Fiction about Interactive Fiction

This webcomic page could be really thought-provoking for fans of IF. In fact, Juan Santapau’s stuff in general is littered with amazing crossover stuff like this. Highly recommended! Probably my favourite webcomic.

The Secret Knots: Walkthrough

Wouldn’t mind it at all, either, if I came back here and discovered that a few more links to fiction about interactive fiction (playing off/investigating the particular ways game narratives work, etc.), were posted in this thread… 87


That is unbelievably awesome.

Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A… Where’s the B, A?

MS Paint Adventures. These are webcomics in the form of adventure games/RPGs indescribably weird whatevers rather than IF applied to life, but still. (And the commands used to be supplied by readers, making it more like straight-up IF but the author eventually went away from that as it became unmanageable. He still draws on reader theories and ideas.)

MS Paint Adventures is cool — and there are other comics where the readers participate by contributing phrases or suggestions, they seem to be cropping up everywhere lately. Scenes from a Multiverse is a fave. Every week he has readers vote on which scene from which universe will be revisited next week, so it’s a choose-our-own of sorts, though Scenes isn’t really about interactive fiction so much as a very loose example of it.


“MS Paint Adventures” looks like a Visual Novel to me, except that it’s not presented in anime/manga-style art but in “normal” comic-style art. And it’s web-based. I like any type of Visual Novel, because it is a more modern form of CYOA. :sunglasses:

Source: Definition of Visual Novel at wikipedia

Interesting. ‘Visual novels’ is not a way I’d heard it put before. At least, not enough times to remember it.

BTW, some art can be interactive without any actual choices (or at least, it can exist at some weird, relatively sparsely populated midpoint between being interactive fiction and being about it). For example check out the diagram in one of the final panels of this page of Metaphysical Neuroma: he explores different possible pathways through the room. There is no inherent sequence to it — you have to create a sequence in how you imagine the hero to have experienced the different pathways represented in the diagram.


The interactivity isn’t much like that of a visual novel at all, though, at least none that I’ve seen (admittedly not many). There are no choices or branching, and except for some flash-game parodies, interaction with the published comic is generally limited to “click the next link to continue”; just as for any other webcomic, or like turning pages in a book. This entirely comprehensible out-of-context page does have a click-to-keep-the-animation-going interface that’s sort of like a visual novel’s, but even then it’s a parody of more interactive games; you have a full navigation menu, but only one option at a time is active.

What makes MSPA especially distinctive is that it’s an Interactive Comic, or started out as one; Andrew Hussie no longer takes direct suggestions for commands, but he still relies a lot on fan theories and ideas posted in the forums. And the reason I posted it here is that it specifically pretends to the log of a graphical adventure game (with lots of RPG and Sim elements), with a lot more freeform IF-like interaction than any graphical game (or IF) can manage. That’s a lot easier to see if you start with Problem Sleuth.

Funny thing about MS Paint Adventures. I’ve seen it before, since Ryan North talks about it a lot on his hilarious Twitter. But though the elements involved just sound so perfectly suited to my tastes, it’s kind of embarrassing that I keep having a tough time getting into it. I’m going to give it another chance. I think it might just be that I’m never sure how long the read is going to last (no progress bar or anything, and the scroll bar is not useful for that in MSPA), and I always checked it while I was trawling through tons of other webcomics. I followed hundreds of them at one point, and had to be pretty ruthless about open-ended reading commitments. I’ve got the list trimmed down pretty far, now, so I don’t think I’ll feel as constrained for time.

BTW I do a comic — it’s not much of a webcomic, because I don’t promise weekly or even monthly updates, but it’s a free online photocomic and working on issue #2 is one of the things I’ve been doing. IF plays a role, along with a lot of other classic games, but IF specifically, plays a unique role in it that’ll be expanded in issue 3 — thus my intensified interest lately in examples of Fic on IntFic. This is the spread (pages 24-25) where the main IF reference occurs. It’s pretty spoiler-y about the first issue’s storyline though, so if you’re interested in avoiding that, start at page one, here.


P.S. Thanks for the link. I suppose my trope falls into the ‘incredibly easy to pull off’ category mentioned therein, although I’m just using it for its own sake — my comic is not interactive nor even faux-interactive. But there are multiple ways to read it. 8)

Nice! Reminds me of Argon Zark.

Yeah, it’s a pretty enormous time suck if you’re just now getting into the archive. The first time I encountered it, which was during Problem Sleuth, I was like “doop de do, starts off kind of slow, hey this is pretty funny, ahahaha, wait why is it two in the morning?” And I wasn’t close to caught up. But it actually doesn’t take all that much time if you do a bit each day – most of the individual updates don’t take that long, and in theory you can stop whenever you want. “Open-ended reading commitment” is exactly the right description, though. Also, both the successful adventures (Jailbreak and Bard Quest are missable) do start off slow, though I find Homestuck’s slow start a lot more amusing than Problem Sleuth’s.

Your comic looks cool – it’s open in a tab for when I have time to read it, which may not actually be when I get to work today. (People expect you to have something to say in lecture even when you’ve just graded a bunch of exams, it’s totally not fair.)

Thank you both, and thanks matt for identifying the worthwhile MSPA storylines for me. 8)


Or the original the mashup was made from:

So, I was googling for whether the title ‘Cave Quest’ had ever been used for an adventure game — I know it sounds cheesy: I want it to sound cheesy, for reasons that are not nearly as interesting as what I accidentally found along the way. A theatrical play called Cave Quest! Seems to qualify as fic about intfic. The blurb is fascinating — I’d have loved to have seen this play!


Ha ha, no way I could NOT link to this int fiction reference in Gun Show! XD