While the days of text parsers are largely behind us, the resurgence (at least in the West) of visual novels has renewed popular interest in text-based interactive experiences of late. Taking its cue from that trend, indie studio Unimatrix Productions has created a free-to-use game engine called Storycentric Worlds, which is due for release this spring. Better yet, the company's own graphic adventures will soon be re-released in an illustrated text format made possible through the new engine, beginning with Lifestream in April.
Creator Christopher Brendel claims Storycentric Worlds is designed to represent the "pinnacle of interactive fiction, combining classic room-based explorative text game mechanics with a stylish graphical interface and plenty of modern bells and whistles like pictures and sound." There is no parser for inputting one's own commands; instead, player interaction occurs though predetermined text choices unique to each scenario, including inventory use, as seen in the screenshot below from the reimagined Lifestream, which will contain more than 150 images and over an hour of music.
Following Lifestream, other Unimatrix adventures will be similarly converted throughout the year, including existing titles like Shady Brook and The Filmmaker, as well as the previously-unreleased Stonewall Penitentiary. The engine itself is currently in closed beta, and will be compatible with a variety of platforms upon final launch in April, including PC, iOS, and Android.
Prospective developers interested in learning more about Storycentric Worlds can drop by the official website for additional details.