Let’s talk about interactive fiction for a bit, shall we? The stuff’s been around for ages and despite what many might think there’s still a dedicated community out there creating and playing these wonderful text games.
Marek van de Watering
Both the things I’d like to show you have been around for a while. First up is the Inklewriter, an online tool created by Inkle Studios. Inklewriter is an easy to use editor that let’s you create your own piece of interactive fiction. Using blocks of text and a simple logic of links and if-statements you can have your choose-your-own-adventure story up in no time. Admittedly, this is more of a hypertext editor than a true interactive fiction tool, but it’s a fun tool to play around with and a good place to start. Wondering what all this would look like? You’re in luck then, because here’s something I prepared earlier. This is my own little experiment with the Inklewriter. It’s not all that complicated – no crazy loops or if-statements – but it’ll give you a good idea of the look and feel. It turned out longer and a bit more rambly than I expected, but hey, it’s a good story. Actually, it’s kinda terrible and a little self-indulgent. But in a good way. Enjoy. Think you can do better? Then click here and get cracking.
All right, the second thing I want to share is some interactive fiction of the command prompt variety. This variety lets the player enter text commands as opposed to clicking on predetermined links giving the player more freedom to play the game at his or her own pace. This stuff takes a little bit more effort to get into nowadays, but it can be a very worthwhile experience. One of my personal favorites is Galatea. It’s very free form, keeps track of what has been said so far and has multiple endings. I’m not going to spoil it but you can read about and download it here. Or you can just go here and play it in your browser (as long as it supports Java).
If you really like this sort of stuff and want more of it, then head over to the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction and dig into their collection.