I’ve been quiet the past month because I’ve been traveling almost the entire time, so apologies for that.
August 23, the Oxford/London IF meetup is hearing from Minkette on escape rooms, immersive theatre, and other work in the narrative of objects. We’re holding this one in a more central London location, near King’s Cross, to experiment with trying to be a bit more accessible to people who had a hard time reaching Greenwich.
Sept 1 is the deadline if you’d like to sign up to enter IF Comp this year.
Sept 4, Oxford/London IF meetup has an open problems session in Oxford.
Sept 15, Strange Tales 5 is a London event with talks on unconventional storytelling approaches.
IntroComp games became available: these are game beginnings, submitted by various authors. Anyone is invited to vote, and voting is based on whether you would like to play the rest of the submitted work.
Amazon has made available a new tool to make interactive adventure games for their voice-activated Alexa box. The description and screenshots available so far make it look like it’s only equipped to do branching, statless CYOA-style pieces.
Meanwhile, this isn’t a tool in general release, but it might inspire some: Lea Albaugh writes about a fortune-telling machine that she built for a wedding, which incorporates procedural text generation, image recognition, card printing, and many other neat features.
In other news, I’ve started a Pinterest board on IF visualization — mostly narrative structure visualization and puzzle graphs, but a few other things as well. I haven’t tried to copy over the whole of the Twine node garden or every single CYOA graph from Sam Kabo Ashwell’s blog, but there are representative samples and links if you want to dig further.
New Reviews and Other Content
Despite being on vacation, I did pre-schedule a couple of articles for Rock Paper Shotgun: What Will You, the Detective, Do Next?, about a number of classic mystery styles rendered in IF; and Strangely Thought, in which I cover Fabricationist DeWit Remakes the World, Harrison Squared Dies Early, and several other games about deeply unusual worlds and protagonists. (Summit gets a moment, too.)
The long, long-running IF zine SPAG launched a new issue this month, which is full of interesting things. SPAG also now pays for content, so if you’re interested in writing reviews or craft articles or other IF-related material for them, you should consider pitching. I particularly recommend Lisa Brunette’s article on storytelling in hidden object games and how that’s evolved.