I develop interactive fiction (IF) games, stories and extensions using Inform 7, and I'm working on a large game at the moment. As a kid/teen, I also wrote a bunch of text adventures and EAMON games for the Apple II computer. The material on this page is divided into three sections:
21ST CENTURY IF
ANDROMEDA ACOLYTES (work in progress)
In the Andromeda Galaxy, humanity doesn't know why it is on the planet Monarch or how it got there. When an underwater accident in Monarch Harbour awakens a strange power, four very different women are drawn into each other's orbit, and into a race towards the mysteries of Monarch's origins.
I started programming Andromeda Acolytes in 2019 and successfully Kickstarted it in August 2022. The game is now my primary creative project (ETA 2025) and it will become my first direct contribution to the Andromeda series of games initiated by Marco Innocenti with 2011's Andromeda Awakening.
- Play the Andromeda Acolytes chapter one demo online
- Visit the Andromeda Acolytes Kickstarter page
- Andromeda Acolytes on Steam
- The game's prospective homepage
- intfiction.org post with the 4700-word PDF planning document (created with Mac app "Things") that I used during the Kickstarter
- Heiress Software homepage
CRAGNE MANOR (with 83 other authors) (2018)
Your name is Naomi Cragne. Your husband is missing. That's why you're taking the train to Vermont, to look for him in his family's old mansion. You'll explore creepy environments, consult eldritch tomes, and solve bizarre puzzles as you search for Peter, but your surroundings, your past, and even your identity seem to change subtly—or dramatically—as you make your way through the town of Backwater and approach Cragne Manor.
Each location is a different author's take on a tribute to Anchorhead, or an original work of Lovecraftian cosmic horror, or a deconstruction of cosmic horror, or a gonzo parody of cosmic horror, or a parody of some other thing, or a portrait of life in Vermont, or a pure experiment in writing with Inform 7, or something else entirely. There are tons of puzzles. The puzzles get very weird.
I was one of 84 interactive fiction authors who contributed a location (mine is The Music Room) to this mammoth adventure game. It's a twentieth anniversary tribute to Michael Gentry's H.P. Lovecraft-inspired game Anchorhead. None of the authors got to see each other's rooms during construction, but thanks to the planning and oversight of organisers Jenni Polodna and Ryan Veeder, there is a grand design of puzzles and goals. It's hard to say what the expectations for this project even were, but they were eclipsed by the result, which is the most entertaining big IF game I've ever played. The horror subject matter is a constant, yet it's been interpreted in all kinds of ways, from the deadly serious to the outright comedic. Each location contributes to what feels like a bizarrely singular identity.
The Music Room is deep in the game, but a detailed playthrough of it exists thanks to Mike Russo, who tackled the whole of Cragne Manor in public on intfiction.org, making a detailed and enlightening commentary along the way. The context for the playthrough (because Mike had to play for a long time to get to this point!) is that the PC Naomi (referred to as "Nitocris" in the transcript due to in-joke reasons) is searching for her missing husband Peter in his old family home of Cragne Manor, Vermont. The Cragnes were into more cosmic Lovecraftian diabolism than you can poke a stick it, and Naomi has been forced to wade far into their mess. Searching the ground floor of the manor, she steps into a nicely-furnished room containing a podium, and a voice begins to speak to her...
Before (and if) you proceed to the 100% spoilery playthrough, note that the Music Room is R-rated with adult themes, high impact violence and strong language.
I've also publicly shared the 30k-word Inform source code for the Music Room. Andrew Plotkin kindly hosts it on his webspace in two flavours: the raw source code and a formatted online-readable version. Here's the link to that page where you'll also find the source code for many other locations in the game: Cragne Manor: The Source Collection.
OTHER CRAGNE LINKS:
* Play Cragne Manor online, or download it, from its itch.io page
* Cragne Manor on IFDB
CAPTAIN PIEDATERRE'S BLUNDERS (All/any systems) (2017)
You are Captain Piedaterre, proud rat, scourge of a good number of seas and collector of amazing things that people forget to nail down and don't seem to care about when they go missing.
Captain Piedaterre's Blunders is a short, funny spin-off of Ryan Veeder's popular 2013 ship-looting IF Captain Verdeterre's Plunder. I originally created it as a demo project for a CYOA-parser-hybrid extension I was developing. The extension became too unruly to share, but I thought this partiular demo was entertaining enough to release as a game.
- Play Captain Piedaterre's Blunders online and/or download it
- Captain Piedaterre's Blunders on IFDB
- Captain Piedaterre's Blunders walkthrough by David Welbourn
- Captain VERDETERRE's PLUNDER on IFDB
LEADLIGHT GAMMA (Mac/PC/iOS/Linux) (2015)
15-year-old Belinda Nettle is studying at Linville Girls High School in Australia's Blue Mountains. After falling asleep in the library one afternoon, she wakes from her mundane existence into a nightmare. Her classmates are transformed, nameless terrors seek her out across the schoolgrounds, and traps and tricks threaten her life at every turn. Can you help Belinda survive this terror-filled night and solve its mysteries? And will there be a new day?
