Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction (MIT Press)
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Interactive fiction -- the best-known form of which is the text game or text adventure -- has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronic literature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots. Twisty Little Passages (the title refers to a maze in Adventure, the first interactive fiction) is the first book-length consideration of this form, examining it from gaming and literary perspectives. Nick Montfort, an interactive fiction author himself, offers both aficionados and first-time users a way to approach interactive fiction that will lead to a more pleasurable and meaningful experience of it.
Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literary ancestor, the riddle. Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors (including the I Ching and Dungeons and Dragons), and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed in response, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork. He then considers the introduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that produced by Infocom. Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence of independent creators and the development of an online interactive fiction community in the 1990s. Finally, he considers the influence of interactive fiction on other literary and gaming forms. With Twisty Little Passages, Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literary contexts, opening up this still-developing form to new consideration.
two distinct sets; all inputs are one or the other. Directives include what Graham Nelson (2001b) refers to as "meta" actions in Inform (90). Based on this, the term pieta-command has been previously suggested to refer to such inputs that are outside the IF world (Olsson 1997), but it confuses the matter somewhat that "meta" has already been used by Genette in the opposite direction-to refer to narratives within narratives rather than to refer to the level of narration itself. To avoid confusion
"We have cave!" (Brucker and Watson 1987, 192). Then, on September 9, 1972, Pat was part of the first party to make it through the Tight Spot and find a connection from the Flint Ridge Cave System to Mammoth Cave. As a result of that expedition, more than 144 contiguous miles of cave were then surveyed. The two cave systems were joined to one, the Flint Mammoth Cave System, making it the longest in the world (Brucker and Watson 1987, 233-248). Crowther explains that things were different later,
on software development was continuing (Rigby 1991). But the work was Infocom's highest achievement for young interactors and is a good introductory interactive fiction work for those of any age. It provides alternate ways to solve most puzzles-one grounded in realism and typical adventure puzzle solving and one that uses the power of the eponymous magical stone-so two interactors might have almost entirely different experiences of solving it. The transformation of the town leaves it a
n. e. x window. and the computer provides detailed descriptions in reply. The exchange is less like a command-prompt interaction-in which, for instance, a two-letter command might result in a lengthy directory listing, and somewhat more like a normal conversation between people. Of course, the interactor has almost no choice in what to say in the situations described earlier in Nord and Bert. There is essentially only one set of responses that allow the game to be solved. Still, the sort of