IF works set in all fifty states: scavenger hunt?

Seeing the Cragne Manor topic and how it was set in Vermont, I’m wondering if we can cover all fifty US states with various IF works. I remembered ones that happened in tough-to-pick-off states. So I wondered if we could run the table. The state’s culture doesn’t really have to matter.

I have to admit my knowledge leans towards parser, but it’d be cool to have lists of

  1. any IF games with a scene in each of 50 states
  2. any IF games entirely enclosed by each of the 50 states

If this has been done before, apologies and I’d love to see the link. But if not I’d like to get started. Hopefully there’d be no spoilers. BOLD means a work takes place entirely in one state. (I make exception for surreal interdimensional stuff e.g. the void in Cragne Manor). If/when people update, I’ll try to add to this list.

Alabama
Alaska: Disenchantment Bay, Jacqueline Ashwell (parser)
Arizona: Vampire the Masquerade: Night Road
Arkansas: *The Incredibly Mild Misadventures of Tom Trundle, EpicIFer
California: Hollywood Hijinx (parser), Hollywood Visionary (choice)
Colorado: Meeting Robb Sherwin, Jizaboz
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida: Get Your Gun, Dragonfly / Gator-On to Wetlands
Georgia: Sunset over Savannah
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois: 1983: The World’s Fair, Peter Nepstad (parser)
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas: Old Jim’s Convenience Store, Anssi Räisänen (parser)
Kentucky
Louisiana: Sugarlawn, Mike Spivey (parser)
Maine: Digit, by JoeyAcrimonious
Maryland
Massachusetts: Harmonia, Liza Daly
Michigan: I Was a Teenage Headless Experiment, Duncan Bowsman (parser)
Minnesota: Hunger Daemon, Sean M. Shore, *Be There! by Theodidacticus
Mississippi: Lydia’s Heart, Jim Aikin
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada: RetroCon 2021, Sir Slice (web)
New Hampshire (Sting, partial)
New Jersey
New Mexico: Sand-Dancer by Aaron Reed and Alexei Othenin-Girard (parser)
New York
North Carolina: BLK MTN, Laura Paul (Twine)
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island: Dark Carnival, Marshal Tenner Winter
South Carolina
South Dakota: A Mind Forever Voyaging, Steven Meretsky (parser)
Tennessee
Texas (Of Their Shadows Deep, implicit)
Utah
Vermont: Cragne Manor, various (parser)
Virginia: (Amissvilles)
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin: And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One, B. J. Best (parser)
Wyoming

DC: White House Escape

There are some I need to check up on – I think The Cabal takes place partially in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, for instance. And one person you meet in BLK MTN is from Oklahoma. But I’ve always been off-and-on curious.

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Let’s see – my game Sting has sections in New York, California, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire (so basically one hard-to-get-one out of four). Augustine takes place entirely in Florida. The various Amissvilles are set in Virginia, though they’re terrible. Meeting Robb Sherwin is Colorado. Of Their Shadows Deep is set in Texas but not sure the game itself ever reveals that, so might be a special case.

I’ll stop here so as not to hog too much of the fun :slight_smile:

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I have the vague recollection that Beneath Fenwick is set somewhere in Massachusetts, although it could just be generic Lovecraftian New England. I’ll have to re-play it to check?

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That seems right to me – of course, Anchorhead is also set in Massachusetts…

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Ooh, Colorado’s a good one. I remember that game now.

And yeah it’s tough to balance contributing a lot with letting other people say “Hey! Wait! I like this game!” But I think this sort of thing gets the ball rolling. For instance I’d assume there has to be a game that takes place in California alone, but it’s neat to say, okay, here’s a game with California in it, and that’ll get the ball rolling.

One side goal of this topic would be to highlight interesting games people might not otherwise see. So I might give Beneath Fenwick billing over Anchorhead. And I’m okay with the Amissvilles being in there even if they’re weak – someone else may come along and note something they like more that takes place in Virginia. Not that this is a competition to find the Best! In! The! State!

(Also, I reserve the right to be lazy about updating. Maybe once a day. But I will, if this catches on.)

(Also-also, I’m okay with people (eventually) scouring IFDB for all 50 states, but … I’d be interested to see what people remember, first.)

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North Carolina is already checked off, but Being Andrew Plotkin is implicitly set there. That was the Red Hat office I worked at at the time.

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My Pumpkin Pie for your soul* is implicitly set in New Hampshire.
Digit by @JoeyAcrimonious is set in Maine.
A quick IFDB search shows that Dark Carnival is set in Rhode Island, thus completing the New England subset.

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Oh, duh, one more I need to add: 1893: A World’s Fair Mystery is of course set in Illinois.

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Per the annotated source, Taco Fiction by @Afterward rather closely reproduces a real neighborhood in Iowa City but I don’t remember whether it’s explicitly set there or not.

