February 16th, Boston’s People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction group meets up. Which is to say, tomorrow.
March 4th is San Francisco’s IF Meetup.
March 9, Nottingham’s Hello Words group is having a meetup.
Also March 9 is the deadline to register intents if you’re planning to enter the Spring Thing IF competition this year.
I am not doing an Oxford/London Meetup this month because GDC is taking most of my attention and preparation time.
Utopia Jam is currently open through the end of February.
— Cannonfire Concerto by Caleb Wilson: Interview and Steam link. I haven’t had a chance to fully play this yet, but I love Caleb’s work, and the premise appears to entail being a genius 18th century musician-spy, which is a pretty good start.
— Minor Fall, Major Lift is a short story about a romantic connection between two people. The arc of the story itself is relatively simple; the major NPC, affected in a way that I tend to associate with being young and nervous about being wounded. This turns out to be entirely fair enough as a read of their character. Meanwhile, there’s a lot to notice about the worldbuilding. The story takes place in a Slavic-influenced society with newly invented religions and perhaps supernatural genetics, hinting at a deeper universe yet to be unfolded. (The author mentions this is part of a potentially longer work or series.)
Meanwhile, from a narrative structure perspective, the story has a conceit of letting you examine characters multiple times in a row, getting deeper information about them each time. This could be grinding or irritating in some cases, but here I found it worked for me, and made it feel as though each examination of the other person was upping the stakes further… which considering that this is a tale about self-revelation and visibility makes plenty of sense.
Finally, the protagonist in this story has a disability, a point that is introduced unmistakably but without special fanfare about halfway into the story. For all that the characters (both PC and NPC) focus on self-presentation, on how they will look and what they will show and what they will hide, the protagonist’s cane is not one of those points of self-consciousness. It just is, a fact of the protagonist’s identity but one they treat as much less critical and visible than other things.
My Rock Paper Shotgun column IF Only continues, most recently with a look at Plundered Hearts, Masquerade, Magical Makeover, Secret Agent Cinder and other games about dressing up and going to parties.
There’s a piece on Gamasutra about Bob Bates’ Thaumistry here. Both Thaumistry and Southern Monsters have made their Kickstarter goals (yay!) but there’s still time to support either, and stretch goals associated with each, of course. If you’re curious for a longer take on these, I’ve written more about them at Rock Paper Shotgun as well, including a preview look at Thaumistry.
Speaking of crowdfunding, Sunless Skies, the Sunless Sea sequel, is currently over £250K against a £100K goal, which is pretty exciting as well.
Textualiza is a new Spanish-language channel for discussing, promoting, and playing interactive fiction; discussion is conducted in Spanish, but isn’t limited to Spanish-language IF. There’s a Facebook page and a Twitter, as well as a chat room on euphoria.io.