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Friday, May 11, 2012


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shockwave yareach

While I agree that there are times when I just want to play for a few minutes -- the Angry Birds times while I'm in a line for instance -- I'm not sure a Text based game ala Adventure is the answer.

1) people today comprehend icons for everything. Telling them to Verb Noun isn't going to go over very well.

2) telling people they have to type commands on their virtual keyboards really isn't going to go offer furry well.

3) telling people that they have to type commands and SPELL them CORRECTLY! Oh, we'll see riots in the streets, panic selling on wall street, asteroids falling from the sky and the come back tour of Brittany Spears!

It certainly has a place as a form of nostalgia ware. And if you got some writers and made a brand new edition of Zork, you'd get some sales from it. But I doubt you'll get the kinds of numbers you saw in Angry Birds, because frankly Angry Birds is silly fun you can have in 3 minute chunks. And an text based dungeon crawl? While you can certainly save your positions, a dungeon crawl isn't something one does in 3 minute snippets. A good game session with a good text RPG like Zork or Wishbringer is something you play hours on end like WoW users do. Those of us who have actually played them, that is -- seems a couple of generations have never seen a 40x80 text screen before or went to work with that healthy glow under the eyes that only 16 hours in front of a green video monitor can give you. :)

shockwave yareach

Here's another idea, one that lends itself to the handheld tech.

Why not talk to those who own the King's Quest titles, mod them so you have icons for the actions on the side, and you tilt the device to move around? You'd have graphics, touch screen interface, and something that people can play for fun in short snippets and then put it down again. And with this codebase, you can even continue the story universe with new releases, picking up where the old games left off.

And there were so many games in this genre of 2d puzzle solver. Leisure Suit Larry. Space Quest (some of the funniest stuff ever put out). Day of the tentacle...

Ordinal Malaprop

It's not explicitly stated that they're looking to make a standard parsed text-input game, despite that Ms Short's background is in them - actually there is Frotz on iOS already, which works about as well as you could make it and is certainly worth looking at, but it is a bit of a pain to enter commands.

What has proved quite successful is the "gamebook" sort of text-based game, where the player only has to pick between options at each node, usually with some sort of random game mechanic every now and then (a la Fighting Fantasy books, who have their own franchise on iOS, but there are others such as Gamebook Adventures). These are much more convenient to play on public transport or while avoiding work. I have certainly looked into writing systems for them, mostly because my graphic skills are rather poor.

One advantage of text-based games, incidentally, is that they can be written effectively for web browsers, which makes them not only cross-platform but also very easy to update and potentially MMOish. See also things like Echo Bazaar.

Kim Anubis

I'm really interested to see what the Lab comes up with but I'd rather go to the dentist than play Angry Birds.

foneco zuzu

And there are the ones who don't even know what is Angry Birds, like Me!

Arcadia Codesmith

Modern graphical gaming evolved from text adventures, and much of what we take for granted about the genre originated from the limations and assumptions from that format.

It's not necessarily nostalgia to go back to it, if there's an opportunity to turn those assumptions on their ear and advance the state of the art.

After all, many computer game designers don't sit down at the computer and cut code when they've got an idea. They sit at a coffee table with dice, index cards, and plastic tokens filched from board games to work out the central concepts and mechanics. The ones that skip the basics are the ones cranking out the same old derivitive WoW clones that dominate the market today.

I look forward to seeing where this return to text goes.

Dizzy Banjo

V interested in this. Can't wait to see a new Linden project!

Valiant Westland

Love to read. HATE Txt-based games. #FAIL

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