Jim Munroe on Texture and “Pretty Sure”

Texture is a tool for choice-based interactive fiction, but one with explicit verbs rather than simple links in the text. Designed to feel natural on touch screen devices as well as in the browser, it lets you drag a verb from the bottom of the screen and position it over one or more hot spots in the text.

Here I’ve dragged a “remember” tag to hover the highlighted “your son” text, constructing my own command:

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 9.34.38 AM

A beta version of Texture has been around for a while – I first wrote about it in late 2014, and Jim Munroe and Juhana Leinonen have been working on it on and off since then. But that early version was still lacking a number of features. The new iteration is much more complete, both in terms of what the tool can do (better handling of variables and lasting state from page to page) and as a player-facing experience. The new version launched with a small but impressive library of titles, with new works from Jim Munroe, Robert Yang (who has often starred here before), and Jake Elliott (Kentucky Route Zero).

Jim’s big contribution is Pretty Sure, a short story about parenting: I would say a science fiction story, and there are science fictional elements, but it’s really mostly a story about human interactions and responsibilities. Jim was kind enough to talk with me about the making of Pretty Sure and the design decisions that went into it.

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No Show Conf, Boston July 14-15

There wasn’t an IF conference alongside PAX East this year, but people may be interested in the No Show Conference, an indie game conference running on the MIT campus July 14-15. It will have something of an IF community presence. (Not me. But other people. Note the talks by Clara Fernandez-Vara, Deirdra Kiai, and Jim Munroe.)

In particular, if you liked last year’s IF Demo Fair, you may be pleased to hear that there’s a demo hall as a significant part of the conference. Interactive fiction games and interface demos are welcome.