Content Consumer

Spaceship!: A collaborative interactive fiction project

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I’m always amazed at both the quantity and quality of interactive fiction that’s produced these days. I rarely play it, but I still read from time to time the blog of Emily Short, a developer and author who’s won lots of awards and is highly respected and all that stuff. Anyway, on her blog she links to British newspaper The Guardian‘s just-launched attempt to create a collaborative IF game.

It’s called Spaceship! and there’s a good article explaining its premise: using a wiki they will allow wannabe (or highly experienced in Emily’s case) developers or writers to contribute to the creation of the game. Rooms, objects, characters, etc. will all have their own pages, and anyone can suggest new things for them to do or say. I think the only story guideline inherent in the game’s inception is: “Your spaceship is broken. Fix it or die.” From what I gather they’ve tried to do something similar before, but it petered out. This is a more coordinated and better planned attempt. If I get spare time I’m definitely going to add some descriptions and suggest something for the plot line. The most important factor in the game’s success, I think, is the people who are involved – and they already seem to be a good bunch.

With so many people being involved hopefully there’ll be a response for everything the player could think to type – I absolutely love games where they consider every possible thing you could try. Obviously there are very practical limits to the amount one person can think of and implement, but with all these people, I’m expecting to be pleasantly surprised. Look at what they’ve got already! Obviously, what makes interactive fiction enjoyable and engaging is not how funny its response to “have sex with crew member” is… but I’ll still play it just for that. Good luck to them.


Written by atroche

May 8, 2008 at 5:42 am

One Response

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  1. To see really exciting new multimedia literacy try out Inanimate Alice. And its a free online resource!
    More an interactive piece of fiction than a traditional game, Inanimate Alice: Episode 4 continues the story of the young game animator as she leaves her home in Russia and travels abroad. Inanimate Alice serves as both entertainment and a peek into the future of literature as a fusion of multimedia technologies. The haunting images and accompanying music and text weave a remarkably gripping tale that must be experienced to be believed.
    And better still for schools there is a piece of software now available that allows learners to create their own stories. Valuable for all forms of literacy and this is being sold as a perpetual site licence for schools at £99 !


    June 23, 2008 at 8:47 pm

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