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FrenchComp 2015 entries (plus some translation)   Leave a comment

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Also known as the Concours de Fictions Interactives Francophones 2015; voting is now open.

The three entries are here.

Since these things often pass by the English-speaking interactive fiction world without a trace, I decided to try translating the opening of each. I took liberties with grammar and accuracy is not guaranteed.

WARNING: This game contains scenes of blood.

It’s late.

The day was long and exhausting.

You’re content to be finally alone in your room to enjoy a well-deserved rest.

All is quiet about you: this promises to be a tranquil evening.

Or maybe not?

L’Envol (The Flight)
Une participation de Anonyme au concours francophone de la fiction interactive, édition 2014. (Anonymous participant)

In a soft bed
You are lying in bed under a quilt. Everything is quiet. The dim glow of your bedside lamp casts strange shadows while gently illuminating the room’s furniture and objects.

Your room’s window (facing your bed) is open.

You can also see a guitar, a bedside table, a wardrobe (which is closed), a chair, and a desk.

It is winter and night is beginning. Street lights that line the street reflect the windows. A few cars rumble past noisily on the pavement.
 
Couples walk by, dressed in thick overcoats and hats. A chestnut vendor reads a newspaper by the light of a fire.
 
The imposing Teatro delle Muse appears at the corner of a street, grabbing your thoughts. You enter through a small door set into a much larger one made of raw wood. The door closes behind you.

Comédie (Comedy)
Une fiction interactive par Edgar Havre

Entrance
The theater entrance is narrow with high ceilings. There are imposing crude wooden doors with a small opening for the staff.

To the north there are grand encircling windows of gold which suggest an enormous hall. Carpets are lined with purple velvet cords, and two corridors lead visitors to the top of some stairs.

You can see a man of powerful stature.

The curtains close. Just before they shut, she takes a fleeting look in his eyes and tries to smile at him.
It is in vain. Her lips do not move. Not just there; despite his efforts, his face also remains frozen.
The curtains are closed now. The wires that hold her up fall, followed by the wooden cross.

“At the next performance, I will,” she promises (as always).

Sourire de bois (Wooden Smile)
Un conte interactif par un soldat de plomb unijambiste (An interactive story by a one-legged tin soldier)

On stage
The show has just ended. She knows from experience she still has some time until the next performance.
She has time meanwhile to rest, and to collect decorative things that are damaged and might otherwise be discarded. Over time she has made a collection of memorabilia.

Posted February 3, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction, Video Games

Three text adventures are on Steam Greenlight   1 comment

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If you aren’t familiar with how Greenlight works, people vote for games to appear on the Steam service. (There are no downvotes, only upvotes.) Games with enough votes will eventually be able to appear on the service for sale.

Three games by IF luminaries have just appeared. If you care about the success of interactive fiction, please vote!

Jack Toresal and The Secret Letter (Mike Gentry and David Cornelson)

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=371862595

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The Shadow in the Cathedral (Ian Finley and Jon Ingold)

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=371866777

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Hadean Lands (Andrew Plotkin)

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=380279925

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Posted January 24, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction, Video Games

Text Games to Watch For in 2015   Leave a comment

Please feel free to let me know about anything that should be added.

inkle

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Hot off their success of 80 Days inkle is gearing up to finish their third Sorcery! game.

This one is big, complicated and different, and we think will up the ante on the kind of gameplay a text-driven choice-based game can achieve.

Versu

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Using the same engine as Blood & Laurels, the folks at Versu are set to release Bramble House:

Bramble House is the only home that fifteen-year-old Penny has ever known. Penny is bound in service to the witch Stregma, forced to deal with everything from mundane dishwashing to evicting monstrous guests.

Giant Spacekat

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This one is enigmatic, but Brianna Wu has a new project intending to

…create an entirely new category of interactive novel you can play on your tablet or phone. It will be visual, it will interactive, and it will allow the reader to decide where the story goes.

I am unclear what’s going to be new here, but–

Our goal is to empower everyone out there to tell their own stories, and unleash a new wave of games from people of colour, members of the GLBT community, people with disabilities. Our long-term goal is to replace Twine.

Failbetter Games

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Sunless Sea promises a release in February.

Explore a vast underground ocean in your customised steamship! A PC & Mac game in glorious 2D, Sunless Sea is a game of exploration, survival and loneliness set in the award-winning Victorian Gothic universe of Fallen London. Take to the helm and set sail for the unknown. Light and darkness are your greatest allies, but a stout set of cannon and a gunnery officer with a grudge will come in useful too.

Cubus Games

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Sol Invictus will be out for mobile devices Janurary 8th.

