Idea for IF promotion

With the continuing popularity of bundles, esp. on the indie scene, it might be worthwhile to put out an Interactive Fiction bundle: a few great games, packaged to be readily playable w/o requiring the user to learn about interpreters, etc., and with a nice single-page site that can be easily shared across the web.

I see that the roguelike community is planning something similar; I infer that their main goal is to emphasize accessibility and “modern” UI experience as much or more than generalized promotion of the form:

I claim no ownership over this idea or any project that grows out of it, just wanted to put it out there!


I support this thing in any way possibile.
Think of an executable, with a list of games. You clink on one, the game starts.
For Win/Mac/Linux and, why not because to me it’s the most important, Mobile OSs.

I am able to do NOTHING of the above, so count me in for the support :slight_smile:

It would be unlikely to generate anything near the level of buzz that bundles get (you can’t go cheaper than free), but it’s still a pretty decent idea, I think. (I rediscovered the IF world through free-software CDs on a Macworld magazine. I’m fairly sure that those don’t exist in any meaningful sense any more, but it’d be useful to have an internet equivalent.)

The Comp is in a sense a bundle, and works kind of that way; but the problem with the Comp is that at least half the games aren’t really the kind of quality that you’d want to foist on anyone. There’s been talk about curated showcase-type collections floating around for a few years, though; it just needs somebody willing to manage it.

Ah, but I think a bundle could get significantly more buzz than the games would normally get, whether or not they generate as much as bundles that include some well-known graphics games. Personally, I think that there is a lot of goodwill out there toward text games, particularly parser games, and a well-designed and packaged set of games would get decent buzz. Anchor the bundle with a commercial game (e.g., Shadow in the Cathedral) and one or two games that have already been feted by important outlets (e.g., Everybody Dies), and you actually would provide cost savings for many users, as well as a natural hook for Boing Boing or whoever to pass on the love.*

But I also don’t think the buzzworthiness of bundles has that much to do with the price–pretty much every PC game is “free” already via bittorrent–instead it is a way of reducing noise and providing folks who don’t obsessively follow the indie scene with a way to sample a range of things with a low barrier to entry. Part of that low barrier is price, but the other part is centralization, narrowing of selection, and convenience of access (the bundling). IF can certainly benefit from the latter. (There’s also the sense that, since bundles last only a short time, that they are an event. The Comp is an event too, but it’s one that only a few people are going to get involved in, and as you note it actually is far from a curated or user-friendly collection of games.)


  • Yes, I am assuming that this bundle would request money–with a percentage to charity, perhaps, but with the rest going to the participants. This would give players of IF a way to tip some of the authors that . Provide first access to an unreleased game for contributions above the average, a la Humble Bundle, and there’s an incentive for even the ubercheapskates to pay something (I’m a garden-variety cheapskate, myself).

I think it’s a great idea. Didn’t the first Humble Bundle let you set the price and how much of it went to charity? I admit that seems like ages ago with the number of bundles there’s been since then, but I remember liking that pricing scheme.

edit: Wikipedia to the rescue, I guess it still works that way:

Early Humble Bundles let you set the amount that went to individual developers and charities – now you can only set the developer and charity prices as a bunch.

And yes, this seems like a great idea.

Maybe it depends on which browser you’re using or something, but I’ve definitely been able to set the payments for individual developers and charities for recent Humble Bundles.

I have a hunch that the Humble Bundle guys would be willing to set up a Humble IF Bundle.

Why is it called a ‘humble’ bundle? Describing games in the humble bundle as ‘awesome’ is not humble. Asking the purchaser to choose a price is only humble if the vendor is being meek about their work, which they aren’t, which makes sense because who wants a meekly presented game?.. which is why the humble bundle games aren’t meekly presented, or humble. Donating to charity is good, but it’s not necessarily humble. Thinking about viral appeal is definitely not humble.

Basically I accuse someone of failing to consult a dictionary.

  • Wade

I’ll be interested to see whatever you come up with! It may be hard for this to work considering most IF is already available for free, including most of the good IF.

Really! Maybe I just haven’t been paying attention.

[rant=completely and utterly off topic]At the moment I am trying to watch the video for Lemon Jelly’s Spacewalk, and Youtube is showing me a local supermarket’s ad for pie dough. Poor keyword recognition?[/rant]

In case this was directed at me: I don’t plan to come up with anything, I’m definitely the wrong person for the job (especially at this moment in my life). I just wanted to get the idea out where it has an (admittedly small) chance of being taken up. :slight_smile:


My main thought upon reading this idea was, which games should we put in the bundle? Lost Pig, obviously, but what else?

Threads like this and this come to mind.