To interact, or not to interact

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timsim

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
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Why are games considered as IF when they clearly are NOT interactive? It
totally baffles me. Photopia is not interactive anymore than reading a book
is interactive. The player makes no choices that determine the outcome of
the game.

<Would you like to turn to the next page? <y> or <n>>

If that's interactive, I'm outta here.

Have we allowed (I say we, as in the people who like REAL IF) the story
writers to barge in without making them adhere to the definition of
interactive? If I wanted to read their short story, I'd ask them to email
it to me. If I want to play a game where my decisions incur consequences,
then I play IF. Not F, but IF. Photopia is not IF. Why? Because you cannot
make true decisions. You can only watch things transpire. Halothane is the
same way. It's just that these games are meshed into an IF like setting,
but it all boils down to not having a say in the outcome or anything along
the way. That ain't IF and why it's allowed under the banner of IF, I may
never know.

Now, with that opinion stated, I understand there is experimentation with
the medium. Uh, but let's call an apple an apple, ok? If it isn't
interactive, it isn't IF. Let's call it F. Now then. That way no one is
tricked into thinking they are about to play a game when in fact, they are
merely going to read a nice story.

Once I got past the slap-in-the-face feeling of realizing that Photopia
wasn't 'playable', then I actually enjoyed it. But not as IF; only F.

Perhaps a new newsgroup called rec.arts.almostint-fiction should be created
for these types of offerings. At least let's delineate between the two. I
personally don't want to read a story on my PC. God knows my fingers need a
break.

Tim Simmons

timsim

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
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>This question has been discussed at length by people with much more tact
>than you display here. This newsgroup prides itself on being a discussion
>forum, not a chest-beating one. Should you wish to understand the answer,
>I suggest you search the deja archives.


First, let me try to understand your position. Are you saying that my
observation of Photopia's lack of interaction and the stating of such is
showing no tact?

Also, are you saying that my opinion is not a mute* issue in this newsgroup?
You seem to contradict yourself. On one hand, you say this ng is for
discussion but then you tell me to look in deja-news archives.

Thanks,
Tim

*(FYI, mute means up for debate, not the opposite as most people misuse it).
Oop, now I'll be targeted for condescension. Well, what else is new?
Someone (Nat) emailed me privately from these groups calling me an ___hole.
Sad. If by stating my opinion clearly is being an ___hole, then I'm a big
one.


timsim

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
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I meant moot, not mute. Darn. Haste really DOES make waste.

Tim

Jesse Burneko

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Nov 23, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/23/99
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NOTE: This post will contain a MAJOR MAJOR MAJOR SPOILER for Photopia so
if you have not played it I seriously and I DO MEAN SEROIUSLY suggest that
you DO NOT read it. It will be a while before I get to it so I will omit
the spoiler space.

On Tue, 23 Nov 1999, timsim wrote:

> Why are games considered as IF when they clearly are NOT interactive? It
> totally baffles me. Photopia is not interactive anymore than reading a book
> is interactive. The player makes no choices that determine the outcome of
> the game.

Well, most adventure games you can't determine the outcome of the game.
There is ONE goal type ending and maybe multiple death scenarios. Sure,
there's a lot larger variety of things you can do but the outcome is
always the same.

> Photopia is not IF. Why? Because you cannot make true decisions.

Actually, you can. Photopia is amazingly flexible for its limited
structure. In fact in the scene I'm about to discuss is the BEST use of
interactive fiction I've ever scene because it is the first use of a
technique that I have often thought about but never seen done before this
one scene. And that is the player's decision affecting the interpretation
of the story.

Now when I first played Photopia and caught on to what was going on I was
devistated emotionally. It I was wandering around stunned for days. So,
it had the effect it was trying to achieve.

Now consider the scene where you are playing that guy who wants to ask
Alley out to the school dance. When I played it I did ask her and she
said she'd go out with him on Saturday. Of course, she doesn't live to
see Saturday and I felt really bad for the guy because of what he must be
going through.

However, when I gave the game to my friend Tyler (who is now a newbie and
a lurker on this group so if you're reading this, HI TYLER) he didn't ask
her. He walked out. I didn't know you could choose to do this. Now, I
already new the outcome of the story, but I felt bad ALL OVER AGAIN
because in this version of the story not only does the kind have the "Girl
of his dreams" killed in a car accident he doesn't know that he had chace!

