Have story, will code – Do I need another obsession? ? Interactive fiction calling – again. The ideas that won’t go away.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Interactive fiction – Another game?

I wonder, as I so often do.
: I sometimes get this uncomfortably sharp urge to write another epic
Interactive Fiction game.. Several ideas sit and wait just a folder browse away. All I have to do is awaken that obsessive part of me and let it dominate.
There’s just something very soothing about building a world that is defined yet so random, creating rules that are insanely complex but purely logical, give it life, and have a limitations on how random the end result can possibly turn out. Very… compelling. Ultimate control, but not set in stone. It’s game in prose. A life in poetry.
A wicked waste of time.
But I miss it.
And I tell myself I don’t have that time.
But surely I do.
surely, I can just take a quick look see.

! section 1 Setting the scene
[Initialise;
location = SmallRoom;
move ivan to location;
move coat to ivan;
give coat worn;
move JanitorsKey to coat;
move letter to coat;
move dog to SmallRoom;
move collar to dog;
give collar worn;
startDaemon (dog);
startdaemon (rat);
print "Would you like to restore a saved game? ";
if (YesOrNo()) ;
print "You grew up never knowing what was real. You learned early on that fathers lie and mothers are too stupid to get it. Scam after stupid lie taught you that promises were as lofty as autumn leaves and that money, despite what your parents kept insisting, do not grow on trees or come without a price.
After nearly twenty years of endless expectations of shady fortunes that never actually manifested. Oh, what a shocker.
As soon as you could, you got the hell out of there, that town, that family of good-for-shit trash. You were better than them.
Now, your dad is gone. Someone caught up with him for reasons unknown and you could not care less.
they did him good. they did him dead. But before going into the stark and wormy night, as sonofabitch fathers sometimes do, he left you a rundown, rat-infested, crappy old house.
Yeah, thanks dad.
But that is why you are here. It could be nothing, just another lie. But maybe not. You touch the outside of your coat. In an inside pocket is an envelope and it rustles softly. His last gift to you.
you glance around and before you can change your mind and walk away from your past once and for all, you go inside.
Trespassing.
Because, your father didn't give you a house. Not quite. He gave you instrutions and a key. And another promise.
You breathe noisily through your teeth and look around. You catch the foggy outline of yourself in a filthy window pane and glare at it. Like father, like son. Dad, this better be good.";
];
!Section And here starts the fun. Starting with a dummy object.
thing window"Grimy window"SmallRoom
with description
"Seemingly placed there without any thought on symmetry or esthetics, set somewhat crookedly in the west wall, is a window. Flaking offwhite paint and grimy cracks in badly abused wood serves as a sad excuse of a frame. A long since dead spider probably haunts its abandoned dwelling that adorns one cracked windowpane. Beyond the dirty glass looms and even dirtier brick wall; not more than a foot away. You wonder about the view beyond the neglected barrier. This room could use a bit of light. ",
name 'west' 'glass' 'window' 'pane',
before[;
open:
if (crowbar notin player)
"With what? Your head?.";
"Okay, so you have a crowbar. do you even know how to use it? No, because I didn't write code for that yet."
thing crowbar"Crowbar"SmallRoom
with description "A crowbar. Very useful in a text adventure game with windows in it.",
name 'crowbar',
has ;

This is something I was working on years ago in Inform 6. Unfortunately, I have not been able to get Inform 7 -a natural language IF version– to run on my Mac. It appears to me that either it doesn’t play well with Mac in general, or with it’s screenreader, Voiceover. It’s not a big loss to me, even if I am intrigued by it, because I enjoy working directly in I6.
Want to see what a real Interactive fiction master does, visit Emily Short and be amazed. If you thought text adventuring has died in the shade of the new world of attention deficits, well it has not.

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