Category Archives: Uncategorized

IFComp: Capture Quest

After a brief intro yesterday, my filtering of this year’s IFComp entries shifts into gear as I continue to walk down my randomly generated list of games. No spoilers here, just some initial impressions of each game’s opening, which includes any introduction, “About” screens, and the first location, summarized by the Capture Score. The range is from 1 (intriguing; a definite play) to 4 (dreadful and forgettable).

Bear in mind that my intention is not to judge the the complete piece, only to report my first impressions of the entries to see which ones engage me enough to pull me in for more. I’ll play the ones that do to see if the experience matches the anticipation, and afterward if any games that I [More...] Read the rest

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Day Two (at the AGDC)

The second day of AGDC was pretty fun, although perhaps not quite as informative as the first day. For me, the day started off with a lecture by Andrew Walsh on the topic of “On-Demand Storytelling” as it applied to Prince of Persia, subtitled “The Death of Linearity.” It seems that non-linear storytelling is all the rage these days, with all sorts of mechanisms for implementing it, some of which sound very creative. I have no idea if they work, though — or, if they do, how effective the resulting story is.

One thing that was clear from Walsh’s talk is that he falls on the side of those who support and promote the use of cutscenes, when used properly. I’m a cutscene fan [More...] Read the rest

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I Wanna Hold Your Hand

I Wanna Hold Your Hand: This month’s Blogs of the Round Table invites you to explore a relationship within a game that you found compelling or memorable.

As Corvus has admirably asserted numerous times, “it’s not the characters themselves that make for compelling stories, but character relationships.” I still contend that compelling stories owe at least part of their success to interesting and deep characters themselves, although admittedly I lack the skills to make a coherent argument to this effect. Nevertheless, I do agree that character relationships are the core of any good story, and it’s a great topic to focus on for the Round Table since so few games have really embraced this concept.

Relationships certainly do exist in games, but they exist in [More...] Read the rest

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IF Beginners Comp

I would be remiss if I did not mention the new IFBeginnersComp, organized by David Fisher and inspired by (and running parallel with) the Interactive Short Fiction Competition. The comp consists of games that are suitable for beginners to IF, which I think is a great idea for getting more people interested in IF.

There are five entries in the comp:

– Connect, by James Hudson
– Germania, by Vicente Munoz
– Limelight, by Justin Lowmaster
– Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret, by Jim Aikin and Eric Eve
– The Sleeping Princess, by Molly, Alex, and Mark Engelberg

All were written in either TADS3 or Z-code, so they should run on most interpreters. I recommend Spatterlight for Mac users and Gargoyle for Windows/Linux users.

The [More...] Read the rest

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The Sentimental Sound of Spinning

Like many nerds, I get nostalgic when I think back to my childhood in the mid-late 70s and 80s and the computer games that I played during those years. Best I can remember, it started with the original Colossal Cave adventure on my dad’s enormous NorthStar Horizon computer, with its wooden case and dual 5.25″ floppy disk drives. Later, it was some of Scott Adams’s great text adventures like Adventureland and Pirate Adventure, and a host of other text-based games like the old Star Trek grid game and even an old game about the Battle of Midway very similar to this one. Not to mention a whole mess of games that I typed in by hand from David Ahl’s incredibly awesome book from 1978 [More...] Read the rest

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