So you see, this very simple decision had a profound impact on the
interpretation of the story. And to me THIS is interactive fiction at
it's best and really displays the potential at its best.

> Once I got past the slap-in-the-face feeling of realizing that Photopia
> wasn't 'playable', then I actually enjoyed it. But not as IF; only F.

Oh but it is playable. Try playing around with simple decisions like the
one above and you'll see how flexible it really is.

Anyway, my two cents. Photopia is one of the better uses of the
interactive medium I've seen.

Jesse Burneko


Lucian Paul Smith

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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timsim (tim...@gateway.net) wrote:
: Why are games considered as IF when they clearly are NOT interactive? It
: totally baffles me. Photopia is not interactive anymore than reading a book
: is interactive. The player makes no choices that determine the outcome of
: the game.

This question has been discussed at length by people with much more tact


than you display here. This newsgroup prides itself on being a discussion
forum, not a chest-beating one. Should you wish to understand the answer,
I suggest you search the deja archives.

: I personally don't want to read a story on my PC. God knows my fingers
: need a break.

Okay. Bye.


-Lucian Smith

Kenneth Alexander Finlayson

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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"timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> writes:

(snip)

>*(FYI, mute means up for debate, not the opposite as most people misuse it).

ITYM moot.

I'd love to discuss Photopia but I haven't played it.

Ken
--
If you don't care about plot, script, acting or characterisation then this
is for you.
-- Bruce Elder, writing about "FX the Series"

Nat Lanza

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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"timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> writes:

> *(FYI, mute means up for debate, not the opposite as most people misuse it).

> Oop, now I'll be targeted for condescension. Well, what else is new?
> Someone (Nat) emailed me privately from these groups calling me an ___hole.
> Sad. If by stating my opinion clearly is being an ___hole, then I'm a big
> one.

You're misrepresenting what happened. You and I may disagree, but
there's no reason for dishonesty.

You sent something concerning a private complaint to a public forum. I
told you that I thought it was inappropriate. You sent back a smarmy
and condescending response. In return, I send a mild flame and asked
you not to send me any more mail. Yes, I called you an
asshole. Perhaps I shouldn't have. But here you make it sound like I
randomly called you an asshole with no provocation, just insulted you
completely out of the blue. This is patently false.

Really, I think you could stand to gain a lot by investigating tact.
"I'm just stating my opinion" is a piss-poor excuse for being tactless
and rude, and sadly it's an all too common one. It's quite possible to
express an opinion without being nasty and tactless. Perhaps you could
try it sometime?

*plonk*


--nat

--
nat lanza --------------------- research programmer, parallel data lab, cmu scs
ma...@cs.cmu.edu -------------------------------- http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~magus/
there are no whole truths; all truths are half-truths -- alfred north whitehead

Marnie Parker

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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>Subject: Re: To interact, or not to interact
>From: Jesse Burneko jbur...@aludra.usc.edu
>Date: Wed, 24 November 1999 12:51 AM EST

I didn't find Photopia particularly interactive, but everyone knows that.

Actually this topic has already been discussed to death. So you are beating a
dead horse. A dead horse with flies on it.

Basically, we all like different things, there is no iffy standard, there is no
reason to have an iffy standard, we don't all HAVE to like the same things.

And modern day IF to paraphrase Andrew Plotkin from last year, not this, now
has room enough for all.

Doe :-)

What the hell, I'm inconsistent too.


doea...@aol.com -------------------------------------------------
Kingdom of IF - http://members.aol.com/doepage/intfict.htm
Inform Tips - http://members.aol.com/doepage/infotips.htm
IF Art Gallery - http://members.aol.com/iffyart/gallery.htm


Preben Randhol

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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"timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> writes:

| Once I got past the slap-in-the-face feeling of realizing that Photopia
| wasn't 'playable', then I actually enjoyed it. But not as IF; only F.

Let me ask you two questions:

1. How much did you pay for Photopia?
2. Have you tried other free IFs besides Photopia?

To me you make it sound that all IFs are like Photopia. I haven't
played through Photopia yet, but I really liked it so far.

