April 18 is the next (virtual) meeting of the Baltimore/DC IF Meetup, discussing Spring Thing games.
May 2 is the next meeting of the SF Bay Interactive Fiction Meetup.
NarraScope was originally supposed to take place May 29-31 in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, but the event has been moved to a virtual-only model, due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. You can read the official statement here.
The Oxford and London IF Meetup does not have any events currently planned. We’re looking into the possibility of an online event, perhaps where we can play some Spring Things games, but we are still working out the details.
Spring Thing 2020 is well underway, with seventeen games to play in the Main Festival, and three more experimental and work-in-progress entries in the Back Garden. As of April 9, ribbon nominations are open, and the winners will be announced on May 3.
Clockwork Bird is working on a new cyberpunk conversation game called Silicon Dreams, where you play as an android designed for the purpose of performing diagnostics on other androids. The project is still in development, and you can find out more on their Kickstarter page (and help give them some support).
I have yet to play it myself, but the game takes the form of an interrogation test: ask questions, observe your subject’s emotional responses, and uncover the truth. A free demo is available to play here.
Despite the slowdown in live-person events over the last month, there have been a number of intriguing new games to check out. Choice of Games recently added an interactive YA-fantasy Blackstone Academy for the Magical Arts.
The folks at Wanderword have also developed an interactive audio RPG for Amazon’s Alexa called Cursed Painting. A full version and a free demo are both available. You can check out a more detailed description here.
Articles, Posts, & Podcasts
IF author Porpentine wrote a piece of short fiction called Strange Horizons, and has posted it here.
The We Are Netflix Podcast discusses the behind-the-scenes world of Interactive Storytelling at Netflix, exploring Bandersnatch, the software used, and how NF might approach Interactive Storytelling in the future.
In this article, Joel Beardshaw talks about using the IF tool Twine, among others, for commercial game prototyping at Ustwo Games.
Some readers may find amusement in this old-school manual for playing text adventures from back in the day. Originally published in 1992, there’s no shortage of nostalgia––but the book is still late enough that it can call Zork 1 a “classic.”
I mentioned this last week, but just in case this will reach new potential job-seekers: my employer, Failbetter Games, is currently hiring a writer and narrative designer. We’re all working remotely right now, so we can potentially hire from outside the UK, though the ability to overlap with our core 11-4 UK hours is still needed.
The job description covers the key points.
If you’re interested in the things I typically blog about — narrative design, choice construction, structural thinking, the intersection of numbers and stories — this may be very much your kind of job. We have multiple kinds of interesting challenges to work on, a very supportive studio, and some really excellent colleagues.
If you think this might be you, please please do apply.