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Old 01-20-2010, 01:52 AM   #1
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Default Interactive Fiction: Are you a fan?

I was looking through Indie Games' Best Freeware Adventure Games of '08 in search of a quick adventure to play and I saw in the list a game titled Everybody Dies. Intrigued by its name (and assuming it was a graphical adventure), I downloaded it. Turns out it's a work of interactive fiction, only the second of its kind that I've played.

It was well written, enticing and I had a great time with it, despite the seemingly crude interface. I was just wondering if anybody still plays (or writes) this type of game, or if you have any recommendations to share? I must admit, I'm not interested in playing any really hard, lengthy tales. The reason I liked Everybody Dies so much was that it flowed so well from start to finish, and it was obvious where to go and what to do next. The accompanying pictures set the tone very nicely, too. Great art.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:12 AM   #2
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I was a fan of AIF for a while. Too bad almost all of it sucks.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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To be honest I hated Everybody Dies - weak writing, poor gameplay, and it felt pretentious as well.

Personally, I think a great IF to try for someone new to the genre is Lost Pig - great detail, superb NPCs, short, smart, cheerful, very funny, and has an amazing number of unusual actions to try. Can be played from the browser as well.
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Last edited by Ascovel; 01-21-2010 at 02:22 AM.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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Some Interactive Fiction games are great. I highly recommend A Mind Forever Voyaging. I also like Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Zork.

I don't think the full potential of this medium has ever been reached, but AMFV comes close.
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Old 01-20-2010, 06:21 PM   #5
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I used to be. Like most who were, I was heavily into the Infocom titles of the day. Sometimes I feel that modern adventures have forgotten their roots, if you will, and could greatly benefit from studying what these older games did right. Then again, maybe not. Too much typing and reading, not enough mesh shading and particle physics.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ascovel View Post
To be honest I hated Everybody Dies - weak writing, poor gameplay, and it felt pretentious as well.

Personally, I think a great IF to try for something new to the genre is Lost Pig - great detail, superb NPCs, short, smart, cheerful, very funny, and has an amazing number of unusual actions to try. Can be played from the browser as well.
Cool, I'll give Lost Pig a try.

I felt the complete opposite in regards to Everybody Dies. I thought the crude writing suited the character's and mood of the story, in a way that most other styles of writing wouldn't have. What felt pretentious to you? Was it the "void" sections with the visual metaphors? I didn't find them particularly interesting (maybe I'm missing something), but it didn't really come across as pretentious, either. I thought more could've been done with the idea of interacting with the game based on your reactions to a still image.

I can see how the "game-play" in Everybody Dies (although I'm not quite sure it qualifies as such) could be seen as basic compared to other IFs, but I enjoyed the simplicity of it. Less frustration.

*edit* - Ahh, A Mind Forever Voyaging is the one I was looking for. I heard about it a while back. Neat. Thanks for the reminder, traz.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:40 PM   #7
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I played through Everybody Dies last night and thought it was... so-so. The art really got me hyped, it's pretty amazing, but the writing did fall a little flat in parts. Though crudeness does work for some characters, I think it did begin to come across like an inexperienced writer.

That being said I think this whole interactive fiction thing is pretty interesting, but I'm not sure I'll delve too deep. Every step that needing taking I would know had to be taken, but I couldn't think of the right verb or combination of words to get him/her to bloody well do it! So if this is a light I.F. then I may abandon the idea of anything more.
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Old 01-21-2010, 02:13 AM   #8
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I've only dabbled in two IF games, A Mind Forever Voyaging and Shrapnel.

AMFV was impressive, but I didn't get to far into it. I do remember being surprised often when I would type something stupid and actually get a response.

Shrapnel I don't remember much except that it was really short, like 30 minutes long and I enjoyed it enough to email the creator and got a response . Don't remember much of the story, I vaguely remember the end.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:57 AM   #9
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Definitely still play, though not as much as I would like, due to lack of time.

(Though coincidentally was actually just in process of getting a z-code interpreter for this new laptop when I checked in here at AG, as was planning to install a few IF games for when I do have time.)

Recommendations - commercial era:
- Zork I and II (More your treasure hunt-type games than particularly plot-driven, but good old school challenge.)
- The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Fun, but pretty damn hard in places.)
- Wishbringer (Bit more of an intro-level game, but not without it's challenges.)

