Mid-April Link Assortment

April 18 is the next meeting of the Oxford/London IF Meetup, where inkle studios’ Joseph Humfrey will talk to us about making interactive text look good and flow well — and in my view there’s no one better to learn that from.

April 23 is the next gathering of the Dublin Interactive Fiction Meetup.

April 25 is the next meeting of PR-IF, the Boston/Cambridge IF Meetup.

May 5 is the next meeting of the SF Bay IF Meetup.

Also May 5, the Baltimore/Washington DC IF meetup looks at Sherlock Indomitable.

Spring Thing 2018 games are available to play, and judging continues through May 7.

Exact date is still TBD, but May’s Oxford/London IF Meetup will be a workshop on using Tracery for Twitterbots.

Feral Vector is May 31-June 2 this year. This is a joyous, playful indie conference in Yorkshire and has always been delightful when I’ve been able to attend. (I can’t make it this year, alas.)


At the risk of Overthinking It, I’ve been loosely theming blog content on different topics each month, and also trying to align content with what the Oxford/London IF Meetup is doing that month. Here’s what you can expect around here for the coming several months:

  • This month we’re looking at user interface and different types of IF experience in that sense.
  • Next month, May, is about procedural text and generated meaning. The London IF Meetup date for this is still TBD, but the subject matter is known: George Buckenham will be leading a workshop on using Tracery and building Twitter bots.
  • June is all about parser IF and expressive input. Graham Nelson will be talking to the London IF Meetup about what he’s been doing with Inform lately.
  • July, quality-based narrative approaches. Leigh Alexander will talk to London IF Meetup about narrative design for Reigns: Her Majesty. (There may be spreadsheets. I get very excited about spreadsheet talks.)


A number of the talks from GDC 2018 are now available on the GDC Vault, some of which are free. Some interesting items from there:

AI Wish List: What Do Designers Want out of AI?

Exploring Helplessness in Games with ‘Bury Me, My Love’ — I’ve mentioned this game a few times previously, but it tells a story about Syrian refugees.

Game Design Patterns for Building Friendships — not so much an IF topic, but an interesting systems design question.

Procedurally Generating History in Caves of Qud — cool stuff if you are into procedural text, procedural backstory, and simulation-heavy games.

Queens of the Phone Age: Narrative Design of Reigns: Her Majesty. As mentioned above, we will be hearing more from Leigh about writing this game at a forthcoming London IF Meetup.

Writing Modular Characters for System-Driven Games — Tanya Short talks about how you structure and write for procedural characters.

This doesn’t cover nearly everything interesting that happened at GDC, but some of the other talks remain paywalled for the time being.


You can find out more about inkle’s forthcoming Heaven’s Vault at Verge, with trailer videos and a discussion of their constructed language used in gameplay.

Jason Grinblat shares some amazing procedural map generation examples.

My talk from the Malta Game Jam is available here.

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