Because Ultimate Quest is a game with Twitter connections — and a game where you can create many different types of object — I thought it might be a good place to revisit the idea of puzzles of aesthetics. Puzzles of aesthetics try to tap into the player’s creative intuitions about what goes well together, but when you’re asking the player to invent new things, it’s kind of a pity to lose their inventions in the silence of a single-player game.
So UQ lets players build new objects according to certain rules, then rename their creations by tweeting what the new name should be — which means that browsing #UltimateQuest gives a pretty good view of what people felt moved to change, and how. Here are a few of my favorites:
There’s the subtle(ish)
and the not so subtle
You’ve been kidnapped, confused, and trapped in a factory to do labor far beneath your true level. The friends you once knew think you’re dead, if they think about you at all. But you’re equipped with NV-level nanomite implants, meaning that you can disassemble and reassemble the world around you in surprising ways. It’s up to you to escape, confront the people who put you away, and complete the world-changing project you had begun.
Ultimate Quest is a new IF game — written by me, gorgeously illustrated by Silvio Aebischer — that opens today and runs in five episodes through the 22nd, as part of a new product launch by NVIDIA. The first players to complete the game will win actual prizes. If you’re reading this blog, you probably have a head start on the competition: this is classic parser IF with plenty of puzzles and exploration.
Note that this is a game with Twitter connections: you will need an account to sign in, and to tweet during play.
Choice of Games has brought their Heroes Rise series to Steam, making it the first all-text game distributed that way. (Steam also carries
a few other things I would consider interactive fiction, such as Depression Quest, and IF’s relative Sunless Sea. But those games are somewhat more visual.)
CoG would like to bring more text games to Steam in the future, but the possibility of that will depend on sales, so they can use some support from Steam-using IF fans.