Discussions about interactive fiction

What Do (Real) People Play?

A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

Inform would be my personal choice of engine, but I suspect that outside those who write IF very few people actually *play* traditional text games. Would I be better off swapping functionality for exposure and using something like StoryNexus or even Twine? Opinions gratefully received.

Thanks

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posted by admin in Uncategorized and have Comments (11)

11 Responses to “What Do (Real) People Play?”

  1. admin says:

    Here, TrevorM <trevorm…@fnapf.demon.co.uk> wrote:

    > A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best

    > system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore

    > of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a

    > game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

    What are your requirements? The best system for writing a game that

    will be played outside hardcore game designers is Flash. Match-three

    games seem to still be popular.

    –Z


    "And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves…"

    *

  2. admin says:

    On Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:33:18 PM UTC, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

    > > A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best

    > > system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore

    > > of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a

    > > game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

    > What are your requirements? The best system for writing a game that

    > will be played outside hardcore game designers is Flash. Match-three

    > games seem to still be popular.

    > –Z

    So "interactive fiction" and "wide audience" are incompatible goals? Depressing.

  3. admin says:

    On 2012-11-29 18:13:44 +0000, trevorm…@fnapf.demon.co.uk said:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    > On Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:33:18 PM UTC, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

    >>> A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best

    >>> system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore

    >>> of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a

    >>> game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

    >> What are your requirements? The best system for writing a game that

    >> will be played outside hardcore game designers is Flash. Match-three

    >> games seem to still be popular.

    >> –Z

    > So "interactive fiction" and "wide audience" are incompatible goals?
    > Depressing.

    It has been over 20 years since Infocom disappeared, nearly 20 years
    since Legend gave up their Infocom-like line, and eight years since
    Legend was shut down altogether. So, yes, I think it’s fair to say that
    interactive fiction is not a viable commercial market. About the only
    good news is that modern video games come closer to being interactive
    fiction than, say, Rogue or Pitfall! did.


    John W Kennedy

    "There are those who argue that everything breaks even in this old dump
    of a world of ours. I suppose these ginks who argue that way hold that
    because the rich man gets ice in the summer and the poor man gets it in
    the winter things are breaking even for both. Maybe so, but I’ll swear
    I can’t see it that way."

      — The last words of Bat Masterson

  4. admin says:

    On Friday, 30 November 2012 02:53:12 UTC+10, TrevorM  wrote:

    > A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

    > Inform would be my personal choice of engine, but I suspect that outside those who write IF very few people actually *play* traditional text games. Would I be better off swapping functionality for exposure and using something like StoryNexus or even Twine? Opinions gratefully received.

    > Thanks

    If you want wide exposure, ensure that you can put it on the web. These days most of the IF systems can do that.

  5. admin says:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    Here, trevorm…@fnapf.demon.co.uk wrote:

    > On Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:33:18 PM UTC, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

    > > > A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best

    > > > system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore

    > > > of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a

    > > > game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

    > > What are your requirements? The best system for writing a game that

    > > will be played outside hardcore game designers is Flash. Match-three

    > > games seem to still be popular.

    > So "interactive fiction" and "wide audience" are incompatible goals?

    > Depressing.

    I didn’t say it was impossible to reach a wide audience with IF. I’m

    saying that if what you care *most* about is reaching the *widest

    possible* audience, you don’t write IF.

    –Z


    "And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves…"

    *

  6. admin says:

    I’m not looking to make money, just write IF and get it read. Like every author I want people to actually read the words over which I sweat blood!

    Thanks for the input.

  7. admin says:

    John W Kennedy <jwke…@attglobal.net> wrote:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    > On 2012-11-29 18:13:44 +0000, trevorm…@fnapf.demon.co.uk said:

    >> On Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:33:18 PM UTC, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

    >>>>> A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best

    >>>> system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore

    >>>> of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a

    >>>> game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

    >>>>>>>>> What are your requirements? The best system for writing a game that

    >>> will be played outside hardcore game designers is Flash. Match-three

    >>> games seem to still be popular.

    >>>>>>>>> –Z

    >>> So "interactive fiction" and "wide audience" are incompatible goals? > Depressing.

