I’m helping to promote this jam hosted by my friend Ludipe (designer for A place for the unwilling).
It is a jam that starts in 9 days for “fixing detective games”. Because “detective games are broken”. Well… it seems they don’t know some of our detective games… and that’s why I think interactive fiction has a lot to show in that respect, and recent experimental (and fastly consolidated) interfaces have been applied to the task with excellent results (I look at you Detectiveland).
“The case of the missing interpreter” made me think of one of my old dialogue ideas aka excuses for the difficulty of getting dialogue to work–you’re in a country where you understand the language much better than you can speak it, and whatever you try to say, the locals pick out the word you’ve managed to express correctly and say something about that. Even if that’s not what you were trying to say. It’s a keyword parser under the hood, of course. (This may have been inspired by attempting to speak French in Québec, though it’s not like I can understand Québecois French either… or most any native speaker speaking French.) But the “missing interpreter” may not be meant that literally.[ur
Also Carl Muckenhoupt had an idea for a mystery game–you flash back and play as one of the characters and try to leave the room in the state in which you found it. His idea was to do this in a DROD-style tile game, where everyone has determined rules of movement etc., but you could do something IF-like to that. You could have a helpful sidekick who points out when you’ve left a discrepancy in something you haven’t examined yet (or something you have).
That was my initial thought as well. A foreigner in a strange country who has to learn the local language, and the locals take the few words you managed to get right (if any) and run with them. In other words, a situation similar to the one from Gostak, but instead of just playing the game, you’re tasked with conversing with these people in a strange language you’ve never read before.
Just saw this sub-theme. The lost magnifying glass: Make a game that is accessible to players with disabilities. Think of people who can’t enjoy most games and create something they’ll love, better yet! Design your core mechanics to suit a certain disability. And of course, IF (as long as it’s not written in ADRIFT or Quest) is a natural fit for this sub-theme.