The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation (IFTF) is a new non-profit charged with supporting the tools, infrastructure, and legal needs of the interactive fiction community. Also known as text adventures, interactive fiction is one of digital entertainment’s oldest storytelling media, and one that is enjoying a renewed interest, thanks to the annual competition IFComp and the IF Archive database, both of which the IFTF now supports.
In this week’s episode, I speak with Chris Klimas, co-founder and co-director of the IFTF and also the creator of Twine, a popular IF game engine. We discussed the changes IFTF brings to the gaming landscape; how IF can be made more accessible; how mobile computing has brought new gamers to IF; biases against IF and other computationally non-complex media; whether Twine is exclusively a teaching tool akin to LOGO or Scratch, or if it’s a full-fledged language; and if mainstream games are just now catching up to IF in narrative design.
Stream the audio edition of this interview below or from Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, Pandora, Pocket Casts, iHeartRadio, TuneIn, RadioPublic, or the Internet Archive. Click past the jump for links to resources mentioned in this episode.
Links mentioned in this episode:
- Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation
- Chris Klimas on Twitter
- The Interactive Fiction Archive
- The Interactive Fiction Competition
- Twine, an open-source tool for telling interactive, nonlinear stories
- Fundbetter, by Failbetter Games
- 80 Days
- Parsely by Jared Sorensen at Memento Mori Theatricks
- Hadean Lands on Kickstarter
- The AbleGamers’ Includification Guide
- Akalabeth by Richard Garriott
- Polygamer #37: Game designer Carolyn VanEseltine
- Depression Quest
- GET LAMP, a documentary by Jason Scott
- sub-Q Magazine‘s interview with Chris Klimas