The competition for games with a classic text parser, ParserComp, is just winding up now, so the results should be visible either now or in the very near future. And if you haven’t had a chance to play yet, you may enjoy checking out the range of games here.
August 2-6 is the Foundations of Digital Games conference, which is happening entirely online.
August 7 is the next SF Bay interactive fiction meetup.
Programming Languages and Interactive Entertainment is a 2-day workshop running alongside the AIIDE conference. Jon Ingold will be giving an invited talk about ink.
Paper submissions are due by August 12, and the event itself will be October 11-12. This workshop also has a “conversation starters” track, where people are encouraged to submit materials to spur discussion groups. Demos of languages are also welcome. If you’re working on a domain-specific language for interactive fiction development, this might be a place to share what you’re working on.
September 1 is the deadline to register as an author for IF Comp, and the games themselves will be due September 28. This year, unusually, there is a move so that authors participating in the competition may also act as judges: this rules change may not be permanent, but it’s an experiment this year to help accommodate the growing number of authors and make sure games are getting enough voters.
A Compendium of Lesser Known Cryptids is a non-interactive anthology but with some gamelike aspects, bringing together work by several game and interactive fiction writers:
A 50-75 page illustrated anthology of unique or “off-brand” cryptids compiled by the Seldom Valley Cryptid Society (SVCS). The SVCS documents its sightings with a variety of articles, diagrams, interviews, and photographs courtesy of more than ten independent researchers and consultants as well as a variety of field artists. Compiled like a research file, the compendium is a valuable source for any cryptozoologist looking for something new.
Talks, Articles, Books
A bunch of talks from the Everything Procedural conference are now available online, including talks on procedural character and prop generation; Oskar Stålberg on Townscaper, a generative toy using the wave function collapse algorithm; and procgen storytelling for Wildermyth.
Aaron Reed’s ongoing series 50 Years of Text Games has now reached 1998, and covers Photopia.
Those who liked my GDC talk “Sigmoids for Storytellers” — or those who didn’t see it but just thought it sounded interesting — might also be interested in Bruno Dias’ article A Bestiary of Functions for Systems Designers.
Twining: Critical and Creative Approaches to Hypertext Narratives by Anastasia Salter and Stuart Moulthrop is an approach to Twine as a tool and various Twine games in particular. Its introduction speaks of teaching Twine as part of an undergraduate course in interactive narrative, and documents, in a quite accessible form, the experience of teaching that class specifically during the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, and the ways that student projects reacted to the moment.
The chapters alternate between theoretical and practical discussions (with chapter headings marked T and P for clarity): the book is designed to help people interested in writing their first Twine story/game, but also to provide some historical background on the development of the tool and the surrounding communities, and to offer readings of both text and code from well-known Twine works.
The book is available as a free epub download.