Versu’s Epilogue: How an Interactive Fiction Pioneer’s 15 Year Project Ended Up in Limbo at Linden Lab

20140314-225241.jpgHowever there’s a particularly sad tale tied up in Versu’s fate (literally) and it’s why you won’t find me applauding this clean up any time soon.

Versu was co-developed by acclaimed interactive fiction writer Emily Short, and for over a year most of the stories she’s made have been strictly for Versu. The unfortunate result of this is that Linden Lab now owns these stories as well as the platform itself, including titles that were developed but had yet to be released. That library includes Blood and Laurels, a story that Short had been working on in one form or another for nearly 15 years.

“This is a story premise I thought of back in the early 2000s,” Short told me via email, “and I then tried several times to write it in various IF languages (Inform 6 and 7, and ChoiceScript). None of those engines were well suited to handling the amount of social interaction involved.” She continued, “I wanted a big sprawling piece with lots of plot, but in which in each individual scene it mattered how you treated the other characters. I couldn’t really make it work until I tried it as a Versu project, and it was finally possible to build it the way I wanted to.”

via New World Notes.

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