Varytale

by ninashiel

I’ve been quiet here, as I have spent my time finishing a thesis chapter and an article, and due to the ever-present RSI I have had to save my typing spoons for them. This will happen every once in a while.

Naturally, I have encountered many things to blog about during that time. I downloaded my old favourite game, Arcanum, from Good Old Games, and was struck by how much single-player mechanics have changed in just over a decade. I want to poke at that at some point.

However, right now I just want to note that Varytale has just gone to public beta (they like you to have a Facebook account to log in with – evil I know). For anyone interested in interactive fiction or the reader/text relationship this is an absolute must. They even helpfully provide an introductory book, How to Read A Varytale Book to introduce to the concept those who might not have any experience on such things. I am finding that it is also helpful for those who have read other interactive texts or played games like Fallen London (which will always be Echo Bazaar for me, dammit!), as there are new mechanics here at play.

I am really excited about this, and about all the other new IF stuff that is currently in the process of coming out. The author may be dead, but this genre most certainly isn’t… If I at some point manage to bag myself a course to teach on text and visual arts, or literature and the internet, my students will be spending a lot of time on these websites.

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