Deadborn from the Press

Emily Short points out a problem that is certainly not unique to interactive fiction, but which is more of a problem for us since we cannot afford to lose as many authors as (say) the community of novelists can. She writes:
There are lots of good games that don’t get reviewed nearly as much as they should, and authors have drifted away because the amount of response their work received was not enough to keep them interested. IFDB helps a bit, because it provides a low enough barrier to entry for review writing that more people seem to be interested in writing more reviews, and that’s terrific. But there are also still quite a few works that have not gotten the reception they probably deserved.
I think this is a serious problem, and it would be very good for our community if we could keep this from happening as often as it presumably does. (If we can, that would also lessen the grip that the IF Competition has on our community.)

So, as a very small step in that direction: here is today's question. Which recent IF games do you know of that did involve serious effort, but then fell deadborn from the press? If we can make a list, we can then start remedying this problem.

My candidate is Macrocosm, by Shaun W. Donaldson. From the website, it seems like a lot of work was involved, and yet I haven't heard anything about it. Problem for me is: it's a Windows executable, and it won't run under Wine.

What are your candidates?


  1. Well, I would say Aaron Reed's Blue Lacuna. It's still a work in progress, of course, but as he states on Emily's blog he put a lot of work into it, and he even made an accompanying web site.

    I thought it would be talked about a lot more than it was, given the quality and success of his previous works, even if it was only a partial piece.

  2. Moments Out of Time 2 is an obvious one -- but I suspect it suffers in part from interpreter problems. I couldn't get it to work past the introduction in Spatterlight.

    Not quite such a severe case, but Eric Eve's "Blighted Isle" is also a much better game than the quantity of feedback would suggest, with substantially branching plotlines and a number of extensively-implemented NPCs.

  3. IF games takes a lot of time to being reviewed, because, as their authors, players must to use their free time to play the games plus more free time to review them. That is a whole bunch of free time not everybody has or are willing to spend about.

    Commercial games has not this syndrome because they have the press earning money per each review.

    Indie games scene is the same. I don't know if indie games press, like playthisthing or jayisgames, or theescapist get paid by their reviews or not. Whatever, to be a bigger community, better visibility, helps a lot to have your games reviewed fast.

    We should be happy with SPAG and contribute with it so poor Jimmy has not to do all the reviews on his own...

    As we are a smaller community, press here is slower.

    PD: sorry my bad English.

  4. And we must quite happy that indie scene press has eyes upon us too!!! Thanks a lot Emily, Playthisthing, the escapist and every one is willing to get out the throne of graphics to read a while and review IF!!!


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