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, a database, and an archive devoted to them.

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.

It's inconvenient but not difficult (I think) to install an interpreter. I use gargoyle, which has Mac and Windows versions here, and Linux binaries available elsewhere (for instance, as part of Ubuntu). 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, but I think I'll leave it as is for now, maybe for good. "Let the features be features, and let the bugs be bugs."

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