Interactive Fiction

Being interested in different forms of story telling, I like to explore everything.  This includes novels, short stories, poetry, art, comics and games.  Games in particular are great because they are interactive and you as the player become immersed in the story and can help shape its outcome.  All the other art forms I’ve mentioned require you to simply be an observer.  This isn’t a bad thing and often the reader does have to do a bit of thinking to figure something out.

But games are the best way, in my opinion, to get involved in a story.  And the most basic of games, the ones where it all started, are the interactive fiction games, or choose-your-own-adventure stories if you want to go back even further.

I’ve been fascinated by this form of story telling for some time now and have started to create my own text adventures.  They’re not really games but the reader can choose different paths and so be led down different routes, exploring different parts of the story.  It works especially well for non-linear stories.

Twine is my tool of choice.  It’s ridiculously easy to use, free and there are many wonderful examples of how it can be manipulated to create complex games or simple hypertext fiction.  There are other tools, many of which are free, but with Twine you don’t need to be able to code.  If you can write a story then you can use Twine.  A better advert would be, if I can use Twine without blowing up my computer then you can definitely use Twine.

When I’ve finished pissing about and saying things like “Oh cool, I didn’t know you could do that!” I will post something.

In the meantime I highly recommend My Father’s Long Long Legs by Michael Lutz.  It’s a creepy little tale that highlights how effective interactive fiction can be.


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