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IF (Interactive Fiction) (1 Viewer)


Senior Member
Anyone else play/write interactive fiction? You know those old text based computer games like Zork and such? If you can get passed the uasually bad text pasers they can actually be a lot of fun.

Be sure to check out ifarchive.org and Baf's guide to it http://wurb.com/if/

Some good ones you should try are Theater and House of the Midnight Sun (not sure if the latter is in the archive, although it should be.).

A good example of bad IF is Detective by Matt Baringer, be sure to check out Mystery Science Theater Presents Dective. :D

To play most of them you will need an interpreter, for Inform(z-code), which is one of the most commen lanuages for IF, I suggest WinFrotz (http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_description/0,fid,22456,00.asp)
not sure how up to date that download is, I only just googled it real quick.


Senior Member
Yeah, well now you have :D .

If you didn't notice, the post was kind of targeted towards those that don't know about it.
Interactive Fiction's great. I love the old Infocom games (although I still have trouble even with the easiest ones) and some of the newer, less puzzle-orientated IF, like Adam Cadre's popular Photopia, are great pieces of writing (code and prose). There's even a neat program called Adrift that basically codes a game for you. If you haven't tried any Interactive Fiction, please do. It's like stepping into a novel!


Senior Member
Quack Corleone said:
some of the newer, less puzzle-orientated IF, like Adam Cadre's popular Photopia, are great pieces of writing

Infocom, as I recall, never really made it across the Atlantic in those days. Well, I certainly don't remember playing their games then and I was into text adventures then. In the UK it was companies such as Magnetic Scrolls and Melbourne House that were producing and distributing the games.

I've played Zork since and can't say I was overly enamoured by it. However, I do agree that the

Adam Cadre is one of the more popular writers in the current IF scene. My personal favourite is Michael Gentry's Anchorhead.

There's even a neat program called Adrift that basically codes a game for you.

Having used ADRIFT for a number of years I prefer to use Inform and TADS due to ADRIFT's numerous inconsistencies. While it can, admittedly, create an average game, it is nowhere near the capabilities of the compilers. Campbell Wild, ADRIFT's developer, is currently working on the latest version to the application. The sad thing about ADRIFT, though, is that it has so few users and less quality control over creations made with it that almost every game is either crap or made by David Whyld.

For some excellent reading, albeit dry, I can recommend Nick Montfort's Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (US|UK) that deals with history of the artform, storytelling, and world building.


Senior Member
Interactive fiction is absolutely delicious. It's quite sad that so many people have not heard of it.

Personally, I prefer the newer stuff over the older stuff (the Infocom adventures had much more of a puzzle emphasis; the newer authors, like Adam Cadre, make excellent use of story elements). I actually once had a discussion with Cadre online over his work I-0 and if the main character was enough like a real teenager or not. He was quite ncie about the entire thing.