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i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

The Photopia Experience - Interactive Fiction

September 30, 2004

So I was playing this Interactive Fiction game called "Photopia" today. And don't think I was playing the game to waste time or anything: I had to play the game for a class assignment. I don't usually play games, computer or otherwise, so it was kind of nice to force myself to "waste time" today.

I dig interactive fiction. I think I spend entirely too much time sitting in front of a computer screen as it is so I don't see IF becoming my newest drug of choice, but I could see myself sitting down to play a game every now and again. I like the fact that the action is text-based: Sitting down and figuring out a puzzling scene in a game is much more interesting to me than shooting a bunch of aliens with a tazer gun. I like how the text in Photopia and other such games is too beautifully descriptive that the player doesn't even need pictures to imagine the scene before her.

I was confused at first in the game because of the switches from color to color. By the end of the game, however, even after initially quitting in a fit of rage after being stuck in that damn crystal maze, everything tied together more clearly. Playing a few games prior to this in class helped as well. Once you’ve played a few games of interactive fiction you learn some of the key rules:

1) Expect the Unexpected – Things will happen that surprise and amaze you. You might get a little pissed off at this but try to refrain from punching the computer monitor.

2)Learn the Jargon – Before you can get into a game, you have to learn how to interact with the computer parser. The handout from Dr. Jerz in Writing For the Internet offered a lot of helpful pointers. I have found, from personal experience, that occasionally doing something ridiculous will have a fun or interesting effect. For instance, the game “Pick Up the Phone Booth & Die” might well be subtitled, “Hey, don’t eat the phone booth either, dumbass!” ;c)

3)Plan to Spend A Lot of Time Figuring Crap Out – If you are anything like me, you’ll probably get so annoyed with your Interactive Fiction game that you say, “Okay, self, we’re going to beat this stupid game if it kills us.” (Only I’d add a lot of swear words in that quote) It can be frustrating, infuriating, and downright annoying to play an IF game. And, yet, somehow… it’s fun! Iiiieee!!

Moira at 08:47 PM :: Comments (0) :: « :: »
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