Halloween Ghost Story Contest -- 2009
Interactive Fiction Winners

Helpful Abbreviations

look to see what's currently around you.
inventory to list what you're currently carrying.
n, s, e, w, ne, nw, se, sw
north, south, east, west, northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest (respectively) to move in the given direction.
x whatever
examine whatever to examine whatever object.
again to repeat your last command.

Back in 2002 we expanded this contest to include interactive fiction entries. This year, for the first time ever, we got some. We got three, to be exact. In one of those strange sorts of coincidences, the first two arrived less than an hour apart and both start outside on dark stormy nights (in spite of having authors from different parts of the world). They also have some additional minor similarities that we will not mention here in order to prevent spoilers.

There was a tie between The Lighthouse and Awakening for first place. Normally discussions with our judges would be used to break a tie, but with the sad passing of one of our judges and the fact that there were exactly three entries, it was deemed best not to try and break it down further. All three stories are already winners.

If you're not familiar with interactive fiction (or IF for short) you're in for a treat. There are numerous guides around the Internet to help you get started, but in general these are stories in which you play the role of one of the characters and you do not just read -- you participate. The flow of the story is in part under your control. There are a few common abbreviations to save yourself some typing, but in general you can type in almost any command to describe what you'd like to do.

The Lighthouse

Our first entry is by Marius Müller, who hails from a small town called Wetter in North Rhine - Westphalia, Germany and works in a bookshop when not writing. He is an established author of interactive fiction and you can read more about him on the IF Wiki.

Lighthouses simultaneously stand at the border between land and sea and the border between old and new. They are naturally good settings for secrets. Do you dare visit this one? Available as a download and can be played directly online.

Play Online


Our second entry is by Pete Gardner. Mr. Gardner writes:

My professional background is in computer programming. I enjoy playing many types of games, but of all the different genres to choose from, interactive fiction is still my absolute favorite. I have loved Halloween, spooky stories and IF for most of my life. I live in Ocean Park, a small seaside community in southern British Columbia, Canada. My lovely wife Keri and I have recently been blessed with a son, whose name is Robbie and who is six months old at the time of this contest.

Awakening on the ground next to an open grave, you have no recollection of how you came to be there. Do you investigate the nearby church and graveyard, or leave well enough alone? Available as a download and can be played directly online.

Play Online

Love Is as Powerful as Death, Jealousy Is as Cruel as the Grave

Our third entry is by Michael Whittington. Mr. Whittington lives in Cambodia, where he teaches English.

Atmospheric and moody, here one gets to follow an American teaching in Cambodia through a ghost story with an Eastern flavor. It is in the TADS format and so cannot be played live online, but it is available here for download.

Downloaded stories may be played with any of a number of freely available IF players. Popular choices include Zoom and Frotz, but it's also quite easy to just get a starter's pack for whatever kind of machine you're using from the IF Archive.

[home] [up]
Copyright © 1998-2024