Thoughts on the art and craft of adventure game design. The articles cover design issues, elements of adventures such as puzzles, and analyses of successful games.
What if the room, the basic structural unit of most interactive fiction, obscures other ways of organizing and thinking about interactive fiction? Nathan Jerpe looks at the room as a metaphor and explores what other metaphors might replace it.
Eric Eve is one of the few IF authors to have worked extensively in both Inform 7 and TADS 3. Here he shares his insights in the two languages' similarities and differences.
Want to make better puzzles? Try thinking about what make puzzles satisfying to you, and don't neglect the logic that undergirds many puzzles.
Making NPCs that act on their own is a tough undertaking. This article describes some of the approaches to making autonomous NPCs, looking in depth at the game Child's Play as a case study.
In the second article in a series, Jonas Kyratzes, author of The Infinite Ocean, discusses the preparation he did for writing his game and how that preparation helped him.
Emily Short, one of the developers of Inform 7, discusses why she finds Inform 7 more powerful than Inform 6 in terms of how it makes some of the more intractable issues of interactive fiction easier.
Jonas Kyratzes, author of The Infinite Ocean, describes the process he went through in writing the game. In this first installment, Jonas discusses where the idea for the game came from.
Descriptions in interactive fiction can do more than describe physical objects. They're the primary way in which authors convey information about the game world. Because of this, there are a number of effects authors can achieve with descriptions.
Nick Montfort's book argues that interactive fiction should be considered a new branch of literature, and offers up the critical tools and terminology for analyzing interactive fiction as such. That it manages to do so yet still remain compellingly readable is a testament to how good the book is.
No matter how many times you play your own game, you'll be hard-pressed to figure out what actual players will see when they play it.
The puzzles in Escape from Monkey Island are some of the best ones I've seen in a long time, and remind me of older adventure games. Why, then, are they something of a failure?
Once upon a time, mazes were in every adventure game you played. Nowadays, they're a seldom-used puzzle. Why were they so popular? Where did they come from, and where did they go?
In response to the game design section of the 4th Edition of the Inform Designer's Manual, Duncan Stevens takes a look at how the main character of a piece of interactive fiction can change the game itself.
Emily Short talks about what goes into creating a game set in a fantasy world, from ideas and research to consistency and imagery.
Eric Mayer discusses his experiences with Alan and ADRIFT, and why a so-called "easier" language may be the better choice for non-programmers.