Let’s say you don’t have a static fiction story to mold into an Interactive Fiction Game but still want that IF experience - how do you get That? Trial and error is what most people tell me. “Just practice and find what works for you!” That doesn’t cut it. Thus they are learning to be writers by the seat of their pants with no writing instruction.
I look around at this forum called : “Getting Started and General Game Design” and I am shocked that most discussion is about the dynamics of various IF writing tools and very little or nothing about the art of writing the story itself. After all, an IF game is still a story although set in a wrapper that lets you interact with it.
I believe this is a Major flaw in the IF community and is what is keeping IF from a broader audience.
Half the focus should be on the writing while the other half on game dynamics - you must have both equally to write an IF game.
This forum should be filled with people discussing the art of writing and I just don’t see it.
The story must be considered First before you plug that story into an IF tool like Inform or Adrift. If the authors of Inform,TADS, Adrift and the rest, give equal attention to the writing, people would be more apt to try their hand out at making a game. You need Both information about the tool, how it works AND information about story writing accessible in the Literature/Manuals/Forums…
Unless… you only invite established writers to use the tools. That will work, they already know the craft of writing so they can easily plug a story into the tools - but that isn’t done - Ever. These tools are encouraged for use by the masses. Therefore the IF community needs to get it’s act together and encourage/discuss/teach the art of writing way more than it does now if they want this genre to survive.
I would like to see more of that in these and other forums.
People say, “Well writing for IF is different…” Hog wash I say. The stories may not progress in a linear fashion like a static story, but you still need all the elements, a beginning, middle and end filled in between with dialog between characters, plots, plot twists, subplots etc. That’s the difference between a dull dungeon crawler you play just for the sake of going from beginning to end looking for treasure and a griping adventure that makes you identify with the character’s plight, leading them on a roller coaster ride of perils and plot twists to the riveting end.
If you don’t know how to be a good writer in the first place, you can never hope to write a good IF game.
That’s my take. What do you folks think?
Who wants to see more information on becoming a better writer?
If you are or think you are a good writer, how did you acquire your writing skills?