End of May Link Assortment


June 1-3 is Feral Vector, a delightful indie games festival in a really beautiful setting in Yorkshire, which usually includes talks, workshops, and hanging around on the grass eating and drinking with fellow devs. Last year there was also a LARP in the woods. I can’t go this year, but I’ve really enjoyed it both times I went. Not specifically IF-focused, but a good time.

Also June 3 is the SF Bay Area IF Meetup; the choice of what they will play there is still to be determined.

June 8 in Nottingham is the next session of Hello Words, which takes a writing club approach to IF development.

June 12 is the next PR-IF meetup in Cambridge, MA.


June 20, the London IF Meetup is gathering at the Eaton Square Bar to play In Case of Emergency, a mystery storytelling game assembled and run by A Door in a Wall. Atypically for our events, there is a small fee of £5 to participate.

“Smart Oxford” is soliciting applications for a £30,000 grant to put together an interactive, publicly-playable experience in Oxford city center. Applications are due June 20.

June 24 at 3 PM, the Baltimore IF Meetup is getting together to discuss The Weight of a Soul from Spring Thing this year, so if you’re attending, you may want to try the game in advance.

June 28-30, I will be speaking at Gamelab XIII GAMES & INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT CONFERENCE in Barcelona, about artificial intelligence and games.

The British Library is running an Interactive Fiction Summer School as a weeklong course in July, with multiple instructors from a variety of different interactive narrative backgrounds. More information can be found at the British Library’s website.

New Releases

Arc Symphony: Sophia Park and Penelope Evans launched a Twine that had a social ARG component to it as well. It’s about the way 90s internet connections (of both kinds) functioned and made meaning for those who relied on them.

Apology Simulator by Matthew Seiji Burns (of The Writer Will Do Something). You play as both people in the exchange–crafting the best apology you can, and then send it off; you then also have the option to choose whether or not to accept that apology. I frequently found that on a particular screen, there was no way to mutate the message into anything that really felt sincere by my own standards. Often, you have a series of options for things to say, but none of those options involves taking real responsibility for your actions and owning your own mess. And there are options to be extremely passive-aggressive. It’s more experience than story arc, but interesting as a meditation on how apologetic phrasings work in practice.

castellupo.jpgThe Secret of Castel Lupo is an interactive fiction/RPG originally released in Italian and now available in English for Android and iOS. It’s designed for younger readers (8+), but is meant to be entertaining for adults as well.

Causeway is a short IF piece that is only available for PC.  

Richard Goodness has released Hatred, a piece he describes as a “text-based murder simulator.” I have yet to play it, but he describes it as closely tied to Zest.

Narrows is a system for participatory storygames for groups of people, a bit similar to Storium, where the protagonists each submit their actions and then a narrator writes what happens next.


Reading Digital Fiction has announced its award winners for 2017; among the winners, Mark Marino and family won for best Children’s Digital Fiction with the Tangerine House series.

The Kitschies awards are accepting nominations for work published in the UK during 2017, and they include a reward for “natively digital” work, which goes beyond the ebook: this would include interactive fiction.


I wrote my last IF Only column for RockPaperShotgun, this time on The Pawn and Magnetic Scrolls games. The Strand initiative is also bringing MS games to mobile and exploring new ways of presenting parser IF in that context.

If you enjoyed what I wrote about high-agency narrative structures like quality and salience-based narrative, you may also like Bruno Dias’ recent post about building a generic QBN system.

Dylan Holmes and Joanna Price discuss plot and character in Night in the Woods.


5 thoughts on “End of May Link Assortment”

  1. Soon “The Frankenstein Wars” is coming out, developped by Cubus Games and written by Paul Gresty who already wrote for Choice of Games. Also Dave Morris is involved in the creative process. Did you hear of this project before and / or are you going to take a look at it?

  2. Hi, The Pawn; You should have asked me for the new Mac version. It’s a _lot_ nicer than the original and saved you a lot of grief!

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