that, unlike most webcomics that have a set story and swipe reader speculation periodically
, takes a lot
of reader input. Frequently, the author will take so much reader input that nearly the entire webcomic is made of user suggestions. As such, they always
have some way to put in suggestions, whether it's a designated forum where you can post in a suggestion box, comment in a comment box, a Shout Box
, or an email address you can send suggestions to. In fact, many of these comics had their origins in forum threads, where the update panels are in-line with the discussion of said panels and the suggestions
In many cases (nearly all since the Trope Codifier MS Paint Adventures
), the webcomic will be presented as if it were a log of an Interactive Fiction
game (with pictures). Because commands are parsed by a human and only one (or a very select few) command paths are actually used, the story usually ends up far more complex than is possible to program into a game
(mostly because the Combinatorial Explosion
is much smaller and can thus be handled manually). Due to the sort of people who make these comics
, these comics also frequently spoof such things as Adventure Games
, Simulation Games
, Puzzle Games
, Roleplaying Games
, or Turn Based Strategy
These comics generally update with only one panel at a time and as such can be updated very quickly
. Often even more than once a day.
For obvious reasons, these comics cannot use a Strip Buffer
Frequently these comics straddle the boundary between Webcomic
and New Media
. General precedent seems to be to put Interactive Comics
in the Webcomic category. More and more however, traditional web comic creators are experimenting with the medium.
Tropes often used include
- Foregone Conclusion: Homestuck has proven that as any Interactive Comic becomes popular enough, it begins to defy the medium. The creator of Homestuck has said that before ultimately closing the suggestion boxes, there were so many suggestions that he could pick any direction he wanted, subverting the idea of the interactivity.
- Homestuck is also an interesting case study in that the author eventually got incredibly fed up by endless streams of countless moronic suggestions; something usually considered a strength of this genre.
- Even more interesting is that without suggestions, fans still affect the comic in small ways as community jokes and theories often appear in the comics or have nods to them.
- Ontological Mystery: Often of the You Wake Up in a Room kind. Fortunately or unfortunately, this type of beginning to a story is incredibly easy to pull off.
- Present Tense Narrative
- Second-Person Narration
- Schrödinger's Gun
- Sure, Why Not?: and nothing but. Collectively, these comics may well be the best example.
- Beyond direct suggestions, authors often take direction of the future updates by canonizing fan speculation.
- Genre Savvy or Genre Blindness: Depending on the quality of reader suggestions, the protagonist in question can be a bumbling idiot with no brains or an incredibly smart ninja who knows all the trappings of his fiction, or anything in between.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Specifically, once the Ontological Mystery is slightly less of a mystery, the author will often reveal a backstory for the world and the character. This generally tilts the comic away from silly hijinks to plot-driven story.
- The genre really arose out of Interactive Fiction and joking around on forums (both Ruby Quest and MSPA started on forums), so pinning down the Ur Example is probably impossible.
- Ruby Quest and all the other /tg/ quests are the Trope Makers (though Ruby Quest itself is younger than the Trope Codifier).
- MS Paint Adventures is the Trope Codifier.
- This has changed a bit since the site was started. While completed series Problem Sleuth is still an excellent example of the genre, the current series Homestuck has long since closed its submission boxes and is for all practical purposes a "normal" webcomic styled like an Interactive Comic. The audience still has a significant influence on the story, though, as author Andrew Hussie enjoys reading fan theories and employing the ones he likes into the story.
- In Koan Of The Day, the guru is visited by the Goddess, which introduces a complicated puzzle game that few people have solved.
- Voices (which was originally an MSPA Forum Adventure before getting its own site.)
- Little Robot Big Scary World
- Dorf Quest
- Silent Hill: Promise
- Aetheria Epics
- What Do You Do
- Touhou Nekokayou's Create.swf Adventures
- Epicsplosion: Tripp Rougestar's Space-filled Adventure, whose story depends on which of several paths you take, something that Andrew Hussie tried with Bard Quest.
- Wicked Awesome Adventure
- Prequel (which was also a MSPA Forum Adventure before getting its own site.)
- Demon Thesis, a mix of interactive comic and java based tactical game by Chris Doucette, who also brought us The Last Days Of FOXHOUND.
- Deep Rise
- Omnitopia The Playground where all the main characters are people from the Gitpg forums who have given permission to appear in the comic.
- Bandit's Quest, stated to have been inspired by MSPA, originated on tumblr.
- City Of The Dead
- Lunar Hill
- Evil Plan The Webcomic switched over to a MSPA style for April Fool's 2012, and took suggestions from the readers. The comic was updated nearly a hundred times that day, with several of the images being animated .gifs.
- Pants Seat Carpet Ride, which is told from the third person and contains no images, was inspired by MSPA.
- Drowtales, is based around this to varying degrees for all of its comics besides it's primary one, Moonless Age.
- Mystic Empyrean Rebuild, is entirely based around user suggestions either on the forums or every other week to determine the course of the primary narrative.
Several websites include entire sections in which Interactive Comics
can be created.
- A section of Garry's Mod forums (Facepunch).
- tgchan that was created because all those quest threads were bloating /tg/.
- Bay 12 has several in the Forum Games and Roleplaying section, including such works as thiiiiiiiis.
- In a non-webcomic example, the print edition of Jason Shiga's Meanwhile.