September 4, the Oxford/London IF meetup has an open problems session in Oxford. Join us if you’d like to discuss something that’s stumping you in a WIP (or give advice to people who are in that situation).
September 10, Australian IF folks are having a meetup in Melbourne. (Link is to a Facebook page that organizes the group, which might be of use even if you aren’t able to attend this specific event.)
If you are instead in the Bay Area on Sept 10, the SF Bay IF Meetup has an event that day as well.
September 10 is also the voting deadline for IntroComp, if you were considering participating. That’s a good chance to give authors feedback on their work in progress. (And if you’re up for it, reviews are great too — IntroComp hasn’t had a huge number of reviews this year so far, and it would be cool to see more.)
September 28, Boston area, PR-IF is holding its next meetup.
Finally, September 28 is also the deadline to submit games to be shown at WordPlay London, a November event centered on interactive text and held at the British Library. You may submit your own works or nominate works by other people.
Speaking of IF Comp, that is going to be the theme of our London October IF Meetup. Last year we played a bunch of comp games together and it was a blast, and we only wished we had a little more time available. This year, I’ve got a more central (Shoreditch rather than Maritime Greenwich), wheelchair-accessible venue in London on October 16. It’s a weekend slot rather than our usual weekday evening, so that we can afford to run for most of the afternoon rather than just a couple of hours. If you’d like to join but can’t make it right at the start, there will still be stuff going on if you arrive later.
If you’re a comp game author this year, you’re going to be in London at that time, and you’d like to see a group play your work live, let me know in advance and we’ll make sure we include your game in the mix.
Please also let me know if you’d like to volunteer as a reader (reading aloud on-screen text so that we’re all on the same page as we play) or to bring snacks (mm, snacks).
Also, please feel free to invite people! The meetup is free and public, and we always welcome new members, but especially here: this is meant to be a fun and festive intro to some of the best of what’s going on in IF right now.
Brendan Patrick Hennessy has a short and wholly adorable post-Birdland piece called Open Up.
Sub-Q Magazine brings us Before the Storm Hits by JY Yang, a piece about what you choose to do before the end of the world. Which of the items on your to-do list is top priority? And can you make any difference if you do things in a different order?
I wrote a small piece for Texture called Endure. It’s an interactive translation, where you’re resolving Homeric Greek into English phrases, but you have several different translation modes you can try — and you can juxtapose serious with jokey readings, for instance, if you want to go for particular stylistic effects.
Your results will also depend on the order in which you translate. If, for instance, you start out your translation by focusing on text about the Cyclops, you will get a different slant on the rest of the passage than if you start by focusing on Odysseus’ cleverness.
In a way it’s sort of a companion to First Draft of the Revolution — not because of its subject matter, which is completely unrelated, but because both are trying to use interactivity to convey something about the mental process of composition and the flexibility of meaning to be found in a single text.
Endure is pretty niche, which is why I haven’t done more to talk it up. It might not appeal to you at all. Some people have said they liked it even though they don’t read Greek, but others have said they felt they were missing something. (The one player I know of who did already understand the Greek really liked it, but this may not be statistically significant.)
If you do like that, I also recommend B Minus Seven’s Relentless Drag.
I also wrote more about Texture for my IF Only column at RockPaperShotgun.
While doing some background on my escape room articles, I ran across references to Block Stop’s By the End of Us, a live theatre experience where one player performs the role of a video game player and the audience collaborates as their antagonist. thelogicescapesme reviews the game experience from the audience perspective, and there’s also a comment from the person who played the single-player role.
I also learned that there is apparently a trade show for room escape designers.
Craft, Training, and Tools
Jason Grinblat talks about procedurally generated titles and contents of books for Caves of Qud. (Edit: now links to YouTube rather than Twitch, so should continue working. Some other content from the same conference is available here.) Also, Jason mentions Annals of the Parrigues, yay.
Jedediah Berry shares an exercise for writing collaborative shuffle narratives like his own Family Arcana, usable in workshops.
This is not new, but on my Twitter feed last week someone linked this article on the concept of the act structure in screenwriting, and how it’s not really very useful as a way of thinking about structural concerns, and about alternative approaches to think about plotting. Because it’s by the movie reviewer who posts as HULK and writes in ALL CAPS, the article is also in all caps. I dislike reading long passages in all caps, so I mean it extra when I say that the content is very worthwhile. Maybe copy and paste into a text editor and auto-convert it into sentence casing if it gets to be too much for you.
Rami Ismail writes about the stages of game development communities in different territories. He’s basing this on experience with particular communities, but I think some similar criteria could apply when looking at the niche genres or forums looking for more wide-spread recognition.