How many remember interactive text adventures like Zork? Interactive Fiction has a small but very loyal following. Today there are a few programming languages (TADS 3, Inform) and even IDEs (Quest) which can be used to create very complex adventures.
Here is an interesting prototype of a mini-text adventure interfacing with our products! (it shows the desktop app reacting to in-game events with a red status bar message)
Behind the scenes (attention, geek zone):
- A small, one-room adventure was written in Inform 7 and compiled to z-machine code. At this point this game runs with any interpreter on Windows, Android and Linux but since it's a virtual machine it can't do anything other than output text.
The end result is that actions within the text adventure can trigger functions within the windows app and therefore activate scripted DreamLover 2000 and ChronoVault functionality!
Well, text adventures aren't necessarily immersive now that we've got CUDA arrays and VR displays. But you'd be surprised at the level of detail that can be achieved by the modern text adventure writing languages!
While text adventures cannot hope to compete with modern games on the graphical side, they have huge advantages:
- developing an impressive game is still within the power of a single person
- the interaction with the environment can be extremely rich depending on how much time went into creating the world. In a text adventure you can do anything the programmer imagined. In a modern 3D game the range of things you can do is severely limited by the cost of creating graphical assets and animations (which is why most games are highly repetitive, such as run and shoot).
You may want to take a look at this Inform 7 handbook PDF (real code examples in blue after the intro). It takes a lot of work but you can extend what the parser understands with nearly no limits as far as world complexity and object behavior.
- the adventure could require real-time action (daily, throughout the day etc). Conceivably an Android version could be created instead of Windows, but that requires some further research.
- the adventure could include a training journey in a DreamLover world - the player learns proper etiquette and is punished with ChronoVault days of chastity and DreamLover 2000 pulses for errors
- Of course custom adventures could be created by anyone in Inform 7 and plugged into the software
In order to justify the time investment we need to know that there is sufficient demand / interest, so please let us hear what you think!