mackknopf: (Weird)

It reminds me of a short story by Neil Gaiman called "Snow, Glass, Apples", publicly available here.  Neil's work is a dark little piece that turns the traditional fairy tale on its head.  Emily Short collaborated on an interactive fiction game that is also dark and deals with some of the same themes.  The game is called "Alabaster."  Go download it.  Please.  It's free, she wants you to read it.  In your heart of hearts that likes the chill of the night and the pleasant frisson of being just a little afraid, you want to read it too.  Is it hard?  No.  Can you play it over
again with enjoyment?  I think so.

What are interactive fictions, or IF to be concise?  They're games of make-believe where you see an environment only in words, where you respond by typing in more words.  Oh, that sounds tedious and complicated.  Look.  It's a game of words and mystery.  This one even has an introduction for people who've never played the type before.  Are there pictures?  A few.  Usually they're the sort you make in your head, but Alabaster has page illustrations. 

You might have heard of Zork, the Infocom company, or Adventure.  People have been writing them for decades, and there's even a little online community to support those who do.  I even tried writing such a game in elementary school at the computer lab.  Since I could barely program, I believe I got as far as sketching out the first few rooms.  (In words, mind you.  I never got to the programming part.)  I wanted to implement Alice in Wonderland as a text adventure game, but my imagination far outstripped my abilities then.  I've tried to choose better matches for my art and ability these days, though computer languages will likely never be a feather in my hat or a string to my bow.

Read more... )

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mackknopf

March 2012

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