Monthly Archives: July 2008

Conversation Sophistication

I used to think that the only way we will see good, satisfying conversations in games is if some developer comes up with a combination of a highly advanced parser, capable of accepting a broad range of user input, and sophisticated AI code that can dynamically respond to this input. However, a more careful examination of some recent interactive fiction games has led me to believe that most of the tools already exist, and that what’s really needed are skill and patience. Skill to write well and to construct systems that account for dynamically changing conditions, and the patience required to do so.

Last time out, I discussed the conversation system used in Emily Short’s Galatea, a game that focuses on a single conversation [More...] Read the rest

Posted in adventure games, characters in games, interactive fiction | Leave a comment

A Short Review of Vespers

Emily Short has finally had the chance to play the original IF version of Vespers, and has a nice review of it up on her blog.

Short, of course, has tremendous experience playing, writing, and writing about a wide range of IF pieces, and her reviews are insightful and well-informed. I was a bit surprised to learn a while back that she had never played Vespers, and I wondered if she would get around to it one day. Gladly, that day has come. Her review is a good read, focusing largely on the game’s effective use of plot construction:

“To my surprise, what I found most interesting about Vespers was its construction, its success at arranging events and making characters take action; it

[More...] Read the rest
Posted in interactive fiction, Vespers | Leave a comment