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State of the Interactive Fiction Union

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  • #16
    " If you're going to accuse us of "deliberately ignoring and strangling out" new talent, then some specific examples would really be in order because that's one hell of an accusation."

    I thought I was pretty clear in my post, but okay. A couple of people actually posts stories --> stories are completely ignored by those championing themselves as the only ones who care about/contribute to the site (because the authors are not forum members and therefore unworthy of response) --> authors realize they're writing for an empty, indifferent void and wander off ---> potential authors see the site is dead and don't even bother. --> Site remains dead until someone randomly wanders in and posts a story, probably because they're unaware of the alternative sites out there where their story would be read. --> Cycle repeats itself. This is a pattern that's been repeating itself for years and years, I'm surprised I'm having to explain it in such detail because we're surely all aware of it. Deliberate choice, and all. This is the sort of community that's been created here and the one you and presumably the others are so ready to defend.

    Anyway, this whole topic has gotten massively derailed. Sev asked a question, Endmaster and myself were responding to it, and (I suspect) primarily because it was me posting, a simple suggestion I made got jumped on and shredded, and now we're in this whole, faintly ridiculous argument about the 'ideals' of the site and The True Meaning of IS, and What We Stand For. The site and 'we' in this case both meaning the three to five people still using the forum, or I guess just you, in this thread right now. So, whatever. suggestions withdrawn if that's what it takes to end this. I look forward to reading other people's posts giving details on similar sites and what new features are needed to stay on the level or ahead of them, now that we're back on topic.

    As an aside, I got briefly re-interested in the forums with the redesign and with Sev posting and mentioning the possibility of more advanced features, but that was apparently a mistake. And with Sev not coming back since, and Endmaster and dreamshell the only regular members I've been able to discuss anything writing-related with without it turning into a battle, and my having a much more pleasant time chatting with them and Bucky elsewhere, I'll likely just wander off again until the situation shows some sign of change. I'd very much like for IS to be a viable writing site again, and I don't see any reason why it couldn't be just as popular a choice as some of the others out there, with a few of the features Sev is thinking of and just a little effort on the part of the community to encourage people to stick around. Most of the time, it seems the idea is to do the exact opposite, with that special IS-brand combo of neglect of the main site and bizarre hostility and just...bizarre everything, on the forums.

    But I suppose that's just Infinite Story daring to be iconoclastic. Truly, a bold stance that will shake the IF world to its core.
    Last edited by mizal; 05-23-2016, 07:43 AM.


    • #17
      Oh, and to get back on topic a moment, Inklewriter ( is another popular CYOA site, with a good mix of annoying children, hobbyists and professionals using it. It's what was used to create 80 Days iirc.

      You write on the website but there's no forum or central community. It's probably more similar to Twine than anything, in that the site itself exists more to provide the writing tool and the stories are distributed wherever the author wants. A lot of them get uploaded to the Quest site, and I'm assuming the IFDB though I haven't searched for them specifically there.
      Last edited by mizal; 05-23-2016, 08:49 AM.


      • #18
        Not having a lot of spare change, I can't purchase any of the games on Inkle that look interesting. I did find 'First Draft of the Revolution' well-written, though.


        • #19
          As far as the download functionality, what I was going to do was a giant html page that simulated pages in a cyoa book. Each page number would really just be the room id.


          Story Title
          Story Author
          Other story info


          Room 1

          Room Text

          Choice 1 - Goto Room 123
          Choice 2 - Goto Room 126
          Choice 3 - Goto Room 124


          Room 2

          Room Text

          Choice 1 - Goto Room 456
          Choice 2 - Goto Room 457

          The rooms would be presented sequentially. I'm considering renumbering for this (1, 2, 3....etc -- ignoring the actual IDs in the database) to make it easier to find them. The links would still work on the web page by jumping, plus you could print it out and users could simply use the Goto numbers to visually find their next room (or page like a CYOA book)

          How does this sound?


          • #20
            Also guys - I intend to make an iOS app reading application for IS. You won't be able to create stories, but you will be able to a) browse/find stories to read and b) read the stories. I may do a hybrid app to cover Android and iOS but I really want to get some time on iOS native development so that probably will be where I go.


            • #21
              I wanted to point out (many of you probably don't know) that this site is used by teachers regularly. Every so often, I get a wave of signups from a school's domain. I've considered putting a skin on the engine and making a student/teacher version of the site up. This largely wouldn't affect you guys, but I just wanted to make you aware.

              Also, as far as making the site more popular - I'm hoping that the stories will naturally start ranking higher now that the site is mobile responsive. Google should be ranking the pages higher now. I haven't gotten around to checking stats yet, but I intend do. This probably would only help out with readership though.

              I still wonder why this site doesn't have a larger community. I do get regular signups - usually daily. Hard to say what will make the site ultimately be more popular. I've always thought it was a fairly niche market of people that would be interested in writing interactive fiction anyway. Perhaps removing abandoned stories could help? Perhaps it's the crap that is keeping better writers away? I'm not convinced adding game-ish features will suddenly make a ton of people start using it.

              I do like Inkle's book-ish approach - pretty cool.

              I also heard about a single interactive fiction iOS app that some guy made and is selling on the app store. Anyone know about that?

              Whoever is implying that IS is not a viable writing site, please let me know specifically why you think it's not. Do we need a large community to make the site viable for YOUR writing?

              My goal has only ever been to create the best interactive fiction ENGINE.


              • #22
                I think I remember hearing that teachers use the site. That does seem like a great opportunity for development. I'd be happy to help with adding content in that area, should you choose to take it further. A lot of my daily work involves content creation, often for pedagogical purposes.

                The idea of reflecting the original CYOA book look sounds pretty intriguing too, though I admit I'm no HTML expert.

                As for improving our attrition rate, I've always been of the opinion that people have to do too much slogging in order to find the good stuff. I would support removing stories from writers who haven't been active in years, provided those stories were just junk, incomplete and/or no one is contributing to them anymore. Other stories, like Forest Dweller for instance, are really good and I think they should remain. So how can we trim the fat? Should it just be left to your discretion, Sev, or could we maybe get some volunteers from here on the forums who could browse through a certain number of user names and then make suggestions as they see fit?

                Please let me know if there's any specific way in which I can help. I'm really busy these days, but I love IS and I'm looking forward to all the possibilities for the next phase of its life!
                My sanity, my soul, or my life.


                • #23
                  Originally posted by severenz View Post
                  I'm not convinced adding game-ish features will suddenly make a ton of people start using it.
                  I don't think so either, especially given that there are a lot of sites that do have those features, while IS is, as you've said and others have agreed, a niche site. Adding these features certainly won't guarantee any improvement in writing quality; and unless I'm much mistaken, we're really going for quality over quantity.

                  My sanity, my soul, or my life.


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by severenz View Post

                    I also heard about a single interactive fiction iOS app that some guy made and is selling on the app store. Anyone know about that?
                    This may or may not be They are only on phone apps right now. I don't have a mobile so I don't know much more than that about them.
                    The organ is grinding but the monkey won't dance.


                    • #25
                      While nothing else actually got done, this thread contained the best cat fight between Mizal and Ves.
                      Writing: It's more fun than a barrel of Ebola ridden monkeys!


                      • #26
                        R.i.p. ..........


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