And vice versa, I think. Something that has really struck me in this thread is “what are we talking about when we talk about interactive fiction?”
But more than that, if we were to think about these things in terms of, for example, “model view controller” there really isn’t any technical reason a text adventure with simple verbs couldn’t be presented in the DOOM engine, for example. Moving from one room to another is not technically any different than typing “go east.” Running over an object is “take object.” Running into a blue door while holding the blue key is, “use blue key on blue door.” I’m glossing over UI/UX considerations considerably here, but verbs could be thought of as “weapons” in the DOOM vernacular, for example. I think even a game like Witness with a cast of characters moving about could be visually portrayed by a graphical engine.
The mental exercise I’ve been toying with lately starts with Zork.
First, remove all redundant verbs and strip it to its essence. Tim Schafer reduced all verbs down to “use” in Broken age, for example.
Next, don’t show descriptive text to the player, swap that at runtime for a picture of the place or thing being described.
Next, replace movement by text parser with movement by gamepad.
Next, replace “use” with the “X” and replace “inventory” with the “Y” button on the gamepad (for example).
Next, rather than static images, replace the locations with full 3D locations where physically exiting a location equates to “go east” and such.
Now we have a full visual replacement for the text and a gamepad replacement for the text parser, but full Zork is still running behind the scenes (in this contrived example which doesn’t attempt to answer every UI/UX question for the sake of brevity).
At what point did the above game stop being “interactive fiction?”
What I’m getting at is that I think there is a lot of room for exploring the confluence of various forms of media, and IF can be a part of any media once it is freed from having its world model, parsing, and text presentation layers separated out and those abstractions made available in various programming languges and game engines. But then, is it still IF?
@mathbrush I think we’ll see more and more the idea of “assistive AI” being used, rather than just pure “let the AI generate whatever madness it wants.” Nvidia has some interesting painting tools that allow an artist to kind of block out the position and size and types of objects for a scene, which the AI uses to guide its image creation. I could easily see the same happening for text-based creative works, to fill in the gaps when a player just can’t resist examining every centimeter of a room.
I’ve kind of been toying with the idea of “what is the Unreal Engine 5 equivalent in interactive fiction?” Is it possible to give “infinite detail” using procedurally and AI generated details for all the numerous things a human simply doesn’t have the time to spend doing?