The XYZZY Awards blog has daily reviews coming out of each category of XYZZY nominees from 2012, which I’m really enjoying reading, and not just because it means coverage for some of my stuff.
These are subject-specific reviews, so for instance Carl Muckenhoupt writes exclusively about the puzzles of the games in the Best Puzzles category, with attention to their individual design, the kind of thinking required to solve them, the overall puzzle arc in a particular game, and so on.
And the reviewers are an all-star cast. Over in the Best Use of Innovation category, Aaron Reed (Blue Lacuna, 18 Cadence, maybe make some change) talks about how the link mechanics of howling dogs worked for him, and its context in the Twine revolution in general. In Best Individual NPC, indie game designer and IF author CEJ Pacian unpacks the way New Rat City plays with gamer tropes. In Best Technological Development, Dannii Willis —
creator maintainer of the widely-used Parchment interpreter for browser play — covers StoryNexus, Playfic, Quest and Vorple.
In other words, this some of the most in-depth coverage of IF to come along in some time, written by subject experts and directed at the popular favorites of 2012. If you’re interested in what the IF world has been up to lately — including formats ranging from traditional parser IF to Twine to StoryNexus and one-off experiments — the blog is well worth following.