Recent News in Narrative Games (Adventures, Visual Novel, Interactive Fiction)   1 comment

A great deal of news has hit recently so I thought a summary was in order.

Little Misfortune is out today. It’s by Killmonday Games, the same company that made Fran Bow (link to buy the game). One of the authors, Natalia Martinsson, was the keynote speaker at NarraScope 2019 (video of the keynote here).

Led by her new friend, Mr. Voice, Misfortune ventures into the woods, where mysteries are unraveled and a little bad luck unfolds.

Yesterday saw the release of AI: The Somnium Files, by Kotaro Uchikoshi, the same director as the Zero Escape games. (link)

In a near-future Tokyo, detective Kaname Date is on the case of a mysterious serial killer. Date must investigate crime scenes as well as dreams on the hunt for clues.

Last week, Ryan Veeder released Ryan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing, a parser-based text adventure. It has a world that changes over time so if you play over multiple days you’ll see events like weather changes. (link to play here)

I call Ryan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing a “game,” but it’s not the kind of game that has conditions of failure or success. And it’s not really a proper story, with a beginning, middle, and end. I like to think of Ryan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing as a place you can visit once in a while, to get away from whatever other stuff you have going on. I hope you’ll play for a while today, and maybe come back tomorrow, and then go on visiting as often as you care to, until you don’t care to any longer.

Also last week, Kate Willaert published an article about The Sumerian Game from 1964, the “lost predecessor” of Hamurabi. The project was initiated by Bruse Moncreiff, written by Mabel Addis, and programmed by William McKay. Unlike the stripped-down Hamurabi (which was written later based on a description of the original), it has a strong narrative “voice” …

I lean heavily upon your wisdom, Luduga, but I am also here to help you. Tell me, if your population is increasing, would you expect the quantity of grain fed to your people to 1-increase 2-decrease?
Of course it should increase. Forgive me if my questions seem simple. It is my duty to urge you to see the relationship among the items in your Steward’s reports.

… and had a slideshow with voiceover meant to be played before starting!

The article also includes a link to a final report giving a full description of the game (full enough someone might be able to recreate the original, sans some of the colorful text and slideshow). As a bonus, if you keep reading, there are more games from the same series; after The Sumerian Game came The Sierra Leone Game (authored by Walter Goodman):

… he felt that the economic problems of newly-independent African countries were important for pupils to understand. Sierra Leone in 1964 seemed like a representative African state where political factors were less critical in determining economic developments than in other African lands. We were also fortunate to have Frank Karefa-Smart from the Sierra Leone U.N. staff avaiable for consultation.

Over the Alps is an 80 Days-style game for iOS that is coming soon to Apple Arcade with writing by Jon Ingold (Heaven’s Vault, Make it Good) and Katharine Neil (Astrologaster). It is set in 1930s Switzerland. (link)

Uncover a hidden family history and play your role in a classic story of espionage, double-crosses and adventure.
Avoid leaving footprints, and drop diversions in your wake to stay one step ahead of the Swiss Police who are hot on your tail.

This is “old news” (it came out in May), but out of the adventures I’ve played this year so far, my favorite has been Detective Di: The Silk Rose Murders. (link)

A thrilling point-and-click adventure game where you play as Di Renjie, ancient China’s most famous and gifted investigator, as he tracks a serial killer in the heart of the Tang Dynasty’s capital city.

I’m including the video of this one because the music is great.

Finally, the Interactive Fiction Competition 2019 is fast approaching; the games come out October 1st. This is the 25th running of the competition. There’s still time to donate money or prizes.

Posted September 18, 2019 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

One response to “Recent News in Narrative Games (Adventures, Visual Novel, Interactive Fiction)

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  1. Pingback: Lazy Reading for 2019/09/29 – DragonFly BSD Digest

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