Pacman

Um, classic videos games… in IF format? Really?

Having never played the original, I am unable to compare the two; however, this version is dark (well, as dark as it can be; it’s really short), if a bit linear. It’s exceedingly short, though.

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The Nightmare Maze

Sickly white moonlight floods the Boston night, and from your bedroom window you can see the damp rooftops shine, a static sea of silver and black. The monotonous bells of your downstairs clock inform you it is 2 AM on the morning of June 17th, 1854, and your skin starts to crawl as you realize there is little chance you will be able to stay awake much longer.

Was playing this yesterday. Not too bad.

The aim of the game is to reach 100% insight so you can figure out what’s going on in this poor chap’s nightmares. The premise was very promising. However, the game felt lacking in depth and I was rather disappointed when I reached 100% insight, or indeed 100% lucidity. The explanation for the nightmares was a bit wanting in depth. At the end, it got harder and harder to feel for the player-character as a person. Pity.

One thing I want to try for myself is Choicescript– the ability to tweak stats is quite appealing.

Interface versus Intimidation: IF for Non-Readers

But the joy of the game is in the worlds the words create behind your eyes– the comfort of nestling into your own imagination like no graphics or animation can…

Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative

For those (relatively few) of us familiar with Interactive Fiction, the simple presentation of text on screen with a single prompt awaiting text input is a welcoming and comfortable thing. Unfortunately, many of today’s game players are “intimidated” by a text-heavy computer screen, and the idea that they must issue a text-based command (rather than move a joystick, press a button, or shake a controller) is almost an insurmountable obstacle to stepping into game play. This situation is problematic when considering how to engage more (and younger) players in the IF genre.

While it is possible to add graphic elements to the IF structure (indeed, this has been done before), too much change in the IF interface results in a transformation away from IF and toward graphic adventure gaming. However, with the Historical Williamsburg Living Narrative, I am very interested in broadening the potential audience. I think that a few…

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Parsing Interaction in Emily Short’s Bee

Something I’d like to play in the future.

Games That Exist

“Sooner or later you’re going to lose,” Bee announces.

Losing I can handle. I love a good forced failure. It’s this “you” business that’s giving me trouble.

“You are a junior spelling champion. Your parents have been teaching you at home since you were four. You’ve never wasted a moment in a conventional classroom.”

Hmm, nice to meet me. That’s who this “you” is supposed to be, right? Call me a narcissist, but I think this story is about me. This text will take me somewhere else, where I’ll impose my presence by making important decisions. Got it.

But sometimes it doesn’t really feel like Bee is about me. I’m not really playing the protagonist, per se, but living vicariously through her thought spasms, forcing myself to think with another brain. That’s not me begging moms to take me back to the salon for…

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