No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #61

IFography Magazine There's a new interactive fiction magazine in town, and it's a monthly, too. Launched in January, IFography is at issue #2 already, and it has much to say: interviews with lesser-known authors, reviews of obscure games and opinion pieces in a very personal style -- a much needed breath of fresh air. I don't want to sound ungrateful, but with many of the big names in IF being academics, the prevailing discourse in the community can get... starched. The perspective of a 16-year-old whose native language isn't English can teach the rest of us a lot.

(Yes, actually English is my 3rd language too, but I stopped thinking of it as foreign a long time ago. As for the age angle, at 16 I was playing The Hobbit on a ZX Spectrum. That was nearly 22 years ago -- and many in the community started out even earlier. We desperately need younger voices.)

Between this and the recent move to revive SPAG Magazine, maybe it's time to be optimistic about interactive fiction again.

In the way of game development, I don't have much to report today. Having gotten map generation down, I started adding creatures and items -- without interactivity for now. Next: visibility, then AI and combat, mostly because I dread the inventory management part. My next roguelike would better be the high-concept kind.

I'll end with a couple of interviews. First, a lost (and found) chat with Douglas Adams since the time he was working on Starship Titanic. Not much to say there; it's a good snapshot of that moment in time. The second one, with Leisure Suit Larry creator Al Lowe, means a lot more to me. Notice how much his views of the game industry mirror my own -- and this is a veteran game developer. I do disagree with him about stories in games, but then again my opinion seems to go counter to just about everyone's these days.

Better not go into details again. See you next time.