--
Preben Randhol "Marriage is when you get to keep
[ran...@pvv.org] your girl and don't have to give
[http://www.pvv.org/~randhol/] her back to her parents." (Eric, 6)

edr...@my-deja.com

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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In article <81fi5c$4e8$1...@news.laserlink.net>,
"timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> wrote:
In article <81fi5c$4e8$1...@news.laserlink.net>,
"timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> wrote:

> [rant, foam, blah, blah, blah]

> ...making them adhere to the definition of interactive?

This is the goddamnedest funniest line in your whole post, man. The
rest of it is pretty humorous, but this is the top gem on the crown.
Whoo.

You've got real talent as a satirist. Keep it up.

-M.


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Before you buy.

timsim

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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Nat Lanza <ma...@cs.cmu.edu> wrote in message
news:uoc7lj8...@evelake.pdl.cs.cmu.edu...
> "timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> writes:
>

> You're misrepresenting what happened. You and I may disagree, but
> there's no reason for dishonesty.
>

I'm not being dishonest. You called me (the dirty name) and I told everyone
in this forum about it. Is that being dishonest? Tactless? Probably. But
I still pose the question: Is it right to flame me just because I state my
views on IF by using some specific games as examples to illustrate my point?
Now, to address your point, yes, your calling me (the dirty name) has
nothing to do with this thread and it all started when you butted into my
business. I sent a note to the newsgroup attention Noslwop to 'remind' him
that he needed to include me in the beta-tester credits of his game,
'SMATJEOW or Wossname for short'. I spent over 2 hours for him and that is
the thanks I get? I was very controlled and did not flame him or call him
(any diry names) like some have done.

So, I guess this is the moral: If you don't like me posting the truth,
don't call me names in private email or otherwise. If I post to a newsgroup
anything that is patently abusive, yes, then I expect to be either flamed,
rebuked, kicked from the ng, etc. It's funny. There always 'seems' to be 2
sides of every story. Anyway, this really strays from my original post which
was to state why I thought the definition of IF was too all emcompassing.
Then, I was told I had no tact and needed to search old discussions. I
would, but the issue isn't 'resolved'. Some people just to climb the
nearest edifice and play 'god'.

Tim

timsim

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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Preben Randhol <ran...@pvv.org> wrote in message
news:m3yabob...@kiuk0156.chembio.ntnu.no...

> "timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> writes:
>
> | Once I got past the slap-in-the-face feeling of realizing that Photopia
> | wasn't 'playable', then I actually enjoyed it. But not as IF; only F.
>
> Let me ask you two questions:
>
> 1. How much did you pay for Photopia?

2 hours of my life. That's a rather stiff premium.

> 2. Have you tried other free IFs besides Photopia?

Yes.

>
> To me you make it sound that all IFs are like Photopia. I haven't
> played through Photopia yet, but I really liked it so far.

I'm sorry, but I never meant to make it sound that way. I only 'grabbed'
Photopia as an example. I guess my point is just this. Why can't I, the
person about to invest my time in playing a game, at LEAST be told the kind
of game (I use 'game' loosely at this point) I'm about to download? Well, I
guess I'm just being too finicky. I like the old text adventures where you
can actually DO things. So, if I want to play a game I can actually LOSE,
then at least I'd like to know the game is of that style as opposed to the
more story oriented or purely story style IF (yes, I'll call them IF, hey
I'm not satan, ok????).

I said that I enjoyed Photopia, but guess what? I would have enjoyed it MUCH
more if my expectations weren't of playing a text adventure game.

Anyway, this issue is a dead horse with maggots in it (so they tell me). But
let me ask this question. Do these people, who criticize me for wanting a
finer distinction in IF, feel that a distinction between the old style text
adventure and the story style 'game' is not a good idea? "Margaret... you
done got 18 shades of lipstick already! Why you gone need one more? They
all look red to me."

Tim

timsim

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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Hello -M,

Thanks for the compliment.

Tim

timsim

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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Jesse Burneko <jbur...@aludra.usc.edu> wrote in message
news:Pine.GSO.4.10.991123...@aludra.usc.edu...

> So you see, this very simple decision had a profound impact on the
> interpretation of the story. And to me THIS is interactive fiction at
> it's best and really displays the potential at its best.
>

I agree that if the player can alter the course of the game (story), then it
is interactive but still, it isn't a game as much as it is a story.

> Oh but it is playable. Try playing around with simple decisions like the
> one above and you'll see how flexible it really is.
>

OK.

