Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction

Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction

Nick Montfort / Sep 21, 2019

Twisty Little Passages An Approach to Interactive Fiction A critical approach to interactive fiction as literature and game Interactive fiction the best known form of which is the text game or text adventure has not received as much critical attention as ha

  • Title: Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction
  • Author: Nick Montfort
  • ISBN: 9780262633185
  • Page: 309
  • Format: Paperback
  • A critical approach to interactive fiction, as literature and game.Interactive fiction the best known form of which is the text game or text adventure has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronic literature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots Twisty Little Passages the title refers to a mazA critical approach to interactive fiction, as literature and game.Interactive fiction the best known form of which is the text game or text adventure has not received as much critical attention as have such other forms of electronic literature as hypertext fiction and the conversational programs known as chatterbots Twisty Little Passages the title refers to a maze in Adventure, the first interactive fiction is the first book length consideration of this form, examining it from gaming and literary perspectives Nick Montfort, an interactive fiction author himself, offers both aficionados and first time users a way to approach interactive fiction that will lead to a pleasurable and meaningful experience of it.Twisty Little Passages looks at interactive fiction beginning with its most important literary ancestor, the riddle Montfort then discusses Adventure and its precursors including the I Ching and Dungeons and Dragons , and follows this with an examination of mainframe text games developed in response, focusing on the most influential work of that era, Zork He then considers the introduction of commercial interactive fiction for home computers, particularly that produced by Infocom Commercial works inspired an independent reaction, and Montfort describes the emergence of independent creators and the development of an online interactive fiction community in the 1990s Finally, he considers the influence of interactive fiction on other literary and gaming forms With Twisty Little Passages, Nick Montfort places interactive fiction in its computational and literary contexts, opening up this still developing form to new consideration.

    Q You are in a twisty maze of passageways, all alike. Oh, lucky you You are in one of Colossal Cave s two mazes If you see You are in a twisty maze of passageways, all alike, you are in the Pirate s Maze. Everyone quotes command line arguments the wrong way Apr , Background At one time or another, we all need to pass arbitrary command line arguments to some program These arguments could be filenames, debugging flags, hostnames, or any other kind of information the point is that we are to take a string and make sure some child program receives exactly that string in its argv The Colossal Cave Adventure page The Colossal Cave Adventure game, produced in the s, was the historic first interactive fiction game, in which the computer would simulate and describe a situation and the user would type in what to do next, in simple English. Leadership Passages The Personal and Professional Leadership Passages The Personal and Professional Transitions That Make or Break a Leader David L Dotlich, James L Noel, Norman Walker on FREE shipping on qualifying offers Leaders face numerous critical crossroads in their careers, moments that can provide extraordinary learning and growth opportunities or ensnare them and prevent further development. Week by Week Homework for Building Reading Week by Week Homework for Building Reading Comprehension Fluency Grade Week by Week Homework For Building Reading Comprehension and Fluency Mary Rose Books Zork Story Setting Zork is set in the ruins of an ancient empire lying far underground The player is a nameless adventurer who is venturing into this dangerous land in search of wealth and adventure The goal is to return from exploring the Great Underground Empire GUE, for short alive and with all treasures needed to complete each adventure, ultimately inheriting the title of Dungeon Master.

    • Free Read [Philosophy Book] ✓ Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction - by Nick Montfort Ì
      309 Nick Montfort
    • thumbnail Title: Free Read [Philosophy Book] ✓ Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction - by Nick Montfort Ì
      Posted by:Nick Montfort
      Published :2018-012-17T08:06:23+00:00

    About "Nick Montfort"

      • Nick Montfort

        Nick Montfort is an associate professor of digital media at MIT in the Program in Writing and Humanistic Studies He is also a poet, computer scientist, and author of interactive fiction.


    1. A well-researched book on a fascinating topic, "Twisty Little Passages" is still surprisingly leaden. I suspect the issue is organization. Telling the history of interactive gaming mainly as a historical development, with some academic overlay, obscures the reasons this form should be of more general interest. Organization by theme, or by problem/ controversy in the form, could have brought more life to the account.

    2. The subtitle to this book is "An approach to interactive fiction." I was expecting some suggestion on how to actually "approach" interactive fiction, either as a player or as a writer. Maybe some suggestions as to how best navigate a work. Or maybe some suggestion on how to approach interactive fiction from the point of writing a work (best practices, common pitfalls, etc). Either way, I would have been interested and appreciative. Instead, what this book really is is a very comprehensive histor [...]

    3. Sadly, I found this rather dull. It's literary criticism about Infocom-style text adventure games. Because this is a pretty new field (the games have been around for decades, but apparently nobody has given them a serious critical reading), the author spends a good deal of time just defining terms and providing a history of the genre.Montfort spends an early chapter arguing that text adventure games are descendants of riddles, a more established literary form. This seems to be the meaty idea in [...]

    4. I got about a quarter of the way into this and had to stop. It's just awful.I tried to give this one a fair shot. I really did. One of this author's other books, Racing the Beam, has enough technical content to make it worth wading through all the countless "I am smart so let me use lots of big-sounding words" pages.Another of his books, 10 PRINT, starts off painful but eventually starts talking about *actual things* instead of handwavey wankery.But this book never seems to evolve past the "let' [...]

    5. A well-researched history of interactive fiction, but with problems holding my interest. There's little investigation into the substantive technical details of the IF platforms, and the insight into IF stories and their various elements is only skin-deep and that bit vastly over-analyzed. The one redeeming part is the chapter on Infocom's history and games. If that strikes your interest then skim it, otherwise skip it and try Jimmy Maher's book about the Amiga instead: The Future Was Here: The C [...]

