Archive for the ‘IFComp 2014’ Tag

IFComp 2014: With Those We Love Alive   Leave a comment

I remember when I was younger being boggled by a part in the gamebook GrailQuest 4 (circa 1985) called “The Wallbanger Ritual”. Enacting the spell (in the book) required wearing a peaked cap (for real), burying a paper with the word WALLBANGER on it (again, in real life) and eating some soup (seriously).

Of course, nobody ever got the real soup, but it made an impression a on me that an interactive narrative would somehow require actions far outside the space of the book. I never have found anything comparable until now: Porpentine’s new work With Those We Love Alive.

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Posted October 1, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: Jacqueline, Jungle Queen!   1 comment

July 3rd: French circus ship ‘Circ Du Mer’. No casualties. Booty: half-ton impractical costumery. Three tons carnival tickets. Troupe of trained monkeys. Assured tickets good for shiny new penny-farthing if taken to Paris; costumery may be usable as fine napkins. Monkeys to be released at next landfall.

Do not be alarmed: while 1930s adventure novels includes tropes that one might call uncomfortable, this offering from Steph Cherrywell is in essence a very silly adventure romp starring a “modern woman for the Thirties!” with nothing concerning.

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Posted October 2, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: Begscape   1 comment

begsim

One could argue that instead of 1975 with Adventure, the history of interactive fiction began in 1971 with The Oregon Trail.

The Apple II version is the most familiar, but the earliest was an all-text simulation.

60 PRINT “THIS PROGRAM SIMULATES A TRIP OVER THE OREGON TRAIL FROM”
65 PRINT “INDEPENDENCE, MISSOURI TO OREGON CITY, OREGON IN 1847.”
70 PRINT “YOUR FAMILY OF FIVE WILL COVER THE 2000 MILE OREGON TRAIL”
75 PRINT “IN 5-6 MONTHS — IF YOU MAKE IT ALIVE.”
80 PRINT
85 PRINT “YOU HAD SAVED $900 TO SPEND FOR THE TRIP, AND YOU’VE JUST”
90 PRINT ” PAID $200 FOR A WAGON.”

Even though The Oregon Trail does not have room-exploration, it tells a story in text, and the strategy interaction is duplicated in modern days by some works in Twine (the most notable possibly being Horse Master). Porpentine’s Begscape falls in the same genre but deconstructs it.

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Posted October 3, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: Enigma   3 comments

Tim Delbrock has been your best friend since junior high school. He is your favorite fellow student. You have known each other for a long time. He is a part of your best memories. It was just a question of time until he became the boyfriend of your younger sister Gina. You really appreciated that development.

I wasn’t grabbed by the blurb/intro text of Simon Deimel’s Enigma, but I did find the concept interesting: you are frozen in a traumatic moment with a sort of amnesia, and have to recreate everything in the scene by examining and thinking about it.

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Posted October 3, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: Creatures Such as We   1 comment

You call all the tourists to you, “Listen, everyone to me, I’m going to shut off the exterior lights. We’re going to take the opportunity to look up at the universe.” Everyone tilts their heads up expectantly. The lights dim before turning off (so as not to be frighteningly sudden) and then it’s there. Nothing but the uninterrupted universe. No sun, no lights, no atmosphere, no reflection from Earth. Just the unending, beautiful eternity. There are audible sighs and gasps. You’re certain you hear someone sniffling back a few tears, but you give them the benefit of not checking whose audio trace it was.

Dating sims have never appealed to me, in that the situations tend to the unnatural. You just HAPPEN to be stuck at a school where everyone in your class is the appropriate gender for romance, and you have just-so opportunities to meet with the person of your choice and get to choose correctly or incorrectly from a list of choices where your goal is to match the personality of the character you want to romance enough to gain “love points” and eventually get an Achievement.

Lynnea Glasser’s Creatures Such as We (written in ChoiceScript) strikes me as falling out of an alternate universe where dating sims were instead story scenarios with natural opportunities to meet and befriend and possibly get closer to, like real life.

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Posted October 4, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: Icepunk   1 comment

Your Habitat is a huge complex designed to house a bustling, self-sufficient human society. The reality, though, is that your habitat runs like music that has gone on long after the singers have fallen silent. M8 forever fulfills its countless imperatives that now serve a “society” with a population of just 1.

I really wanted to like this one. Icepunk gave me a early-90s-BBS-door-game vibe with the ANSI art (as seen below; the writing is vivid as well). However, I couldn’t even bring myself to finish.

seaoflights

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Posted October 4, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: Unform   1 comment

As you step outside, the world shifts from day to night. Looking behind you, the tent disappears, slowly fading into the background, until it disappears. You pat your pocket and realize you have a knife in there. You take it out of its sheath, and accidentally knicking your finger on it. You promise yourself that you won’t do that again.

I am a fan of “get out of a mysterious puzzle” movies like Cube (1997) and Exam (2009) so I’m in the target market for S. Elize Morgan’s Unform. In this case you have amnesia and are facing “Judgement” from a series of tests.

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Posted October 5, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: And yet it moves   1 comment

“Fine. Perfectly fine.” he says shortly. He glances nervously at the monk before looking back down at his experiment. The monk stares, stony faced. It seems Galileo doesn’t want to talk in front of him.

I’m going to address this one directly to the author. Feel free to listen in, though–

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Posted October 6, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: The Contortionist   1 comment

An arm wriggles out. Your arm. Then a leg. You hyperventilate before flattening your chest and sliding it sideways through the bars. Your pelvis, warped into something inhuman, follows almost by itself. Other limbs slip out easy as shadows gliding on the ground.

Nicholas Stillman’s The Contortionist is the first competition game I’ve played with a point-and-click interface that has the puzzle-and-inventory ambitions of a parser game. The plot is a pretty good choice for a puzzle game: you have to escape from a prison of a dystopic society that incarcerates people by random lottery to use them as free labor.

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Posted October 7, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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IFComp 2014: Inward Narrow Crooked Lanes   Leave a comment

Form of address :

1) street etc.
2) unit etc.
3) ratio etc.
4) horatio etc.
4) exhoratio etc.
5) X etc.
6) when etc.
7) Ms. etc.

So this is a … job interview, I guess?

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Posted October 8, 2014 by Jason Dyer in Interactive Fiction

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