Emily Short has a thought provoking post over on her blog regarding interactive fiction for the "hard-casual" crowd. Can the modern crop of interactive fiction appeal to that segment of the market that isn't the traditional IF crowd, nor the "match three" type of casual player, nor the hardcore audience? Sounds sort of like a contradiction of terms, since IF is pretty niche to begin with, but she lays out her reasoning really well. On why the hard casual market:
In the original context, this referred to the idea of a game made to AAA production values, but paced for a busier lifestyle. In practice, what I'm seeing is something less dramatic: increased attention to ambitious indie games that are promoted on some casual game review sites but that go beyond the average/obvious.
This is a gaming audience ideal for IF to target. (This is not to say that IF shouldn't also target readers, students, and other niches that we've sometimes identified. But in the gaming landscape, I think there's more of an identifiable market than there has been for a long time.)
Yes? No? Maybe? There's a lot of creative IF floating around right now, and I think if it wound up at the right places (like JayIsGames as she mentioned), it could open up a whole new audience. The question is - do the creators want that bigger audience?
IF for the hard-casual gamer? [Emily Short]