Legendary Interactive Fiction writer Andrew Plotkin joins Gil and Emma to talk about text-based stories that players can participate in. We explore the form’s history and unique strengths, and discuss what good writing can bring to a game’s experience.
Interactive Fiction platforms mentioned in this episode:
Check out some of Andrew’s IF work:
- Spider & Web
- Hadean Lands
Other video games mentioned in this episode:
- Colossal Cave Adventure
- Donut County
- 80 Days
- Heaven’s Vault
- AI Dungeon
- No Man’s Sky
Board games and analog IF mentioned in this episode:
- 7th Continent
- 1,001 Odysseys
- Choose Your Own Adventure™ books
- Fighting Fantasy books
- Leanna Fled the Cranberry Bog
If you would like to explore the world of IF, a good place to start is the Interactive Fiction Database – it’s like the BGG of IF!
Some good games to start with (this is hardly an authoritative list):
- 9:05 – You can easily play this in one sitting, and in most cases, you will want to immediately play again when you finish it the first time.
- Photopia – This is a spectacularly well-written game, but it can bring up some intense emotions.
- The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo – A fun horror game.
- Howling Dogs – This is a work by Porpentine, whom Gil has raved about several times on the show and this episode. Be sure to find both endings.
- Counterfeit Monkey – A fairly long game by Emily Short built around some remarkably brilliant word-manipulation mechanisms. You will likely need to use an emulator if you want to save your game and use the game’s graphical map.
Enjoy exploring the IF rabbit hole!