Introducing Ourselves


Hi. I am Jeb. I am 6.

Hold the phone… Eloise is 6.


Anyways, I’m actually in my early-30’s. Married with children. Too many children.

I’m a dreamer. I dream of one day writing full-time. Wait, I do that already—as a technical writer. Just not in the capacity of fiction and interactive fiction. I am finding an engine to build my first IF work with (likely Undum or TiddlyWiki). My first work is going to be based on someone else’s world (e.g. Mount and Blade), just to get my feet wet with writing fiction and the like. One day I’ll hopefully, dreaming big, write original IF on an epic scale. I hope to have my first work done in about 6 months, no matter how small or incomplete. I guess that’s enough for now. I’ve ranted enough!


Nate Clive Gerard from the UK, living in Colorado in the USA. 43 years young.

I wrote my first parser-based interactive fiction when I was 14 (using PAW on the ZX Spectrum), but my mum threw away the data tape it was on while cleaning my messy room! I played the classic Level 9, Magnetic Scrolls and Infocom games back in the day and play newer titles now.

In the last few years I’ve got back into writing, adventuring, and programming. I’ve been playing with Twine the last few months and am expecting to spend my spare moments in September writing for IFComp.


Hello everybody, I’ve been looking around here for some time now, so maybe it’s a good moment to introduce myself.

My introduction to IF were the Infocom games in the 1980’s, on my Commodore 64 with the slowest floppy drive ever. If the drive started to rattle for a long time, I knew I probably solved something, because it had to load so “much” new data :slight_smile:

In the early 1990’s I started writing my own authoring system. The system evolved over time with my computers. It all started on my Atari 1040st. By know, I now run it as 2 console applications - compiler and interpreter - on Windows 7. Everything is written from scratch in C, I didn’t use external libraries or interfaces (only the #include files).

I have learned that I am a bad story writer; I’m more interested in modeling situations that writers may think of (e.g. pulling a long rope behind you that extends through the last 3 locations you came through, for whatever reason). Recently, I discovered and implemented “Cloak of Darkness”, the hello world for text adventures.

I browse the forum, read about the issues the authors run into and then try to figure out how I would model it in my system. So, please keep posting your issues :slight_smile:

Thanks for reading my post.

(Merlin Fisher) #644

You can see Merlin Fisher here.


You see a female American of nondescript appearance, aged approximately in her late 20s. She is humming the tune to “1985” by Bowling for Soup. You seem to recall seeing her before.


Oh right, Merlin was here about three or four years ago, and then disappeared. Guess she decided to come back.


How did you get hooked back again?

(Merlin Fisher) #646

I never stopped liking IF and always thought about it every now and then, but life is busy. I drifted away from the community years ago because I’d played most of the good games then available, no new ones were likely to come out soon, and I’d given up trying to write my own in frustration.

recently I was talking to someone about “choose your own adventure” in the context of National Novel Writing Month, and that person mentioned Yarny, which led me to Twine, which reminded me “oh yeah, it’s IFComp season.” So I went and downloaded the latest heap, and installed the latest version of I7 on my new computer for good measure.

I see that the trend in IF has drifted away from “game” and more toward “story.” (Even Inform 7 won’t let you “end the game in death” any more; you have to instead “end the story saying “You have died””.) Not sure whether to be happy about that or not, but it is what it is.

(Peter Piers) #647

You have been gone for a while if you missed that. :slight_smile:

You know how trends are - SOMETHING has to be fashionable. But that doesn’t mean that the oldschool approach or puzzles have gone entirely out the window. A puzzlebox of a game is still very much acceptable. If you were away for 3/4 years you may have missed…

…Counterfeit Monkey, a masterpiece by Emily Short, heavy on story and atmosphere but with a wonderful and complex central wordplay mechanism;

…Hadean Lands, laden on atmosphere and with an intriguig story but mostly a huge puzzlebox, a must-play;

…Make It Good, a new-school puzzler that is a sort of cross between Deadline and Varicella.

And there is still an audience for puzzlers - unabashed puzzlers at that. Or just the old-school approach to games, where exploration and experimentation were the key for solving puzzles, and in that vein I can recommend this year’s Comp entrant “Darkiss”. Lots of atmosphere, lots and lots of prose, and a very old-school approach to IF (no, no mazes or time limits. It’s the “clean” oldschool!).

Hmmm, I had a point somewhere, where was it, where did I leave it… Ah, here it is! The point is, regardless of the current trend, this is still an ecletic bunch with ecletic tastes. Nothing’s final. No great schism. The crosswords is still at war with the narrative, or if you’d rather, they are still trying to live together Odd Couple style.

I have a colleague that says that all the time. Reading that felt weird.

(Merlin Fisher) #648

yeah, I started playing Counterfeit Monkey and I’m enjoying it greatly, although it seems to be running unbearably slow on my computer. I recall my old computer was a bit draggy on “City of Secrets” too, it must be that banner/map thing (wonderful as it is, I’ll have to try playing with it turned off). Wordplay is one of my favorite things ever and I’m an unabashed Emily Short fan.