Leadlight Gamma is a new version of my 2010 survival horror / interactive fiction / retrocoded combat RPG adventure Leadlight. Leadlight Gamma brings the game to modern platforms with new features, content and accessibility.
- Leadlight Gamma homepage
- 2015 review on Adventure Gamers
- 2015 review from Gamerz Unite (Archived as a PDF)
- Reviews on IFDB
- Game demo and interview with me on IndieSider episode 26, 2015
- Heiress Software homepage
GHOSTERINGTON NIGHT (Mac/PC) (2012)
Danger-filled Ghosterington Manor appears atop the same cliff each year on Samhain night. Hidden inside are the last four works of the dead bad poet Vigilance Ghosterington. Those four poems are worth a fortune, and you, famous adventurer Jubilee Grief, are determined to find them.
I programmed the original version of this Halloween/comedy game in three hours. It won 2012’s Ectocomp. I then ground the rough edges off the game to create the nicer version I offer to all for ghostly eternity… WOOOOOOO!
- Ghosterington Night on IFDB
- Ghosterington Night on IFWIKI
- Ghosterington Night walkthrough by David Welbourn
- Ghosterington Night on IFWIZZ (German)
SIX (Mac/PC) (2011)
Your name is Harriet Leitner, and you and your twin sister Demi turned six this morning! You're having a fancy dress birthday party, and this afternoon you'll be playing Hide and Seek Tip over in the park. You can't wait to catch all your friends.
Six is a family-friendly interactive fiction game about twin sisters playing hide and seek at their sixth birthday party. It came 2nd out of 38 games in the Interactive Fiction Competition of 2011. While it is suitable for children (at least those who don’t regard six year olds as babies) I also think of it as a child simulator for non-children. I want to put players into the headspace of a six year old’s excitement and wonder, or return them to it. In 2020, a Victorian primary school used the game as part of a literacy exercise.
- Play Six online here on wadeclarke.com
- Six Homepage
- Six on IFDB
- Six on IFWIKI
- Six on IFWIZZ (German)
LEADLIGHT (Apple II) (2010)
Leadlight: Survival Horror Interactive Fiction for the Apple II. This is the original version of the game I released via the Interactive Fiction Competition in 2010. It’s playable on real Apple IIs and Apple II emulators.
20TH CENTURY IF
I've written about my 1980s/1990s Apple II adventure games on my site Wade-Memoir. The games covered there are Dungeon of Death (1988), Complex (1988), The Sword of Evil (1988), Dark Arts (1990) and Demon's Keep (1990).
I also wrote three Eamon games during the 1990s. Here are links to their pages in the Eamon wiki:
- Cliffs of Fire (1991)
- The Prism of Shadows (1993) (with James Anderson)
- Dawn of the Warlock (1993)
BLOGGING, REVIEWS, ARTICLES, LINKS ET AL
- Wade's Important Astrolab - Where I blog my IF progress, ideas and some reviews.
- Wade's IFDB reviews page - Where I host the bulk of my IF reviews.
- Wade-Memoir - My Apple II gamemaking blog. When I was a kid / teen, I wrote many games for the Apple II (including some of the aforementioned parser adventure games), mostly in Applesoft BASIC with sprinklings of assembly language. An ongoing project of mine is to collect those games, my recollections about making them and any design notes I have for them in this blog.
- 2021 review of Hugo Labrande's Infocom-esque adventure Tristam Island for March 2021 edition of Juiced GS magazine - Juiced.GS is commercial so I can't reproduce the review here, but in a spoiler, I will let slip it was positive, as evinced by me giving the four stars on IFDB.
- Time Warp (2016 Inform extension / easter egg / game) - Originally appeared as an easter egg in Leadlight Gamma. Time Warp is a CYOA I wrote on the Apple II+ when I was 12 or 13. I ported it to Inform 7 in extension form and it can be added to any Inform 7 game without interfering with that game's workings. Why not add it to your own IF game?
- Menus / Basic Help Menu Inform 7 extensions / Robot Retrievers of the Year 3000 demo (2013) - I wrote a Menus extension for Inform 7 and a corresponding Basic Help Menu extension, both significant advances on the venerable Emily Short originals. The two extensions are available from within the Inform app's public library. You can see what my menus extension does by trying the demo project Robot Retrievers...
- 2013 Juiced.GS article (inside commercial Juiced.GS Concentrate: Interactive Fiction edition) - An article I wrote for the July 2013 Interactive Fiction edition of Apple II magazine Juiced.GS about transitioning from 8-bit adventure game programming (Leadlight) to Inform 7 adventure game programming (Six).