Vol. 1.2 is released!

We are proud to present Inky Path’s second volume, featuring some fascinating stories of the crazy things that happen once you step off of your doorstep–or the struggles of just trying to begin that journey.

Experience interactive fiction ranging from the dark and surreal to whimsical adventure. We’ve even written up a fun little IF adventure to help you get started–quest for the elusive “worldgates” through a gamebook RPG-styled choose-your-own-adventure!

We could talk about it for hours, but it’s probably best if you experience it for yourself first.

Click here to read Vol. 1.2, “There’s a Crazy World Outside!”

Inform Updates, Pulp Mag Cover Generator, Gamebook Adventures and More!

We’ve been quiet, but that’s because we’ve been busy pulling together the finishing touches to our lovely second volume!Mark your calendars, put sticky notes on your sundials, and prepare yourselves for the May 31 release of Vol. 1.2. 

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image Looking to read some interesting new IF? Hoping to pull together a cover for a publication? The marvelous Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual has got you covered. I mean, who wouldn’t want to read The Toaster With Two Brains? That’s what I thought. The astounding Pulp Magazine Cover Generator also lets you customize your own lovely-looking poster like the one on your left, there, and you can even have your custom image printed on various household items!

If one IF piece isn’t enough, Gamebook Adventures has many more pieces to choose from of many sizes and flavors. Check them out!

Storium is also looking to tell stories, though in strange, new ways. This article calls Storium a “web based card game inspired by ideas from pen and paper RPGs” where players collaborate online to tell stories. It is currently being crowdfunded, with $10 minimum granting access to the game’s beta. 

Changes are also abound in the IF world. Inform has recently released a new version that cleans up some of the syntax and allows for even more flexibility when writing stories in various tenses and points of view. Although it may not be fully compatible with works previously made in Inform, it does show a lot of potential for experimental IF in the future.

In other news, Quest and textadventures.co.uk developer wrote up an annual review of his work, stating his work was “good, but not good enough.” He has now moved to working only part-time on these IF projects, stating that “I’m just not seeing the acceleration of change that I was expecting. I used to be convinced that interactive fiction could grow to become much more mainstream than it currently is, but now I’m not so sure at all.” 

Looking to work for a lit mag? The lovely folks at Transcendence are hoping to get some more prose readers for the new season. Email  transcendencemag@gmail.com if you are interested.

Interview: Magic Books and Deciding Your Destiny

 

From DestinyQuest Infinite’s Gallery: http://destinyquestinfinite.com/gallery/

Magic Books and Deciding Your Destiny: An Interview on QuestForge and DestinyQuest Infinite

QuestForge produces gamebooks described as “interactive, story-driven games that mix Choose Your Own Adventure and Fighting Fantasy/D&D-style RPG.” Their first work, DestinyQuest Infinite: Legion of the Shadow will soon have a call for testers.

The interview below details the ideas behind QuestForge and DestinyQuest and part of the process of gamebook creation.

 

 

To start off, tell me about your work with Adventure Cow and QuestForge. What got you interested in interactive fiction–both creating it and giving authors the tools to share it?

Back a year or two ago, a major video game company released what was supposed to be a magic book. The ads showed these forests and castles growing up out of the pages, which made it doubly disappointing when the book turned out to be a set of large QR codes.

We want to make magic books. As disappointing as that book was though, magic isn’t about vegetation or masonry – it’s about stories that respond to you as a reader. I want to be able to tell a story about an explorer of a lost temple where I can follow your actions and help you build your story around that.

And then I want to give the tools to tell stories like this to everyone. Interactive storytelling shouldn’t be limited to people who can code.

What was the idea behind DestinyQuest? Was there a major goal in mind? Do you feel that’s changed at all as development has gone on?

DestinyQuest pushes the limits of what a gamebook can do. The size (600+ pages), the rules (the special abilities!), the systems – very little of it has been seen in a gamebook before, and all of it is really just cool. What Michael Ward did is pretty extraordinary for paper, but it’s just the start of what you could do with today’s technology.