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According to the end message, I Was a Teenage Headless Experiment takes place in Escanaba, Michigan. It includes a Yooper mutant named Gerchis in case there was any doubt though.

edit: “Yooper” means someone who lives in the upper peninsula of Michigan. The upper peninsula is often abbreviated as “[the] U.P.” Yooper is a phonetic spelling of UPer.

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If this kicks off a discussion about works that have a very strong sense of place I’d also be interested to see where it goes.

I’m also curious as to what extent you’re willing to count “serial numbers filed off” settings, @aschultz, since I know there’s some things like Choice of Robots which has enough identifying marks to tell locals it’s set in Boston. (Unless there’s another popular sushi-bar-jazz-club combo restaurant that I’m unaware of). Similarly What the Bus wasn’t intended to be set anywhere specific (It’s a mish-mash of three transit systems, one of which isn’t even in the US) but a whole bunch of people went “That’s Boston!” anyway. That said, I think we’re good on the Bay State so I’ll try and think of games from elsewhere. :slight_smile:

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Off the top of my head …
•Both Hollywood Hijinx and The Witness are set entirely in California.
•The 20-ish moves that actually take place on Earth in Leather Goddesses of Phobos are set in Ohio.
•Lydia’s Heart by Jim Aiken is set in rural Mississippi.
•I’ve not personally played this, but I feel relatively confident in assuming that Lost New York by Neil deMause is closely linked to that state.

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Last year’s comp winner, And Then You Come to a House Not Unlike the Previous One by @bjbest60 is set it Wisconsin IIRC.

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Curse of the Garden Isle is set in Hawai’i. Also I just realized that searching IFDB for a particular state can produce some pretty solid results on this scavenger hunt. But maybe that ruins the fun?

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This sort of thing can get very subjective, but yes, certainly I want to give notices to games that have a stronger sense of place, and I think I can trust anyone who posts here not to make stuff up. We can put in asterisks and “it’s not mentioned but…” later.

In a way I’m more interested in games that give clues as to where you are and you see it later.

For instance, a game set in Wyoming would be cool, but if someone just picked Wyoming just because, that would not deserve the billing where someone wrote about their home town or a historical event.

Similarly, A Mind Forever Voyaging being in South Dakota is neat, but Rockvil could be near maybe anywhere. Something with Mount Rushmore, not so much.

These are only guidelines for, say, which work gets the “I’m the most South Dakota one out there” ribbon, not for exclusions or inclusions.

@nilsf ouch, how’d I miss that one?

Also, stuff that slips between the gaps: Akkoteaque takes place in “Delmarva,” meaning Delaware is tangentially referenced but it could be Maryland or Virginia too.

I think I saw a WIPRO on GitHub for/from an author’s childhood in West Virginia, which would be cool if they finished.

Hmm, that’d be cool, but maybe wait a few days before doing that… I think our initial impressions and memories of how much it matters that a work is in a certain state are worth having, and that subjective stuff might be lost with getting the answers too fast.

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The Fire Tower is also in North Carolina, right? We’ve got a good number of possibilities for a relatively-small state!

It’d be interesting at the end of this to see which states are disproportionately well-represented in IF – I’m guessing Massachusetts punches way, way above its weight for a variety of reasons (Lurking Horror is implicitly set there too!)

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The cover art for Ma Tiger’s Terrible Trip references “The biggest little city in the world” which is a slogan for Reno, Nevada.

(I unfortunately haven’t played to verify since it’s a two-player game.)

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Hmm, North Carolina seems small, but it’s got a pretty good population–I suspect people outside the US don’t know it that well, and I admit, when I think of it, I think of basketball (UNC/Duke/NC State) or tobacco and not anything particularly literary. So it’s good to see it get some love. Maybe what we’re buzzing around here is, North Carolina doesn’t have the brand that Illinois or Texas ha?

Good catch! I played it, and I seem to remember someone driving across state lines.

But it tipped off that Craig Ruddell/Sir Slice explicitly puts RetroCon 2021 (IFComp) in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Incidentally, stealing @StringWizard’s idea of searching IFDB, I did so for some states I thought might be poorly represented. Alabama does not show up, and neither does South Dakota, even though AMFV references it. So people’s memories may come up big here. Maybe we could search back issues of SPAG or something.

Also, Hunger Daemon takes place in Minnesota, as St. Paul is explicitly mentioned in the introduction. I’m just combing through games I remember testing at this point.

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You also said you wanted lesser-known games, and games where the setting is more of a plot point than a bullet point, but Leather Goddesses of Phobos begins in Upper Sandusky, Ohio, specifically. I suspect this was just chosen to sound seedy more than for the actual setting and atmosphere of the place.

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Me too. As a kid I giggled. Of course the name “Sandusky” has a much seedier connotation now, for unfortunate reasons.

(By the way, these sorts of observations are cool–I’ve wound up remembering a lot of stuff, like how Cactus Blue Motel is situated between Arizona and New Mexico, which doesn’t help with the goal, but it’s an interesting way to establish a Neverwhere without overgeneralizing it.)

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