May 25, 2015

Eye^Game^Candy: Lionheart

Released late in the Amiga years --during the far too recent 1993-- Lionheart by Thalion didn't really receive the recognition it deserved for years, until people finally saw it for the beautiful (stunning even) fantasy epic that it is. So, after marveling at the excellent pixel-art posted above, I suggest you read about Lionheart over at HG101 and IndieRetroNews. You'll probably discover new ways of playing through the thing too. 

May 5, 2015

Let's Tell A Story Together

Words can do amazing things. Beautiful things. Ageless things. And though interactive words haven't yet managed to surpass the things static, printed words have accomplished --which is only natural for a particular sort of words that has been around for mere decades-- they have managed to create a more literary, more engaging and, usually, more demanding genre of gaming: interactive fiction. Or text adventures, but let's not argue terminology here.

Jimmy Maher does after all cover terms and definitions brilliantly at the beginning of his 2006 book Let's Tell A Story Together (A History of Interactive Fiction). Actually, Mr. Maher does an impressive job of getting you all excited about interactive words, introducing you to the many charms and idiosyncrasies of the parser, the intricacies of designing text adventures and even a more or less complete history of interactive fiction and its evolution.

From the late seventies and Adventure to Infocom's golden era and contemporary interactive fiction, Maher's book really does save me the trouble of doing anything beyond suggesting you read it. Read it even you've never dabbled with a parser in your life, read it if you have always loved the genre and, by all means, read it if you are an interactive fiction author. 

Let's Tell A Story Together, besides being well written and thoroughly researched, offers unique insights into defining text adventures and a comprehensive approach that covers over 30 years of parser driven gaming. Handily, it's also generously available for free both as an online hypertext and downloadable ebook.

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