Seventh Sense is a gamebook reader by David Olsen of the Project Aon, a Lone Wolf gamebook fan volunteer group. Seventh Sense uses Project Aon's digital depository of Lone Wolf gamebooks and adds rich features such as bookkeeping, savepoints, dice rolling, commentaries, and more. As you recall Lone Wolf is an award winning which-way gamebook series by Joe Dever. After winning the 1982 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons tournament at the Origins Game Fair in Baltimore, Dever left the music business for gamebook design and writing. He wrote Flight from the Dark in 1983, which would become the first out of 28 Lone Wolf gamebooks, spanning more than 14 years. Flight from the Dark sold 100,000 copies in the first month, while the entire Lone Wolf series sold over 9 million copies in 18 languages until it went out print in 1988. However, the entire Lone Wolf series is available online via Project Aon with Dever's blessings, and books 1-17 are being reprinted by Mongoose Publishing with bonus materials.
Tabletop Tuesdays: Lone Wolf Gamebook Player
|Submitted by sebastian sohn on Tue, 07/17/2012 - 13:10.|
Apollo 18 + 20
The IF Tribute Album
|Submitted by costik on Sun, 04/15/2012 - 17:07.|
They created one short (5-10 minute) interactive fiction game per track, plus an additional 21 "fingertips" -- one-move games. They are, as you'd expect with a project of this kind, of varying quality, but it's an interesting experiment in reflecting the medium of music in the very different medium of interactive fiction.
All games are web-playable at the People's Republic of Interactive Fiction site, and also downloadable independently.
The Warbler's Nest
The gap between you and "you"
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Mon, 11/29/2010 - 02:15.|
The Warbler's Nest is an interactive fiction about perception: what seems to be going on may or may not be what is actually going on.
But many of the other games that explore the same territory do so in order to talk about the nature of mental illness, self-deception, or confusion about one's own identity: that is, they're presenting the crisis as one that occurs within the protagonist.
In The Warbler's Nest, the double vision is about what the protagonist knows vs. what the player knows. The game reports something in the protagonist's voice, but there are enough signals to the player to encourage him to at least consider the situation based on a 21st-century understanding of reality.
Having the player understand more than the protagonist has been used for humorous effect a few times: Grunk in Lost Pig reports experiences that the player is better able to interpret than the protagonist, and one of my favorite moments in Treasures of A Slaver's Kingdom involves intentionally letting the protagonist fall into a trap he's too dumb to notice.
But this time around, the dissonance isn't a joke, and the point isn't about people being slow-witted. Instead, it's about the importance of the world views we apply to everything we see, and how much tragedy may be in the mind of the onlooker.
The Warbler's Nest also uses the textual nature of the medium to full advantage. Every description, every atmospheric detail deepens the ambiguity of the protagonist's situation. The protagonist's own thoughts become a source of subtle menace. What's more, the words you choose to talk about the things in your environment affect how the game plays, because they express what you think is going on.
[If you've never played any interactive fiction before, you may like this condensed guide for help with command types.]
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Wed, 07/07/2010 - 11:32.|
Fragile Shells is an escape-the-room IF game written for Jay Is Games's Escape competition. (Yes, I'm mentioning it months after the fact. It still deserves the attention.)
Like many another escape game, it has a single room full of objects to manipulate before you get to get away: codes, batteries, light sources, things that have to be used on other things. Unlike most, though, Fragile Shells has a coherent story and an effective setting: you're the lone survivor in a very damaged space module, and you need to get into the escape pod before your oxygen runs out or your environment otherwise betrays you. The writing makes it clear just how urgent that problem is, without the need for annoying or unfair time limits on the gameplay.
Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Mon, 06/28/2010 - 16:50.|
Like many of Andrew Plotkin's games, Hoist Sail for the Heliopause and Home is beautiful because so alien.
The protagonist is very unlike ourselves; his (or her, or its) culture and technology are advanced beyond imagining, and we get only hints. Bored with a life of technological ease, he (or she, or it) sets off across lightyears of space, alone, to look for whatever secrets that bit of the universe might have to offer.
The Shadow in the Cathedral
Gears within gears
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Mon, 11/16/2009 - 00:50.|
The Shadow in the Cathedral is a member of a supposedly extinct species, the commercial interactive fiction game. It's the second work out by Textfyre, and was designed by Ian Finley and written by Jon Ingold -- both well-known in the hobbyist community for diverse, gripping, and sometimes disturbing work, though Finley's last notable game came out back in 2000.
Emily Short, A Novel Approach to IF Conversation, Fairy Tales: Play It Already!
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Mon, 06/08/2009 - 00:26.|
Disclaimer: this one isn't a review, but rather some designer's notes on Alabaster, a new interactive fiction project.
For a couple of years now I've been working on a tool to make it easier for me -- and other IF authors who use Inform -- to construct compelling conversations that don't feel like clippings from the Dialogue Tree.
Here are some things I hate about typical dialogue trees:
Shelter from the Storm
Protagonist vs. Player
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Wed, 06/03/2009 - 02:58.|
There's an ongoing discussion in the interactive fiction community about whether or not we're well-served by our traditional reliance on second person present-tense narration -- the kind of thing that works for
- You are standing in a damp cave.
- You are likely to be eaten by a grue.
...but not so much for
- You feel overwhelmed by existential angst and break down weeping.
MS Paint Adventures
The World of Null Game
|Submitted by costik on Fri, 01/02/2009 - 00:33.|
MS Paint Adventures is not a game. Except that it is a game, absolutely.
The current game in progress is Problem Sleuth, but two previous games have been completed, and are archived. If you check out the first page of Problem Sleuth, you'll see a crudely-drawn private eye standing in his apartment, with the canonical things present you might expect to see if this were a graphic adventure -- a gun, a desk, a phone, a wall safe, a door from the office. Below is a blinking > cursor, which you might reasonably think is an invitation for you to type in text. It isn't.
|Submitted by EmilyShort on Thu, 11/20/2008 - 01:11.|
Everybody Dies is a short, sharp interactive story -- with illustrations. It's got lots going for it, and it just took third place in the yearly interactive fiction competition. You should definitely play. But what I want to talk about here is its departure from the usual form.