Magnus' Interactive Fiction Page
(or IF for short) can apparently mean radically different
things to different people. On this page it is used as a synonym for
This usage was invented by
Infocom in the
80's. I like it because it emphasizes the literary aspects of IF; the
thing that distinguishes a text adventure from most other computer games is
the reliance on text to describe places, events, emotions and people,
which in my opinion makes it literature (or at least gives it the
potential to be literature). If you disagree with this last statement
on the grounds that a computer game can't be literature because a
game's a game and literature's literature (or whatever), you should
read this analysis.
A satirical definition of IF that I had to
remove from this page since people kept taking it too seriously.
Far more information about IF, and lots of interesting links, can
be found on the
Interactive Fiction Page.
My Own IF
So far, I've published four pieces of IF myself:
Download these games.
Or look at the solutions.
- The Dungeon of Dunjin.
- Uncle Zebulon's Will.
- Zugzwang, the Interactive Life of a Chess Piece.
Find out what happened to the
sequel to Zebulon.
Writing Your Own IF
There are a number of programming languages and development
environment specialized for writing IF. The two most commonly
used (and, arguably, the most advanced and most feature-rich ones)
languages are Inform
recommend that you at least check these languages out before
trying to write IF in a traditional programming language
(which is of course possible, but harder).
So who said that IF couldn't be art?
This analysis of Andrew Plotkin's So Far
shows how even a lowly computer game can be used to treat quite deep
New (December, 2004):
My own analysis
of some aspects of Andrew Plotkin's Dreamhold:
Here is the complete text of Adam Thornton's
review of another game by Andrew Plotkin, Spider and Web.
(A de-spoilerized version of this review was published in SPAG #14).
Carl Muckenhoupt has written
capsule reviews for a lot of games. His sites also has links for
direct downloading of each game.
I've written a few reviews myself. All of them but one have appeared
in SPAG and can be found on the
My review of The Dreamhold is at the
Last, but hopefully not least, there's SPAG , an e-zine devoted entirely
to reviews of text games.
Back to my homepage.
Magnus Olsson (firstname.lastname@example.org)