Indie Filmmakers, Meet Interactive Fiction

It’s a scary time. After all, people are learning to make their own
iPhone apps to help their films stand out (something Who Shot Mamba by Brian Spaeth is actually doing
really well.)

Many filmmakers groan at the thought of learning such a complicated
skill, or paying someone who has the skill a lot of money. After all,
the code to program an iPhone looks like this:

@interface JNBRequest : NSObject {
NSString* _URL;

NSString* _httpMethod;
NSData* _httpBody;
NSMutableDictionary* _parameters;
NSMutableDictionary* _headers;

But what if I told you getting started programming interactive
fiction is as easy as typing this:

"My Screenplay Adventure"

The player carries a script. The description of the script is
"Your opus, SPACED, something you've pitched as 'Pup Fiction meets Star
Wars.' If only you could get a studio executive to read it." Understand
"screenplay" as the script.

The guard is a man. He is in a room called The Studio Entrance.
"You are standing outside the gate of Universal Studios, carrying a

Wait…am I claiming those regular looking sentences are computer code?
Absolutely…if you’re using a language known as Inform 7, a computer language that uses
natural looking sentences to help you program your interactive stories.
We’ll talk more about that in part 2, coming soon. (Be sure to subscribe
to Joke and Biagio
or follow us on twitter so
you don’t miss it!)

For now, I want to know from you, filmmakers…is interactive fiction a
cool, different way to connect with your potential audience? What do
you think? —

When I teach Inform 7 along with other multimedia platforms (including HTML, Blender3D, and Flash), about half of the students choose to use Inform 7 for their final projects.  (That might change if I add Scratch into the mix for the first time this fall, but we’ll see.)

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