‘Interactive stories’ are coming out on any platform, the latest one to surprise me are those created for iPod. ‘Kenoiyan’ has created a website, iStory Silver, to give iStory creators the opportunity for publication and ‘appreciation’. But what is an iStory?

iStory pic from iStory website

An iStory is an interactive story game that can be played on an Apple iPod, using the Note Reader feature of the music device.
It is a choose-your-own-adventure type of game, and its stories can vary from fantasy, through romance, to the action genres.

The site offers an archive of istories, istory creation hints and awards. iStories are created using basic HTML and are traversed with the iPod wheel. The software for your iPod is available for download at iPodSoft. I don’t have an iPod so I haven’t been able to trial the stories. Great idea though.

7 Responses to “iStory”

  1. 1 Jeremy Douglass

    I downloaded a sample story and tried it on my iPod. It is interesting, but stunningly primitive - yet, to be fair, so is the structure of CYOA, and that is it’s strength. I’m glad to see that someone did this, but my experience is that the last few generations of iPod have not been good reading devices, and the popular version seems to be tending away from becoming one.

    That said, I’d love to see a few classic pieces of elit republished in a stripped down CYOA format like this, for use on simple digital devices like cell phones. In particular I’m thinking of Rick Pryll’s Lies. The problem with something like this getting going is, by the time it does, almost any personal digital device with a screen will be able to run a port of an interactive fiction Z-code interpreter.

  2. 2 Mark Marino

    I’ve been playing around with this program. It only seems to allow links at the bottom of the page, not unlike maybe Judy Malloy’s “Penelope,” but in other ways, as you note, more rudimentary than the most basic storyspace hypertext.

    That said, it’s nice to see another venue (albeit temporary) for text tales to live-on on.

  3. 3 Mark Marino

    I’ve been working more with this software and have a few reflections.

    For one, you could not have “Penelope,” since it relies on randomization, and the software does not seem to allow for anything but fixed links.

    I find reading on an ipod to be exciting. Novelty of interface is part of what got me interested in these forms. There is an aura to the ipod, a kind of simplicity of design, a magical access of musical forms, with a kind of 2001 clean sheen that is difficult to match. Also, this little hand held device can be easily brought to bed.

    You can only exit a story by backing your way out of it. So potentially, you must see every lexia twice.

    It’s very difficult to tell which of the links you have selected. Each link is underlined, and one is in bold, but there is not much difference between the bold and normal lines.

  4. 4 Kenoi

    Hey, thanks for reviewing the site. I’m happy to hear that iStories have a positive side to them, too.

    Sadly most of the people think bad of CYOA type of games, because of some very poor productions (mostly books)in the past.

    I hope to change that and revise the way CYOA games are written and bring out the best qualities achievable of this genre - because as any type of adventure game, they too have their strength.

    The iPod is a very capable device for this purpose, for any model that has a screen (even ‘Mini’) is able to run text games and combine them with music, and maybe even pictures later. And as Mark has mentioned, the backlight and portable features of the iPod make handy to reach for and bring along as entertainment.

    The website has just been enriched with a new iStory, created by ‘Blizzard’, that uses sound as one of it’s interactive features.

    I will also be updating iStory Silver in about a week’s time.

    Thanks again.

  5. 5 Christy Dena

    Hello Kenoi, thankyou for dropping by. I unfortunately don’t have an iPod and so the detailed feedback will come from Mark. But thanks for letting us know about ‘Blizzard’ — the use of multiple modes has great narrative potential.

  6. 6 Smithd7

    Very nice! bkefbaadda

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