> Anyway, my two cents. Photopia is one of the better uses of the
> interactive medium I've seen.
>
> Jesse Burneko
>

Thanks for your non-flammatory reply! (Man, you know a ng is tuff when you
actually thank someone for not flaming you.)
Tim

Preben Randhol

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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"timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> writes:

| > 1. How much did you pay for Photopia?
|
| 2 hours of my life. That's a rather stiff premium.

he he he he I wouldn't want to be the person sitting on the seat next
to you in a cinema where you didn't like the film :-)

I think it took me about 15 minutes to realize what kind of game Photopia was.
Other than that Try z-files.z5 and look at some of the IF web-pages
before you start playing a new game.

Aris Katsaris

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote in message
news:81h33e$58n$1...@news.laserlink.net...

>
> Preben Randhol <ran...@pvv.org> wrote in message
> news:m3yabob...@kiuk0156.chembio.ntnu.no...
> > "timsim" <tim...@gateway.net> writes:
> >
> > To me you make it sound that all IFs are like Photopia. I haven't
> > played through Photopia yet, but I really liked it so far.
>
> I'm sorry, but I never meant to make it sound that way. I only 'grabbed'
> Photopia as an example. I guess my point is just this. Why can't I, the
> person about to invest my time in playing a game, at LEAST be told the
kind
> of game (I use 'game' loosely at this point) I'm about to download?

First of all it's not a "game" in my opinion. It's interactive fiction.
Secondly, because
a *completely* accurate description of a "game" can not be smaller in length
than the game
itself, which makes the description redundant, since it would take as long
or even
longer to be read.

> Well, I
> guess I'm just being too finicky. I like the old text adventures where
you
> can actually DO things.

The old text adventures with no story, no 'fiction' behind them, where you
hunt for treasures and kill goblins? Games misrepresented as 'fiction' which
are nothing but a string of puzzles tied nonsensically together?

Where I am concerned I could DO far more important stuff in games like
Photopia.

> So, if I want to play a game I can actually LOSE,

Now you are defining interactivity with even more strict criteria. There are
a number of games like Sunset over Savannah, the Plant, or even
"Grim Fandango" where you can NOT lose, but which still have a ton of
puzzles.

> then at least I'd like to know the game is of that style as opposed to the
> more story oriented or purely story style IF (yes, I'll call them IF, hey
> I'm not satan, ok????).

Sorry, you can't know the style of the game, unless you read reviews of
them.
If you had read a review of one, and didn't understand that the
interactivity of
Photopia was used to serve the 'fiction' part of it, then you have to blame
the reviewer.

> I said that I enjoyed Photopia, but guess what? I would have enjoyed it
MUCH
> more if my expectations weren't of playing a text adventure game.

Did Photopia say it was a text adventure *game*? No. It was in an
interactive
fiction contest and found in an interactive fiction directory, not in a text
adventure
game one.

> Anyway, this issue is a dead horse with maggots in it (so they tell me).
But
> let me ask this question. Do these people, who criticize me for wanting a
> finer distinction in IF, feel that a distinction between the old style
text
> adventure and the story style 'game' is not a good idea?

There are dozen of shades of grey. There can be no distinction between two
categories, because there are dozens of categories inbetween. To distinguish
something into categories is to limit one's imagination.... Where do you
place
"Aisle" for example? Or "Space under the Window"?

Aris Katsaris

Mary K. Kuhner

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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In article <81h20h$4jg$1...@news.laserlink.net>,
timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote:

>But I still pose the question: Is it right to flame me just because I state my
>views on IF by using some specific games as examples to illustrate my point?

It came across as an attempt to pick a fight, not an attempt to start
a discussion--not only to the specific poster you're replying to, but
apparently to a lot of other people. Certainly to me. You might
want to rethink your approach, if discussion is actually what you
want.

As for "ick, I played a game I hated" I will strongly suggest reading
reviews before playing if you want to avoid such things. Every review
of Photopia I have ever seen mentions its relative non-interactivity
up front. You can find reviews in a number of places on the Web:
in XYZZYNews, in SPAG, and on individuals' web pages (there are good
collections of the Comp reviews in several places, for example).
I was successful with a search on "comp99 interactive fiction reviews",
I believe. If you need URLs, email me and I will try to provide some.

