Saturday, June 20, 2009

Validating my existence

Well, not really. More like "acknowledging my existence," which is flattering.

Kingdom of Loathing, the massively successful indie casual MMO, has an achievement system. To be precise, an ever-increasing set of trophies. (See this trophy list on the KOL wiki. Spoilers there, obviously.)

Hunter in Darkness A couple of weeks ago, a new one was discovered. This trophy commemorates killing five Wumpuses in a row, without dying, in the hunt-the-wumpus miniquest. (If you're not familiar with KoL, it has a blinding overload of miniquests, all of which are pop-culture references of one sort or another. Gaming culture is well-represented: The Penultimate Fantasy Airship, The Enormous Greater-Than Sign, a whole text adventure segment, and so on.)

So why is this flattering? Because the trophy title is "Hunter In Darkness" -- a reference to my game Hunter, in Darkness. Which was my riff on the Wumpus theme, as text IF.

Fame! Something-like-fortune! Thanks, KoL dudes!

(Also thanks to the ifmud homies for pointing this out to me.)

Daily trivia: The Latin name of the Giant Suckered Cave Wumpus is Wumpus yobgregorii. According to me, that's who.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Digital nonlinear CYOA comic

...or, digital nonlinear CYOA comic with dinosaurs?

I know which one I'd choose.

(Fortunately, they're the same choice. I mean there's only one link there. Narrative forced choice for the win!)

Seriously, this is brilliant on about six different levels. It's digging into CYOA structure, the way players react to CYOA structure, the way videogames react to the way players react to CYOA structure (by putting friction into the lawnmowering process). I could relate it to my current favorite topic, the way online multi-authored multi-threaded text has grown beyond the traditional notion of text as a medium, into some kind of performance -- something that can only be followed in real time, see?

It also riffs on "camping", a familiar notion from multiplayer shooter games. And, on top of that, it's got dinosaurs. So that's six levels right there.