I’m perfectly down with ‘story’ too, though old-school dungeon crawls will always have a place in my heart. The better an IF’s story, the better I will like it. But if it’s gonna be interactive, there should at least be some interacting to do, IMO. Those hyperlink games are more like “semi-static” fiction than “interactive,” I think. Not that this is bad. I do like stories and I liked those CYOA books as a kid. I also liked “Space Under the Window” which is about halfway between hyperlink and parser game.

But I’m really scratching my head over how to rate those hyperlink things against parser-based games. It’s not even apples and oranges. It’s like apples vs cherimoyas. (“Oranges” would suggest that the latter is familiar to most contestants, and I think it’s not. The Twine kids probably believe a parser is something mysterious and exotic.) I’m actually a bit concerned that the split will affect Comp ratings, but that’s a discussion for another thread, if someone hasn’t brought it up already.

(Peter Piers) #649

Oh, it comes up all the time. :slight_smile: Just be honest. If you feel it’s more honest not to rate “choice” games because you don’t see the point of them in general, well, you can’t get any more honest than that. I think that the general stance (I hestitate to speak for others, but this is how I perceive it) is that there can be good parser games and bad parser games, good choice games and bad choice games. As long as everyone is encouraged to make good parser games and/or good choice games, we’re good.

You’ll be interested to know that last year cvaneseltine ran a Parsercomp which got a respectable attendance, and the winner - Chlorophyll - is a good game even out of the context of winning that comp.

You might also be curious to play Coloratura, which exists in both parser AND choice format. Personally, I think it’s far too awesome a parser game to work in choice format, but the beauty is, you can actually try both and see the strengths and weaknesses of the genre. Similarly, Merk’s “Hallowmoor” is a Twine game that simulates a world model and, well, it comes very close to being a parser game.

Re Counterfeit Monkey, yes, it’s a bit slow on some computers. Old computers will struggle. Web-based or mobile-based terps will struggle mightily.



I’m Gil, retired software engineer. In the late 1980s, I was writing AGT adventures (‘Sir Ramic Hobbs and the High Level Gorilla’ & ‘Sir Ramic Hobbs and the Oriental Walk’). I even wrote a book about IF ( I was a comp entrant and judge for a couple of years.

Then earning a living took over for 20 odd years, though my old love of fantasy and science fiction resulted in me starting the webzine in 2008… Still running.

Earlier this year, though, I heard that Inform 7 was available for Android, which is my main leisure platform. ‘Available’ turned out to be an exaggeration, but with the beta version of the android version and the full PC version, I am now, after 25 years, starting a new IF story.


Hi, I’m Bones!

I’m a college student (majoring in biology) in the Boston area. I’m relatively new to IF, or at least the electronic side of it. I’ve gotten sucked in deeply though. I write non-interactive fiction and such, and the narrative structure and flexibility of IF is so fascinating to me! (My friends have already gotten sick of me throwing IF at them. But it’s all so cool!) I’ve already gotten inspired enough to start writing a thing on Inform 7, so we’ll see how that goes. :smiley:


Hi, I’m Ben!

I am a second year PhD student at QUT in Brisbane Australia. I have been writing interactive narratives for about three years, mostly just small and personal projects. Also, for the past two years I have been researching interactive narratives for my PhD. I have mostly used Twine and I really enjoy that. But I want to try experimenting with Inform 7 at some point too.

If you haven’t done so already, please check out my post ‘PhD research on Interactive Writers’, which contains a link to a questionnaire I am running for my research.

Thanks, a lovely to meet you all (or at least introduce myself)

  • Ben

(Doug Orleans) #653

Hi Bones! You should come to the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction meetup on November 11:


Hello, Sailors! I’m Rick–new here but a long time fan of IF, computer gaming, reading, writing, and posting introduction messages that aren’t often read.

Currently, I’m learning about Inform 7 and eating a tasty sandwich.


(heartless zombie) #655

Welcome Rick! What’s your favourite game?
You could try writing in a colourful font to get more attention.


What kind of sandwich?[size=50]


… I’m hungry.[/size]


Hi HZ, that would have to be HGTG because it inspired me to read the books (which remain my fav works of fiction). Thanks for the tip about the text!

A tasty one, Wes! It had hot peppers. :mrgreen:


So now that you’re full, go through the trap door.

Though was it every described as tasty? Or just hitting the spot? :slight_smile:

(Peter Piers) #659

Upon eating the lunch, it did definitely hit the spot. And it smelled of peppers.

The food, though, was tasty. Delicious, even.

Thing is, we’re conflating Adventure and Zork here. :wink:

EDIT - Rick, if you think Bronze is curious, keep playing Short’s games. :slight_smile: Try Glass. And Alabaster. Possibly Galatea. Check out Best of Three and Pytho’s Mask, and City of Secrets. Definitely Counterfeit Monkey.

More accurately, Emily Short is a very very very very very curious author. :slight_smile:


@CressidaHubris/Peter Piers: wow, you folks are good! Now you know why I had to buy the InvisiClues™ hint booklets for those Infocom games, lol.

Thanks for the suggestions, Peter! Downloading now…