End of April Link Assortment

Events

May 1 will be the beginning of the fourth annual Rayuela de Arena interactive fiction jam. Submissions will be open until May 30.

May 1 is also the opening of ParserComp 2021. Submissions can be sent in until June 30.

May 1 is also the next SF Bay Area Meetup.

May 7 is the Spring Thing voting deadline, when you can pick favourites from the more than 30 choice- and parser-based games submitted this year. If you’d like to nominate something for this competition, there’s still time – and if you’re hunting for people’s opinions on games, you can find a bunch of review threads on the intfiction forum.

May 16 is the next Seattle Area IF Meetup.

May 23 is a workshop-style meeting of the London/Oxford IF Meetup. The group will be offering feedback on open design problems (some tips and guidelines are included in the event description). You’re welcome whether or not you’ve got an open problem of your own to share.

June 21 I will be presenting to the VOLUPTAS summer school, which is working on playable experiences to teach architecture. Game designers interested in the crossover with architectural pedagogy might find this an interesting project.

Links & Articles

Last weekend I was a panelist at LudoNarraCon with Marta Fijak, Richard Rouse, and Thomas Grip on the topic of “Telling Dark Stories with Games.” The full panel is available on YouTube (as are other panels from the con, for those interested).

The Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives has posted a call for papers for the ICIDS November 2021 Conference.

The theme for the conference this year is Interconnectedness and Social Impact. We encourage authors to consider possible connections to this theme in their papers, but we emphasize that there is no requirement that papers reflect the theme, either implicitly or explicitly. The theme is meant as inspiration, and is not intended to act as a constraint.”

More information is available on the site; the main submission deadline is June 25.

Aaron A. Reed’s 50 Years of Text Games series continues to be a great read, with recent articles on Plundered Hearts (1987), A Mind Forever Voyaging (1985), and Uncle Roger (1986). If the latter doesn’t ring a bell, you’re not alone: it’s a much less-known work by hypertext/digital literature creator Judy Malloy, whom I know mainly for her work Yellow Bowl. One of the great things about this series is that, alongside the background on familiar favourites, it also introduces some important developments in the history of interactive story that might not be so well known.

Mid-April Link Assortment

Events

April 17-18 will be the Flights of Foundry conference (online, so attendees can join from anywhere). The conference covers a wide range of topics, but has a number of interactive fiction/narrative related talks as well.

April 18 is the next virtual meetup of the Seattle/Tacoma IF group.

April 23 at 11 AM PT, I will be speaking at LudoNarraCon, as part of the panel Telling Dark Stories With Games. The panel is one of numerous talks that will be available throughout the convention, which goes from April 23-26.

April 25 the Oxford and London IF Meetup will be starting at 11 AM UK time – a little earlier than usual for us, but it allows us to accommodate Chin Kee Yong, joining us from Singapore as we play the opening to The Weight of a Soul. We’ll then move on to a few of the other Spring Thing games.

(As usual for us during the pandemic, this is a Zoom meeting, and folks are welcome from anywhere in the world.)

April 29 I will also be speaking at the WGGB Games Writing Festival online event Creating Narrative in Procedural Worlds, starting at 10 AM PT.

May 1 will be the beginning of the fourth annual Rayuela de Arena jam. Submissions will be open until May 30.

May 7 is the Spring Thing voting deadline.

June 21 I will be presenting to the VOLUPTAS summer school, which is working on playable experiences to teach architecture. Game designers interested in the crossover with architectural pedagogy might find this an interesting project.

New Releases

April 26, Storysinger Presents is releasing normal_fantasies.exe, following the interactions of Lynette and her “girlfriend”, the AI Girlfriend Add-On. The Twine-based game will be available on itch.io and is free to play. You can see the trailer here.

Links & Articles

If you’re prototyping deck-driven tabletop storytelling games, Story Synth offers some nice affordances for rapidly mocking up and playtesting a system. It allows you to build a deck of cards using Google Sheets and set various parameters about how you want the deck used (random draws? secret cards given to each player? different game phases drawing on different decks?). You can then create a shared session with other players of your choice.

For an example game, you can take a look at Around the Realm (a fantasy take on ‘Around the World in 80 Days’).

The Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives has posted a call for papers for the ICIDS November 2021 Conference.

The theme for the conference this year is Interconnectedness and Social Impact. We encourage authors to consider possible connections to this theme in their papers, but we emphasize that there is no requirement that papers reflect the theme, either implicitly or explicitly. The theme is meant as inspiration, and is not intended to act as a constraint.”

More information is available on the site; the main submission deadline is June 25.

End of March Link Assortment

Events

April 1 is the opening of registration for ParserComp 2021. If you’d like to build a new parser-style IF game using tools such as Inform, TADS, ALAN, Dialog, or your own system, this is a great place to do that.

I will also be speaking April 1 at the invitation of Northeastern University, about game narrative and AI; the event is free and on Zoom.

