- April 24 2006: Added a few pointers to recent articles about IF down in the Links section.
- March 20 2006: We have changed the requirement for partial matching of items. Instead of searching for a substring, you must now do "aliasing" either automatically or manually. The "old" requirement for partial matching would count as automatic aliasing. Manual aliasing would be something like defining aliases for an item when created (e.g., alias "can of peas", "can", "peas")
The adventure begins
> READ LETTER In a flowing script, the letter reads: "Dear COMP314 student, Your next assignment, called ADVENTURE, is modeled after the game of the same name and its descendants (e.g. Zork). You will develop a game for a single player which follows the text-based adventure game (or "interactive fiction") model. ...
As with previous projects, please do your work and turn in your spec/prototype/final using Subversion.
Writing your spec
Bonus features were announced during the course of the project, but are not linked here (so we can re-use them in future years).
You are welcome and encouraged to think up your own game idea, but if you find you've got a severe case of writer's block, you are also welcome to start from our sample story. You will absolutely not be penalized for using it; this isn't a creative writing course, after all.
(Updated 3PM, 3/02.)
## Graders: sethn/creepy p2g1 = dnaquin, beakin p2g2 = oaa, asolano p2g3 = stcheng, adamstep p2g4 = gmalecha, dweidman p2g5 = ratsark, algo86 ## Graders: dmp/aecruess p2g6 = beta, ttorous p2g7 = cliffe, bdodson p2g8 = jmflizz, barnaby p2g9 = dcarr, ifedeli p2g10 = robsmith, cderrick ## Graders: dsandler/ev p2g11 = iamjack, preed p2g12 = robmcd, coolpipe p2g13 = krep, derrley p2g14 = jiaokun, haozhou p2g15 = yl4534, Xi.Zhang p2g16 = ars1
Further reading on text-based adventure games, interactive fiction, etc. to help get your creative juices flowing.
- If you've never played a text adventure game before, you might look at The Dreamhold, which is intended for newcomers and is playable in your web browser. (Other well-regarded pieces of IF with Web interfaces: 9:05, Shade, Bad Machine.)
- Wikipedia has several excellent articles about the history and mechanics of these sorts of games, including Interactive Fiction, Zork, its predecessor ADVENTURE, etc. Highly recommended.
- Zork, originally an MIT hack, was written up (by its authors) in the journal IEEE Computer, way back in 1979: Lebling and Blank, Zork: A Computerized Fantasy Simulation Game.
- Here's a nice History of Zork (including a reference to Rice's own Scott Cutler, who ported the Zork virtual machine to the TRS-80).
- Infocom, the company most commonly associated with IF, published a number of game titles besides Zork, including the popular game version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- Speaking of MIT, did you know that one of the projects their freshmen complete in CS 6.001 is an adventure game? Take a look at Project 4 from last year's 6.001 course page. Your assignment is quite different, and substantially larger. For one thing, you get zero code to start from and must design, build, and test the whole thing yourself. (For another, you'll be working in Java, not Scheme. Determining whether this is a hindrance or a benefit to students is an exercise for the reader.)
- Every year, fans of interactive fiction get together to judge the IFComp, a competition for text adventure games. All of the past contest entries can be downloaded and played, so there's a lot here to inspire you if you're looking for examples. Highlights:
- The IFComp winner for 1998, Photopia, is more of a cleverly-arranged narrative than a puzzle, per se.
- Proof that you can make a text adventure out of just about anything: IF Arcade, with interpretations of Centipede, Donkey Kong, Marble Madness...
- Graphical puzzle/adventure games such as Myst (and its many sequels and imitators) are generally considered to be descendants of text-based interactive fiction.
- Another resource for IF writers and players is the IFwiki.
- Apr 2006: Something about Interactive Fiction by Terrence Bosky in MobyGames; linked from Interactive Fiction Then and Now on Slashdot. Excerpt:
Montfort also points to the acceptance of interactive fiction apart from gamers. "What is growing is interest in IF beyond 'the' IF community—international interest, teachers using IF in the classroom, people interested in electronic literature and net.art who are finding things to enjoy in IF," said Montfort.(The above article makes liberal reference to Nick Montfort's Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction, from MIT Press, 2003. Nick has also (just last year) released Book and Volume, a deliciously geeky game you might enjoy.)
- Aug 2005: > READ GAME, in The Escapist.