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Archive for the ‘interactive fiction’ tag

Free Games I Like: Aisle

Posted on 7th Nov 2010 at 13:35 by Joe Martin with 38 comments

Joe Martin
I’ve been back on the interactive fiction games lately, mainly because it’s a great way to cleanse the gaming palette after a parade of samey shooters with identical names. The best text adventure games can easily trump a modern title and perfectly illustrates what games are capable of when they aren’t too busy chasing the latest graphics.

If you think that sounds hyperbolic then I suggest you go and play Trinity and A Mind Forever Voyaging, then reassess things.

Alternatively, if you haven’t got the time to manage either of those then you can play Aisle instead.

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Free Games I Like: Choice of Broadsides

Posted on 28th May 2010 at 11:02 by Joe Martin with 40 comments

Joe Martin
You can do a lot with the written word and I find it endlessly interesting that even the most beautiful and graphically demanding games are often judged on the quality of the script. GTA IV was praised for its serious story before anyone remarked on how big the world was, while Crysis is often slammed for the way the experience is wounded by awful dialogue.

With that in mind, please don’t be put off that my latest favourite freebie is a text-only adventure, because if you dismiss it out of hand then you’d be missing out on a great little title. A word can make a thousand pictures and all that.

Essentially a multiple choice adventure, Choice of Broadsides casts you as a young officer in the navy of Albion, a fictional country which is basically a stand-in for England. At the start of the game you’re but a junior shipmate, but through your actions you get the chance to woo eligible ladies, orchestrate naval battles, deal with mutinies and do all the other stuff that an 18th Century naval officer would do.

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Games I have made

Posted on 9th Jul 2009 at 11:31 by Joe Martin with 7 comments

Joe Martin
I once heard that most music journalists are generally people who got into the business because they lacked the drive or ability to actually be a musician themselves. Likewise, I’ve heard it said that games journalists are probably people who lack the drive to actually make their own games.

For me, that’s pretty true and it’s bred within me a massive respect for game developers, because making computer games is damned difficult. Not only are there the technical issues of knowing how to code and how to actually make the game, there’s the management issues too. You have to know what makes a game good and, if you’re working as part of a team, you have to be able to keep a group of people focused on a single cohesive vision. You need a logical mind that knows how systems should function and what redundancies need to be built in for every eventuality.

Over the years I’ve tried my hand at making a number of different games, starting when I got a copy of AMOS for the Amiga 500+ we had at home and I started tweaking the example games that came with it. I didn’t get far, but I got a basic understanding.

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