Jonathon Blow Quote [...no interaction and all story...]

Discussion in 'Game Design' started by Cevo70, Jan 26, 2009.

  1. AlexWeldon

    AlexWeldon New Member

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    Just to make sure we're talking about the same thing, "IF" as I understand it, is purely text driven - generally written in TADS or Inform, though some people still "roll their own," or use some of the less popular languages, like Hugo.

    Grim Fandango, by contrast, is an adventure game, but not Interactive Fiction. The first adventure games were text-based, and would probably still be considered IF (though "bad" IF) by most of the community... but more recently, adventure games and IF have gone their separate ways.

    If you're interested in trying out some IF, I personally prefer Inform (Z-code) games to TADS. Inform is a pretty neat language, and the parser is great. As opposed to early text games, which were basically limited to commands like "kill dwarf," modern Inform games can understand stuff like "give the envelope to Peter and tell him to open it," (although, realistically, an experienced user would be more likely to do "give envelope to peter" and then "peter, open envelope," as it involves less typing, and lets you make sure the give command was successful before trying to issue peter an order). In its latest incarnation, they've given the option to write the program itself in a similarly English-like way... e.g. "Martha is a woman in the Vineyard," instead of something like "var martha:person = new Person("Martha","female"); martha.location = vineyard;"

    Anyway, to play some IF titles, check out Baf's Guide to the Interactive Fiction Archive. Some of my recommendations:

    Curses is often considered to be the turning point in IF history. Graham Nelson wrote the Z-Code interpreter to replicate and expand on the old Infocom-style text adventures, and Curses is the game he made to showcase its features. It's a really great game both for the story and the puzzles.

    Tryst of Fate is my kind of game. Funny, cute, and full of puzzles. It's not a famous game by any means, but it's one of the few modern IF titles that I actually played for more than a couple of hours before either giving up or finishing it.

    For a Change is quite experimental, but surprisingly enjoyable. It does have puzzles, but is set in a weird world and the puzzles generally involve figuring out the rules and skewed logic of this place. Notable for the first text you see upon loading the game: "The sun is gone. It must be brought. You have a rock."

    Galatea and Aisle are examples of how experimental and "not game-like" the medium has become.

    If you're curious, my game is called The Pickpocket. As stated earlier, it's weak as a story, but I think most of the puzzles are fair and not too "obtuse."
     
    #21 AlexWeldon, Jan 28, 2009
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  2. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    Actually, my biggest fear right now is that indies will be stereotyped as a bunch of interactive fiction wankers posing as game developers. Not that being an IF dev makes you a wanker, but being an IF dev posing as a game dev does :) The fact that this line is confusing to a lot of people is very, very scary.

    I really hope to see another Aquaria/Portal/Noitu Love 2 sometime soon... We need something to save our collective face :D

    And Musenik, I really feel for you on that blog post. You gave a really well-thought out argument and he basically slapped you in the face. If he's gonna be a jackass about it, then why did he even respond at all? Sheesh.
     
  3. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    I think story is important for a subset of people who play games (including me). I don't think people who like gameplay and hate story should feel superior to people who like story and don't really care about gameplay, and vice versa, it's just different reasons for playing a game. I don't really mind long, linear, plot-intensive games, and I wish there were more indie games like that, there are almost none right now. The last one I can think of was Barkley: Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden (freeware and excellent).
     
  4. joshuadallman

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  5. vjvj

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    I don't think anyone said anything indicating a feeling of superiority. Gameplay and story should be viewed as separate but equally important achievements. The problem is when people unnecessarily view them as being mutually exclusive, or when people can't tell the difference and mislabel one as the other. It's just a growing pain our industry is going through...
     
  6. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    I think Jon Blow's quote is somewhat saying that one is superior to the other. He's basically saying a game that's mostly story and little interaction isn't worth making, and I disagree with that.
     
  7. vjvj

    Indie Author

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    Oh I see what you meant, now. I agree with you and I think the main thing (for me, at least) is to make sure that my decision to go gameplay/story/both is a conscious one.
     
  8. mirosurabu

    mirosurabu New Member

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    Indigo Prophecy is a good example of story-driven game with a minimal interaction. That game is probably my all-time large-budget favourite.

    Though, I am not sure he was talking about this kind of relation between story and gameplay. Maybe he was talking about games which have very poor connection between gameplay and story despite being story-driven.
     

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