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?
A few weeks ago I posted up a nasty little perl script called the Kindliser, which turns a plain-text markup into ebook-ready HTML. Not such a big deal – it’s just a web-page with links – except that it also included support for tracking true/false values, which is impossible.
It does it by playing through every possible game the player might have, and writing them all out separately… which turned my first example game Flaws from a 40Kb sourcefile with 40 paragraphs of so and 4 true/false flags into a 600Kb HTML.
The other day I thought; I wonder how far I can push this thing?
Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of work with choice-based stories. I haven’t played a new IF work in a long time – but this weekend I picked up Emily Short’s brief-but-beautiful Speed IF Indigo and it got me thinking about what I mean when I say “interactive fiction”.
(This isn’t really an article about that game, incidentally, which you should try out; rather, Indigo was such a very clean example of what text IF does well that it got me thinking.)
A friend’s blog has a quick article about the importance of flow in digital reading experiences.
Of course, this is something parser IF got right from the very start.
Yesterday was Book Hack Day, organised by Perera Media, Idno and GeekCamp. A group of hackers, writers, designers and publishers braved a few closed Tube stations to meet at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon with their laptops (80:20 Apple:Linux, I think) to talk and work on the future of the book in the digital age.