Being a programmer who enjoys writing in his spare time, I’ve always wanted to give Interactive Fiction a go… the two parts of my brain don’t like to intermingle, though. Every time I’ve sat down at the TADS workbench or Inform 7 IDE I’ve not been able to turn off my programmer switch and get into the actual story creation. It feels too much like programming.
When I write non-interactive fiction I use the awesome site Draft and do everything in Markdown. If you’re not familiar with Markdown, it’s basically a syntax for creating HTML in a much cleaner human-readable format (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Markdown). Some time ago I got the idea that it would be awesome to be able to write interactive fiction the same way… Ficdown is the result.
It’s basically a bunch of conventions added to Markdown that allow you to define a stateful IF game in a file that is itself a valid Markdown file. I’ve done a reasonably detailed write-up and tutorial here:
I know there are already other scripting systems to achieve this kind of game, but I just really, really like Markdown and would prefer to use it instead of learning a different syntax like ChoiceScript. I also like the idea of being able to work on a game at any time over the web instead of being tied to a specific IDE or tool on my PC. It’s also nice to be able to hit a preview button and have the Markdown rendered as HTML–it’s much easier to proof read your scenes, actions, etc when all of the code cruft is removed and you’re just left with your story in a nicely rendered format for reading.
I’d appreciate any feedback or comments. It’s still at the proof-of-concept phase and the idea is quite young.