J.J. Abrams Wants To Write Interactive Fiction

Occasionally I play interactive fiction games. If you're not familiar with the genre it used to be called text adventures back in the 80's when it was popular. The sole form of communication (at least in the pure games) is text, the game produces text for you to read and your actions in the game are controlled by typing commands with your keyboard. These games aren't produced by any companies anymore but there is a vivid and very much alive community which not only plays these kinds of games but also create new ones.

The reason I'm mentioning this is because I just saw a short video snippet with an interview with J.J. Abrams (of Alias and Lost fame). He got the question if he would like to write computer games and what kind it would be. It turns out he would want to write interactive fiction.

I find this interesting. J.J. Abrams' scripts often feature some kind of great mystery which makes people really hooked on his series. But as the series progresses it's very difficult to keep the excitement of these mysteries alive. This happened most notably with Lost. But I think this concept could work a lot better in a game and in particular in interactive fiction. There you don't have the problem of keeping the mystery alive for umteen seasons. You don't even have to reveal the hole thing, only enough to keep the game play exciting.

I would love to play games by J.J. Abrams, I hope he get around to write some one day.

Word of the Day

Todays' word: discombobulate


Real life Tron

If you, like me, is a fan of the 80's movie Tron I recommend you read the following blog post about how a programmer not only recreated the light cycles game but also accidentally managed to reproduce the way Tron manages to escape into the computer. The blog post is: Real Life Tron on an Apple IIgs


Moon Stories

Moon Stories are a couple really different but somehow very sweet little games. "Little" is the word here. They're experiments in game design and should only take a couple of seconds to start playing and a few minutes to master. I recommend trying them out.


Shooting yourself in the foot

The other day I came across a page which I've been looking for quite some time but haven't been able to find. It's about how you shoot yourself in the foot in various programming languages. I saw this list for the first time in the mid 90's. Now that I re-read it I find it rather disappointing. It's simply not that funny. The idea is that you shoot yourself in the foot in a way that parodies the weaknesses of the language. But I don't think they've really managed to find the essence of the frustrations with the languages on the list. Or maybe it's just me, you can go read for yourself.