Interactive Fiction

Interactive fiction is a medium of text-based games. Or, from another angle, texts which are opened up by players interacting with the world of the text, rather than by turning pages. If you want to see other examples of interactive fiction, there is a community for it, as well as a database of games, and an archive where you can download the games.

So far I have made one piece of interactive fiction, Ocean Beach. It is named after a beach in San Diego, but it is not about that. It's a "symbolic landscape".

It's available in two forms:
The "theatrical release" (an in-browser game without audio), and the "director's cut" (a downloadable game with audio that has to be played using a downloaded interpreter). Unfortunately, the software for the in-browser interpreter does not (yet?) support audio, hence having two versions. It's not necessary to the gameplay to hear the audio but it does make the experience better.

If you're interested in using an interpreter, I use gargoyle, which has Mac and Windows versions here, and is available for Linux. There is also an interpreter for Android.

If you want to hear the audio for the game, you can listen here. MIDI, PDF sheet music, and their Lilypond source file are also available.

In either form, the game takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to play.

The game has some minor bugs that I know of (and in 2022, I see a few spots where I would word things differently), but I think I'll leave it as is for now. "Let the features be features, and let the bugs be bugs."

(Again, in 2022: The writing style of this page is kind of like the IF community's writing style, and I changed it a little bit now because I'm not really part of their community and my tastes in my own writing and how I would present myself have changed. (I find other people's writing styles rub off on me.) But I think I should leave this page somewhat as it was, because again, "let the features be features, and let the bugs be bugs". I guess I'm torn between this being an honest representation of the past and something advertising the game in the present. I replayed the game recently (somewhat) and think that it holds up. So in that respect it belongs to the present. But it's really about the time when I made it.)

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