Mary Kuhner mkku...@eskimo.com

Aris Katsaris

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote in message
news:81h5av$6kv$1...@news.laserlink.net...

>
> Jesse Burneko <jbur...@aludra.usc.edu> wrote in message
> news:Pine.GSO.4.10.991123...@aludra.usc.edu...
>
> > So you see, this very simple decision had a profound impact on the
> > interpretation of the story. And to me THIS is interactive fiction at
> > it's best and really displays the potential at its best.
>
> I agree that if the player can alter the course of the game (story), then
it
> is interactive but still, it isn't a game as much as it is a story.

But the words "Interactactive Fiction" don't contain the word "game"
anywhere.
I can quite accept that Photopia isn't a "game". Was it ever represented as
such? On the other it's great (IMO) Interactive Fiction. In fact IMO it's
the greatest
piece of Interactive fiction I've ever played. Interactivity (or the sense
of
interactivity) is *very* important to the 'game'.

On the other hand there have been interactive fiction games with no real
'fiction'
behind them. Why don't you object to them? Why do you think that puzzles
are more important than story for such a 'game' when 'interactive fiction'
doesn't
contain the word 'puzzle' but does contain the word 'fiction'?

> > Anyway, my two cents. Photopia is one of the better uses of the
> > interactive medium I've seen.
> >
> > Jesse Burneko
>
> Thanks for your non-flammatory reply! (Man, you know a ng is tuff when you
> actually thank someone for not flaming you.)

You entered with a flaming post, atleast the way I saw it. It seemed as if
you
weren't asking for discussion, as if you were a troll or a flamer or
something.
I know this impression may have been wrong (it seems to have been), but I'm
afraid it's the impression you gave.

Aris Katsaris

Jesse Burneko

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
to
On Wed, 24 Nov 1999, timsim wrote:
> Jesse Burneko <jbur...@aludra.usc.edu> wrote in message
> news:Pine.GSO.4.10.991123...@aludra.usc.edu...
>
> > So you see, this very simple decision had a profound impact on the
> > interpretation of the story. And to me THIS is interactive fiction at
> > it's best and really displays the potential at its best.
> >
>
> I agree that if the player can alter the course of the game (story), then it
> is interactive but still, it isn't a game as much as it is a story.

Yes, and actually, when it comes to talking about interactive fiction I
personally favor phasing out the word 'game'. When I write essays,
reviews, or my own IF, I TRY to avoid using the word 'game' and use the
word 'story' instead. Even Infocom did this in their manuals if you look
closely.

So if anyone out there want's to get behind me and start a trend feel
free! :)

> Thanks for your non-flammatory reply! (Man, you know a ng is tuff when you
> actually thank someone for not flaming you.)

Well, your initial post seemed a bit accusatory but I'm not a fight fire
with fire kind of kind of guy. Something REALLY has to set me off to do
that. I decided to ere on the side that you were being grumpy rather than
fiesty. And in general this newsgroup is a very amiable crowd.

Jesse Burneko


timsim

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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OK. Thanks.

Tim

timsim

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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I see your point. I think my issue is just wanting to see more of a
division (perhaps just a review would be enough to help me know more about
the game/story before playing it) between mostly story IF and mostly
puzzle/explore type IF. And yes, I can see how people probably thought I was
an ugly troll. I never asked for discussion. I just posted what I thought.
One thing though. I'm not saying that a explore type game can't have a
great story and plot to go with it or vice-versa. I prefer games that have a
goal (to win or whatever) and an environment that can be explored. A place
where you can go and actually do things. I like games that even let you do
bad things (but suffer any consequences).

Well, I think I (and probably others) can get burned out on this NG and IF
in general. I think I'm going to quit coming here for a while. When I
first found this ng, I posted some TADS questions and it seemed like
everyone was avoiding me. Probably just coincidence.

Well, happy Thanksgiving.

Tim


Jesse Burneko <jbur...@aludra.usc.edu> wrote in message

news:Pine.GSO.4.10.991124...@aludra.usc.edu...

timsim

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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Aris Katsaris <kats...@otenet.gr> wrote in message
news:81hbef$5p6$1...@newssrv.otenet.gr...
>

> The old text adventures with no story, no 'fiction' behind them, where you
> hunt for treasures and kill goblins? Games misrepresented as 'fiction'
which
> are nothing but a string of puzzles tied nonsensically together?
>

I like text adventures that have a plot. "You must journey to bla bla
castle and vanquish the evil wizard Cliche". The game may have a shallow
plot or it may have a deep one but still it is a game.

