Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

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Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

Post by Laney Berry on Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:27 pm

So, we were discussing this over in the thread about the decline of adventure gaming... But I felt it deserved its own thread-- the current interactive fiction community is one which I find extremely innovative and unique. They are always trying to do new things, attempting to create unique experiences, and experimenting with different techniques. I am a big fan!

Some recommendations...

De Baron -- A game which toys with the relationship between the player and the protagonist. I warn you that it's a VERY dark and bleak game, featuring very disturbing issues. Not for the faint of heart, but for those who can deal with that, it presents a brilliant character study.

Counterfeit Monkey -- For all of those who are a fan of word play, language puzzles, and anything which involves unusual inventory puzzles, this is a must-play. Emily Short is a really fantastic designer, most famous for Galatea, and you should really check out everything she's done. But this one's a good start!

Violet-- This one's a great introduction to the medium, as it's got a lower difficulty level than most, and features a light-hearted, witty approach to its narrative. It's unique in that the game itself is narrated in a specific character's voice (your girlfriend, Violet), speaking to you, the player character. All you have to do is write a thousand words for your thesis; it's too bad everything in your apartment seems to be a distraction, however...
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Re: Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

Post by Robot Fencer on Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:38 pm

I was never great at text-based games, though I did like them, and I guess I didn't realize there was a healthy community of text-based game designers out there. I've really been missing out.

Played through De Baron a couple of times - Wow, is it amazing. I think it speaks to the power of games/interactive fiction, in that it can put you in the place of the protagonist and ask you to understand him by being him. No other medium (books, movies, etc.) can do that. De Baron asks the player to face some really difficult philosophical questions, and forces him to view them from a perspective that would be normally be impossible. Very, very cool. I will admit, however, that I like dark fiction in general.

I'm part way into Counterfeit Monkey (kinda stuck, but working on it - I said I wasn't great at these), but I love the conceit of the game world. It's also something that could only be properly done in text, justifying the format.
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Re: Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

Post by Laney Berry on Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:01 am

Robot Fencer wrote:I was never great at text-based games, though I did like them, and I guess I didn't realize there was a healthy community of text-based game designers out there. I've really been missing out.

Played through De Baron a couple of times - Wow, is it amazing. I think it speaks to the power of games/interactive fiction, in that it can put you in the place of the protagonist and ask you to understand him by being him. No other medium (books, movies, etc.) can do that. De Baron asks the player to face some really difficult philosophical questions, and forces him to view them from a perspective that would be normally be impossible. Very, very cool. I will admit, however, that I like dark fiction in general.

I'm part way into Counterfeit Monkey (kinda stuck, but working on it - I said I wasn't great at these), but I love the conceit of the game world. It's also something that could only be properly done in text, justifying the format.

Counterfeit Monkey can be VERY difficult, but it's really so much fun, and just like you said, a game where the medium is embraced to its fullest potential. I had so much fun playing the the letter remover tool, and it really seems like Emily Short came up with just about EVERY possible noun you could make with your inventory. Wait until you get access to some of the other word-changing inventions later, it's insane.

As for De Baron, well, what can I say? It's just a stunning work. I'm really a big fan of exploring the relationship between player and protagonist, and this one just truly screws with your head in a big way; putting you in the shoes of somebody you would never want to be in a million years. It's heartbreaking.

A couple more recommendations!

Alabaster -- A twisted version of Snow White, focusing entirely on one conversation. It's basically a big exploration into interactive dialogue between two characters, and just how far one can go with it. This one features something like twenty possible endings, too, so definitely replay it a few times!

Aisle -- Shopping at the grocery store on a late Thursday night... And you only get one move in the entire game. Make it count.

9:05 -- You're late-- better hurry! A short game with a brilliant twist.
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Re: Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

Post by Robot Fencer on Mon Jul 15, 2013 3:03 am

Laney Berry wrote:I had so much fun playing the the letter remover tool, and it really seems like Emily Short came up with just about EVERY possible noun you could make with your inventory.

Yeah, I can't imagine how careful and thorough she had to be to make sure that the game was never surprised by an attempt at word manipulation. The ban on creating living things solves a lot of issues, but she was even careful to separate the "living thing" error from the "not a word" error. The ban on living things is why I failed to turn a poster into a poser, a tome into a tom (cat or turkey?), and even a clock into a cock (yeah totally, the kind that crows).

I also love that map, since I always had issues in text games with losing my sense of location.
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Re: Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

Post by Laney Berry on Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:01 am

Robot Fencer wrote:
Laney Berry wrote:I had so much fun playing the the letter remover tool, and it really seems like Emily Short came up with just about EVERY possible noun you could make with your inventory.

Yeah, I can't imagine how careful and thorough she had to be to make sure that the game was never surprised by an attempt at word manipulation. The ban on creating living things solves a lot of issues, but she was even careful to separate the "living thing" error from the "not a word" error. The ban on living things is why I failed to turn a poster into a poser, a tome into a tom (cat or turkey?), and even a clock into a cock (yeah totally, the kind that crows).

Oh, just you wait...
Mild spoiler!:
You WILL eventually even be able to create living things...
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Re: Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

Post by Guran on Thu Jul 18, 2013 12:25 am

Thank you Laney for all these wonderful tips! I have to admit it's been many years since I played a text adventure but now I'm back with a vengeance! Currently I'm playing Violet. It's very funny and I can relate, unfortunately. 9:05 was short and sweet. I also read/played Photopia again. It's just as heartbreaking as i remembered it. Hardly no gameplay but a must read!

For those with an iPhone/iPad I can recommend the Frotz app.  Not only is it easy to use, but it's also got many of the best text adventures preinstalled.
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Re: Interactive Fiction / Text Adventures

Post by Dylan Melowitz on Sat Jul 20, 2013 12:05 am

Just finished "De Baron".

Thank you for sharing that Laney. Really enjoyed that one.

Mild Spoilers:
The whole "wife pretending to be sleeping" thing was a nice touch.

I wish I hadn't entered "smash mirror" in the beginning of the game, I immediately knew I was the villain at that point. Didn't take too long to put 2 and 2 together.
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