The IF Theory Reader is available

This news is a little old because of my being at GDC, but it’s worth amplifying the signal anyway: the IF Theory Reader, aka the IF Theory book, now exists, thanks to Kevin Jackson-Mead’s dedication in reviving it from an undead state. It can be downloaded as a free PDF, or purchased in physical form for about $14 American.

Some of the articles in it have been revamped. I substantially rewrote my article on IF geography to talk more about route-finding across a map, status line compass roses, and other navigation and UI elements that have come much more into vogue since the article was written. My piece on conversation I rewrote less extremely, but still adjusted here and there.

That’s not to say that old = useless. The book opens with Roger Giner-Sorolla’s article Crimes Against Mimesis, posted years ago on the forum. That series of posts formed the starting point for many, many long discussions about game design, storytelling, and simulation in the years to follow. Other selections include a lot of coverage of different areas of IF craft — writing room descriptions, designing puzzles, coming up with NPC dialogue — as well as some more theoretical discussions.

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