Running for a week starting January 1 on itch is the Historically Accurate Game Jam. This isn’t specifically an IF competition, and games of all types are welcome, as long as they’re written in a week and address the chosen time period or event of the jam. If you’ve had a craving to contribute to the tradition of historically-themed IF, though, this might be a place to do it.
Also starting Jan 1 on itch: Gaming Like It’s 1926, a jam for games riffing on material that has just come into the public domain from that year.
January 8 is the next meetup of the SF Bay Interactive Fiction Meetup.
January 9, the Seattle/Tacoma IF Meetup is getting together.
Talks and Articles
Back in November the Oxford/London IF Meetup did a talk and panel on freelance game writing and narrative design, with guests Florencia Minuzzi, Allie Bustion, and George Lockett. That session is now available on YouTube.
Aaron A. Reed has published the last posts in his 50 Years of Text Games series, covering A.I. Dungeon and Scents and Semiosis, looking at two very different types of generative storytelling. Though the series is now over, you may want to keep an eye on his substack a little longer, as he’s also going to announce plans for a book of the series.
Meanwhile, Lynn Cherny’s newsletter is now also a substack – and the first post covers everything from graphical AI tools to the mythology of angels.
If you have access to the December Italian version of Wired, you may find that there’s an interactive interview with cybertext and interactive story scholar Espen Aarseth inside. The interview was conducted by Sara Uslenghi, but I restructured it into an ergodic experience (drawing a little inspiration from Meanwhile for how to present a short choice-based piece in a visual, large-page format).
Tools and Platforms
TWIST is a platform for interactive audio stories from Ear-Reality; it’s currently in closed beta, but people interested in building content for it can apply to the beta program.
Liza Daly has released a new version of Windrift, her tool for writing hypertextual interactive fiction, along with some sample pieces that show off what it can currently do. By her own description, she’s expecting Windrift more to inspire other systems than to be adopted widely itself. She’s now working on a version of the tool to support multiplayer stories, which sounds exciting to me; there is, I feel, a lot of room for interesting new development in multiplayer IF.