno… hang on, it’s not 1984. And yet, it’s fair to say that the thriving world of Interactive Fiction primarily focuses on the purest form of the genre – just the text, ma’am. Now, I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough about the scene to know if the claims made by CabreraBrothers are definitely the case, but they’re arguing CYPHER is the first text adventure made using Unity3D, and they’re calling it “the comeback of commercial text adventures”.

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The Legend Ascends: Heroes Rise

By Adam Smith on July 19th, 2012.

DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU ARE OVER THE AGE OF 18 AND NEVER WANT TO BE AROUSED AGAIN

From the same stable as Choice of the Dragon, which gobbled up a swathe of Alec’s free time back in 2010, comes Heroes Rise: The Prodigy. It’s a textual choose your own adventure game with character stats, customisation and combat, taking place in a world of advanced technology and celebrity superheroes. You can play a great deal for free but the full version will set you back the half pint price of £1.99. But did it distract me from listening to imaginary Bane and Batman voices having a gruff-off?

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Wot I Think: Endless, Nameless

By John Walker on July 18th, 2012.

Troll. DO YOU SEE?

I’m so glad I don’t review books for a living. When discussing a game, you have to be careful to avoid both narrative and mechanical spoilers as best you can, but generally there’s a great deal to talk about around these. But I’m not sure the editors of the Times Literary Supplement would take kindly to my describing how easy it is to turn a book’s pages, as I desperately find ways to avoid ruining the story for anyone who might want to read it. I often feel in a similar situation when reviewing adventure games, and never more so than when talking about interactive fiction. Yes, there are mechanics to discuss, of course. But really, with text on a screen, it’s tougher. And when that game has a crucial twist in the opening hour, er, you’re screwed. So it’s with this in mind that I suggest you go play Adam Cadre‘s Endless, Nameless before you read beyond the point I’ll clearly mark below. I’ll not ruin the entire game, of course. But, well, play it first.

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Absent Heroes: Choose Your Own Interview II

By Cara Ellison on July 16th, 2012.

I had a sweet time making the last Choose Your Own Interview, so this time I collaborated with long time Interactive Fiction heroes Adam Cadre, Emily Short and Andrew Plotkin to make you something special. The following is a heady mix of RPS fanfic, Interactive Fiction love letter, and slight autobiographical tendencies. Your secret content this time comes courtesy of a guest appearance by someone we all know and love. Enjoy, and keep me updated on your own adventures in text. Now let’s get really drunk. There must be a bar around here somewhere?

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They Might Be Giants IF Tribute: Apollo 18+20

By Adam Smith on April 2nd, 2012.

They are fighting in space

How many people like They Might Be Giants’ 1992 album Apollo 18? I think I count six raised hands. This next question is just for those six then: do you also like interactive fiction? OK then. That one handsome fellow jumping up and down, waving his arms, this is the post written specifically for you and me! In fact, it’s possible I’m jumping up and down in front of a mirror. No matter. A gathering of wordsmiths have created a textual adventure for each track of Apollo 18, celebrating its 20th anniversary. They’re all short, mostly clever, often funny and you can play them online or download them.

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Type-casting: Interactive Fiction Awards

By Alec Meer on November 28th, 2011.

Use 'working class poverty' on 'middle class conscience'

Edit – this isn’t the IF awards, but rather a specific one for short IF. Sorry for the confusion.

Interactive fiction – or text adventures to the 80s-raised layman – quietly continues to thrive in its own brainy corner of the internet. But where to start? Well, the annual Interactive Fiction Competition conveniently rounds up the best of the best for lazy people like me. The 2011 results are now in.

Taking the main gong this year is Taco Fiction by Ryan Veeder, which is an agreeably wry and downbeat tale of a feckless gunman attempting to rob a dirty fast food joint.

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Never Say Never: Maybe Make Some Change

By Adam Smith on October 10th, 2011.

It turns out that typing shoot [person] is a lot harder than clicking a mouse button

Maybe Make Some Change has certainly caused a change here, in my brain and my general emotional wellbeing. Despite the fact that it’s a Monday and a thin and sickly rain is scratching against the windows trying to chill my soul, I was actually feeling pretty good about half an hour ago. Not so much now. This is a game that may make you think or may simply make you angry or sad, but it certainly won’t make you say “By golly, that was a fun old time”. It’s a piece of interactive fiction (sort of) about this event, which took place in Afghanistan last year. You can experience it now or read my scrambled thoughts below.

