Jake's Interactive Fiction
In accordance with hosting regulations and general
courtesy, please be warned that this page (and some of the games on
it) use language and imagery (in the sense of evocation, not in the
sense of actual graphics) not appropriate for all ages, sensitivities,
and religious beliefs. Most of it is, in my opinion, rather tame, but
others may differ.
Take IF, for example. Interactive fiction has a tiny
audience. The number of people who follow IF is somewhere in the same
range as the number of people who read "Daria" fanfic or collect WWI
helmets. We're talking about maybe a couple hundred people on the outside. You would not expect writing an IF program to make a huge
difference in one's life. But you would be wrong.
New! Thanks to
the Parchment web-based
interpreter, you can now play the games without downloading
is interactive fiction?
I've written several games, most of them silly, and most of them for
the irregular speedIF
events. All of my games are written in Inform, so you'll need a Z-code
interpreter to play them.
The Bank of Zork (source,
This was my first released work, and was really written as a joke for
a mathematical modeling class I was taking at the time. Nonetheless,
it has some interesting library hacks, probably outdated by upgrades
in the library, allowing for numbered individuals and
hermaphrodites. Exactly how old it is should be clear from the email
address given in the game, which hasn't been active since before I
went to college.
Not much to be said for this one, but that it was an exercise in
writing a Z-machine abuse, and there was an obvious abuse to be
written here. There's nothing great about this one except the idea --
and the idea worked far better in Quim K. Holland's A Tight Spot.
Getting to Know the General
My first work in Inform for many years, this one surprisingly didn't
suck as hard as it might have. There are embarassing blunders (try
jumping while in the suitcase), most of which are well within the
acceptable suckitude of SpeedIF entries. Notably, this game ended up
with a bizarre element which was not dictated by the constraints:
three elements of the game were lifted from three separate Graham
Greene works, one of them incorrectly (the brand name of the unusually
large suitcase in Travels With My Aunt was "Revelation", not
Pick Up the IF-Archive and Pi
This one may require a slight bit of historical explanation: around
the time of this SpeedIF, there was a great deal of anxiety in the IF
community over the merger of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the
Gesellschaft für Mathematik und Datenverarbeitung. This
particular merger worried the rest of the world not a bit, but was
alarming to the IF community largely because the GMD ftp site
graciously donated space and bandwidth for the IF-Archive, the main repository of
interactive fiction and IF tools on the internet. So, this one's a
petty little revenge fantasy, on behalf of the IF community.
There's not much to be said about this one. I enjoyed writing it and
think it's pretty good, other than my demonstrated inability to spell
I've got nothing to say but this: Shakespeare, Nethack, and the
U.S. Men's Hockey Team really don't mix.
Descent of Man
My first, but not even close to my last, game set in Hell. I apologize
to the Pythagoreans for misrepresenting their beliefs.
This is a port of Art Canfil's Apple ][ classic Taipan! to the
Z-Machine. It's not original, alas, but it was an excellent chance to
test drive Kevin Bracey's extraordinary Inform
The Road to Destruction (featuring Bob Hope)
Both the premise for and title of this SpeedIF event came from my
(perhaps unfortunate) brainstorm to use a Nanofictionary
deck to create SpeedIF parameters. As a historical note, this is
the first nontrivial work I tested out my 'mislead' inform patch
(coming soon) on, and as such, destruct.z1
is the first work in twenty years, as far as I know, compiled in the
version 1 Z-Machine format, to be released to the general public. If
you don't know (and actually do care) about what these version numbers
signify, check out the short
history of the Z-Machine.
Upwards and Onwards
It's another religious farce! I fear I become typecast. Also, it
really needed a better title.
What Dreams May Come
I was really busy this weekend, and the parameters soaked in my brain
for a while before I came out and wrote it. Also, I'd been kind of
suffering from mood swings, so this one ended up a lot darker (or at
least less humorous) than my SpeedIFs usually are. Bonus points,
however, for finding references to T.S. Eliot and Nine Inch
This one was actually written in realtime, for once. It features at
least one device I've used before -- the "message stolen from nethack"
-- and also has the single worst room description I've ever written in
Let's Make a Nightmare
This is the effort of which I'm the least proud. I had a lot of
interesting ideas, but time ran low, and the result ended up being
just plain lame.
Twilight of the Dogs
that Dare Not Speak Its Number
For whatever reason, I made this one huge. It's full of rooms in which
nothing at all happens but which create an almost-consistent
geography. This makes it large, by SpeedIF standards. In addition,
it's rated PG-13 for violent imagery and implied sexual activity.
Fade to Black (play
online!) from SpeedIF
Writing descriptions all in haiku was a fun challenge. I particularly
liked having an opportunity to paraphrase a Right Said Fred song in
haiku. It's a 90s flashback, Japanese-poetry style! Besides that, an
awful lot of the jokes are topical -- if not to the XYZZY awards, at
least to current events. I'm being optimistic here. I'm presuming
future generations will not remember Justin Timberlake well enough to
comprehend the sort of irritation he provokes. Then again, future
generations probably won't play my SpeedIF either, so it all works out
The Something Adventures of Somebody
I'm presenting a quasiprofessional front as of now, so if you want the
actual title of this game, you've got to download it (or look at the
aforementioned Wiki link). It's a large, sparse game. I had the title
long before I had anything else, and if you want an explanation of the
title, well, you'll have to ask. There are a lot of nifty bits which
you're unlikely to see on an average playthrough, though (props if you
found the monkey wrench without TXD).
Little Green Robbing Hood (play
Silly, undirected, and with at least one in-joke nobody who's going to
play this game will get (and about 3 which everybody who plays this
game will get). Not my most inspired work, but not completely
pointless either. This is the first -- and at present only --
post-Infocom Z2 game ever. How's that for obscurity?
- Somebody's Second
Adventure: The Job (Z5
file, source, play
It's my first Inform 7 game. That explains why it's kind of
buggy. It's also a sequel to the Game Which May Not Be Named, so it
doesn't get named either. I include the source code mostly as an
example of what happens if you let someone comfortable with Inform 6
loose on I7.
- The Twelve Heads of
St. John the Baptist
My seocnd, and somewhat more polished, Inform 7 game. The central
conceit I lifted, to some extent, from Umberto Eco's Baudolino,
but of course I am not nearly as skilled a wordsmith as he. Ever since
the Game Which Dare Not Speak Its Name, I've come up with titles long
in advance of actual competition parameters, and this game was no
exception. I had the title in mind months before a SpeedIF actually
came around to put it in.
A related work to IF, but not a work of IF in its own right, is my
big baroque Do-Anything-You-Want-It-To Inform Makefile. It's got all sorts of
fiddly bits, including automated abbreviation computation and padding
stripping, and the ability to produce z3 games (given appropriate
libraries) or Glulx (given an appropriate compiler). In addition, I
have a stub file I always use to start my
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