(IF) is an alternative name for text adventure games, used by those who believe that the genre isn't limited to adventures, let alone games, but instead is a form of art.
There are many other views on what IF is, but one major differentiator is the way the progress of the story is moderated, and the way events are resolved.
- Computer Adventure Games, both the original "text adventures" (Colossal Cave aka AdventureGame, ZorkGame, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, etc.) and the more modern "graphical adventures" (games by such notable companies as Sierra and LucasArts) are all moderated by computer. What the reader/player encounters and how their decisions affect the rest of the environment is decided by a computer system.
- Solo Game Books (The Warlock of Firetop Mountain etc.) are moderated by the reader. These are the closest to traditional fiction, but contain decision points at which the reader selects another point to continue from - "if you wish to open the door, go to 117; if you wish to continue down the corridor, go to 654". It's hard to find anyone who doesn't "cheat" on these, though.
- Who cares if someone cheats at one of these? There's nothing at stake other than the reader's own enjoyment.
Other genres that resemble InteractiveFiction
- Tabletop RolePlayingGames (Dungeons and Dragons, GURPS, Vampire, Call of Cthulhu etc.) are moderated by a person (a "game master"). What the player encounters and how their decisions affect the rest of the environment are decided by the game master based on their knowledge of the setting and its rules.
- Play by email/web (PlayByWiki) These involve groups of people 'posting' to either a mailing list or a forum, where their contribution is added onto an archive. Usually Game Masters maintain general order, but it remains a relatively open format, full of creativity. (See also MUXes/MUSHes, which are more 'real-time' forms that are perhaps best described as improv acting plus cooperative writing.)
- Live Role Playing Games (How to Host a Murder, Vampire/Mind's Eye Theater etc.) are moderated by a combination of one or more people, as in the tabletop case, and the basic rules of the universe. If you can't personally jump that ditch, neither can the character you are playing.
These last three categories frequently inspire works of InteractiveFiction
, but are not themselves examples of the genre. What these categories all have in common is that someone, somewhere has designed and written an environment, some rules for using it, and probably some sort of story involving it. How those components are used can make a huge difference to the experience, though.
People around here who are interested in InteractiveFiction
People around who are interested in InteractiveFiction
programming languages: JeffDay
Places you can find out more about Interactive Fiction:
On the web:
An IF Mud:
- The four existing issues of InteractiveFantasy?, published by Hogshead Publishing (http://www.hogshead.demon.co.uk/) which promoted itself as "the Journal of Interactive Fiction". It was interesting and thoughtful, but had publishing problems, so it folded. Pity.
Some well-known languages for writing computer-moderated IF are:
If you're interested in using one of the above languages, but can't make up your mind, read ftp://ftp.gmd.de/if-archive/info/whichsys.zip
, the 'Which Authoring System is Best?' FAQ.
has been doing some interesting work in IF (see: http://www.erasmatazz.com/
Actually, Crawford is a controversial figure in the IF community because of the rather over-the-top hype that he posted to news://rec.arts.int-fiction in the run-up to the release of his Erasmatron, and the Erasmatron's rather lackluster quality. -- SusanDavis
Sum more is: OASYS OasysLanguage?
(I used it before)
The reason for discussing IF here is that I want to think about having InteractiveFictionPatterns?
, which authors could use for designing and implementing IF. --MarnixKlooster
I've always been entranced by interactive fiction, MUDs, virtual spaces, Xanadu, and the like. When I first encountered WikiWiki
lo these many moons ago, I thought of it as something like an InteractiveNonfiction
form. -- AllanBaruz
Imagine if web pages used interactive fiction ...
> go www.yahoo.com
After a brief pause, a dazzling multi-colored page of words and pictures appears before your eyes. At the top in the center is the word Yahoo! in red letters. It is surrounded by icons for Finance, Messenger, Check Email, What's New, Personalize, and Help. Underneath this are ads for jobs, DVDs, and insurance, and under that is a small empty box with a button beside it that says "Search" ...