I played this AI-generated text adventure as the Mandalorian and here's what happened

AI Dungeon 2 is designed by Nick Walton to achieve an ambitious goal:

Imagine an infinitely generated world that you could explore endlessly, continually finding entirely new content and adventures. What if you could also choose any action you can think of instead of being limited by the imagination of the developers who created the game?

The screencap above is from an adventure Nick found posted at Hacker News.

I decided to try a few games as The Mandalorian. For my first attempt I used the recommended fantasy setting, and chose to play as a knight named Mando. Here's what unfolded:

You are Mando, a knight living in the kingdom of Larion. You have a steel longsword and a wooden shield. You are on a quest to defeat the evil dragon of Larion. You've heard he lives up at the north of the kingdom. You set on the path to defeat him and walk into a dark forest. As you enter the forest you see a large black dragon flying through the sky. He looks like it is ready to eat you

> compare dragon's likeness to my bounty puck

The black dragon looks very similar to your bounty puck. The only difference is that this one has a red stripe down its side. You decide to take the dragon for yourself.

> use grappling hook to climb onto dragon

You grab hold of the dragon's neck with your hand and pull yourself up onto his back. You then begin climbing up towards his head.

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Curious firsts from 1970s text adventures

Renga in Blue is a deep-divin' blog about old text adventures. Author Jason Dyer writes up his thoughts on adventure games from the 1970s, having completed all of them.

curious firsts:

– First defined player character: Aldebaran III– First use of choice-based interaction in a parser game: Stuga– First dynamic compass interface: Spelunker– First dynamic puzzle generation: Mines– First free-text conversation in an adventure context: Local Call for Death– First adventure game comedy: Mystery Fun House

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You can play the Hitchhiker's Guide game right now

Yesterday, March 11, was Douglas Adams' birthday. Did you know you can celebrate by playing the 1984 Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game in your browser at work this instant?

Although games made with a text parser -- you know, where you type commands like TURN ON LIGHT or LOOK IN POCKET or S to travel "south" through described space -- are increasingly a lost art, the Hitchhiker's Guide game, made by Adams and Infocom's Steve Meretzky, was radically accessible for its time. The game playfully teaches you how to succeed at its opening circumstance by letting you die repeatedly in ways that quickly acclimate you to its sense of time, space, and humor.

The frustrating thing (or the beautiful thing, if you're like me) about old text games is the limitations of what they can understand. But the Hitchhiker's Guide game was downright literary for its time, empathetic to uncommon commands, skilled at understanding what the player wanted to do. It holds up well even today.

Give it a try. Maybe help each other out in the comments?

You can also emulate it a little more neatly with help from this crucial abandonware repository and an emulator like DOXBox or similar. Read the rest

Interactive fiction revival?

Interactive fiction is a thriving genre, but its commercial heyday is long gone. Here's Leigh Alexander on how Kickstarter could usher in text adventures' long-overdue renaissance: "There's more than just nostalgia contributing to a potential revival for interactive stories. A broader gaming audience means appetites for game forms we might have once called "casual" in another time -- and furthermore, the popularity of tablets and e-readers means there's a real appetite for game forms that take advantage of a culture now habituated to reading on luminous screens in ways prior generations were widely not. [Gamasutra] Read the rest