News: Narrascope & Fighting Fantasy   2 comments

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet, but I’ve been working on the presentation I’m giving for Narrascope, an online conference.

Saturday (July 30)

What I’ve Learned From (Attempting) to Play Every Adventure Game Ever Made – Jason Dyer
(12:00–1:00, Track 1)
Jason Dyer has taken the opposite tack from Aaron Reed, looking at every single playable adventure game up through 1981. Are old games only remarkable as history, or do they have interesting things to say about the modern design of games and narrative?

Registration for the conference is here; it only costs $10, or $3 if you happen to be shorter on funds.

And incidentally, as the text of the blurb for my talk implies, Aaron Reed is giving a talk as well, the keynote in fact! (Also, congrats to him for a successful Kickstarter which managed to make over half a million dollars for a book about text games.)

In other news, both Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone — the original two — are coming out with new Fighting Fantasy books:

Steve Jackson’s Tweet

Ian Livingstone’s Tweet

While I’m at it, I should plug Nathan Mahney’s blog Your Adventure Ends Here, which has been playing through all the Fighting Fantasy books (and mini-adventures in magazines) in chronological order. If you read just one thing, try his assault on Dungeon of Justice (note the link will be reverse chronological) as it seems like a perfectly ordinary dungeon crawl except for one unhinged twist which violates all norms of game design.

Posted July 8, 2022 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

2 responses to “News: Narrascope & Fighting Fantasy

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  1. I’m a little let down by the unhinged twist that violates all norms of game design–I was expecting something at least on the level of the path to Ultima in Inside UFO 54-40.

    There’s something similar in Machinarium; Ng bar cbvag gurer’f n fyrrcvat rkunhfg sna jub dhvmmrf lbh nobhg inevbhf ceboyrzf bs gur sbez “vs gur oynqrf bs n sna ybbx yvxr guvf, jung jvyy vg ybbx yvxr jura gur sna vf fcvaavat”? Vs lbh trg gur nafjref evtug ur tbrf onpx gb fyrrc, vs lbh trg gurz jebat ur trgf natel naq uvf oynqrf fgneg fcvaavat snfgre. Gur fbyhgvba vf gb qryvorengryl trg gur nafjref jebat fb gung ur trgf fb natel gung uvf oynqrf syl bhg. Gura lbh pna pyvzo guebhtu uvz naq vagb gur terraubhfr. (Guvf vf VZB gur pehryyrfg npg va gur tnzr.)

    • If you’re looking for actual brain-warping Fighting Fantasy, you should be playing Creature of Havoc instead. (link here)

      Nathan almost undersells the particular strangeness of that particular maneuver. I tried the game and kept going in circles over and over and couldn’t find it (it’s something like: make two skill checks, but fail the third related skill check even though failing the other two is very bad.) It’s intensely hard to hide something thoroughly in a gamebook (GrailQuest #1 does, as does the infamous UFO 54-40 you mention) and this one managed to pull it off. Not in a good way, mind you, but it was still fascinating in a game-design-study sense, even if it made me yell WHAT upon realizing what was up.

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