    6. There is some really good information here, but I feel like it gets a bit lost in its own twisty passages. The sections seem to ramble, and a larger portion of the book simply presented history of the form than I expected. Overall, I do recommend it to anyone interested in interactive fiction at all, but to those who are already familiar with the format and its history, only a few chapters will be of much interest. Personally, I learned a lot and have many of pages bookmarked for future referenc [...]

    7. "Holy crap did he just take 32 pages to be upset aboutAdventurebeing unfairly maligned" Zorkall day every day tho.

    8. 1) "Works of interactive fiction also present simulated worlds: These are not merely the setting of the literature that is realized; they also, among other things, serve to constrain and define the operation of the narrative-generating program. IF worlds are reflected in, but not equivalent to, maps, object trees, and descriptive texts. The IF world is no less than the content plane of interactive fiction, just as the story is the content plane of a narrative."2) "The riddle is not only the most [...]

    9. Twisty Little Passages considers interactive fiction (IF) -- text adventures -- and explores ideas of how to analyze and understand them as creative works. It also provides a short overview or history of significant IF works, and describes a little bit of how IF continues to be developed today. The text does a reasonable job of all those elements, but unfortunately it does a poor job of really delving into interesting ideas of how particular works were developed.The first few chapters focus more [...]

    10. Okay, awesome. A historical/literary/narratological analysis of interactive fiction (computer games played entirely by text). I have a deep, long-standing affection for IF, so seeing someone's academic take on it was delightful. I mean, it's the intersection of the human/computer interface and the reader/literature interface; of course I think it's cool.Only disappointing in that Montfort missed the point a bit in his brief discussions of player character gender. Though these games are usually p [...]

    11. Nick Montfort summarizes the field of the interactive fiction, computer fiction where the reader/user is required to input text in response to computer output. The book starts with a defining of terminology (command, directive, parser, interactor) and then goes into a discussion of the riddle, which is the rhetorical lenses Montfort chooses to examine interactive fiction. From there, he delivers an overview of the medium's history: its predecessors, its early days as mainframe text adventures, i [...]

    12. Probably the only major work on interactive fiction (IF) that you will find on book shelves.I am big fan of IF and after planning to for some time, I finally got around to borrowing it from my University library.The author is a prominent academic who has even written IF himself, and was nice enough to email me back when I told him how much I enjoyed his book!It is a wonderful history and analysis of the IF from its early stages right up until the era of independent development today. Non IF fans [...]

    13. While I found the first two chapters to be a bit tedious, this book turned out to be a comprehensive and inspired platform for bringing interactive fiction to a large audience. Montfort is well informed from a technical standpoint and takes a historical approach; he cites just enough literary theory to provide insight without losing focus. I could have done without his little attempts to be cute, but otherwise he writes in an accessible and polished tone that lives up to academic standards. This [...]

    14. As an avid IF gamer going back to the 80s and sometimes author in the last 5 years, I really enjoyed this retrospective into IF history. There were times when the book got a little dry, but it held my interest because it brought back childhood memories when I was playing old Scott Adams games on my Vic20 and finally graduated to my first few Infocom games. It brought back memories of my neighbor and I trying to create our own text adventure and to this day he and I talk about those days more oft [...]

    15. Remember text adventures? Infocom games of yore? 'Interactive fiction' is alive and well thanks to the efforts of a small but vibrant community of hobbyists who continue creating new games to this day. This book is an intriguing effort to apply scholarly analysis to interactive fiction efforts of past and present. I don't always agree with Montford's conclusions, and some of the history of the medium he gives is not much different from similar accounts available on the web, but a worthy read non [...]

    16. It wasn't until after I finished reading this that I realized it was actually classified as a textbook. Makes sense now. 95% of the population, hell, 99.9% of the population would hate this book. However, if you came of age in the early 80's and played Adventure and Zork, you will really appreciate this book. Very analytical, stretched some of the comparisons a bit, but all in all a pleasurable geek read.

    17. I found this book in a search, because if it hadn't been written, I was going to write it. However, Montford, left no stone, literally (in IF), unturned on the topic. Super detailed and semantic. I just wanted to relive all of Infocom's games and find out what interactive fiction looks like nowadays. Also, best title ever.

    18. I loved this in large part due to my special enthusiasm for the subject matter: the original Adventure games. The book situates those (pure text) games in the literary tradition, and traces the story from their commercial heyday to the online hobbyist community still carrying the torch.

    19. Part literary criticism, part game theory, part history, this book lovingly recalls the history of command-line text adventure games such as Zork."You young kids with your fancy graphics!"

    20. I liked this book, but it is very academic. I would only recommend it to people interested in experimental narrative techniques (and the history thereof) or who are fans of interactive fiction.

    21. A detailed overview of the history of parser-style interactive fiction, from ADVENT and Infocom up through the modern age. While dry in spots, the book accomplishes what it sets out to do.

    22. I bought the Kindle version of this book, but had to convert to epub in order to read. The text is almost unreadable in the original Kindle version.

    23. It's been a long time since I read this, but I have a feeling it really marks the beginning of a gradual comeback to IF.

    24. Skip the first few chapters unless you're really into dry academic analysis. It's much more interesting after that once it gets into the history of interactive fiction.

    25. An introduction to interactive fiction. Covers the early history of IF (mostly Adventure and Infocom), but looks at how the genre continues through the new millennium.

    26. Pretty interesting history and overview of text adventures/interactive fiction. A bit too dry and academic for my tastes.

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