November 29, 2006
The interactive fiction Book and Volume is now headed to the finals of the 2007 Guerilla Games Competition at Slamdance. The Slamdance Film Festival will take place January 17-28 in Park City, Utah, with the games competition running from January 18-23. Book and Volume, by Nick Montfort, joins thirteen other very original independent games in the finals – see the Slamdance press release or the Slamdance games page for the full list.
“We are very excited about the finalists for this year’s GGC, ” said Sam Roberts, Slamdance’s Games Competition Manager. “This year’s entrants range from biting indictments of modern corporate culture to fantastical adventures crashing castles. We have interactive fiction, beat-em-ups, non-traditional puzzle games, and experiments in flow theory. These games push the edges of what games can be and can try to be, experimenting in art style, gameplay, metaphor, story, concept and time. They provide challenges and inspiration for game designers working the traditional space, and game designers who will work in the future. While each of these games forces you to examine something you thought you already knew, or experiment in life and evolution, they also all entertain – they strive to be fun, and to be true play experiences.”
In Book and Volume, a system administrator wakes to mission-critical action items. This interactive fiction’s innovative, elegant user interface consists almost entirely of the English language – plus a few made-up words. Book and Volume invites both grizzled text adventurers and the uninitiated to explore the information-age factory town nTopia and figure out the nWare corporation’s thickening plot.
Book and Volume is a literary work’s controlled flight into the terrain of a computer game. It has already been featured at art and technology festival Medi@terra 06: Gaming Realities in Athens, Greece and in an online literary magazine, The Iowa Review Web, in a special issue about place and space in new media writing. Book and Volume incorporates allusion, atmospheric text, and outright appropriations from earlier literature. It also builds on the text adventure tradition, playing with interactive fiction conventions and formulas. Anything but a casual game, Book and Volume is to be studied, mapped out, puzzled over, discussed with others, and deeply read as it is played.
Book and Volume is the second release on the [auto mata] label, an independent label for extraordinary e-lit, digital art, and computer games. It follows the [auto mata] release of Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern’s Façade, a one-act interactive drama and winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Slamdance Guerilla Games Competition. Like Façade, Book and Volume is available for free download.