> Where I am concerned I could DO far more important stuff in games like
> Photopia.
>

OK.

> Sorry, you can't know the style of the game, unless you read reviews of
> them.
> If you had read a review of one, and didn't understand that the
> interactivity of
> Photopia was used to serve the 'fiction' part of it, then you have to
blame
> the reviewer.
>

I'll read reviews from now on.

> There are dozen of shades of grey. There can be no distinction between two
> categories, because there are dozens of categories inbetween. To
distinguish
> something into categories is to limit one's imagination....

So then, if I wrote a 'story' about a historic event that actually took
place and made it interactive in some manner, would it still be called IF?
It's not fiction.
Would I be able to enter it in the IF competition?

Where do you
> place
> "Aisle" for example? Or "Space under the Window"?
>

I can't place them. I haven't played them.
Tim

Dr. Weird Beard

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Nov 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/24/99
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timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote in message

news:81icmt$1hg$1...@news.laserlink.net...


>
> So then, if I wrote a 'story' about a historic event that actually took
> place and made it interactive in some manner, would it still be called IF?
> It's not fiction.
> Would I be able to enter it in the IF competition?
>

Jigsaw; why not?

Magnus Olsson

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Nov 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/25/99
to
In article <81icmt$1hg$1...@news.laserlink.net>,

timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote:
>So then, if I wrote a 'story' about a historic event that actually took
>place and made it interactive in some manner, would it still be called IF?
>It's not fiction.

An interesting question!

I'd say that if you put it in traditional IF form, with the player as
an actor in the historic situation, then it would be fiction, since
you would have to put thoughts and views into the head of the PC, and
history can't tell you what, say, Julius Caesar was actually thinking
and experiencing when crossing the Rubicon. And if the PC isn't a
historic person, but for example an anonymous legionaire in Caesar's
army, then it's fiction because the PC is a fictional character.

I suppose one way of making it less "fictional" would be to let the PC
be a fictional character, but let everything else be as history tells
us, and forbid the PC to influence events in any way. For example, let
the PC be an invisible time traveller who's just observing what Caesar
did. It could still be interactive, because the PC could choose what
to observe, but he/she couldn't influence the "plot" (since then the
plot would deviate from history).

>Would I be able to enter it in the IF competition?

Why not? The definition of IF is fairly broad. Come to think of it,
"Lists and lists" is somewhat like the history "game" I described
above: there is a fictional NPC (the demon), but otherwise the game
is entirely non-fictional (if you haven't played it, LaL is a tutorial
for a Lisp dialect).

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------

Martijn

unread,
Nov 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/25/99
to
Aris Katsaris wrote:

> On the other hand there have been interactive fiction games with no real
> 'fiction'
> behind them. Why don't you object to them?

If it's interactive it has to be fiction. Even historical settings ed.

Martijn

Martijn

unread,
Nov 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/25/99
to
timsim wrote:

> At least let's delineate between the two. I


> personally don't want to read a story on my PC.

but also:

> I guess my point is just this. Why can't I, the
> person about to invest my time in playing a game, at LEAST be told the kind

> of game (I use 'game' loosely at this point) I'm about to download? Well, I


> guess I'm just being too finicky. I like the old text adventures where you

> can actually DO things. So, if I want to play a game I can actually LOSE,


> then at least I'd like to know the game is of that style as opposed to the
> more story oriented or purely story style IF (yes, I'll call them IF, hey
> I'm not satan, ok????).

Delineate between the two? Why? It's already done. Between more than the
two. Just check one of the catalogs that divide the If-Archive games by
genre. One of the genres is usually called: experimental or puzzleless
IF. Do or don't go there.

Martijn

Florian Edlbauer

unread,
Nov 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/25/99
to
timsim wrote:

> So then, if I wrote a 'story' about a historic event that actually took
> place and made it interactive in some manner, would it still be called IF?
> It's not fiction.

It *is* fiction. Even historical books are fiction to a degree. The boundary
between fiction and non-fiction is fluent. If you write, you fictionalize (sp?).
Of course, if you write a biography of (say) Richard Lionheart, that would
arguably be more fictional than a report on archeological excavations.

