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 rec.arts.int-fiction 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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