Worksheet for GDV talk by Heather Albano
1. In your own words, explain the difference between a parser interactive fiction game and a choose your path interactive fiction game.
Parser interactive fiction games are classic story-telling, where a text parser takes typed input or a command from the player and simplifies it to something the game can understand. Games such as the famous Zork series, a player can type things like “take lamp” “take painting”. Meanwhile, a choose your path interactive fiction games there’s no text parsing, only a set of branching narratives. When the player selects a choice or option, the story continues with a new section of the story and this will continue until an ending is reached.
2. Name an example of a parser game.
An example of parser game is Zork I.
3. Name an example of a choose your own path game.
An example of choose your own path is The Cave of Time
4. Why does she say interactive fiction virtually died out in the mid-1990s?
Infocom, the primary producer of IF games sold the company to Activision, who then shut down the Infocom division in 1989.
5. Why does she say poetry is an important element of interactive fiction writing? What example does she use?
Interactive fiction games rely heavily on text to communicate characters, story and the environment of the game. A lot of time and effort must be invested by game programmers making the words powerful and descriptive enough to communicate the atmosphere of the game. Heather Albano gives her example from the game “with those we love alive”.
6. Why does she say that ambiguity is not only unavoidable but also necessary?
Heather Albano says that ambiguity is not only unavoidable but also necessary because without graphic or an infinite amount of space for text to cover every detail, ambiguity is necessary for the player’s imagination to cover some of the details.
7. What’s important about complicity?
Complicity, define as the player’s ownership in the plot, is important because it allows the player to interact with the story and feel as if their choices actually affects the narrative of the game.