For three years the soldiers of the Black Lance Legion have watched as the Invaders turned their solar system into a hellish, desolate wasteland. Humanity’s most advanced fighting force lurked in the shadows, doing little while their species was forced to choose between eternal enslavement… or extinction.

Tin Man Games

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Tin Man Games has created many gamebooks with an impressive engine for computers and mobile devices, and in 2015 intends to release

* Caverns of the Snow Witch, a conversion of the Fighting Fantasy book by Ian Livingstone
* Bloodbones, also originally a Fighting Fantasy book but by Jonathan Green
* To Be or Not to Be by Ryan North, a CYOA by the author of Dinosaur Comics
* The Gatekeeper’s Oath and Lords of Nurroth, both original gamebooks (the first more about spells and puzzles, the second more of a traditional combat outing)

Choice of Games

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Choice of Games (and their associated label, Hosted Games) has quite a few new works scheduled for 2015:

The Hero of Kendrickstone, by Paul Wang, author of Mecha Ace. You are a young adventurer, seeking fame, glory, and a square meal.
The Lost Heir. The start of a trilogy by @Lucid, author of Life of a Wizard and Life of a Mobster.
Choice of the Petal Throne. Takes place in the world of Tékumel.
Shadow Horror. The latest from Allen Gies.
Killing Time: You are a high-priced assassin, traveling the world and killing people in far away places.
Volunteer Firefighter.
Demon Lord of the Labyrinth. You are a demon lord, recently escaped to the Material Plane, trying to rehabilitate an old labyrinth.
A Wise Use of Time, by Jim Dattilo, author of Zombie Exodus. An insurance executive, you awake one morning to find yourself possessed of the ability to command the flow of time. How did this happen, and what are you going to do with your new-found powers?
MetaHuman, Inc., by Paul Gresty, author of The ORPHEUS Ruse. You’re a division head that suddenly becomes CEO of a huge multinational corporation that’s busy developing sorcery/cutting edge technology; you have to deal with typical corporate shenanigans (employee embezzlement, workplace romances gone sour) while trying to fend off the sinister “majority shareholders” and figure out what happened to the previous CEO.
Champion of the Gods, by Jonathan Valuckas, author of the Fleet. You are a demigod, striving to make your way in a sword-and-sandal world.
Hollywood Visionary, by Aaron Reed. You are a movie-maker in 1950s Hollywood, trying to craft your first feature.
Versus, a new series by Zachary Sergi. A sci-fi yarn where you are on a prison planet, fighting to return home.
Heroes Rise: The Hero Project: Redemption Season. A new game in the Heroes Rise world, with a new main character, where the player is a contestant in season two of The Hero Project.
Ratings War. You are a journalist in a cyberpunk future.

Textfyre

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Reflections is a parser-based game that will be out in 2015. It is

a story about gypsies, magic, death, life, and the Power of the Blood.

Paul O’Brian and Christopher Huang’s work on Empath’s Gift is currently in limbo but should also hopefully see the light of day in 2015. It is about

a summer college campus where a group of gifted students gather.

Down to the Wire

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Aaron Reed and Jacob Garbe project an April release date for Ice-Bound: A Novel of Reconfiguration, played via either iPad or a computer with a web camera.

Half of the Ice-Bound experience is an 80-page full color art book: the Ice-Bound Compendium. Filled with Holmquist’s personal files, unfinished chapters and alternate drafts, collages of research and strange, distorted transmissions, the book mingles Holmquist’s story with those of his creations. It isn’t clear where these images came from, but one thing is certain: KRIS desperately wants to see it.

Interaction involves showing pages of the book to the artificial intelligence in the game.

QuestForge

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DestinyQuest is a web-based gamebook, based on the earlier paper-based version by Michael Ward. Act I is already available.

Jolt Country

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Robb Sherwin’s Cyberganked mashes together The Bard’s Tale, text adventures, and a CGA aesthetic.

Jim Aikin

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Jim Aikin has been hard at work on The Only Possible Prom Dress, a sequel to Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina from 1999. Both are old school text adventures:

Same location, but greatly elaborated. Similar plot premise. Lots of new characters. A few of the puzzles are related to those in the first game, but most are completely new.

Hanabira

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Sword Daughter, an adaptation of a gamebook from the 1980s, is currently in beta.

All your life, you dream of adventure: knights, dragons, magic rings, chests of gold, and all the danger and glory that awaits a professional swordswoman. But every dream has a cost. You are on your way across the desert wastes to compete in the Warrior Games when your caravan is attacked. Orcs and bandits murder your father, capture your companions, and leave you for dead.

Now alone in the world, will you choose to seek glory, vengeance, treasure… or love?

Posted January 2, 2015 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction, Video Games