Bletchley Park, 1942. A component from the Bombe machine, used to decode intercepted German messages, has gone missing. One of the cryptographers is waiting to be interviewed, under direst suspicion. Is he stupid enough to have attempted treason? Or is he clever enough to get away?
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Tagged Adventure Book, bletchley park, cyoa, ebooks, game design, graham nelson, inkle, interactive fiction, kindle, kindliser, multiple choice games, short stories, technology
Working on a new branching narrative project for inkle has crystallised in my head a problem I think I’ve often skirted around, but not ever pinned down before; and it’s a problem that sits right the heart of interactive narrative design.
The problem is this: if we’re tracking what the player chooses, and using that to alter how events play out, then how do we decide when to cause, and how do we decide when to affect?
There’s a conversation going on here – the reader says something, and the author says something back. The best interactive writing matches the author’s reply to the reader’s comment so perfectly it feels like there must be a human being inside the machine, typing furiously away.
But how do we decide who gets to hold the talking stick at any given moment?
Well, it’s been a long time since I posted on this blog – inkle has been keeping me pretty busy. But there’s a couple of releases to report, both on active content for Kindle (so US-only!), and both appearing on the same day, as luck would have it.
After four months development, inkle‘s first project, Frankenstein, written by Dave Morris and published by UK publisher Profile Books, is now available to buy in the App Store.
I seem to have accidentally written a horror story, or close enough to one that it’s coming out in Black Static‘s latest issue, in a week or so. Here’s the cover splash, courtesy of TTA.
For fans of the genre, Black Static gets consistently great reviews from around the horror zine scene, so it’s an honour to appear there. The big question will be, will I have the nerve to read the rest of the issue?
In other fiction-writing news, my story from last year Sleepers has been picked up to appear… elsewhere. Details on that when it comes out.
If you watched the remake of Battlestar Galactica, you’ll know that after two or three years of escaping murderous robots with LED eyes and their sleazy-nightclub-owner-type owners, the last surviving humans were faced with the terrible threat of the Final Five. Five last Cylons who could yet destroy everything. Hard to pin down, hard to defeat, hard to negotiate with…
It’s something that anyone who’s worked on long projects can sympathise with. Projects can be easy or hard, but every project ends with that final 5%: the final 5% that nearly kills you.
The last light has gone. The stars are coming out in the black sea above. Many are hidden by ice-fingered winds. My father is still not returned and the fire is almost gone.
But this is how life is: always an edge. A thin sheet on a diving-deep pool.
I hope he will return soon. I cannot summon him.
A Colder Light is now available to play online.