Part of the reason I really like IF as a game writer is that it’s simple; I can make a game with nothing but text. I don’t need to be able to create images, choose fonts, pick color schemes, compose music, or do any sort of cross-fading and other music stuff that makes music sound good. Really all I need to be able to do is write a simple program and tell a simple story.
That being said, though, the more “rich” and environment is, the more awesome the experience. If you’re in a forest, the ‘music’ would be an idyllic piece, with bird calls and wind blowing through the leaves. Suddenly, something happens, and the music switches (seamlessly, in an ideal world) to a more menacing piece, and suddenly the bird calls stop, and the wind picks up. Some time later, a thunderstorm starts; rain sounds, and the occasional thunderclap. It’s a great way to add emotion that’s hard to convey in text - as you get into a scarier part of the game, the music gets lower and lower, until boom! Thunder! The screen flashes white! Suddenly, the hulking creature is standing in front of you!
That would be an awesome game, if it was done correctly - but that’s the trouble. It’s hard to make a really good game. It’s even harder to add all the sounds, images, and other media without overshadowing the game, or wrenching the player out of the experience. Plus, the perfectly orchestrated game would suddenly be hundreds of megabytes, and would only work in Windows, and various sound systems would play the wrong music, or introduce pops and clicks, or… you get the idea. Adding sounds and images (and any other media) takes so much longer than just writing and programming the game, it’s prohibitive.