Adventure Games vs. Interactive Fiction

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Adventure Games vs. Interactive Fiction

Post by Tdarcos »

On one of the other games boards I had made a mistake in trying to help someone vis a vis a particular Interactive Fiction development system that I admittedly wasn't familiar with. Now, the point here is that the system is called AGT, for Adventure Game Toolkit, and I wanted to take the general temperature regarding the terminology being used.

Ever since the genre was invented by Crowther & Woods in 1977, because the first such program was "Colossal Caves Adventure" programs that provided this sort of experience had generally been called Adventure Games. Now, considering what was involved and the general similarities, that was probably reasonable.

Then you got much more intense experiences with programs such as Don Bluth's Dragon's Lair which is essentially very similar to an adventure game in which you had puzzles to solve and forced moves.

And then you have something like Myst which is radically different.

Trying to squeeze everything related into a single genre can get to the point that you're stretching the genre all out of shape and you either need to split what is defined by the term into two or more different concepts or you expand the definition to be more comprehensive.

This is where I think the term "Interactive Fiction" was developed to cover the general concept normally included by mere "adventure games" but also cover similar works which are not quite the same but close enough.

Anyone who's seen my stuff knows I even used Hugo to develop an ordinary turn-based game (Patty Flinger) having nothing to do with the traditional genre of either IF or Adventure game which means the systems are intended to be used primarily for this sort of development but can be used for other things as well.

So, first, I think it is reasonable to declare everything involved in either of interactive fiction or adventure game to fall under the large superclass of "Video Game."

Next, would it be correct to describe "Interactive Fiction" as the superclass encompassing this type of video game, with "adventure game" being a subclass of IF, similar to the way "Financial Application" is a superclass while "Accounts Payable," "Accounts Receivable" and "Checking Account processing" would all be subclasses of Financial Application?

Or would you consider IF to be not a superclass of Adventure games but a separate genre, so that one does not encompass the other but they're more like two overlapping circles forming a Venn Diagram?

Or would you Take a Third Option, and if so, what?
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Post by pinback »

IF is text games. You know, the name of this base.
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