The inaugural meetup of the Oxford/London interactive fiction group was well attended, and ran for a good four and a half hours before the last of us had to go our separate ways. Many thanks to those who came!
We talked about loads of things, as you might expect, including work in progress by several of the participants; the parser/non-parser split in recent IF production; ways to make the more parser-focused side of the community more welcoming to new participants; life in the game industry; why horror is or is not hard to write; storytelling features in the Silent Hill games; game mechanics and marketing strategies of Fallen London; and a number of other topics.
There was also a proposal that it would be good to have scheduled IF discussion on ifMUD, like ClubFloyd but for critical conversation — perhaps around a topic or question announced in advance. The idea was that there’s a desire for some more focused live discussion of interactive fiction, but that just dropping by the MUD casually doesn’t always provide this, depending on who happens to be logged in at the time. Having a pre-announced topic would give the conversation a bit of shape and make it easier for participants to perhaps have thoughts together in advance.
Proposals for future events:
— IF game jam
— group play-through and discussion sessions, about interesting new releases or works by members who want feedback
— book-club style discussion of games members had picked and played in advance
— overview of new Inform features with Graham Nelson
— (brought up online rather than actually at the event) overview of TADS adv3Lite library with Eric Eve
— (likewise) tabletop storygaming
The next meetup is already scheduled and will be at the Failbetter Games headquarters in London, Feb 18, 7 PM.