End of August Link Assortment

inkle studios has announced ink jam, a jam for people writing in ink, running August 31-September 3. (So basically right away, if you want to be part of that.)

If you’re planning to enter IF Comp, you should submit your intent to enter pretty much now: the deadline is upon us.

September 7 is the deadline if you want to submit a paper to CC-NLG, a one-day academic workshop on computational creativity in natural language generation. To quote the call for papers, topics of interest include

  • Poetry Generation
  • Story Generation
  • Generation of Metaphor, Figurative and Rhetorical Language
  • Generation of Verbal Humor
  • Personality and Emotion in NLG
  • Creative Data-to-Text Models
  • Interactive Language Generation
  • Character-based Generation
  • Style Generation
  • Digital Literature

The event itself will take place in Tilburg, Netherlands, November 5.

September 8 is the next SF Bay Area IF Meetup, rescheduled from one week earlier.

Also September 8, the London IF Meetup hears some puzzle design post-mortems from Jon Ingold and Joey Jones (and possibly one other).

September 19 is the next Boston IF Meetup.

September 22 is the next Baltimore/DC Are IF Meetup, discussing Kevin Gold’s Choice of Magics.

October 22 is the deadline for Saugus.net’s 21st Annual Ghost Story Contest.  They accept both traditional prose entries and IF.  Official rules can be found here.

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. I am mentioning this well in advance because they’ve mentioned that tickets will be cheaper for early bird buyers — so it’s something to keep an eye on if you think you’ll want to go.


New Releases


Broom Cupboard Studios just released their first game Detective Corgi and the Mysterious Mansion, a choice-based text adventure that uses Twine.

BBC R&D has developed a new object-based audio game called The Mermaid’s Tears, now available.

The classic Choose Your Own Adventure House of Danger comes to life in a new narrative adventure game by Z-Man Games.

Javy Gwaltney has written and released the choice-driven Distress, a 100K-word branching Sci-Fi Horror visual novel with over 80 endings.

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 4.12.32 PM.png

The Wisdom and/or Madness of Crowds is a new explanatory game by Nicky Case that looks at how our social network connections affect us. And speaking of Nicky Case, here are the explorable scenarios created for Nicky’s explorables jam, including How to make a good puzzle, an explorable about puzzle-design principles of Presentation, Elegancy, and Aspiration. (I’m not sure if Elegancy is meant to be something different from elegance here.)

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 1.37.51 PM.pngI’ve thought for a while that it would be interesting to create a gamebook where the player writes in the text to permanently commit to certain choices. (Prompted, to some degree, by the layout of Normal Club, which did provide space for quite a bit of notetaking.) I still haven’t done that, because it hasn’t gotten anywhere near the top of my list of spare time priorities. But recently there was a new commercial book that plays somewhat with that idea: as far as I can tell, it’s casting the player as a sort of Harold and the Purple Crayon character. (I have yet to acquire a copy myself.) The book is Mightier than the Sword.


Articles and Podcasts

Inform source release of Winter Storm Draco, with annotations, by Ryan Veeder. New source code is always useful to have, and Veeder’s observations on his coding and game design choices are generally a fun time to read.

The Logic Escapes Me reviews The Divide, an escape room designed to raise awareness about homelessness — and raise funds to help alleviate the problem in the local area.

Preliminary Poetics of Procedural Generation is a YouTube talk offering vocabulary for procedurally generated works. If you liked my discussion of the egg/mushroom/salt/venom/beeswax concepts in Annals of the Parrigues, this talk may also interest you.

Here’s IF author Chris Huang writing for the Washington Post about his murder mystery A Gentleman’s Murder and the representation of Asian experiences in golden age detective fiction.


The Colossal Fund is raising money for IF Comp prizes this year, and also to support the regular work of the IFTF — including archive support, Twine development, and accessibility improvements for interactive fiction games and tools.

Tanya Short is kickstarting her new game Boyfriend Dungeon. Romance your swords!  Capture the hearts of weapons to level them up in this “shack-and-slash” dungeon crawling adventure.  Forge relationships and save Love itself!


Many Queens is a tarot deck currently fundraising on Kickstarter, focused on many different images of femininity.


Mythaxis is seeking IF to include in its upcoming February 2019 issue; however, it does not pay.

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