A while back I reviewed most of the games from the 2007 Interactive Fiction Competition. I was particularly intrigued by the nontraditional, anonymously authored Deadline Enchanter. The author turned out to be Alan DeNiro, author of Skinny Dipping in the Lake of the Dead. Now he’s posted his design notes for the game on his blog.
I noted in my review that, although Deadline Enchanter wasn’t interactive in the traditional sense–to put it simply, the game is on rails–its presentation as interactive fiction was vital to the story’s effect: the back-and-forth of typing commands at the behest of the narrator created a sense of complicity. DeNiro mentions another advantage I hadn’t considered: typing commands to get responses creates a rhythm. Controlling the responses to the players’ commands controls the pace of the narrative.