Fiction is a Three-Edged Sword

Fiction, interactive fiction and narrative

A Colder Light

New game: A Colder Light


A Colder Light

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.

A Colder Light is my first released game since 2009’s Make It Good and The Shadow in the Cathedral. This one is considerably shorter and easier than both of those. It’s also my first text adventure to use no keyboard input. It’s a short tale of magic, courage, animism and ice.

No save is implemented, although the game is short enough that you shouldn’t need it.

The game doesn’t work nicely on phones, but should play okay and runs dog-slow on an iPad.

Comments in the comments, and bugs to the address in the help text, if you please!


Author: joningold

Jon Ingold is a writer and games designer from Cambridge, UK. He is co-founder of inkle, a company specialising in interactive narrative for mobile devices. He has written prose, plays, short films as well as interactive fiction, both in hypertext and parser-based systems. His short stories have appeared in Interzone magazine and his IF works have won competitions and awards.

21 thoughts on “New game: A Colder Light

  1. Any chance at all of a downloadable version? Playable offline on a browser? Or of a glulx file?

    • Hmm. Probably not as a glulx file, to be honest; it’s pretty ugly-looking without the css work. Offline as a zip would be possible — but once you’ve loaded it into your browser, it should run without the internet connection anyway. I guess that makes it hard to store (but I quite like that, because it means I can update it when it goes wrong..!)

  2. If “offline as a zip would be possible”, then I would very much appreciate it if you could make it available. 🙂 I’m a bit of an IF collector/packrat, and it would *hurt* me not to have a Jon Ingold game. It’s bad enough that Zarf’s been doing iPhone-specific work…

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  4. @Peter: It might behoove you to learn the standard file trees for Quixe and Parchment so that you can simply download the necessary files yourself. These are both client-based interpreters, so all of the files you need to play locally are readily available for download. (A server-based game would be a different matter, of course.)

  5. Yes, I suppose it would be the proper thing to do, but – it’s all greek to me, as most things on the net that go beyond mere simple usage. I know enough to look at a Parchment link and get to the ZCode file it’s loading – which doesn’t seem to help here. I can’t access the story file nor the CSS files, not from any way I can see, being so utterly layman. So I’m stuck asking people to remember to cater for people who prefer to play things offline.

    I *don’t* enjoy pestering people like this.

    • Hi Peter,

      I could probably put the files together as a zip archive, then it would run locally. I might wait a little, however, just to fix up any problems people might find.

      • That would be *awesome*. 🙂 I’m happy to wait, too. Cheers.

      • Hey there, quick bump – been a little over a month now, so I thought it was time to nudge you on that zip file.

        I’m not hurrying you, mind. I’d just hate it for you to forget about it. 🙂

  6. I had a genuine feeling of mastery at the end of this (an incendiary ending) after much experimentation and forgetting/remembering what did what — I tried not to take notes. I liked how you did the turn too — it had some foreshadowing.

    Interface-wise I see this going toward the conventional UI of adventure games — dragging and combining inventory objects for example — in order to hone the ease of use. But i would hope it stays within the frame of the classic parser IF presentation. To that end I feel like the top inventory and bottom actions could be unified, but I’ve no idea how — it’s a lot to manage.

    • Hi George!

      Thanks for the feedback.

      I’m not sure about the combining thing. If it could be done elegantly, then perhaps. But I wouldn’t want to “hide” options the player might need to take. I can see it might make for a good shortcut, and there’s something attractive about, say, dragging objects into the text window to use them, as if you building up a book from pieces.

      But I definitely like the end result being parser-style: a visible conversation between player and game.

  7. Doesn’t seem to work in Opera 11.61 – can’t click the “Continue…” button to begin with, not sure if there are other problems thereafter.

  8. I like the interface and the setting.. any chance of a hint system (or maybe just a hint?) I’m afraid I’m stuck at the very beginning, having seemingly tried everything selectable but only able to summon the Dragon.

  9. Fantastic! I would however love a save feature: I almost give up at some parts, and I would’ve loved to save near the end to look for alternative endings without playing the whole thing again. But, you know, that’s just me. The story was amazing!

    • Thanks for the comment! I’d love to add a Save feature too – I know it’s something Zarf, the author of Quixe, is working on, so hopefully I’ll be able to add it eventually.

  10. Oh nooo! I used an undo after about an hour’s play, and it restarted the game without recourse. 😦

  11. Hi, Jon. A Colder Light was put on a list of 2012 games that I was pulling from to create a ClubFloyd playlist, and the list I was using claimed that there was a Glulx version, but there’s not, right? And won’t be? Sounds as if this isn’t something Floyd could play and that I should just encourage people to play it on their own prior to the Xyzzy-nomination period (the Xyzzies are why we’re churning through 2012 stuff right now…). Thanks, – Jacqueline

    • Hi Jacq!

      I have a feeling I did have a Glulx file, although it was probably a bit ugly/confusing — but I’ve had a laptop crash since last year and now I don’t seem to have source code or files… so I have a feeling Floyd’s out on this one.

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