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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Back into the IF

I had started to hunt down the old Zork series in order to refresh how classic interactive fiction works, but in the course of that I've found so much "indie" work that going back to the commercial stuff seems almost silly at this point. So I downloaded Zoom, a Z-Code intrepreter that works great on OS X and I've been trying out various works in my brief moments of free time (for instance when Visual Studio takes 5 minutes to load up a project).

Some are just fascinating. For instance, All Roads sends you up as a time-travelling spy in Venice who starts the game with a noose around your neck. Or there is Slouching Towards Bedlam with it's robotic NPC cube that will delightfully analyze anything you point at. I just started poking at Emily Short's Galatea, which takes place in only one room with Pygmalion's animated statue.

Screw Lost, where is the industry's version of these? Is it necessary to work within a textual world to be able to unhinge oneself creatively enough to get to this kind of work?

If you're interested in these things, Baf's Guide to the IF Archive is an excellent place to start. You might also check out Emily's excellent list of recommended works if you need some suggestions.

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