Jonathan Wood (thexmedic) wrote,
Jonathan Wood

I just did the best thing ever

So, Paul Jessup has an article up over at Strange Horizons about Interactive Fiction. it's entirely worth reading - a fascinating look at a thriving subculture. And me, being the experimental fiction junky I am, got all fired up about it and thoughts, hell's yes do I want to write me some of that.

So I promptly downloaded Inform 7 (follow links in Paul's article) and loaded up a tutorial. And then I thought I should probably read some interactive fiction before I simply plunged headlong into the whole thing.

And then I played "Slouching Toward Bedlam"


One of the most exciting experiences I've ever had as a reader. I know I say this shit too often, but bugger me, this has been a good year for fiction. That game is simply incredible.

For the first time, for me, everything that a novel can do (in terms of narrative, depth of exploration, aesthetics, etc) was combined with the excitement of a truly great game. I really felt like I was effecting things, like I was doing something. And at the end I made a choice. I decided what to do. And it wasn't just a left corridor, right corridor choice. It was a moral choice. And it had consequences. The fiction ended on my terms.

It was incredible. Just incredible.

(NOTE: The link above is to the Java version of the game. You can't save in that version and the game is kind of long. You might want to follow the link in Paul's article to the wikipedia page which will take you to a place where you can download the file and a z-compiler so you can play it with saving and everything etc. Whatever you do, you really should play this. Really.)


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