July 1, IF Comp 2017 opens for intents-to-enter.
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.
First round voting in the XYZZY Awards for 2016 is open through July 4. If you liked some games that came out last year, you may vote to nominate that work now; the second round of voting will choose between the nominees. You may nominate up to two games in each category; you may not vote for your own work. There are no special requirements to be eligible to vote, though you should read the rules (as always).
July 19, the London IF Meetup gets together to talk about writing IF for money.
IntroComp is under new management but is still running this year, an opportunity to share the opening section of an IF piece with players and get feedback. Intents to enter are accepted through end of day today, with the intros themselves to be due July 31. This year for the first time the comp accepts an excerpt that might come from somewhere other than the beginning of the game.
August 14-17, Cape Cod, MA is the Foundation of Digital Games conference, including a workshop in procedural content generation. The PCG workshop has a theme this year:
What do our generators say about the underlying systems we have designed and the designers who create them? Our theme aims to explore the biases inherent in PCG and the potential with which to subvert it.
Registration will continue to be available through August, but the ticket price goes up to “late registration” rates on July 4, so participants will save $100 by booking before that deadline.
Sub-Q has Footnotes in Ashes, a new piece by Jeremy M. Gottwig about grief and loss; the memories keep intruding on the main text through clickable footnote links.
Articles and More-than-Articles
This article describes the recovery of original Magnetic Scrolls data, with a lot of careful manipulation of the original backup tapes.
Oliver Lee Bateman writes for the Paris Review about the proportion of story in games.
Aaron Reed’s dissertation is now available online. Entitled “CHANGEFUL TALES: DESIGN-DRIVEN APPROACHES TOWARD MORE EXPRESSIVE STORYGAMES,” it looks at a range of approaches in his own work and other people’s, including highly procedural projects like Façade, Prom Week, Redshirt, Siboot, and Versu; “sculpture fiction,” which would include quality-based narrative approaches such as StoryNexus but also Aaron’s own 18 Cadence and Ice-Bound Concordance; and collaborative storygames, both tabletop and digital, including attention to the work of Dietrich Squinkifer.
Chris Crawford has written an Encounter Editor to go with his prototype Storytron project; he very much hopes that people will use it to contribute content to his story world. I wrote more about this earlier in the month, and Crawford himself replied to that post.
Bruno Dias has released a major upgrade to Improv, his procedural text engine.
This is a few months old, but here’s Chris Klimas introducing Twine for novices, and also giving a little background on interactive fiction.
Here are some recommendations of escape room games you can play at home, as opposed to the kind you have to go out to visit.