Links and Various Small Things

— Speaking of browser-based IF, this post has a surprisingly large collection of links to old-school games playable through a browser; a lot of it is Zplet stuff, but there’s also access to some old Scott Adams games, The Hobbit, and Oregon Trail (not strictly IF, but I have fuzzy nostalgic feelings about it all the same).

— The Guardian’s wikigame project continues apace — there’s room to contribute small amounts (even object descriptions, etc) even if you’re not interested in attempting to code or participate at a broader level.

— According to my inbox, the Australasian Interactive Entertainment conference 2008 has put out a call for papers and demonstrations. Papers are due July 18th, demonstration abstracts August 1; the conference itself will take place in Brisbane, December 3-5, 2008. They’re interested in several IF-ish topics, including “interactive digital storytelling” and (for people using IF in school projects) “e-learning and the role of games in pedagogy”. I don’t expect to be in Australia in December myself, but maybe others will want to participate. (The website seems to be a bit temperamental about coming up, but that is definitely the URL I was given.)

— Following up on Jeff Nyman’s RAIF post a few weeks ago about the lack of readily-accessible, indexed information about previous projects, I added a bunch of “making-of” article links to ifwiki’s Craft page. I probably missed lots, though. Feel free to add more. (I also keep thinking it would be great if the interpreter page were updated to reflect the existence of Flaxo, Parchment, et al., but editing access to that page seems to have been restricted due to spammers.)

— I’ve very minutely updated the I7 syntax document: it still included “inventory listing”, which has been removed from 5T18. Thanks to Sarganar for pointing out this documentation bug.

Jay is Games reviews Lost Pig, with online play

Jay Is Games has reviewed Lost Pig, and they’ve got a new Flash interpreter hooked up to let people play the game in their browsers.

Compared with playing on Zoom, it’s not so fast and smooth as I’m used to… but it’s not bad, and it’s certainly a fine way to introduce the casually-stopping-by crowd at JIG to new pieces of IF, without asking them to download anything extra.

Haven’t attempted a systematic comparison with the other recent Flash-based Z-interpreter, Flaxo.

fugue

A very short-short, not-very-game-like piece of mine has been published at Up Right Down. URD is all about retellings of the same story, so fugue won’t make much sense unless you read the basic plot and instructions. This one isn’t particularly directed at the IF community — it’s intentionally tiny, puzzle-less, and unresponsive to most of the standard IF verbs. But the story struck me as something I could work with and the constraints resonated well with the conversation-system experiments I was doing, and it all just kind of gelled.

I’ve always been a sucker for multiple tellings of the same story anyway.

It’s also an early application of Flaxo, a program I am liking more and more. I have had some trouble running ZMPP et al from my mindspring site, but Flaxo works fine. I’m not ready to use it to host longer games yet, since it doesn’t yet let the player restart and restore — but for something that’s only half a dozen moves or so to start with, that’s less of a problem. And Flaxo looks quite pretty as browser-based IF interpreters go.