The event you want to "make interactive in some way" took place, but you weren't
there. You will select from the 'facts' and try to make them cohere. You'll have
to find words for them. The words weren't there when the event happened. They're
not *immanent* to the event. You produce what's usually called fiction.

Florian


Michael Gentry

unread,
Nov 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/25/99
to
> So then, if I wrote a 'story' about a historic event that actually took
> place and made it interactive in some manner, would it still be called IF?

Yeah, if "Jigsaw" and "Trinity" are IF.

> It's not fiction.

Of course it is. It's historical fiction.

-M.


David Glasser

unread,
Nov 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/26/99
to
timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote:

> Oop, now I'll be targeted for condescension. Well, what else is new?
> Someone (Nat) emailed me privately from these groups calling me an ___hole.
> Sad. If by stating my opinion clearly is being an ___hole, then I'm a big
> one.

I believe that when he referred to you as a ___hole, he meant that you
were bringing up things that had been brought up before. This is in
reference to the way that the ___hole puzzle shows up in many games,
starting with Zork II and continuing to this day. It's not too late to
shove the mat under the door, is the point. I do appreciate your
willingness to keep the newsgroup spoiler-free by not saying 'keyhole',
though.

--
David Glasser | gla...@iname.com | http://www.davidglasser.net/
rec.arts.int-fiction FAQ: http://www.davidglasser.net/raiffaq/
'No, GLK is spelled "G L K". What is this Java you speak of?'
--Joe.Mason on that portable thing on rec.arts.int-fiction

David Glasser

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Nov 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/26/99
to
timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote:

> Thanks for your non-flammatory reply! (Man, you know a ng is tuff when you
> actually thank someone for not flaming you.)

raif is one of the least flamey newsgroups around. If you want to see
flames, see, um, comp.lang.perl.misc. Then you will learn to appreciate
r*if.

"So, is that superior artistry, or the easy way out?"
--TenthStone on white canvases as art, on rec.arts.int-fiction

Aris Katsaris

unread,
Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to

Martijn <m.r.e...@palm.a2000.nl> wrote in message
news:383D30AB...@palm.a2000.nl...

Hardly. There are a number of interactive games like Tetris, which contain
no fiction.
They contain no story.

I'd say that most Rybread games contain no story either. Games which are a
string
of puzzles have no story either.

Aris Katsaris

Aris Katsaris

unread,
Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to

timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote in message
news:81icmt$1hg$1...@news.laserlink.net...
>
> Aris Katsaris <kats...@otenet.gr> wrote in message
> news:81hbef$5p6$1...@newssrv.otenet.gr...
> >
>
> > The old text adventures with no story, no 'fiction' behind them, where
you
> > hunt for treasures and kill goblins? Games misrepresented as 'fiction'
> which
> > are nothing but a string of puzzles tied nonsensically together?
> >
>
> I like text adventures that have a plot. "You must journey to bla bla
> castle and vanquish the evil wizard Cliche". The game may have a shallow
> plot or it may have a deep one but still it is a game.

Actually I wasn't asking whether it would be a game (even Tetris is a game-
anything plotless can be a game), but whether it would be interactive
fiction.
And there are so-called 'interactive fiction' games that are even more
plotless
than the 'vanquish the evil wizard' cliche. That game which took last place
in last year's competition (I forget the name), a couple Rybread Celsius
games,
etc...

> > There are dozen of shades of grey. There can be no distinction between
two
> > categories, because there are dozens of categories inbetween. To
> distinguish
> > something into categories is to limit one's imagination....
>

> So then, if I wrote a 'story' about a historic event that actually took
> place and made it interactive in some manner, would it still be called IF?

> It's not fiction.


> Would I be able to enter it in the IF competition?

Certainly. Historical fiction as others have said. It has been done a couple
of times
before.

> Where do you
> > place
> > "Aisle" for example? Or "Space under the Window"?
>
> I can't place them. I haven't played them.

Do so, especially "Space under the Window". I think it'll widen your
definition about what
interactive fiction is.

Aris Katsaris

Martijn

unread,
Nov 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/27/99
to
Aris Katsaris wrote:
>
> Martijn <m.r.e...@palm.a2000.nl> wrote in message
> news:383D30AB...@palm.a2000.nl...
> > Aris Katsaris wrote:
> >
> > > On the other hand there have been interactive fiction games with no real
> > > 'fiction'
> > > behind them. Why don't you object to them?
> >
> > If it's interactive it has to be fiction. Even historical settings ed.

