Archive for February 2008

Real Life: The Greatest Adventure of All   Leave a comment

Courtesy GameSetWatch comes a pointer to the Gallery of Undiscovered Entities and specifically a wildly obscure IF game called Real Life: The Greatest Adventure of All.

Real Life: The Greatest Adventure of All, an “interactive novel” by Relational Systems Corporation, is billed as a simulation of life, to help you figure out where you’re going, or perhaps how to avoid getting there.

Also fun on the same website: the original packaging for Mystery House

Roberta and I couldn’t afford typesetting so we cut/pasted words from magazines.

and a map from Infocom’s hint service before the Zork User Group.

Posted February 25, 2008 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

XYZZY Awards reminder   Leave a comment

The deadline for nominations is tomorrow (Sunday the 24th) at midnight Eastern Standard Time.

Posted February 23, 2008 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Review: Fugue   Leave a comment

Emily Short has posted about a new short work, and I have decided to review it. It is short -– as in two minutes or less short -– so you may want to play first and then read this after.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted February 23, 2008 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Danger Mouse in the Black Forest Chateau   Leave a comment

Link to website

This is a remake of a Spectrum game done in CYOA menu style. The remake has ports for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and the Gamepark GP2X (!).

Posted February 22, 2008 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

Two more cases of emergent gameplay in IF   Leave a comment

In honor of this conversation thread, I bring forward two examples of emergent gameplay in IF that are not normally cited as such. I am defining emergence here as “allowing solutions to problems unanticipated by the programmer that come out of the complexity of the underlying system.”

Suspended by Michael Berlyn (1983)

When Suspended was in beta, Steve Meretzky (a tester at the time) solved
Suspended in 42 moves. I made him do it while I watched, so I know it was real.

(Original post by Mike Berlyn here.)

Suspended includes an overall “optimization puzzle” which reflects the number of casualties, and completion of the game is of a high enough complexity and variance that it can be called emergent gameplay.

The other thing that allowed emergence to happen was the player was allowed to “short-cut” and sacrifice robots for the sake of reaching the end state. This made alternate routes of solution a built-in capability of the system.

Moral: Optimization can cause emergence even in a normally non-emergent game.

Verb! by Neil deMause (1998)

The setup here is the only verb allowable is TAKE, and any new use of the verb TAKE scores a point. People scored much higher than the author thought possible, because the coding was generalized; all it did was check for valid uses of TAKE and that no use was repeated.

Moral: When wordplay is coded in a general way instead of hard-coded, complexity arises naturally.

Posted February 17, 2008 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction