Introducing IF

Hello, everyone!

I know a group of people who have never played IF, but am fairly certain that at least some of them would find the genre interesting.
So, I plan on making an introductory lecture with a brief history of IF and some gameplay.

The question is, what is the best way to engage the group in playing IF?
Your votes, comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Without giving it a whole lot of thought, I would say the big screen, but it might work best to have you be at the keyboard. So people could suggest things, and you could type whatever they suggest, but you might help them rephrase input so that it is more likely to work. And, of course, if would be useful if you were familiar with the game, so you could give some gentle nudges when they got stuck.

And I wouldn’t worry about making it “easy” but rather “fun”, especially if you’re there to help them through some of the more difficult parts.


Watching experienced players play is helpful, but participation is also important. Having a roomful of people make suggestions has proved effective in the past. (And, yeah, demonstrating how to rephrase commands in IFese is crucial).

Also, depending on how big the room is, it may be useful to have someone (with a good clear voice) read aloud. This can slow things down a bit, but it provides pacing so that you know everyone’s caught up, and means that if someone’s attention flickers from the screen for a minute or three, they don’t get lost.

Right, thanks!
All of this is good advice and I’ll try to implement as much as I can.

Also, I was thinking of “Lost Pig” as the game, seeing as that it is relatively easy and fun.
If there are any other games you think are appropriate, please say so.

There’s a document that one of the PR-IF ( people was working on to document our experiences running public readings of IF. Right now, as far as I can tell, it only exists as a private Google doc, but I’m seeing if we can make it available on our website or something.

One of the games we did was indeed Lost Pig, and that is probably a really good one. A really nice attribute is that there are good responses to many different inputs, so people are less likely to get bored with repeated standard failure commands.


And, of course, it was cleverly hidden in the Resources section of the website:


Just finished reading it. It’s very good, I have to say.
I haven’t thought of handing out related material before, and I believe it will be a nice idea to try.

I’ve given one introduction to IF. I firstly put 9:05 on the big screen and played through it myself. It didn’t accept suggestions, just to keep it quick. Then I had a short list of high quality games for people to try themselves.