Friday, June 27, 2008

IF only

So you may have noticed that a few weeks ago I seemed to drop off the map for a few weeks. There are many reasons for that but here for your amusement I present one of them to you.

When I was a much younger man and computers were still in training pants there was a very popular genre of computer games called "Interactive Fiction". (You may be more familiar with the term "text adventure".) Well IF is still very much alive and well in this modern age; only it's not nearly as lucrative. In fact, it hasn't been commercially viable for more than two decades now. Still, that hasn't stopped people from doing some incredible things in this space.

Well back in the day I used to write this stuff and every so often I get the urge to return to my roots and see what new things are happening in the world of IF. A few months back one of those urges hit me and I stumbled upon a particularly cool IF authoring environment called Inform 7. That got my creative juices flowing and the end result was this game:

The Abbey is an interactive murder mystery set in an English Benedictine Abbey. It's very loosely based on the board game: The Mystery of the Abbey which in turn was inspired by The Name of the Rose, a book by Umberto Eco.

If you feel like stepping back to yesteryear, I'd love to have you play it. First you'll need to install a program that's capable of running the game. You'll need a Glulx interpreter which you can download from here. (There are versions for just about every computer type. In case you're having trouble finding it on that page, a direct link to the Windows version is here.) Next you can click here to download the game. Now you should be in business. Feel free to send me feedback. I know it's no masterpiece but it sure was fun to write another one of these after so long.


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