Immersed in a room where every surface is glowing screen.
November 9, 2012 4:22 PM   Subscribe

"You sit down and pull the visor over your head. The visor interior is soft and enveloping. You squeeze the drip tube between your teeth and sickly sweet fluid floods your mouth. Pulses fire into your retinas." howling dogs is a work of interactive fiction by game designer Porpentine. It is a strange story about a person who lives in a cell and imagines strange scenes for a living. Endorsed by Emily Short, and made with Twine. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes with multiple endings. Via.
posted by codacorolla (17 comments total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
This might be better framed in the context of all the games of IFComp 2012, the voting period of which is not over yet.
posted by cobaltnine at 4:44 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ooo. The game designer's name references Sandman, the work is in simple white text on a black background, and it's about imagining things. Count me in!
posted by limeonaire at 4:51 PM on November 9, 2012

Thanks Cobaltnine, I didn't have that context and just got the link from the Via. I wonder if the mods could add it to the FPP?
posted by codacorolla at 4:56 PM on November 9, 2012

I just wanna say that Twine is really rad if you want to make slick Interactive Fiction easily. I was able to make something in the span of an evening. Everyone should try it.
posted by hellojed at 4:59 PM on November 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

How would Twine work for children, I wonder? How high is the barrier to entry, I mean.
posted by newdaddy at 5:17 PM on November 9, 2012

I went through it once, and I didn't even try all the options. This is really well done!
posted by limeonaire at 5:34 PM on November 9, 2012

I've been out of the IF loop for a while; I've never heard of Twine! As compelling as Inform 7 is I've never gotten traction with it. I'll definitely have to play with Twine (and this story.) Thanks codacorolla!
posted by usonian at 8:17 PM on November 9, 2012

Anna Antrhopy wrote a really good guide to Twine a while ago

Also: Can we link to twine stories? Because here's mine
posted by hellojed at 8:34 PM on November 9, 2012

broken link, hellojed
posted by victory_laser at 9:20 PM on November 9, 2012

This was really beautifully done! I'm immediately playing it again.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:13 AM on November 10, 2012

A pleasure, very transporting... much longer than 15 minutes. This was more gripping than the last few novels I can remember reading... does very little.

Does anyone know if the whole text is by one author?
posted by kettleoffish at 2:23 AM on November 10, 2012

yes, this absolutely isn't a 10 minute thing- it loops multiple times. keep going after returning to the room.....i haven't finished, but so far the repetition seems to be a large part of the experience.
posted by silence at 3:38 AM on November 10, 2012

The author's name isn't related to Sandman and the whole text is by one author.
posted by picklenickle at 11:01 AM on November 10, 2012

Am I the only one who can't figure out how to get out of the room and the options there?

Nevermind... I had to eat and drink first. Ignore this. >.>
posted by Autumn at 6:00 PM on November 10, 2012

Beautiful, mesmerizing story.
posted by doctornemo at 7:52 AM on November 11, 2012

Oh wow.

Thank you so much for posting this.

So much.
posted by motty at 10:03 PM on November 11, 2012

Now that the Comp is over, I have to say, I enjoyed this particular piece a lot. I'm pretty disappointed with how it placed; part of the debate in the IF community is not only on 'where do CYOA games fit' but also the difficulty of comparing puzzle games with non-puzzle pieces of interactive fiction and I think a significant part of its relatively low place is from that.

Em Short and some other authors definitely prize the fiction; I do, but find them to be very hard to compare to traditional games, especially when figuring out how to give a 0-10 rank. My current grading grid gives about 28% of its vote from puzzle design, and in things like this I modify that rank to be more about variety of paths - which is better, but not a panacea.

The other difficulty with submissions that rank fiction above interactivity is whether or not you just don't like it. This one is like prog rock and modern art, and I'm sure as a result it's highly polarizing. With a puzzlier game, I can be a bit more objective about my voting, personally - for example, I might love the setting, but the puzzles suck, or a spaceship game (bleh, overused) might have awesome puzzles and I'll vote it up for that.
posted by cobaltnine at 9:47 PM on November 15, 2012

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