GDC is just next week; March 18-22 in San Francisco.
March 24 is the deadline for submitting full technical papers to the IEEE Conference on Games (CoG). The conference itself will be August 20-23 in London, and I will be there.
March 24 is also the next meeting of the Seattle Area IF Meetup.
March 30, the Baltimore/DC Area IF Meetup will discuss Within a Circle of Water and Sand.
April 6, the Oxford/London IF Meetup hears from Tom Kail (inkle) and Xalavier Nelson Jr (freelance) about game design considerations in IF and narrative games.
Also on April 6, the SF/Bay Area IF Meetup will be playing through games from the 2019 Spring Thing competition.
April 15 is the late deadline for designers to submit their work to Indiecade Festival. The event itself is in October in Santa Monica, CA.
The Oxford/London IF Meetup has an excellent program in process for the weekend of June 8, interactive audio experiences for phones, smart speakers, and similar devices. Saturday, we’re going to be hearing about craft, tools, and commercial considerations, with a couple of speakers coming from out of town. Then Sunday we have a workshop on using Spirit AI’s Character Engine for natural language interactions.
If you’re interested in going to Narrascope, the big narrative game conference this summer in Boston, registration is now open.
I contributed to the forthcoming Procedural Storytelling in Game Design (“forthcoming” here is a term that will only be applicable for about a week; the book comes out on March 21.)
Each chapter in this collection is written by a different contributor and focuses on a unique topic in Procedural Storytelling. Tanya X. Short and Tarn Adams were the editors, and more info is available here.
The Advanced Game Narrative Toolbox is a new book release following on to The Game Narrative Toolbox, which I reviewed previously.
I have it ordered but haven’t read it yet; I’ll share thoughts here once I’ve had a chance to do that. (Actually, I have now read it. Review coming Tuesday.)
The Quest Smith is cool, and a bit reminiscent of Jerry Belich’s Choosatron.
Lastly, another Kickstarter to check out: the “H2O: A Drop in the Ocean” project is live as of this month.
Articles & Podcasts
the bettercast is an interesting long-form podcast about learning to do conversation design for natural language interactions, from Danielle Frimer of Xandra (and formerly ToyTalk).
And we’ve recently had two related announcements about how science fiction and fantasy interactive fiction markets are now being recognized by SFWA.
First of all, Choice of Games announced at the end of February that three of their titles have been selected as finalists for the 2018 Nebula Game Writing Award.
A week later, sub-Q also had some good news of their own.
Talespinners has just announced their collaboration with the University of Southampton on the IF portion of the Green Stories Writing Competition.
The University’s aim is to explore the topic of sustainability through stories. The competition has a wide scope: novels, stage plays, radio dramas, short films, and various varieties of screenplay are all welcome.
According to the site: “all genres will be considered, but stories must engage with the idea of environmentally sustainable practices and/or sustainable societies.”
The IF contest is accepting submissions until December 1, 2019. It’s free to submit, and there are a number of prizes. For more information, check out the competition page here.