Is the short story the most natural fit for IF?

Yeah, I should have clicked both links, too, sorry. I saved both URLs, but only loaded the second one, assumed from misinterpreting it that they were both expansion sets or DLC. So the first is kind of like using The Sims like a pen, yeah. I pretty much agree with gravel’s take on it — the control arrow in most technology can be reversed, so any open enough world can be used to create art, which is very cool and I’m glad that perspective was added here. I do prefer myself to work from the perspective of writing rather rather than simulating, though I’m quite willing to steal my favourite stuff from the other side, if I can figure a way to let it happen but also run some sort of parallel subversion to the narrative. 87

I love the idea of stuff like machinima too, but in that case, I’d also figure short is a more natural fit. After all, there’s a lot of it!

I also see that as pen-like, and of a piece with machinima (though not exactly Sleep is Death, you’re right). A lot of the best art has been made by trying unusual things with standard tools and bending them to purposes for which they weren’t directly designed. It looks a whole lot different than intentionally stressed and overexposed film, but I think the same basic turn is happening, there.


Wow, and earlier in this thread I was hoping that somehow I would get an excuse to link this. Well, OK, it’s a pretty flimsy excuse. (For those who don’t like clicking blind links, it’s atmospheric abstractly narrative Tomb Raider machnima from 2001, with narration from texts by Fernando Pessoa, Joanna Russ, and Sun Ra.)

A post in Jim Aikin’s blog made me think.

I have a vague feeling that for the twitter/cell phone generation the best bet would be short episodic IF. IF in small, diary doses for monosyllabic obsessive twitters — some story, 2 or 3 enticing puzzles and a staytuned ending.

This can be a reality with front-page links to parchment playable games. Also be sure to include next to the link some of those “Tweet/Mail these to your friends, Digg it up” links, etc

just wonder how one could handle game state between episodes, though… the straightforward way, I guess, would be to compile different episodes of the same game with some variables manually set — there would not really be any user-related variable, like essential possetions beyond usage for any single episode.

what do you guys think?

That seems like an awfully cynical way of putting it. I don’t know if I’m exactly in the generation you’re talking about, but I am probably one of the younger people here and do technically have a twitter account, but since I’ve actually been working on some such micro-IF projects (not exactly episodic, but certainly brief), I’d like to claim that the [very] short form appeals to me not because of a Mountain Dew-saturated lifestyle, but because I’m interested in experimenting, and prototyping rapidly. It’s a lot easier to get feedback on something if your audience doesn’t have to set aside a week to play your work.

I like to call it a realistic way of putting it.

Fair enough. That’s your take as an author. My take was that of the (short-attention-span) audience. I truly believe it’s a worthwhile experiment, that of short episodic IF with links to share the experience with friends…