Mid-October Link Assortment

Promotional art for IF Comp. It portrays a person in a green shirt looking at a computer screen, with imagery suggesting different types of adventure. The words IF COMP 2022 appear at the bottom.

IF Comp is currently in full swing. This annual competition has been running now for nearly three decades, and continues to showcase interesting new work in the field.

The IF Comp website has gotten some sweet upgrades to help judges find the games they’ll like the most: you can have the website serve you a personally randomised list (to help distribute judges and avoid situations where games by well-known authors or those at the top of the alphabetical list get way more attention). Alternatively, you can set filters and look only for, say, parser-based games with an expected play time of half an hour.

If you’d like to judge, you need to submit scores on at least five games (out of the total of 71).

If you’d like to get a sense of what’s in the mix before diving in, you might check out reviews by other players – one of the cool things about the IF Comp is that it has a very long tradition of in-depth reviews, shared on the intfiction.org forums, on IFDB, or on private blogs.

The Short Game podcast also provides coverage of the comp games, often over the course of several episodes.

This year the comp is looking to draw in more judges, more discussion, and more attention from the wider world – so please do join in if this sounds appealing, and let your friends know as well.

Other Events

October 21October 28 is the AI and Games Jam, which is for games built using AI techniques, and organised by Tommy Thompson of the AI and Games Youtube channel (which I also recommend). Text-based and PCG games are welcome:

What do you mean AI? If you’re implementing artificial intelligence of any kind, be it for decision making, pathfinding, character behaviour, player modelling, level generation, animation, you name it.  It can be as simple or as complicated as you like.  You can use classic/symbolic AI or machine learning as well.   Submissions are not judged on the complexity of the AI implemented.

So PCG as well? Yup, procedural generation for levels, art, characters etc. is relevant.

Roguelike Celebration is coming up October 22-23, and will be running online: this is often a great place for talks about procedurally generated content. Not all of it is necessarily narrative-heavy, but typically at least some is interesting to interactive story folks.

The next People’s Republic of IF meeting will be online, October 25.

October 26, the Unnamed IF Bookclub will meet to discuss IF Comp games.

And as if the bounty of IF Comp were not enough, October also always sees EctoComp, for spooky Halloween games. It’s run as a jam on itch.io, and is open to new submissions through October 31; then the games will be available to play. EctoComp invites games in English, French, and Spanish.

November 12 is the next meeting of the SF Bay Area IF Group.

And a note: I do my best to pull together events people announce publicly in certain spaces, or things that they email me about – but I don’t always get everything, and my time for blog maintenance also varies a bit from month to month. However! There is now a calendar section on ifwiki, which you can check out or add to.

I’m not planning to stop mentioning events on my blog, but the ifwiki calendar is a useful place to go if you’d like to make something known to the IF-playing public. You can also post about things in the Events section on the intfiction forum.

Articles and Talks

From my Failbetter colleague Chris Gardiner, here’s a narrative postmortem on Sunless Skies, offering a deep dive on what was required to make that project work.

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