Saucers of Mud

March 27, 2011

Two Stream-of-Consciousness Experiments in Interactive Fiction

Filed under: Interactive Fiction — matt w @ 9:24 pm
Tags: ,

For the recent IF Demo Fair I submitted a piece, called “The Table,” which used procedurally generated text to produce some stream-of-consciousness text. It was based on an earlier exercise I’d done based on Experiment 1 by Aaron Reed. I think “The Table” probably was less successful than the exercise, but it might be interesting to think about why. More discussion below the fold, but before that you can:

Play “The Table” online (using Parchment; requires javascript)
Read its source code (in Inform 7)
Download it (you’ll need a Glulx interpreter)

Play my version of “Aaron Reed’s Experiment 1” online (using Parchment; requires javascript)
Read its source code (in Inform 7)
Download it (you’ll need a zcode interpreter)

And if you want to see some interesting things other folks did around the same time, you can scroll to the very bottom of the post (or go here for Jason Dyer’s “Renga in Four Parts” or here for Scott Rettberg’s “After Parthenope.”

March 5, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — matt w @ 8:53 pm

Now with interactivity.

From SHilbert’s description of a talk at a game development conference:

Another interesting technique Last Day of Work has come up with is what they call “coercive conversion,” a process Arthur admits is somewhat “evil.” The general idea can be summed up in his example of a virtual pet game his company developed, in which it was free to raise and play with your virtual puppy character, but medication cost money — and the puppy was guaranteed to get sick within a few weeks, dying in 24 hours without medical attention. Despite angry letters from parents, the technique apparently works monetarily.

So their business model is to make kids cry? I wouldn’t call that “somewhat” evil — I mean, it’s not like shooting protesters or cutting infant nutrition aid in order to fund tax cuts for the rich, but it seems about as evil as you can get in game design. I’d say “without killing kittens,” but.

(via an unrelated post from Emily Short.)

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