Prairie Fire

Karen Svoboda had a lot of secrets, but which one killed her?

Looking forward to the game!


Hi folks!

I need just a couple of people to test out the interface of my new game, Prairie Fire (and definitely some more betatesters down the road, but it’s not at that point yet). It’s still a fairly conventional piece of IF, but with some atmospheric and plot-essential graphics.

Basically, I don’t need anyone to try to break the interface at this point; I’m mainly interested in comments on clarity, usability, design that could be better. As such, it’d probably be best if you were using a system similar to mine (Git interpreter, so Windows would be best). Not super-small resolution would also help - everything’s been designed for up to 1024x768.

The plot, sound effects, and graphics are relatively complete up to the end of Day One, so there is some stuff you can play around with, but I’m mainly interested in hearing about the interface design. The game itself is set in Madison, WS during 1970 and it’s a fairly conventional murder mystery.

If you could help, that’d be great! Please message me on here or send an email to my gmail. I don’t know how best to fool the bots, but try adding 1984 to my handle here, and it should work. Then I’ll let you know where you can download the package.

Thanks, and look forwarding to hearing from you!


Hey everyone!

I’ve now completed the first act of Prairie Fire - my new hybrid IF - and it’s ready for betatesting. It’s written in Inform 7 with heavy Glimmr support, and I’m aiming for a mid-summer release. There’s a fairly even mix of puzzles and story, and at its heart it’s a neo-noir, murder mystery game.

If you can help me out, please PM me here or send an email to my gmail account, and I’ll send you the link for the download. My handle is jdevlin1984.

Thanks in advance,


Jason has let me look at Prairie Fire once or twice as he’s been preparing this beta. When Jason calls it a “hybrid IF”, he isn’t kidding–it’s a very ambitious attempt to place parser-based interactive fiction alongside a point-and-click visual interface, and the graphics integrate nicely with the mystery and detection mechanics. There is a clickable album of photographs representing evidence that the player has gathered in the course of investigation, with each photo serving not only as a reminder of the information that’s been gathered but also as a source of new clues (you can explore most photos further by clicking on details to see more text). The game also provides a kind of non-spoilery hint system, using a notebook metaphor. This is especially interesting, as it combines a straight list of the clues that have been gathered with a kind of alchemy mechanic–you can click on any two of the clues to attempt to combine them to reveal an inference or conclusion. There is also a period-appropriate map on which the PC marks out the progress as the game proceeds, as well as location images, sound effects, and music.

Jason is an established author with some great games to his credit (Vespers and Sting of the Wasp being the most well known). What he’s trying to do with Prairie Fire is new and pretty darn exciting, and I’d definitely encourage folks to help him give it some testing!