Monthly Archives: February 2008

Implementing an IF interface in 3D

Most of today’s graphical adventure games eschew text input and output for more streamlined, symbolic interfaces and visual feedback. The typical IF game is somewhat unique these days in that it relies entirely on text for both purposes. There are advantages and disadvantages to each interface type, but what I want to know is, could a hybrid IF-like interface work in a 3D graphical game?

Rather than going into the why, I thought I’d discuss the what, so at least you’ll have an idea what I’m talking about and how it might work. Cue the screen shot.

This is a shot of the kitchen, which is still a work in progress. The cupboard is to the left, a table is straight ahead, and a locked [More...] Read the rest

Posted in 3D/if, Vespers | 3 Responses

A Verb Analysis in IF

While preparing some blogs to discuss things like my decision to use a text parser for command input, the oversimplification of the adventure game interface, and a demonstration of our hybrid interface, I started thinking about all of the different verbs used when playing interactive fiction. Because when you really get down to it, the real heart of an adventure game — aside from the salient features like writing, story, and characters — is arguably the verbs.

My impression is that the vast majority of commands in IF are limited to a few categories, like movement or examining. But once you get beyond those common actions, you find the jucier verbs, the ones that seem to have a larger impact on advancing the game and [More...] Read the rest

Posted in interactive fiction, text in games, Vespers | 15 Responses

Al Lowe on adventure puzzles…and text?

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has posted a nice interview with Al Lowe, the creator of the famous Leisure Suit Larry series of games from Sierra. I recommend checking it out, as Al provides a nice perspective on those old Sierra games and the current adventure game market.

In it, Al makes an interesting observation that I think is important to reflect upon:

RPS: I’ve noticed that we seem to have lost our patience with puzzles. Developers seem to be frightened of a player getting stuck. Why do you think this happened?

AL: I have a definite thought on this. I hesitate to share it as I don’t want it to come out sounding the wrong way, but I believe that in the early 80s, [More...] Read the rest

Posted in interactive fiction, text in games, Vespers | 4 Responses

Catching up with Vespers

Although The Monk’s Brew is a new blog, I’ve been blogging for some time on my progress with Vespers over at, the makers of the 3D engine I am using (Torque Game Engine). I thought the beginning of this blog would be a good place to collect those initial reports, in case anyone would ever care to go back and review my development process and progress. All new blogs from this point will be posted here on TMB. Here are the links to the blogs, in chronological order:

Chasing Windmills?
In which I first discuss my decision to pursue a hybrid of interactive fiction and a first-person 3D engine.

In which I discuss my initial attempts at creating a text [More...] Read the rest

Posted in 3D/if, Vespers | Leave a comment


Welcome to The Monk’s Brew.

This is a blog about a number of things, but if I had to summarize it, I would say that it is a blog that presents an indie game developer’s perspective on computer game design, development, and play. Although not limited to one game genre, the focus will tend to be on adventure games, including a focus on interactive fiction and its contributions to indie gaming and design.

The main context of this blog is the ongoing development of Vespers, an indie game project that I started back in 2006. As with many indie games, Vespers is an experiment. This experiment attempts to answer the question, “What would happen if you took a traditional interactive fiction game and [More...] Read the rest

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Responses