98-228 Interactive Fiction
Interactive fiction (IF), broadly comprising text-based games and works of
writing with digital or choice-based components, became popular in the late
'70s with the rise of personal computers, and have re-emerged in the web
era as an accessible means of creation with low overhead in terms of
authoring and distribution.
This course will investigate interactive fiction with a three-prong "play,
critique, create" syllabus. We will play several short games through the
past several decades of the medium's life, including both hypertext
(link-based) and parser (typed-command-based) games; we will read
contemporary critiques and learn to do our own criticism through writing
and discussion; we will create games with Twine and Inform 7. Students
will lean on and develop skills in creative writing, narrative theory, game
design, and programming.
- Familiarity with contemporary IF works, criticism, and thought
- Literacy in the range of expressive power available through
- Critical literacy of interactive texts
- Ability to express yourself through the creation of small
- History of IF
- Skill at puzzle-solving
- All work submitted should be your own, except for the explicitly
- For assigned work that is playing through games, you may use
walkthroughs or hints from friends/classmates, or ask the instructor for
hints/spoilers if you cannot find these resources. It is not an
educational goal for you to get better at solving IF puzzles, but rather
to fully experience each game.
- Per StuCo policy, attendance is mandatory. You may miss a maximum of
one lecture, barring special circumstances (for which you must contact
- To pass the class, all Assignments
must be completed.
- Late assignments are accepted. However, it is expected that all
readings/playing through source material will be completed before the
class discussion, and all games projects or presentations must be
completed before the play, critique, or presentation day.