The Unbearable Awesomeness Of Being

Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Remember text adventures? Excuse me - interactive fiction. Nowadays it's about as niche as stamp collecting, but why is it so niche? I'm sure interactive stories can entice people. (Japanese dating games prove that.)

Personally, I think it's the fact IF technology stopped in 1980. No further effort has been made to evolve from the roboticized commands (PUSH CRATE. UNLOCK DOOR WITH KEY. ASSIMILATE.) and standardized puzzles. The thousand-fold increase in computing power went completely past the Inform/TADS crowd. This is mostly because programmers, not unlike certain species of birds, have preferred to use all the extra computer cycles in making games shinier, instead of smarter. IF is notoriously hard to make shiny.

I'm not sure how IF can benefit from computer superpower, but I'm sure something can be done. A better parser, a better object system. A new world is possible.


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