I’m very limited as a (mostly) lone programmer, so DestinyQuest Infinite was really a test of whether we could make that magic book experience real: take a book that already works in print, and see if we can make that into a game.

It took a much longer time than I could’ve imagined, but through that process I feel like I understand a lot more about what it means for someone to go through the work to make a game, a story, or both.

I’m sure not many people know what goes into the creation of a gamebook like this. Can you tell be a bit about the process?

There are two big parts to it. Michael Ward’s the author of the print version of DestinyQuest, and it’s definitely worth asking him about that process. He hinted that he might be blogging about it soon, so I’d stay tuned for that. For now, his advice is: “Don’t listen to authors! 😉 Do your own thing and enjoy it!”

But as I see it building a gamebook is a lot like designing a game – I’m not waist deep in those details like the author, but I know it takes a lot of charting and quite a few spreadsheets.

We worked on the digital side. What made the digital process really crazy was that for us, there were no precedents. Our initial prototype was a quick-and-dirty version where we spent a day or two writing scripts to scrape the e-book and pull it into Twine. Once we did that though, the fun really started–Twine is able to handle branching and prototyping quite well, but for everything else that makes DestinyQuest a gamebook, we had to build new systems – ways to have an inventory, a map, combat, and other goodies.

Our hope is that people will be able to use what we built so they don’t have to spend years toiling on it like we did, but starting from scratch certainly made things exciting – at least, if you’re a programmer. 🙂

Have you faced any major surprises along the way, either in development or users’ reactions to the work?

Aside from the delays (which, sadly, are a somewhat predictable part of many software projects), I think the process has gone about as expected! I will say that after so long working on DestinyQuest, it was nice to crack open a working prototype, play for a few hours, and start to think, “Hey, this is kinda fun! I wonder when the sequel will come out.” (If only I could wave a wand and make that build itself…)

What kind of successes have you seen so far? What would you say is your ultimate goal for QuestForge and DestinyQuest Infinite?

DestinyQuest is a new experience – I can’t imagine what I would’ve thought if someone had shown me this when I was reading Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid. Ultimately though, when you look at the worlds of video games, visual novels, and interactive fiction, it’s clear to me that there are so many more things that we can do with this medium. Some of those things are already starting to happen in Twine/IF/VG. Some of those things we’ll start tackling through DestinyQuest Infinite and its successor works, and some elsewhere.

Everywhere I look, I see interactive books that we could be making, should be making, but haven’t made yet. DQI is going to be our first, and it won’t be the last!

To find out more, visit DQI’s site: http://destinyquestinfinite.com/

Call for Interviews, Young Writers’ Space, 8-Bit Art, and More!

Interested in participating in an interview? Inky Path is reaching out to those in the IF community on everything from their latest projects to heated debates. We would love to have your lovely voices grace this blog. If interested, contact inkypath[AT]gmail.com with the subject line “Interview: [Your Name]” and include a bit about yourself and what you’d like to interview about.

More of a monologist?  We are also accepting blog entries (including previously published material). More on that on our Submissions page.

Are you a young writer? Poetryspace has a great opportunity for you–a Young Writers’ Space dedicated to those 18 and under. According to their submission guidelines, “We welcome stories, poems, jottings, drawings, graphics, cartoons, extracts from your novel. Anything at all!”

Interactive fiction combines games and literature… but what about games and other kinds of art? One artist takes on the challenge of fusing games and art in a series depicting well-known pieces as 8-bit paintings, as seen in this article.

It seems that predicting the future really is possible–for some notable sci-fi authors, that is. The Outlet, Electric Literature’s blog, offers this handy graphic showing where sci-fi authors got it right.

For April Fool’s Day, xkcd offered an interactive comic in which readers can make decisions and even add their own suggestions at the end. It offers xkcd’s classic mix of the funny and the fantastic.