Posts Tagged ‘storynexus’

IF Only: Stories With Texture

Screenshot of the Texture Public Library page

Newcomers to interactive fiction tend to distinguish just a couple of IF formats — Twine and parser, often, depending on whether you’re clicking or typing. Those with a little more experience might also recognize ChoiceScript and inklewriter, as options for creating games with a classic choose-your-own-adventure-style interface and some of the qualities of a gamebook. But in fact there are many other possible interfaces for IF — and the IF community has just seen the release of a new one.

Texture, designed by Jim Munroe and Juhana Leinonen, is an interactive fiction platform intended to be effective across mobile devices as well as the PC screen — unlike parser designs that require fiddly typing. Despite its simplicity, though, Texture gives the reader a little bit more control than the average hypertext piece: to interact, you drag a verb from the bottom of the screen and release it over a hotspot in the text.

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Of London And The Sunless Sea: Failbetter Interview

“Have you ever been to Córdoba?” It’s not the sort of question an interviewee normally asks me but this isn’t a normal interview. I’d like to say that I spoke to Paul Arendt and Alexis Kennedy of Failbetter games in a corroded wine cellar by gaslight, but that would be a lie. The creators of Fallen London work in Digital Enterprise Greenwich, overlooking the Thames from on high rather than sifting through its waters in search of stories to tell. I’ve had a long and fulfilling relationship with Fallen London, and Sunless Sea looks like a marvellous mixture of Elite, roguelike and top notch storytelling, so I was hoping for a fulfilling conversation.

A couple of hours later, we’d talked about everything from Dark Souls to Dickens, and the world felt like a more fascinating place. These are two of the most interesting minds making games and whether you’ve played Fallen London or not, you would do well to consume their thoughts.

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Word Games: Failbetter’s Black Crown

Failbetter’s collection of ‘immersive fiction’ continues to grow via its Storynexus platform but I haven’t found anything in the collection quite as gripping as the bizarre demon-Dickensian sprawl of Fallen London. Until now! Black Crown, the first published work from author Rob Sherman, has found life as a Storynexus experiment thanks to a collaboration between Random House and Failbetter. It’s free to play, although some (presumably) optional branches require the purchase of Nex, the currency shared across the Storynexus platform. I’ve only spent an hour in the word labyrinth so far, but I’m hooked. As well as being adept at squeamish body horror, Sherman shows the mark of a supreme builder of strange worlds.

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Text My Breath Away, StoryNexus

It's easy to get into. Simply be rescued by the Enterprise, then use trilithium missiles to detonate suns so that it flies through Veridian 3, and be standing on it when it hits.

While it’s still at the ‘sign-up for info’ stage, Fallen London creators Failbetter Games are getting ready to launch a cool sounding set of tools that could let you beat them at their own game. It’s called StoryNexus, and with it anyone will (eventually) be able to create their own card/text based adventures. There’s also going to be a new game based on the technology, described with the company’s ever-erudite panache as “kind of a musketeer noir thing”.

I’m really looking forward to seeing this in the flesh, for a number of reasons…

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