OWTK Gaming

Playfic: Interactive Fiction Game

Not only does LEGO devotee and OWTK’s West Coast Gaming Corespondent Cooper McHatton cover the world of video games, he also develops games with his Uncle, Andy Baio. Their first creation is Playfic, and browser-based interactive fiction game with the snappy tag lines “Tell Me A Game / Play Me A Story”.

As recently as 72 hours a go, I had zero idea of what interactive fiction was.  And to be honest, I’m still not 100% sure my feeble old mind gets it in its entirety but I understand enough to know that it takes some knowledge (my first problem, in general) of a programming language called Inform 7 (to put it simply, this a different way of communicating using a form of if/then scenarios to move plot along) and a desire for text based spelunking.  That is to say probing, discovering, and inquiring without audio/visual aids.  This is an in-your-head, thought-provoking activity for thinkers.  Me likes.

Listen, I’ll be the first to admit that the alternate worlds of Warcraft, D&D, Magic the Gathering (that’s still around, right?) always eluded me. While Playfic seems to inhabit the same broad realm as these imaginative kinds of role playing games, the idea behind writing and playing text based fiction games is something that, surprisingly, intrigues me; even if I am proving quite horrible at both.

To get started with Playfic, begin with Cooper’s impeccable tutorial which is so well conceived and executed that it even got me up and running with interactive fiction in less than 5 minutes.  Now THAT is impressive!

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