Introducing Playfic

Andy Baio and his 15-year-old nephew just launched a text-based adventure game site called Playfic, which he describes as “a community for writing, sharing, and playing interactive fiction games.”

My hope is that Playfic opens up the world of interactive fiction to a much wider audience — young writers, fanfic authors, and culture remixers of all ages.

While the language can be tricky, building simple games is surprisingly easy. Cooper had never coded anything or made a game before trying Playfic, and within 30 minutes of futzing around, he’d made his first game.

Some stuff is broken and missing, but I’d love to hear what you make of it. My hope is that the fanfic community starts using it, along with other people who have never heard of interactive fiction. Open to any and all feedback. Go make some games!

I wasn’t overly familiar with text-based adventure games. Well, it’s been a long while since I’ve played one and that time away proved how much fun solving simple text-based puzzled can be. It’s 180 degrees from games on IOS or the Xbox or whatever platform you prefer. In many ways, Playfic sort of harkens back to things like crossword puzzles and old-school RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons.

The aspect I like the most about the site is the incorporation of Inform 7, which is a programming language to create games. It works through natural language. Anyway, there’s lots to love for the puzzle crowd. So go forth and exercise your mind!

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