"Vespers is one of the best games I've ever played, text-based or no.
"But I should have expected that. The IF Comp, an annual contest to see who can write the best text-based game, offers a vast treasury of interactive fiction, and many of the entries over the past 13 years are truly fantastic. Some, like Vespers, are lit-geek works of art, putting the bulk of commercial games to shame."
Textual Pleasure: Parsing the Annual IF Competition
This article has inspired me, once again, to give Inform 7 a try. I suspect it will pass in a few hours.
After reading Lara's article, I just had to try Vespers. If you're bordering on curious, I definitely recommend it. Just make sure you read about all the verbs.
A while back, I was thinking about AI and interactive worlds and how so many games "try" to achieve cutting edge virtual worlds, but fall so short. Oblivion is actually less impressive to me compared to Ultima V in its ability to convey a living-breathing world. So what's holding back the advances of believable and engaging AI and limitless interactivity in today's games? The cost of graphics, animation, music, voiceovers, sound, simulated physics, etc... you know, all that stuff that IF doesn't have to worry about. ;-)
If gamers really want virtual worlds with true freedom, logical consequences, environments that that change, and characters that they can truly empathize with... it may very well happen in the IF realm first. It'll be interesting to see how things turn out as the IF community continues to grow.
Inform 7 seems to make creating simulated worlds accessible to everyone with its natural language programming and powerful object relation scheme. I was completely oblivious to the power and flexibility of IF until I read this article. Thanks, Lara!
I'm learning TADS 3 atm, though I can't remember what got me to try and program an IF game. I haven't had any massive experience with them and I'm only just playing through Zork, but I'm really excited.
Inform 7 also looks dead easy to program in, it'll take so much power not to go over to it from TADS 3. We'll see what happens!