The July 4 meeting of the Oxford/London IF Meetup will feature Leigh Alexander presenting on the narrative design process of Reigns: Her Majesty. We will start the session by playing through a bit of the game, so please do feel free to come even if you’re not familiar with it.
(And can I just say how pleased I am with this method of celebrating Independence Day, by hanging out in London with other expats playing a game about being a queen.)
July 6 is the deadline to send your intent to participate in Cragne Manor, an Anchorhead tribute game with rooms written by different authors, and organized by Ryan Veeder and Jenni Polodna. There’s more about this project on the intfiction forum. Contributions are to consist either of Inform 7 code or of detailed specifications for something to be rendered in Inform 7.
Collaboratively authored IF projects have a long history, from Shades of Gray to Coke is It! and the Textfire 12-pack to IF Whispers and Alabaster to the Apollo 18 tribute album. This particular one sounds like it strikes a nice balance of organization and chaos, so I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
July 7 is the next Meetup of the SF Bay IF group.
July 19 is the next meeting of the Boston/Cambridge PR-IF.
July 21st, 3-5 p.m. at Mad City Coffee in Columbia, the Baltimore/DC group meets to discuss The Wand.
July 31st in Canterbury (UK) there is a session on how to build escape rooms for libraries.
Gothic Novel Jam is a jam for games or works inspired by the gothic novel in any fashion, and is running throughout July. IF and related narrative games are welcome.
IntroComp is now accepting intents to enter. IntroComp is a competition in which you can submit just an excerpt of an unfinished interactive fiction game, and receive feedback from players about what they liked or didn’t like about it. If you’d like to participate as an author, register with the site immediately (this closes June 30, so today). Games themselves must be submitted by July 31 and judging will occur during August.
Now through August 2, the Future of Storytelling Prize is seeking submissions of interactive storytelling work. The prize is $10,000 and exhibition at the FoST Summit in October. There are two other things I feel I should mention here:
- I would not expect this prize to go to something primarily text-based.
- One of the categories of prize is for “works that foster empathy” (okay!), funded by the Charles Koch Foundation (…hm.) Considering the Koch brothers’ political involvement, I myself would want to look into that point a little further if I were considering applying for the prize, but your mileage may vary. So, FYI, reader, this is a thing that exists, and those are the connections that go with it.
This is well in advance, but November 10-11, AdventureX will return, this time at the British Library. AdventureX is a conference focused on narrative rich games, whether those are mobile or desktop, text-based or graphical; it’s grown significantly in size and professionalism over the last couple of years, and last year pretty definitively outgrew its previous venue.
The way to get tickets in advance is to back the Kickstarter. [ETA: The Kickstarter places are all sold, but see the comments on other ways to get in.]
Rent-a-Vice is a Choice of Games story by Natalia Theodoridou, also known for her shorter interactive fiction published on Sub-Q. Described as “cyberpunk-noir mystery”:
You’re a private investigator with a bad habit, an ex, and mountains of debt–troubles so deep that you stand to lose custody of your kid. When a mysterious client asks for your help finding their missing lover in the seamy world of virtual experience, it’s up to you to gather evidence, experience the technology for yourself, and solve the case.
There’s an author interview here as well.
Porpentine has a new interview and short story available at Living Content.
It Will Be Hard is an interactive graphic novel about a queer couple working to maintain a relationship despite having incompatible sexualities.
Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is a Twine story by Victoria Smith, recently released on itch.io:
Perfectly Ordinary Ghosts is a domestic horror interactive fiction.
It is a real house made imaginary.
In summer the ghosts come, and the violet orange of the humid night reaches new depths.
Survivor: JURASSIC KINGDOM is a “choose your own adventure” game where you are to show your survival skills in the most dangerous place on the planet – the wild jungles of the Amazon. Every choice that you make changes the course of your adventure.
Their previous work includes Zarya-1 and Sails in the Fog.
Raph Koster’s Postmortems is out: a series of essays about his work, starting with text MUD days. (I have a more detailed post about Postmortems scheduled for a few days from now, but it’s available now, so I thought I’d mention it.)
Adjacent contains an excerpt from Allison Parrish’s Articulations, a book of poetry made by machine; it is a book that, in Parrish’s account, “investigates how similarity (whether phonetic, syntactic or semantic) is used to create a sense of cohesion in poetic language.” You can find out more about how this was done, including access to some of the source, at this article; but what I want to highlight here instead is an example of the generated text, which, while nonsensical in a way, has a cadence and variety one does not usually associate with generated text, and often feels like it approaches meaning.
Thunder, lightning, fire and rain, and laughter, and inn-fires. After the fire of London and another of a pastoral vein: — the venerable original the adolescent and the venerable, richly the upland and the vale adorn, buddha, the holy and benevolent, of many a lover, who the heaven would think who have made me thus unworthy of a name or maybe there, like many another one and many a worthy dame.
And many a wonder seen: many and many a winter day and many a winter day on many a windmill turning in many a winding loose meander, in many a wood and many a field, with many a pull and many a fee, with many and many a call; with many a halt and many a call, with many a sigh and many a tear, many a sigh, and many a tear, many and many a year.
Priscilla Snow has announced Memory Blocks, an IF anthology coming out in September.
Microphone GAIN presents a series of conversations between people in the games space who organize events — whether those are conferences, game jams, exhibitions, meetups, classes, or something else.
Most recently, Sagan Yee (Hand Eye Society) talked with Alex Schearer (Seattle Indies) about how to provide a more welcoming space for underrepresented groups — something very much on my mind about my own meetup organizing. Also in the series is a talk between Tanya X. Short (Pixelles, Kitfox) and Ben Esposito (Glitch City) about replacing key people and managing succession in volunteer / non-profit organizations.
I really enjoyed this blog post from S. John Ross about his process for making maps and plans of fantasy spaces.
Here’s a long piece about exhibiting video games in museums, and the challenges that go into curating a good exhibit of that kind.
This is not IF-related particularly, but the Edible Games Cookbook is too curious not to mention.