    > It has been over 20 years since Infocom disappeared, nearly 20 years

    > since Legend gave up their Infocom-like line, and eight years since

    > Legend was shut down altogether. So, yes, I think it’s fair to say that

    > interactive fiction is not a viable commercial market. About the only

    > good news is that modern video games come closer to being interactive

    > fiction than, say, Rogue or Pitfall! did.

    But people still read fiction stories and paperbacks are still being sold.

    Reading a story fires up the persons imagination. What made Infocom games

    popular was the amount of detail in the text. They have recently added an

    app to the iPad and maybe a few mobile phones so you can play games like

    Zork.

    There were some changes to the Infocom staff and some of there text games

    were not up to the usual standard. It takes on poorly written game to put

    people off playing interactive games. So you need to provide plenty of

    clues to make it possible for the player to make some progress in the text

    adventure game.


    Regards Brian

  8. admin says:

    On 2012-11-30 06:37:48 +0000, Brian said:

    - Hide quoted text — Show quoted text -

    > John W Kennedy <jwke…@attglobal.net> wrote:

    >> On 2012-11-29 18:13:44 +0000, trevorm…@fnapf.demon.co.uk said:

    >>> On Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:33:18 PM UTC, Andrew Plotkin wrote:

    >>>>>> A variation on the "which system is best?" FAQ. What’s the best

    >>>>> system for writing a game that will be played outside the hardcore

    >>>>> of games writers? If I’m going to put a huge amount of work into a

    >>>>> game I’d like to think it’ll get seen.

    >>>>>>>>>> What are your requirements? The best system for writing a game that

    >>>> will be played outside hardcore game designers is Flash. Match-three

    >>>> games seem to still be popular.

    >>>>>>>>>> –Z

    >>>> So "interactive fiction" and "wide audience" are incompatible goals? >
    >>>> Depressing.

    >> It has been over 20 years since Infocom disappeared, nearly 20 years

    >> since Legend gave up their Infocom-like line, and eight years since

    >> Legend was shut down altogether. So, yes, I think it’s fair to say that

    >> interactive fiction is not a viable commercial market. About the only

    >> good news is that modern video games come closer to being interactive

    >> fiction than, say, Rogue or Pitfall! did.

    > But people still read fiction stories and paperbacks are still being sold.

    > Reading a story fires up the persons imagination. What made Infocom games

    > popular was the amount of detail in the text. They have recently added an

    > app to the iPad and maybe a few mobile phones so you can play games like

    > Zork.

    > There were some changes to the Infocom staff and some of there text games

    > were not up to the usual standard.

    Specifics?

    >  It takes on poorly written game to put

    > people off playing interactive games.

    …the same way that one poorly written book puts people off reading?

    >  So you need to provide plenty of

    > clues to make it possible for the player to make some progress in the text

    > adventure game.

    Except, of course, for all the people who feel otherwise.


    John W Kennedy

    "Only an idiot fights a war on two fronts.  Only the heir to the throne
    of the kingdom of idiots would fight a war on twelve fronts"

     – J. Michael Straczynski.  "Babylon 5", "Ceremonies of Light and Dark"

  9. admin says:

    Here, trevorm…@fnapf.demon.co.uk wrote:

    > I’m not looking to make money, just write IF and get it read.

    Then I second the recommendation of Inform 7, which has excellent

    build-a-web-page facilities.

    If you prefer a more traditional programming language, Inform 6 works.

    You can build the same web-page form for it, although you’ll have to

    work a little harder to set it up.

    –Z


    "And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves…"

    *

  10. admin says:

    Inform 7 it is – I’ve looked through the manual and like what I see. Next step is to avoid jumping straight into my magnum opus and instead choose a project with limited scope that I might actually finish writing!

  11. admin says:

    trevorm…@fnapf.demon.co.uk wrote:

    > Inform 7 it is – I’ve looked through the manual and like what I see.
    > Next step is to avoid jumping straight into my magnum opus and instead
    > choose a project with limited scope that I might actually finish
    > writing!

    You may find it helpful to simulate your home to get a feel for things.  

    At the very least, code up the layout of the rooms and basic
    descriptions.


    David Griffith

    davidmylastn…@acm.org   <— Put my last name where it belongs

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