Mid-February Link Assortment


February 20 Jason McIntosh will be leading an IF playthrough and speaking about IFTF at the Providence Geeks meetup.

The next Boston IF Meetup will be Thursday, February 21, 6:30 pm, MIT room 14N-233.

On February 23 the Baltimore/DC IF Meetup will look at Grimnoir and Cragne Manor.

February 28 unnamed.jpgis the deadline to apply to attend GAIA, a three-day event in Buenos Aires in November.  GAIA is being organized by GAIN and Game On!, and will have a cap of 20 attendees; confirmed key notes are Lorenzo Pilia from A MAZE./Talk and Play (Berlin) and Marie Foulston from Wild Rumpus/V&A Museum (London). More info can be found here.

March 2, I am running a workshop on using Spirit AI’s Character Engine for works similar to Restless. Sign up via the IF Meetup website.

March 2 is also the next SF Bay Area IF Meetup.


February 8, I presented a keynote game by Porpentine at the V&A, as part of the Beyond the Console conference. I’ve been too exhausted to really do a thorough writeup of that for the blog, but for what it’s worth, here’s a tweet thread in which I talk about what the game was like and how it worked in a large room.


Though I haven’t played myself, several friends are enjoying Eastshade, a game in which you travel a gorgeous Myst-esque space and look for places you might like to paint.

Meanwhile, Hanon Ondricek reviews Fhtagn!, an IF-adjacent game for 1-4 players that sounds a little similar to The Yahwg.

Other New Releases & Announcements


If you were following the blog toward the end of 2017, you might remember a couple posts about Bob Bates’ parser IF Thaumistry: In Charm’s Way.  (I wrote a piece on it for PC Gamer, and also covered the more technical aspects here on my blog.)

Bates has another new release, although it isn’t IF in this case.  His fantasy novel The Ritual came out last month, and is available here on Amazon in both paperback and e-book formats.

Articles & Links

Matthew Handrahan on changing attitudes about writing’s importance in game design.

A Twitter thread, but a worthwhile read.  Failbetter Games’ Narrative Director Chris Gardiner sheds light on some of the consultations that went into Sunless Skies.

Lynda Clark on the British Library’s study on the topic of Emerging Formats.

If you were interested in past articles about TextWorld and machine-learning-based solutions to text adventures, you may also be interested in Playing Text-Adventure Games with Graph-Based Deep Reinforcement Learning, which proposes a method in which the agent develops a knowledge graph and uses that to make better action decisions when solving a game.

Preview of Heaven’s Vault from inkle studios.

And here’s an article on the immersive theatre company Punchdrunk and how they’re learning from games (though it doesn’t, admittedly, go terribly deep on what they think they’ve discovered in the process…). I’ve written about their shows and design practices in the past.

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