Actually, I was thinking about the (mis)use of the term fiction in
historical settings (this argument was also discussed elsewhere in the
thread). What I meant is if the interactive aspect in IF games is there,
the development of the game's story can be altered by playing the game
so even historically true settings will turn into fiction. Anyway, I
realize this was not the point you were making.


> I'd say that most Rybread games contain no story either. Games which are a
> string
> of puzzles have no story either.

I think you got a point there. I think the lack of fiction in *pure
puzzle IF* games is usually more substantial than the lack of
interactivity in *story IF* games. Anyway, Interactive Fiction is just a
label which mustn't be taken too literally. People know what kind of
games it stands for.

Martijn

P.S. Got your point but Rybread's a bad example. I just played Symetry.
More story than puzzles and a lot of atmosphere behind the bugs. I liked
it. Not kidding :)

tls

unread,
Nov 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM11/30/99
to
In article <81h33e$58n$1...@news.laserlink.net>,

timsim <tim...@gateway.net> wrote:
>Preben Randhol <ran...@pvv.org> wrote in message

>> 1. How much did you pay for Photopia?


>2 hours of my life. That's a rather stiff premium.

No, it's not. It's two hours. Ever spend 2 hours in line at the DMV? Ever
spend 2 hours in traffic or on public transport getting to or from
somewhere? Ever go to a concert and be really disappointed after the
possibly slightly more than two hours of music? Geez, do you ever watch
TV at all? You said you ended up enjoying it, and that's more than the
time wastage of any of those other things I mentioned usually give
people. Well, except maybe for TV. I admit that I dislike most TV.

I suppose it is possible that you have written rants about all those
things and I've never seen them, but I'm guessing that you haven't.

On the other hand, I know from another post of yours that you think that
two hours is a really, really long time. It's just that I don't agree.
It's at worst worthy of mild disappointment and impatience. And then not
thinking about again, other than perhaps in passing ("I downloaded
Photopia and wasted two hours on something other than what I really
wanted. Can't recommend it.")

>I'm sorry, but I never meant to make it sound that way. I only 'grabbed'

>Photopia as an example. I guess my point is just this. Why can't I, the


>person about to invest my time in playing a game, at LEAST be told the kind
>of game (I use 'game' loosely at this point) I'm about to download?

If you'd like to agitate for more reviews (and there have definitely been
reviews of Photopia), that's one thing. But I don't see the point in
agitating for the segregation of IF into "Things timsim likes" and
"things timsim doesn't like." But, as at least one other person has
mentioned, there are, in fact, places on the 'net where games are
reviewed and/or classified, and I find them useful in trying to decide what
to download in the first place.

>Anyway, this issue is a dead horse with maggots in it (so they tell me). But
>let me ask this question. Do these people, who criticize me for wanting a
>finer distinction in IF, feel that a distinction between the old style text

>adventure and the story style 'game' is not a good idea? "Margaret... you
>done got 18 shades of lipstick already! Why you gone need one more? They
>all look red to me."

I think that you have gone over the top in your recommendation. The
example you give here does not parse the way your original recommendation
ran. It's more like "How can they call this red lipstick? They should
call it another color entirely. This isn't red; this is more off-red with
a hint of orange." Except, of course, they do.

I see no reason to separate things into entirely different newsgroups and
archives based on how interactive a game is, if that's what you're
asking, and it did appear to be what you were recommending. But, note: I
knew before I downloaded Photopia that it wasn't very interactive. I
found this out by looking at the reviews of the comp games that year --
same way I found out Photopia sounded as if it might be interesting to
me. So I think that what you want already exists, if perhaps not for the
entire catalog of IF games available. If you'd like to see more
distinctions, maybe you should contribute to reviewing games. Of course,
since that would require vast investments of time by your standards, I
predict you will not want to. My alternate suggestion is to get familiar
with the sites that offer some sort of reviews or categorization and only
play games you know something about.

Let me recommend two of those places:

http://interactfiction.about.com/
http://www.xyzzynews.com/

--
ti...@ripco.com - you...@foad.org - help, I'm stuck in a bottle

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