This is a shameless shill for my own game, Dead Sprint, which I’m working on for my final project (I turned in a draft for my creative project.)
Right now it’s in a very early stage, as I learned rather the hard way, writing a work of interactive fiction with the level of intricacy and detail that I want is impossibly difficult.
I took several cues from portal, as far as storytelling and exploration goes. I also played my way through games such as Shade and Violet, and learned from them what I found frustrating and entertaining. I tried to incorporate these lessons into my production of Dead Sprint. We’ll see how it goes.
One thing that I really dig about a game like Shade is that it’s pretty intuitive. There seems to be one end result, but the way you get there varies. The game lets you explore but guides you in the right direction, though you can approach the story’s events in a number of orders, with seemingly no result on the end game. I found it flowed really well and the commands came easily to me.
Violet on the other hand sent me into conniptions. The commands were not quite as intuitive and you have to do very SPECIFIC things in a VERY SPECIFIC ORDER to achieve anything. A goal of the game is stated quite early– “Write,” but as far as I can tell, actually writing is nearly impossible.
One thing I liked about Violet is that there appears to be more than one ending. I’m just assuming, because I haven’t finished playing it; I keep chipping at it in little pieces because if I play too long, I get pretty irritated with it. But I like that there seem to be alternate endings; if you type a certain command over and over, the game will get fed up with you and tell you that you lost, though it gives you the option to undo a turn or even ask for hints. Since there’s an unsuccessful conclusion, I assume there’s a successful one as well though I’m having trouble getting to it.
I’m having quite a good time comparing different types of stories that can be told in IF. Some of them are strictly fictional and story-based, like Shade, whereas others are puzzles with varying levels of difficulty. Violet really grinds my gears. I’ve also taken a quick peek at Everybody Dies, which seems like a pretty complicated mix of the two. I really like the fact that the artist writes about his process; it’s a helpful guide for aspiring writers like little old me.
Looking forward to reading and writing more IF. Wish me luck!