April 3 is the next meeting of the SF/Bay Area IF Meetup.

April 7 is the newly-extended submission deadline for the Text Adventure Literacy Jam.

April 17-18 will be the Flights of Foundry conference (online, so attendees can join from anywhere).

April 18 will be the next virtual meetup of the Seattle/Tacoma IF group. The group will take a look at several different entries in the Spring Thing festival.

Also, this is some time from now, but June 21 I will be presenting to the VOLUPTAS summer school, which is working on playable experiences to teach architecture. Game designers interested in the crossover with architectural pedagogy might find this an interesting project.

Game Jams & Competitions

The fourth annual Rayula de Arena jam starts on May 1 (last year the jam was in April). The jam welcomes Spanish-language narrative games, including IF of any type. Submissions are open from May 1-30.

Rayula’s itch.io page also contains several forums and links that will serve as useful resources for those who are looking to get into creating IF.

Links & Articles

Aaron Reed has just published a new roleplaying sourcebook featuring ten intriguing destinations for a fantastical underworld. Ten Down: Underworld Places for Downcrawl or any Subterranean Campaign is designed to work with his game Downcrawl, but can be adapted to other systems as well.

The Association for Research in Digital Interactive Narratives has posted a call for papers for the ICIDS November 2021 Conference.

The theme for the conference this year is Interconnectedness and Social Impact. We encourage authors to consider possible connections to this theme in their papers, but we emphasize that there is no requirement that papers reflect the theme, either implicitly or explicitly. The theme is meant as inspiration, and is not intended to act as a constraint.”

More information is available on the site; the main submission deadline is June 25.

Mid-March Link Assortment

Events

March 19 is the next meeting of the Boston Area IF Meetup.

March 21 is the next meeting of the Seattle/Tacoma IF Meetup. The group will feature Hanon Ondricek to play and discuss his 2016 game Fair.

March 28 is the submission deadline for Spring Thing 2021.

March 31 is the submission deadline for the Text Adventure Literacy Jam.

April 3 is the next meeting of the SF/Bay Area IF Meetup.

Game Jams & Competitions

The Text Adventure Literacy Jam is still continuing to accept submissions until March 31st. The jam encourages authors to build text adventure games suitable for absolute beginners. There are two versions of the game jam, one in English, and one in Spanish.

Registration for ParserComp 2021 also opens on April 1. The comp focuses on parser-based text adventure games in the style of Zork or Photopia.

Links & Articles

In a recent profile of Ink, I discuss Failbetter’s reasons for using it in the creation of branching conversations for Mask of the Rose.

Back at the start of January, Aaron Reed started an ambitious project to cover 50 Years of Text Games, starting with the very first BASIC text version of Oregon Trail in 1971. The series focuses on one game from each year and the story surrounding its creation, release, and impact.

End of February Link Assortment

Events

March 1 is the registration deadline for Spring Thing 2021, so if you’re planning on participating, sign up ASAP.

March 6 is the next meeting of the SF/Bay Area IF Meetup.

March 21 is the next meeting of the Seattle/Tacoma IF Meetup. The group will feature Hanon Ondricek to play and discuss his 2016 game Fair 1.

March 28 is the submission deadline for Spring Thing 2021.

March 31 is the submission deadline for the Text Adventure Literacy Jam.

Game Jams & Competitions

The Text Adventure Literacy Jam is underway this month, and continues to accept submissions until March 31st. The jam encourages authors to build text adventure games suitable for absolute beginners. There are two versions of the game jam, one in English, and one in Spanish.

ParserComp 2021 is also on the horizon. The itch.io page has not been set up yet, but should be ready on April 1 when registration opens. The comp focuses on text input games in the style of Zork, Photopia or Unhallowed.

New Releases

The newest offering on Choice of Games is Fate of the Storm Gods, a 275,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Bendi Barrett.

Harness wind, earth, fire, and all the forces of nature to destroy your enemies! Will you stabilize the broken magic of the weather, or revel in its chaos?

Kickstarters

There are just nine days to go for Failbetter Games’ Kickstarter for Mask of the Rose: A Fallen London Romance, a romantic visual novel set in the Fallen London universe. (In full disclosure: I’m the lead writer on this project.)

If you’d like to take a peek at some of what we’re creating, you can see some of it here:

Mid-February Link Assortment

Events

February 21 is the next meeting of the Seattle/Tacoma Area IF Meetup.

March 1 is the registration deadline for Spring Thing 2021, so if you’re planning on participating, sign up soon.

March 6 is the next meeting of the SF/Bay Area IF Meetup.

March 28 is the submission deadline for Spring Thing 2021.

Kickstarters

Failbetter Games is currently running a Kickstarter for Mask of the Rose: A Fallen London Romance, a romantic visual novel set in the Fallen London universe. (In full disclosure: I’m the lead writer on this project.)

If you’d like to take a peek at some of what we’re creating, you can see some of it here: