The IF Commons – random brainstorm goes here!

I thought it would be nice with a thread where half-baked IF ideas could be shared and developed.

:stuck_out_tongue: (only post your ideas here if you’re cool with other people using them!) :stuck_out_tongue:

Some ideas of my own:

  • I remember playing a platformer where my character at some point fell down through empty air. But because there were nothing around me, I had no way of knowing with which speed I was falling, or if I was falling at all. Some of the same effect could be archived in IF by creating rows of 100 % similar rooms. I was thinking of something akin to the scifi thriller Cube (1997).
    Cube trailer:

  • Roguelike (permadeath and randomized world) could be fun. It don’t need to stick to fighting fantasy RPG clichés.

  • Reality-bending mechanics, like in Portal. (this can take many forms - dimension jumping, time bending, etc. Portal has inspired numerous games.)

  • Game where you die all the time, but where the constant dying is part of the flow, like it is in Hotline Miami. Each death should be gory and well detailed. Some slight randomization, so that the player won’t have to just push the same key combination after each restart. (Randomization: The player starts in different room and the NPC behavior varies)

  • IF world inspired by Minecraft.

  • IF Walking Sim!

Well, there IS an IF Walking And Wings Flapping Chicken Sim. :wink:

Sort of like.

Shrapnel meets Kerkerkruip?


Hmmm. Since it’s IF we’re talking about, would games like Nord & Bert, Ad Verbum, Earl Grey and Counterfeit Monkey fit the bill?

EDIT - Hey, Orpington appears with a different rating on the search page than on the actual game page ( What’s that all about?

EDIT 2 - Hmmm, this is also true of Behaviour. I’ll let Michael Roberts know.

You should check out the Imaginary Games jam–that’s where most of my half-baked ideas are headed (and possibly other people’s). Some comments, though:

Sounds kinda like a maze. You have to give a really fresh twist to a maze if you don’t want players to ragequit these days.

Go play Kerkerkruip!

Let me just say that this list is an excellent list of games and you should play them. And that’s all I’m gonna say.

(Aw, Peter, spoilers…)

Whoops… I spoiler-tagged the bit I think you mean. :slight_smile: Sorry about that!

A game set in the tall tales of the American West and featuring Paul Bunyan and Pecos Bill.

A murder mystery parser game where “what actually happens” is shown at the end in hyperlink text.

A conversation game in a world where sentient flame spirits are used like telephones to communicate with other demons for their master.

Making conversation topics into inventory and making a game where every classic If puzzle is recast as a conversation puzzle (stuff like using items in unanticipated ways, learning how to use complex machines, even combat, but all as a conversation).

“Dinner with Emily”, a conversation game set in a restaurant with an automaton version of Emily Short. All of the her conversation would be taken directly from her blog and writings, making her have an enormous amount of stuff to say. Sort of a response to Being Andrew Plotkin.

I would love for someone to make any of the games.

@Mathbrush - sentient flame spirits which can choose to distort their masters’ messages!

Game based on an ambiguous sentence, in which emphasising different words in the sentence changes the story/point of view completely

@verity Exactly! You should write it!

Also, just to clarify, the Emily Short game would not be romantic, it would be more like Dinner with Andre, which I haven’t seen.

Maybe not exactly this, but Emily did an experimental piece called HOLOGRAPHY that is about a sentence developing.

Ah here:

Crap, how did I miss that?! Thanks, Hanon!

A game where you play a thought or memory.

A game similar to the sims, but with creatures from Zork.

A game similar to Game Producer! (, but about making interactive fiction.

A mystery that takes place on a space station (Murder on Deep Space 9?).

An IF game similar to Guitar Hero.

A game that fuses spaghetti westerns with fantasy/sci-fi.

A text-based war simulator.

You should look at Champion of Guitars

I just played Champion of Guitars. It’s tedious, yet amusing.

Three games. Three protagonists. Three different sets of puzzles and mechanics. One singular event that brings them all together.

I will probably have a go at this sort of thing one of these days.

A game where you possess (or transform into) different animals for their different physical abilities.

Expansions off this (haven’t played Hotline Miami, so not sure if I’m just saying what it did) :

The PC magically recovers from any injury including death, and while it’s mostly a plot thing, it’s used for a few puzzles, e.g. deliberately getting killed by the bad guys because they will discuss their Evil Master Plan in front of your corpse.

OR, every time the PC dies, he goes back in time (or into a parallel dimension) and can do things differently.

Constant death reminds me of All Things Devours and Varicella though neither put that spin on it. (Both were also excellent games which made great use of it.)

Like in “Arthur: Quest for Excalibur”?

Reminds me of Shrapnel and Back To Life… Unfortunately!

A bit like Heroes, then?

(I’m not purposefully raining on parades, I’m musing on how much has ALREADY been done without us being fully aware of it)

Good lord, did Infocom do an adaptation of T. H. White? Because I am all over it if that’s the case.

Thanks for the tip about “Heroes”. That looks like fun!

I don’t know T. H. White and I rather doubt it in any case. :slight_smile: Regardless, it’s a solid game which I had fun with, it’s very interesting for anyone who wants to see how Bob Bates transitioned from his Infocom oeuvre into his fantastic Legend Entertainment, and it uses the mechanic quoted to, I thought, good effect.

There was a series of gamebooks, early 90’s or so, starting with Armor Attacks: The Tank Platoon that is, well, text-based war (or at least text-based tactical combat). Lots of maps to read with coordinates given in the text. Would be easier to follow if there was a digital version, but as far as I know there is none.

There were a couple (at least two) of first-person 3D-games around 1990, SSI I think, that showed a battle from the perspective of the general and you gave orders through a text-parser. First game was called Waterloo. Other game was some other Napoleonic battle. Never played it so I do not know how advanced the parser was.

Wikipedia quotes some example orders you could input that sounds like the kind of thing that would be fun to do in a text-based war simulator:

“D’Erlon, at 1 15 pm order Donzelot defend the hills 1 mile south of you”
“Lobau, transfer your cavalry to Reille”
“Drouot, at 6 30 pm give support to Reille, D’Erlon and Milhaud”

hahaha, now this is my kind of thread.

A game involving exactly six rabbits.

A game with CLOAKS!

A game where you play through the same scene three times, from the point of view of one of three different characters involved in the scene each time.

A game where the parser themself is treated as a character. (I’m sure this one must have already been done a million times, but the only one I’ve played is, I think, Violet?)