Recommendations - post-commercial era:
- Conan Kill Everything (Extremely short and very easy game from 2005: can be finished in about five minutes, but a fun/silly intro to the genre.)
- Shade (Andrew Plotkin's IFComp entry for 2000 is that rarest of beasts for me: an IF game I replay every year or two, just to experience it again. Also pretty short, can be finished in under an hour, but it's an intriguing, unsettling, surreal and occasionally shocking hour or so.)
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Old 01-21-2010, 11:27 AM   #10
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I actually got into AGs as a result of playing text adventures as a kid. I remember playing King's Quest 3 (my first graphical AG) and thinking, Wow, it's like a text adventure, but with graphics!
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:50 AM   #11
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Quote:
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What felt pretentious to you?
The writing mostly. It was trying very hard to get that slice-of-life feel for the story, but the result was that the characters became overbearing and annoying.
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
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(...)I enjoyed it enough to email the creator and got a response
dude Cadre rocks! what the he say ? you should try his other works too, especially Photopia, Narcolepsy and I-0.

Other IFs like i dunno, Beyond, are also great, im having a hard time remembering the names of the ones I liked now but Lost Pig was not one of them since fantasy is not my kind of thing (although i remember it being quite funny sometimes).

Anyway here's a list of the best IFs from 1996 to 2008 - http://www.wurb.com/if/award/3
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
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The writing mostly. It was trying very hard to get that slice-of-life feel for the story, but the result was that the characters became overbearing and annoying.
Is the game even long enough for its characters to become overbearing? Oh well, sorry you didn't enjoy it.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:42 PM   #14
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I'm from the team over at EnterTheStory.com, and we make interactive fiction games. Enter The Story is a thirty year project to turn the world's greatest stories into the world's biggest adventure game.

So far it features Les Miserables, Dante's Divine Comedy (featuring Dante's Inferno) and Hesiod's Genesis of the Gods (the origins of the universe, Earth and mankind). Due for spring 2010 is A Tale of Two Cities, followed by Treasure Island.
Each game contains a pathway to another, hence 'the world's biggest adventure game'

Check it out- it sounds like the kind of thing everyone here might be interested in?
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Old 01-23-2010, 08:44 PM   #15
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I did like "Everybody Dies" though its nothing special in my opinion.
I have played some other IF's and I really enjoyed Frederik Pohl's Gateway and Babel a lot.

edit:also, Hello longtime lurker first time poster here
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Old 01-24-2010, 05:04 AM   #16
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I most certainly recommend everyone to try the Zork games and Hitch-hiker with their whimsical and abstract universes. They deliver very different and unique experiences compared to todays graphic adventures.

edit: Hi there, primal!
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:19 AM   #17
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Michael Gentry's Anchorhead is very, very good, and probably my favourite of all the free ones out there. I, also, think some of Adam Cadre's and Emily Short's IF works are quite special.

Most people know about the commercial ones (especially the older ones), but here's a list of some of the free ones I'd recommend;

So Far (difficult and very lateral)
All Roads
Slouching Towards Bedlam
Sins Against Mimesis
Metamophoses
Narcolepsy
Shade
She's Got A Thing For Spring
The Magic Toyshop
Spider And Web
Photopia
9:05
Mother Loose (good for children too)
A Bear's Night Out ( ,, ditto ,,)
Splashdown
Risorgimento Represso
I-O
The Lost Spellmaker
The Edifice
The Great Xavio
City Of Secrets
Kaged
Floatpoint
Bellclap
Babel
All Things Devours
Being Andrew Plotkin
Nevermore
Shade
Vespers
The Meteor, The Stone And A Long Glass Of Sherbet
Blue Chairs

Apologies for the long list. Hopefully someone will like one or two as much as I did. As you can guess, there are more I like . . . .

If anyone's interested in more information on text adventures, and where to find good free ones (especially), my Mad For Text section on Adventure Point shows how much of a fan of IF I am.

http://www.adventurepoint.co.uk/#/mad-for-text/4532042583

The first page explains a bit about them, and their history (quite interesting), the second where they can be found and some guidelines on how to play them, and the third provides names of my favourites, with links to where they can be found, plus my own personal ratings of them and whether they're free, or not.

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Old 01-24-2010, 01:44 PM   #18
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yeah, Short's Galateia is quite good.

There's one where you start by getting high and another where everything you choose to do the character doesn't do it cause, well,
Spoiler:
he's a sissy
that are also great but i'm just not good remembering the names . (i think their both from some Irish dude)

Quote:
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(...) and where to find good free ones (especially), my Mad For Text section on Adventure Point shows how much of a fan of IF I am.

http://www.adventurepoint.co.uk/#/mad-for-text/4532042583
*adding to favorites*
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:49 PM   #19
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Can't stand interactive fiction personally, it leaves me wishing it was a full adventure game, quite frustrating.
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Can't stand interactive fiction personally, it leaves me wishing it was a full adventure game, quite frustrating.
Err... in what way is IF not a "full" adventure game?

(Not having a go, honest: just genuinely interested in what you actually mean...?)
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