Amazon Invites Devs to Write Programs for Kindle - The Return of Text Adventures?

4 replies [Last post]
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969

This article intrigues me:,2817,2358262,00.asp

If I had money to fund it, I'd put text adventures on the thing. After all, we know that the target audience likes to read and it seems an almost ideal platform for the genre to make a mainstream return. I've thought about packaging text adventures as interactive books in bookstores before, but with the difficulties associated with print these days, I think that ship has sailed. That's where these eBook readers - especially the ones with some type of keyboard - become really interesting beyond their core usage.

Joined: 05/20/2006
I'm signing up for the SDK

I'm signing up for the SDK to see what can be done. (I have developed a few iPhone apps before - but no games.)

A major obstacle is that your Kindle app can only use 100 KB of data per MONTH unless you want to charge your users a monthly subscription fee to pay for the extra data transfer. This is because the Kindle does not come with a wireless data plan. Amazon isn't willing to cover more than 100 KB a month per app.

davyK's picture
Joined: 05/21/2006
Kindle for games
Rowdy Rob wrote:

because the interfaces on these Ebook readers are very limited when it comes to game-style interaction, particularly if one has to input text into the game's parser.

The Kindle has a perfectly servicable keyboard - I certainly find no problems using it and could see text adventures working well - though not sure about how it would sell - still - marketing a text adventure as an interactive fiction is an interesting idea. Synching up with iphones and laptops as the kindle does with books would be nice too.

The display is all about rock steady text, not moving images and so I can't see any games based on animation of any kind being a success - I can see word games and Sudoku-a-likes going down well - especially given the userbase. A version of Scrabble would be nice for example. Some of Popcap's word games too. Chess and backgammon using 3G for network play would be possible - but again not sure if the demand is there. I bought mine to read with.

I have yet to find a downside to using mine - I've subscribed to the Spectator on it and can honestly see me buying a "hard" newspaper rarely , if ever, again.

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Joined: 12/31/1969
Well, the one thing we'll

Well, the one thing we'll need to see is if/when Apple releases info on their Tablet at the end of this month and whether or not that's a suitable eReader replacement. If it is, then the eBook reader as we know it will be a dead duck.

Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

Rowdy Rob
Rowdy Rob's picture
Joined: 09/04/2006
Cool idea.

I think rather than a traditional text adventure, Ebooks might be a great platform for the old "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" style books, where at key points of the story, the player chooses which path they want to take. The reason I say that is because the interfaces on these Ebook readers are very limited when it comes to game-style interaction, particularly if one has to input text into the game's parser.

I recall some "D&D" books in this choose-your-path format that added some element of combat, where the reader was required to roll some dice when the book provides an "encounter." Something like that might work very well on an Ebook game, adding some element of randomness, or even skill, while still being limited enough to work with these limited Ebook interfaces.

A game like Infocom's "Journey" is pretty much what I have in mind. A limited interface with an interesting choose-your-path story. I'm not sure a traditional, highly puzzly text adventure will ever go over well with the masses, but a more leisurely choose-your-path game could be a hit on such devices.

qoj hpmoj o+ 6uo73q 3Jv 3svq jnoh 77V

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.