The People’s Republic of IF, the Cambridge MA-based IF group, meets August 31 at 6:30 PM online.
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.
Those entering IF Comp may also be interested in this best-practices discussion of how to write a walkthrough for the competition.
September 4, the SF Bay IF Meetup has its next meeting.
Talks and Articles
Aaron Reed’s 50 Years of Text Games has now covered King of Dragon Pass, which I strongly recommend reading: the game used techniques that we’re still very much exploring and discussing now, including elements we might now refer to as storylets with casting (that is, storylets that assign characters to particular roles). Well worth a look if you’re interested in the structure, code, or writing process of that game, or storylet games in general.
He has also done a lovely article on Galatea, getting into the context of its original creation and much Marnie Parker’s IF Art Show influenced the game in both form and content.
Hugo Labrande is offering a free monthly newsletter on retro text games called >REMEMBER. It offers histories and post-mortems; discussions of stripped down tools like tiny libraries for Inform 6 that will allow modern authors to write games that will still play on older systems and emulators; and discussions of text adventures in languages other than English, which often don’t get enough coverage.
In a completely different space: via @doougle , I ran into this article on The Missing Producer, discussing the problems that arise when indie game companies try to make do without a producer’s involvement, and a look at the types of sometimes-unacknowledged work that nonetheless must be done by someone.
Podcasts and Videos
Meanwhile, the Foundations of Digital Games conference has been in progress, and has been posting a bunch of talks and talk-related material to YouTube.
If you like casual mobile games with a narrative element, roughly in the territory of Lily’s Garden — and if you live in the Canada/UK — you might also like Switchcraft — a match-3 game about girls at a magical school.
The story is a bigger component than usual for this kind of game, with a bunch of actual branching choices to make. I believe the title is not yet out in the US, but is expected to launch there later.
Last Kid Running is a gamebook series written for middle-grade readers by Singaporean author Don Bosco. The second book in the series is now out. Despite the physical gamebook format, Bosco is developing and testing his stories in Twine.