agency, old timer, encore, and other projects

At Pobox, I met this guy Thomas Thurman. One day Dieter gave me a link to a funny little page on his site, where I saw a Gnusto link in his sidebar. Gnusto is a few things. First and foremost, it’s a spell in the Zork universe; it makes things glow. Beyond that, it’s a Mozilla extension that lets you play Infocom (Z-Machine) games in your browser. I never really used Gnusto; I’d tried the first few releases, which were very, very experimental, and went back to Frotz. Still, it was neat.

Well, it turned out that Thomas wrote Gnusto, which struck me as a pretty neat coincidence. (There aren’t really that many IF enthusiasts left, after all.) We talked a little bit about IF, and it got me thinking that I should really go back and work on my old aborted games. On the way to Toronto, I played one I hadn’t played (LASH), and I’ve played a few more little ones since then. Yesterday, on the (extremely long) bus ride home, I played some more, including the too-cool “shrapnel.” I also also happy to see a new game from Chris Klimas, who wrote one of my all-time favorites, Mercy.

So, I started to poke around in my ~/code/inform directory, looking at the projects I had let fester. A few of them seem worth finishing, to me, but I just can’t get it together. Whenever I’ve tried to write anything in the last few years, I feel like I have a lot of good ideas for scenes or plots, but I can’t deliver. If I know the beginning, I can’t figure out the middle or the end. If I know the whole plot, I get bogged down on the details – scenes or implementation.

I think I need to work on writing IF vignettes or very short stories; something like Speed IF, maybe, but not silly. Maybe I should find some writing exercises and interactify them…

Written on July 12, 2005
int-fiction   writing