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Introducing ben.lol

I've spent a few hours here and there over the last few months building a text adventure game.

I grew up with adventure games. The Secret of Monkey Island was foundational for me: an irreverent point and click story with an anarchic sense of humor that completely appealed to my twelve year old self. Slide across a telegraph wire using a rubber chicken with a pulley in  the middle? Sure. (Sorry for the spoiler.)

But long before SCUMM caught my imagination, I spent many hours with interactive fiction games written by companies like Infocom.

Douglas Adams was co-author of Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy game. (You can play a version of it on the BBC website.) It was every bit as funny and confounding as the books, and it worked because it was described entirely with prose.

Graham Nelson's Inform language is an expressive way to build these kinds of interactive fiction games. It's a programming language built for writers, which is fascinating in itself: you define the world using complete, declarative sentences. Emily Short in particular has done amazing work with the language, which is now on its seventh version.

And I thought I'd much around with it. It's a work in progress in the truest sense of the word; far more exploration than game. Almost every dream I have is set in a consistent universe, with a dream London, a dream Edinburgh, and so on, and I thought it would be fun to set it there.

For now, it lives at ben.lol, a domain name I bought for silly experiments, and should work on every browser. I'll keep playing around with it.

Let me know what you think!