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Author Topic: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.  (Read 4201 times)

Offline simonster

Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« on: February 23, 2014, 05:27:44 PM »
I don't really know much about 'interactive fiction', but I've recently been playing/reading some of the game/story things at Fear of Twine to try to learn a bit more.  (The Matter of the Great Red Dragon is my favourite so far, possibly because it's close to traditional fantasy.)  I got to wondering whether there's much of an overlap between readers and writers of old-fasioned, words-on-a-page fiction and the new-fangled, interactive stuff.

I don't recall having seen any discussion of these sorts of things on FF before.

So...

Do you know all about interactive fiction?  If so, could you explain it to the rest of us? ;)

Have you read/played any good interactive stories?

Have you written one?

Do you think that interactive fiction is an exciting new form of story-telling, or is it the unwelcome, undead corpse of text adventures/choose-your-own-adventure books from back in the eighties?

If your favourite author announced that they were giving up on writing novels because 'interactive' is the future of fiction, how annoyed would you be?

(And one last question that I haven't thought through the practicalities of:  Would anyone be interested in a FF Twine-story contest, maybe as a one-off replacement to the usual FF monthly contest?)

Looking forward to hearing people's thoughts. :D

Offline simonster

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 11:01:50 AM »
I'm beginning to suspect that this isn't a topic people have much interest in. ;)

Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2014, 03:57:45 PM »
I think it's because there are a lot of video games that already offer this, but with (arguably) more depth.


Offline simonster

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2014, 09:29:00 PM »
I think it's because there are a lot of video games that already offer this, but with (arguably) more depth.

That's true - but in a way it's also why the topic interests me.

Text-only computer games, choose-your-own-adventure books, and (to some extent) tabletop RPGs have been completely eclipsed by videogames over the last thirty years.  After all, why settle for text when you can have realistic 3D graphics, voice acting, Hollywood-style action scenes, etc.?

But when I hear mutterings on the internet about 'interactive fiction', it's not as a 'retro' thing.

It seems that, rather than competing with modern videogames, interactive fiction has gone off and done its own thing, telling experimental/personal/political stories that mainstream videogames wouldn't go near.

Or at least, that's what it sounds like.

Even having read/played a dozen of the things, I haven't really got a grasp of what the deal really is.  Which is why I was hoping that someone here would be more up-to-speed, and could share their opinions. ;D

Offline sabrok

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2014, 11:33:18 PM »
I studied this with my class this year. Everyone sat on the fence about whether they would care to look in to it further, me included.

I feel that story based video games already do a better job than interactive fiction which usually provides just a couple flashes here and some music there.

Now, something I have been thinking would be cool is reading a book that is connected to climate control device. When the characters are walking through a hot desert or sitting by a fire, I feel that heat. Or when they are hiding in a cave a night, I feel the draft - though I don't think this idea is practical.

Offline simonster

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2014, 08:05:25 PM »
I studied this with my class this year.
Wow, what sort of class is that?

Quote
Now, something I have been thinking would be cool is reading a book that is connected to climate control device. When the characters are walking through a hot desert or sitting by a fire, I feel that heat. Or when they are hiding in a cave a night, I feel the draft - though I don't think this idea is practical.
Might be fun watching people as they read, trying to guess what the book is by how much they're shivering. ;)

Offline sabrok

Re: Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2014, 10:22:30 PM »
Wow, what sort of class is that?

It was part of a communications course, we were studying different styles of writing. I really liked it

Offline simonster

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 09:34:43 PM »
By freaky coincidence, on the main FF site today: Introduction to Visual Novels

Offline NathanTDean

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2014, 04:46:13 PM »
The thing that baffles me with this kind of topic is that people think "interactive fiction" will eat all the books in the world and destroy literature. I'll be fair, it hasn't been out right said in this post, but the question "if your favourite author gave up books, how angry would you be" is a precursor to that discussion. I would be furious. They are different types of storytelling, in different fields, with overlapping themes. Not contenders. Surely you can do both? I sure as hell know I write both. Submitted my first major interactive piece for a compilation recently.

Ergo, I think a FF competition on this would be grand. And in fact this has inspired me to write my next article. I've been needing a topic.
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten." - Neil Gaiman

Offline simonster

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 09:10:33 PM »
The thing that baffles me with this kind of topic is that people think "interactive fiction" will eat all the books in the world and destroy literature. I'll be fair, it hasn't been out right said in this post, but the question "if your favourite author gave up books, how angry would you be" is a precursor to that discussion. I would be furious. They are different types of storytelling, in different fields, with overlapping themes. Not contenders. Surely you can do both?

True enough.  I don't think one creative medium ever really replaces another.  Of course theatre attendance dropped significantly with the rise in popularity of cinema, but seeing a play and seeing a film are still completely different experiences.

That said, it's not unheard of for creators to switch medium.  Playwrights going off to Hollywood for instance.  Or Neil Gaiman switching from writing (mainly) graphic novels to (mainly) the old-fashioned, wordy sort.  Or George R R Martin moving from novels to TV and back again.

Quote
And in fact this has inspired me to write my next article. I've been needing a topic.

Nice!  I'm looking forward to seeing it. :D

Offline NathanTDean

Re: Interactive Fiction, Visual Novels, Twine, Ren'py, etc.
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2014, 09:00:59 PM »

True enough.  I don't think one creative medium ever really replaces another.  Of course theatre attendance dropped significantly with the rise in popularity of cinema, but seeing a play and seeing a film are still completely different experiences.


One audience now had two places to go to. It is sad when a medium doesn't get the respect it deserves, and this is partly due to others taking interest, but there is also a distinct lack of advancement in some fields. If you, individually, in your medium, can't get an audience, don't blame another.

And I hope my article is good now xD
"Things need not have happened to be true. Tales and adventures are the shadow truths that will endure when mere facts are dust and ashes and forgotten." - Neil Gaiman