Gamasutra interviewed David Cornelson about his new commercial interactive fiction company, Textfyre. Topics include why commercial IF died in the first place, the value of licenses, and Textfyre's target audience.
Who is your primary target audience?
Reading aged kids, but the games won’t be Dick and Jane - they’ll be more like Harry Potter.
Will this expand over time? How worried are you about your creators feeling suffocated by designing games aimed at reading age children?
I think my game designers are delighted to be writing IF to this market. One of the things the hobbyist community has done is made the bar for what they consider “good IF” very high. We’re not trying to develop incredibly complex conversation systems or complex object-oriented world models. We’re telling stories that you can interact with and be entertained by. That’s the primary goal.
That said, I can see us developing different kinds of series for different markets in the future.
Wintermute is a Windows-based development system for creating 2D and 2.5D graphic adventures similar to the LucasArts games of yore. Version 1.8 makes a number of changes, including adding DirectX 9 support and support for hardware acceleration of graphics.
(Source: The Escapist)
In The Escapist, Atul Varma argues that adventure games died off in part because of the amount of information they required a player to process.
Adventure games, at their core, are about solving puzzles. The fun lies in figuring out how the pieces fit together, not going through mind-numbing tedium to figure out where the pieces are. As adventure games ascend to higher resolutions and more complex, realistic environments, players have to spend more time figuring out what their tools are rather than actually using them to play the game.
It's an interesting argument. I've seen discussions of how adventure game designers need to direct player's attention to important things rather than playing find-the-hotspot, but I've never seen it blamed for the genre's decline.