Delight Games makes interactive fiction for phones, tablets, and PCs. Why? To help make reading addictive.
What's our interactive fiction like?
People naturally love stories. We have been telling each other stories around campfires for thousands of years and I believe that enjoying a good story is written into humanity's culture and perhaps even into our DNA. Our games are about giving you an exciting story, except that you get to put yourself into the shoes of the novel's main character to try to survive to the end. Our games are dead simple. You read, you make choices, and there are consequences for those choices. For example, a zombie staggers toward you. Do you run? Push your friend in front of it? Use your hatchet to split its skull? When you first meet the love interest of your character, what do you say? Compliment him/her? Be aloof? Small talk? You decide.
The "right" choice depends on the situation and characters in the story. Choices are designed to not be obvious, yet their consequences logical. You really have to think to survive to the end, not to mention to get a high score and rank. You can play a story over and over to try to beat your previous high score.
Finally, the stories we produce are from a specific character's perspective, a character with a personality, a gender, a sexuality, etc. You don't play as “you”, you play as the character. For example, in Detective's Choice, you play the role of a 1930's jaded, hard-drinking detective who likes one-liners and being more-or-less a cad around women. If you try to play this character as a refined gentleman (perhaps because that is how you would act), your character will flub it and trip over his words. This is in contrast to a lot of interactive fiction in which you play a kind of generic person or you get to choose things like gender and sexuality. Delight Games commit the reader to role-playing fleshed-out characters rather than just swapping pronouns like "she" for "he" in the same story. You may play a self-conscious teenage girl with a crush on a boy in her biology class in one book and a wise-cracking male wizard who doesn't exercise enough in another.
The story of Delight Games (from founder Sam Landstrom)
It started on a bus to and from work. The internet connection aboard the bus was terrible so I gave up on getting work done and started writing. Two years later, I wrote the MetaGame, a sci-fi cyberpunk novel which got picked up by Amazon's new publishing imprint 47North.
MetaGame did well for a debut novel, but as I considered writing my next novel, an endeavor that I feared would again take me years, I wondered if the world really needed any more traditional novels. I enjoyed Choose Your Own Adventures when I was a kid (although the stories and characters seemed a bit cardboard to me). I also enjoy coding. Interactive fiction seemed like it was worth a try.
At first, I thought the perfect platform for interactive fiction would be the Kindle e-ink devices; however, because I was most familiar with Microsoft coding and I wanted to test the idea in the real world, I shipped my first books (Wizard's Choice) on Windows Phone as a prototype. To my surprise, customers responded stronger to reading on their phones than they did on the Kindle, the Kindle being made for reading.
And so I created more books (and contracted with other talented writers), and shipped to all the app stores I could with the intention of delivering addictive reading to everyone who wants it wherever they are.