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Flashback to interactive fiction

I have been playing with a new tool to create interactive fiction games. I was a big D&D fan, and played the Zork games and even the excellent Hitchhiker’s Guide Infocom game. This was about 25 years ago when my parents had to wrench me off the computer to keep me away from those dark rooms with lanterns and rusty birdcages in the corner. I have fond memories of those days (I was 10 or so-ish) but more visual media has pulled me into the career I have now.

That is, until my grad school program pulled me back. There is this really great tool out there called Inform that lets you generate interactive fiction games such as the ones I described above, all without too much drama coding it. The code is very legible, no crazy variables or other things to worry to create a simple game. Read on for a sample, and my first game!

Part 1 – Map

Garage is north of Elevator.
Elevator is south of Gym Entrance.
Cardio Room is north of Gym Entrance.
Weights Room is west of Cardio Room.

Part 2 – Garage

Garage is a room. “The garage’s bottom level is empty save for Diana’s car which sits there with a eerie feeling of loneliness. Where’s Diana? Aren’t you guys supposed to be going home? There is an elevator to the south.”.

Car is in Garage. “Diana’s car sits all by it’s lonesome under tasteful sodium lighting.”. Car is an openable, enterable, opaque, lockable container. Car is locked. The Keys unlocks the Car. After entering Car: say “Yes!!! You WIN!!! You and Diana ride off into the sunset.”; End the game in victory.

Yeah, that’s it, easy huh? I highly recommend you try Inform. If you want to check out my cool little game, feel free. It is not very complex or anything, you mostly can go north, south, east, west, and talk to people and take items. But I had lots of fun writing it! I can’t wait to see where else this class takes me.

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