Interface

These border on being non-IF: our expectations of the behavior of the IF world-model are overturned and an alternative mode of interaction is on offer. Some of these are choose-your-own-adventures in structure, and some turn on resource management.  This category does not include z-abuses such as implementations of Life, chess, sokoban, tetris, etc.

  • The Space Under The Window, Andrew Plotkin. (often abbreviated SUTW or SUTWIN). Gets rid of standard features of IF and allows you to change the block of text appearing at the top of the screen by picking a specific word to focus on. (See also IFDB’s small hypertext-like category.)
  • Threading the Labyrinth, Kevin Doughty. Effectively hypertext implemented in TADS.
  • Desert Heat, Papillon. Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, implemented in TADS.  Be forewarned that it contains erotic content, if that’s likely to bother you; it’s somewhat like a steamy fantasy romance novel rendered in interactive form.
  • One Week, Papillon. Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, implemented in TADS.   [My review]
  • On the Other Side, Antonio Marquez Marin. The computer takes the role of the “player”, while the interactor provides text for room descriptions and so on. An interesting experiment, though widely held not to be very successful (presumably because the program lacks the artificial intelligence to “play” very well).
  • When Help Collides, J. D. Berry. A multi-part game that includes some things that are not exactly normal IF, especially a Geisha simulator program, in which your task is to schedule your time properly for best effect.
  • Lock and Key, Adam Cadre. A one-puzzle game that relies on an enhanced interface to make it playable. In Glulx, with rather nice pictures; the layout of the space is presented to the player graphically and can be manipulated partially with the mouse as well as by textual commands.

Keyword-augmented. Not as extreme as the previous examples of parser-replacement, these games allow the player to navigate some or all of the game by typing or clicking keywords in the text. The traditional parser is still available for those who want to use it to explore more deeply, however. (Support for this structure is provided for Inform by Aaron Reed’s Keyword Interface extension.)

Real-time Input. Events continue without pauses for turns; the player’s input takes effect when he has managed to type a command and press return.

  • Border Zone, Marc Blank (Infocom).
  • Smuggler, Frank Fridd. Written with the Creative Adventure Toolkit. It is possible (among other things) for the player to die if he walks away from the screen for too long and events proceed without him.
  • Cold as Death, Gorm. If the player doesn’t do something warming — move, jump, etc — every twenty seconds, the protagonist freezes to death. Arguably not a hugely successful game, but very different in feel from conventional IF, in memorable ways.

Multimedia. The use of pictures and sound in IF is increasingly common and increasingly easy to achieve. IFDB lists games that include graphics or sound. For Inform, the GLIMMR extension package provides advanced editing functions and frameworks for automated mapping and more.