I jumped on a Kindle ebook reader yesterday, after 4 things happened this week: Amazon released a new Kindle lineup starting at $79, my Amazon store card balance recovered from the Photoshop CS5 purchase a few months ago, I came into a ton of free ebooks earlier in the week courtesy of the Baen Free Library that I don’t like reading on my laptop, and I had also gotten to thinking that it’d be fun for me to get back into developing interactive fiction with a toy like this.
It arrived a couple of hours ago. Yeah, I opted for one day shipping because patience is not my strongest suit, and I didn’t want to wait until Monday or Tuesday to get it. I just ordered a second one about half an hour ago, as a matter of fact. It was the only way I could get the first one back from Mrs E, who spent most of the afternoon running around the duplex playing keep-away and triumphantly shouting that it belonged to her.
Anyway, about the interactive fiction thing: I’ve always loved choose-your-own-adventure books and text adventure games. They’re a fun programming challenge, have a retro charm, and unlike graphically sophisticated media like videogames or movies, the barrier to entry is much lower. All you need (besides the tools) is some imagination and the ability to write engaging prose, and the fact that it leverages skills that I don’t routinely use at work makes dabbling in interactive fiction a very enjoyable diversion for me.
The Kindle software development kit isn’t out of private beta yet, but that’s okay because I’m planning to write a web-based interactive fiction engine in PHP that serves Kindle-friendly webpages as output. It’s gonna be fun, especially since I want to use Guncrawl mechanics to handle task and combat resolution under the hood.