December 2 is the SF Bay Area Interactive Fiction Meetup.
December 9, the Baltimore IF meetup gets together to talk about Harmonia.
The next meetup of the People’s Republic of IF in Cambridge (MA) will be Tuesday, December 12 at 6:30 PM in MIT room 14N-233.
Also December 12, there’s an IGDA Writers SIG panel in London for people who are interested in getting into game writing as a career, presenting views from creators who have worked on a number of different commercial genres.
December 14, Hello Words meets in Nottingham, UK.
December 16, there’s an intro to Twine run by Queer Code London and co-sponsored by the Oxford and London IF Meetup. We are not otherwise having a meetup this month, as it’s such a busy time of the year.
December 27, “Game Over,” the radio play I wrote about indie game development, is being broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It’s produced by Judith Kampfner and starring Sarah Elmaleh, and I’m delighted that I got to work with such amazingly skilled people on this project.
The Opening Up Digital Fiction competition runs through February 15, 2018. It offers cash prizes and the possibility of future publication.
What’s more, there are now lots of post-mortems to read!
Liza Daly writes about the design of Harmonia, alongside critique of a number of standard Twine and other hypertext features. This is some top-notch thinking about the layout, pacing, and general presentation of hypertext literature, from an expert in the topic, and I strongly recommend it.
Also excellent is Stephen Granade’s deep dive on Will Not Let Me Go, covering everything from the initial concept to branching structure to the art direction.
Meanwhile, Mike Spivey discusses the design principles behind his mathematical puzzlefest A Beauty Cold and Austere. (This one assumes you’ve played the game, so might be worth postponing if you’re still planning to get to it and don’t want to be spoiled.)
Other post-mortems include Buster Hudson on The Wizard Sniffer, Chandler Groover on Eat Me (plus some follow-up discussion about what qualifies as a “limited parser” game these days), Mathbrush on Swigian, Mathbrush on Absence of Law, litrouke on 10pm, and Andrew Schultz on Cube in the Cavern.
Matheson Marcault writes about how to display difficult games — that is, games that don’t really lend themselves to festivals and exhibit spaces. IF games are often difficult to show, and this blog post may be relevant for people who are aiming to present that work in public.
Other Articles / Shows / Podcasts
I wrote about Bob Bates’ Thaumistry for PC Gamer. (You may have already seen this from my earlier post this month, but I’m trying to be thoroughish in links.)
IF author and poet Harry Giles was interviewed by BBC Radio 4 about spoken art.
Releases et al
PROCJam yearly creates a zine called Seeds which describes dozens of procedurally generated projects of various kinds. Seeds 2 is now available.
Crowdfunding and Kickstarters
My Uncle Merlin is now live on Kickstarter: “Meet a peculiar bunch of characters and complete their quests in our interactive adventure game, enriched with a few RPG elements.”
Then there’s Destination Vitus Prima, a narrative puzzler:
This extraordinary experience happens when the protagonist is in cryo-sleep: to keep the mind fully stimulated during the space trip, NIM, the ship’s AI, has created a simulationwhich the ship’s inhabitants are living in.
The player will have to explore the environment and find clues, collect items that tell stories, and talk with the other characters to deepen and strengthen their relationships.
The other characters will also give you clues to help you solve the puzzles – like in real life, where sometimes you need help from your friends to overcome difficult challenges!
Meanwhile, if you’re more in the mood for physical prop games, this Simulacra Games project offers to mail you a crate of mysterious goodies. (This appears to be more overtly mystery/puzzle-based than mailings from the Mysterious Package Company.)