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Interactive Fiction (IF) has a somewhat deserved reputation for being hard to get into if you’re not already familiar with the medium’s conventions. Facing just a blinking cursor with no or few initial instructions, together with often unhelpful error messages, requires more than the usual amount of effort from the player to climb the initial steep slope of the learning curve.
Developers of modern AAA titles like Call of Duty on the other hand can’t afford to exclude any players from buying the game so they have spent considerable effort to make the treshold to enter as low as possible. Could their techniques be adapted to text-based games, making them easier to learn and play for a wider audience?
In this presentation we’ll take a look at some of the methods IF has historically used to educate players and the methods AAA first person shooters employ, and discuss what IF and other indie games could learn from them. We’ll also see demonstrations of some of the latest advancements in user interface technology that make these techniques possible.