I loathe Interactive Fiction Games

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So as a child I never played video games. I wasn't one to sit in front of a TV for endless hours. I was the child that was constantly outside playing football with the boys. So not only are video games unfamiliar to me, IF games are worse. I just don't like playing video games. But as an assignment, I forced myself to play these games. I thought these games were hard. I don't know if it was because I didn't understand the concepts or if I just couldn't properly tell the game what to do.

So I first played, Lost Pig. I must say that this was a favorite of mine mainly because it was easier than the other ones. It seemed like an appropriate introduction to the world of Interactive Fiction games. I never caught the pig, but it was fun trying to find it. I loved the southern type of language Grunk had; it was cute.

I then tried Ecdysis. This game was easier to play because ot the links that limited my input in the game. This game seemed like hypertext fiction. I got to the end of the "game" just by clicking on the links.

  • (Do gamers always have to create such gruesome games?)

The Tales of the Traveling Swordsman was a little more interesting than the previous two. I liked the story of the pendant. The imagery in the story was great. For example it says:

"On a worn path...
Your journey brings you north, through acres of grassland, into a sparsley wooded area, along a narrow stream for a short ways, and eventually across an overgrown path. It meanders forward, so you follow it for awhile. The path begins to show signs of recent use, and it widens some. It turns briefly, angles through outcroppings of rock, and soon runs straight eastward, like a channel between decrepit fences to the north and south."

Galatea seemed like a conversation with a woman than a game.It was hard afte awhile to think of questions to ask. Every question I put in would say that they didn't understand. But besides that, this game is a great example on how to interact withe the game in the form of dialogue rather than saying commands like walk west.

Finally, Photopia. This game frustrated me. I just didn't like this game at all. I felt like all I was doing was examining items and objects. This seemed like to much of a story to be a game. How did I go from two guys running through a red light to the red planet? WEIRD! I feel like this game was scattered.

I thought this was funny:
>go to the bathroom                    
Nothing like that seems to be around.

So basically, IF games and me don't really get along.



Denamarie, if you get a little farther in Photopia, you'll see that it's a series of little stories that are all triggered by color shifts, and that all the stories somehow deal with the character Ally. It's more of an experimental work of fiction than a game, just as Galatea is more of a simulation of a conversation than a game, but my hope is that by being introduced to a wide variety of interactive texts you'll get some sense of the power of interactive writing.

Reacting to these texts is more like reading a complicated story in Literary Criticism than it is figuring out how to "win" a game. I hope you'll keep an open mind, since we've got a little more planned with IF.

Andy Lonigro said:

Wow, I didn't figure out that Photopia was triggered by color shifts but can see it now that you explained it Dr. Jerz. That's a pretty interesting idea for an experimental work of fiction. That gets me thinking of all the techniques I could use if I were to design an IF game. Like, maybe include something with numbers where when the numbers add up to a certain total it shifts to another story. I like the creativity that is presented through IF. It's neat to think about all the different directions that could be taken.

Daniella Choynowski said:

speaking from a programming perspective, I can say that creators are not necessarily trying to make the games gruesome, but challenging enough to hold the player's attention. They're trying to make the game interesting, but not so difficult that you get frustrated and quit. It's been interesting reading some of the reactions from the rest of you guys; when I was introduced to this stuff a month ago, we had a mini-lecture/tutorial on how to play. The rest of you are just going into this heads on. The good thing about IF is that you catch on real quick and start noticing game traits

I see the relation between the interactive fiction games and the power of interactive writing.
When creating an IF, you are experimenting with ideas and "plots" just like you do when you write a story. However, in these types of games, the audience is able to, in a way, control the story line.

This is like a complicated story in Lit. Crit. but I think I enjoyed Literary Criticism than these games.
I will keep an open mind though.

I enjoy your idea about the numbers. If you were to ever create an IF game, please do, having a shift with number like when the numbers add up to a certain total it shifts to another story.
It is very creative and a brilliant idea.
This will help us with our short story assignment for Thursday, don't you think?

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This page contains a single entry by West Coast Envy published on October 14, 2008 4:19 PM.

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