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Storyseeking: Interactive Fiction Competition

By Adam Smith on October 5th, 2011.

It's the thing
I’ve been taking a look at some of the games in the 17th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition and though I’m not going to refer to these as “the cream of the crop”, having not harvested the entire crop yet, they should fulfill a variety of your text-based needs. With storytelling in games high on the agenda today, it’s a particularly interesting moment to look at the different ways narrative can be explored through interactive prose. Far from fetch quests and attempts to second-guess a limited vocabulary, interactive fiction at its best can allow a reader-player to discover stories in all kinds of interesting ways. This way to words about words.

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Splice Of Life: Cryptozookeeper

By Adam Smith on September 21st, 2011.

I couldn't bring myself to put a picture of words

You find some odd things, poking around the dusty corners of the internet. Take Cryptozookeeper, a darkly comic splatterpunk interactive fiction adventure with grisly Pokemon type elements. It sounds like an unholy abomination of game types but for the most part it’s a narrative interspersed with fairly conventional puzzles. The story isn’t conventional at all though. It starts with a courier collecting some alien DNA from a rundown shack containing a large one-eyed man and his pet bear-dog, Puzzle, and swiftly becomes increasingly deranged. Later on you’ll be merging DNA to make battle-beasts even more uncanny than a duckbilled platypus but first you just need to deal with that bear-dog. The game is free to download although there is a deluxe copy for sale, which comes on discs in a box like olden times.

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Text To Speech: Andrew Plotkin Interview

By Quintin Smith on November 5th, 2010.

It's been a good day for staring eyes. Gotta go for the hat trick...

If I had to compare RPS’s relationship with interactive fiction to something, it would be an ex-girlfriend upstairs that we drop in on when the weight of the world has got us down. IF is always there for us, waiting, pouting, fascinating, erudite, a bit sexy (but not very sexy).

Earlier this week we heard about IF author Andrew Plotkin’s plan to quit his job and write IF full time. He created a Kickstarter page with the aim of raising $8,000. That was five days ago. To date he’s received a total of $18,862, with two people pledging more than $1,000. I got in touch with him to ask about the project, his new game, and why he’s so hooked on IF. In return, he made me look up Higgs boson. I am no smart. If you’re at all curious about IF, this is a must-read.
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IF Author Raises $10,000 In One Day

By Quintin Smith on November 2nd, 2010.

ask andrew plotkin for money

Next, another tale of glitz and glamour from the PC’s drug-soaked, rock-n-roll interactive fiction community. And by “another” I mean “possibly the first, ever”.

Highly respected IF author Andrew Plotkin (Spider and Web, Shade and much more) wants to make the switch to writing IF full-time. He created a Kickstarter page, saying that if he raised $8,000 in a month he’d proceed across the rocky tundra of self-employment and start making IF games for iOS devices (a pledge of $25 or more WILL get you a PC version on CD, though). What happened next? Well…
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Interactive Fiction Comp 2009 Judging!

By The Monster That Killed Kieron on October 3rd, 2009.

Hullo! These e-mails keep on coming. Some highly-edible-sounding chap called Stephen mails news with news that Interactive Fiction Competition 2009 has started judging. That means that the – oooh! – upwards of 20 games can be downloaded by anyone, and then voted on by anyone with fingers still able to interact with a computer keyboard (i.e. Not Kieron, whose fingers were amongst the first things to go. They’re so moreish!). If you’re looking for opinions on them… well, last time around, Kieron linked to Emily Short’s blog as a good source for that kind of thing. So I’ll do it too. Seriously, this games journo thing is as easy as taking candy (and their tiny, defenceless heads) from babies. Toodles!

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New Game Journalism: GDC The Text Adventure

By Kieron Gillen on May 5th, 2009.

I do like that pixel art.

This is really neat. Picked up from Indie Games. They had Jim Munroe go to GDC with a press-pass and write up his experiences in the form of a text adventure. It’s actually more of a text-based game than a text adventure (i.e. you shouldn’t be having any problems with the parser as long as you REMEMBER the instructions at the start), and actually somewhat splendid. You can play it online in Java here, for the java-hating here and for those who use an IF interpreter, its actual code is here. And some more explanation follows…
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