What you like most in Interactive Fiction Games?

Hello, i’m new to interactive fiction games, and i was wondering what do you like most on them?
I personally like the immersion in the stories :smiley: .

My kicks from IF are mainly:

  • Characterization: I dig seeing characters defined clearly with very brief strokes of decision or description. Even moreso: I super-dig characters defined by their perspective. You have two characters examine the same ballpoint pen and you have two opportunities to show that they’re very different people. IF is good for stuff like that.

  • Environment: Call it voyeurism, but I like games where I go rooting around in other people’s spaces and other people’s pasts. That’s a lot of IF, really, and the process goes hand-in-hand with the perspective thing. I also like the idea (and some IF lives up to this) of being able to choose how I experience an environment; choose what I focus on and how long and how much.

  • Illusion of Interactivity and Tactical Infinity: I think, of all the computer-game forms, IF can (and frequently does) come closest to providing a really convincing, immersive illusion of both interactivity and tactical infinity.

  • Pace: When IF is really on its game, even genuine urgency can be stretched out over time and savored (and still feel like genuine urgency). How cool is that?

Plus, as the old joke goes, the graphics are better.

As a caveman who cut my teeth in the pre-Infocom paleolithic age and grew up on Infocom, I still enjoy exploring an interesting world that the author has created and solving puzzles.

Robert Rothman

I’m a big fan of IF worlds that employ “simulationist” elements, whether it’s magic, liquids, fire, whatever. I get these goofy pavlovian jollies from finding that, yes, I can pour half a gallon of water onto the floor, or yes, casting frotz on something will always make it shiny and glowy. In general, IF that actually lets me do something stupid as opposed to just offering a snarky response always gets a good response from me.

You guys already hit the two big selling points for me – immersion and simulation. I think the presence of both those elements is what makes IF so special. Getting to be personally present in the fictional world and to manipulate it in realistic ways makes that world seem all the more wonderful and satisfying.

Pacing. I like to be able to walk away easily and come back, or spend a few minutes reading and re-reading descriptions.

I also like that I can play at the office. One window full of text looks pretty much like any other.

I too like games with simulationist elements, as well as epic puzzlefests like Mulldoon Legacy or Not Just an Ordinary Ballerina with dozens of parallel puzzles that can be tackled nonlinearly.

Sadly it seems the IF community has moved away from these genres and they’ve become somewhat of a lost art.

for me I would have to say the style of writing has to be within my taste. I’ve played IF games I couldn’t enjoy because I didn’t like the writing style…It also has to be a setting I enjoy, I’m a big fantasy medieval fan…

also lots of detail. Everything in the room that has a description should also have an object the player can look at…like

if there’s a book case with books on history topics, books on this and that…

and they type look at history books they should get a suitable description…after all they were told it was there…

also everything the player types should come up with something other than the default message…

after the player types “play with the winkle garphunkle biggenheimer”

any type of output like “You can’t do that”

“that’s not a verb I recognize” lol…

also player should be able to use lots of commands like shout talk whisper yell, walk, run, jog…

A good IF game should take a long time to complete I think…lol.

********* EDIT *************

also don’t let maps destroy your game. Since IF is based on rooms that make up a map, don’t have boring maps. A cave complex with 300 rooms of rubble floor, and stone walls is boring! I’d shut the game off after maybe 20 rooms lol

I’m making a game called Esher’s Quest which is going to contain a number of different locations.

I’m trying to keep my maps small, and detailed, yet balance it in a good way…Even big mazes should have tons of different room descriptions. If you want to make an effective complex like 300 rooms…do your best to make every room different…atleast something has to be different…even if it’s along the same trail…

Like the painting with the upside-down staircase?
You’ll really need maps for that (like in the game Monitor’s Maze, in which you navigate a cavern of moving walls)!

I don’t know about infocom, but that type of play first peaked my interest in Tomb Raider 1 (Gold) so I’m no stranger to the “pull lever to get key and run back to open door” type play, in fact I like this best when basic (non specific) maps are introduced like in that AIF game I was talking about.

I get self satisfaction from scoring and I like to go back to look at an inventory.

haha I guess I don’t know what you mean.

Below is a short history breakdown.

[spoiler]Esher’s Quest is a fantasy setting. Esher gets drawn into a world protected by Lissara a God type in that world. She has been sealed away by a circle of mages who used her power to protect that world through the elementals. After a war with an ancient evil called Zotar they decided to seal her in a crystal, and hide her away against her will, but yet for the worlds own good. The elementals angered by their foolish choice abandonded them leaving them in a world of dying magic. Another war ensued taking the lives of what is believed to be all the mages. Now, Lissara trapped, reaches out from her space between spaces, and brings Esher into Lisim (her world).

and thus Esher’s Quest begins.[/spoiler]

It’s also going to be a 2D RPG. my buddy Ugaki, and I, are working out the plot right now. If anyones interested you can learn more at.

InterFiction Blog Site

He is probably referring to M.C. Escher.