IF Daydreams

There have been cool developments in the IF community in recent months; several online and offline interpreters have been resurrected and/or improved (with more improvements right around the corner in some cases) and I’m very happy with the state of IF languages these days. This all has prompted me to spend some time thinking about what else could benefit the IF community. Of course, accomplishing any of them are beyond my own means (and therefore wouldn’t expect anyone else to do them), but I figured I’d start a thread here where anybody can share things they’d really like to see.

The thing I think the internet could use most is an IFDB-esque site with an emphasis on shared uploaded graphics and other pretty content. Ideally, people would use this to upload maps and fan art for the games they love. I think we, as a community, have always been hesitant to do anything that might step on an author’s toes so it’d be practically necessary to create a site with a “fan fiction” type mindset to really help promote all of these wonderful games that have been made over the years. The hope is that such a site would result in crowdsourced “feelies” in a way, giving the casual IF browser that much more to go, “hmm, that game looks very interesting.”

Of course, such a project could easily fail since there’s no guarantee anyone would produce content for it (again, this is why this thread is called a “daydream”).

My second wish is definitely a personal preference as I know plenty of people prefer the more academic tome of SPAG, but I’ve always enjoyed the breezy tone of IF publications such as XYZZYnews. More recently, “IFography” tried to pick up the reins (https://ifography.wordpress.com/). I thought it started off with mixed success but quickly got better and was disappointed when they eventually decided to change to a blog format (and I believe development stopped shortly after). I don’t expect anyone to try to do this again anytime soon, but man, I really enjoy IF publications like that.

My final IF daydream would be a snazzy Windows IF frontend, sort of a ScummVM thing (with easier/quicker game addition) where you could set default interpreters for various game types but change the interpreter for individual games, with the program itself making use of blorb and online art and IFDB info. I know that fellow did that Grotesque frontend the other year, but I was never able to get the Windows version working. Also, I know much of the IF community’s attention has moved to browser interpreters (and they’re really looking really sharp), but for the most part, I’m an offline interpreter kind of guy.

1 Like

David Welbourn’s map site and patreon project are definitely two things that help. We need more people like him. I’ve added a few maps to the Trizbort samples, but it would be neat to see more. I’d be interested in seeing Twine maps, too.

I definitely prefer offline interpreters too, but anything that helps more people participate would be a good thing.

Yeah, it’s very cool his maps and walkthroughs are out there (and everything else that already exists). I just feel we need a better way of putting those things out there for the games’ benefits. It wouldn’t take much to get IFDB mostly there (with an addition of the ability to upload graphics for games) even if the ideal example in my head would be a site slightly more social media oriented and overall prettier to the eye.

IFography was a great idea and we had fun doing it, but there was a clear lack of editorial management. The 'zine format was so much work for the one person who was doing it that we switched to a website that everyone could contribute to (which I put together in its first incarnation and was happy to manage content updates), but then everybody kept waiting for someone else to jump in and come up with ideas and write stuff. It needed a captain, and we were all scurvy crew looking for leadership.

(here’s the gen2 website, if anyone’s interested http://ifography.wixsite.com/ifography )

Can you add maps & fanart to IFWiki?

Maps and fan art would be easy to add to IFWiki, but the wiki itself isn’t fantastic for browsing games and probably wouldn’t be super useful to the casual browser, IMO. Plus, we’d have to probably come up with a new style sheet to adequately convey the distinction between official and fan-submitted materials.