Mid-November Link Assortment

Events

November 23 is the next Baltimore/DC meetup.

Dec 7 is the next SF Bay IF Meetup.

The Oxford/London IF Meetup does not get together during the festive season, so we’ll not be together again until 2020.

Crowdfunding

Aaron Reed’s horror novel Subcutanean, where each copy is unique, is now available for backing on IndieGoGo.  This is a cool procedural text project, and Aaron has also created a number of making-of posts that explain what he’s doing and why.

Competitions

IF Comp has just ended, and the winners should be announced shortly. (In fact, if you click that link, they may already have been announced — though they have not been at the time of this writing.) Meanwhile, there’s a huge spreadsheet tracking the various reviews written for the Comp, if you’re feeling like you’d read about some of the games.

Ectocomp, the Halloween-themed IF jam, received 22 entries this year. Voting is open through the end of the month, if you’d like to participate and rate the games.

ProcJam, the jam for making things that make things, is also recently over, having brought together 134 entries.

If the thought of all these competitions makes you want to write and share some IF, SubQJam is open now through December 16 for submissions of short interactive fiction, and winners will be featured in SubQ Magazine next year.

If you’d rather compete with something a bit more long-form, or just need more time to put it together, Spring Thing 2020 is accepting intents from authors now, and through March of next year.

Finally, Green Stories is a competition for stories about building a sustainable future. The competition includes an interactive fiction division, which has been described to me thus:

The Interactive Fiction competition is looking for entries from both individuals and creative teams, consisting of a complete story or demo of a longer piece, no longer than 30 minutes worth of gameplay in total. It may be the whole piece, the opening section, or a subsequent chapter or scene.

Winners will receive cash prizes and editorial feedback. Entries are due February 3, 2020.

End of October Link Assortment

Events

IF Comp is live now! You can visit the site to play and judge the games. The competition is also still accepting prize donations, in the form of cash or interesting objects, until the end of the judging period. Judging closes on November 15.

Also currently running, Ectocomp features games with a spooky or Halloween theme.

AdventureX runs November 2 and 3 at the British Library — I think it’s already sold out, however, so if you’re attending, you probably already know that.

The London IF Meetup does not do an activity separately in November in order to avoid competing with AdventureX for people’s time. We also don’t do a December meetup at all because people are usually slammed with other activities, so regular London IF Meetups will resume in January of 2020.

Also November 2 is the next SF Bay IF Meetup, which will feature more playing of IF Comp games.

November 7-8 is Code Mesh 2019 in London.  The conference focuses on promoting useful non-mainstream technologies to the software industry.

Wordplay in Toronto runs November 9-10 this year, showcasing games focused on words, text, and language.

November 12 is the next meeting of the People’s Republic of IF in Boston/Cambridge.

November 13 there is a Twine workshop at the University of Manchester Library.

November 15, Dan Hett is running, also at the University of Manchester Library, a workshop session on writing compelling interactive fiction in general.

November 23 is the next Baltimore/DC meetup.

OldGamesItalia is running a game jam for Italian-language games; that’s already in progress, with created games due December 15.

Crowdfunding

Aaron Reed’s horror novel Subcutanean, where each copy is unique, is now available for backing on IndieGoGo.

Upcoming Competitions

Green Stories is a competition for stories about building a sustainable future. The competition includes an interactive fiction division, which has been described to me thus:

The Interactive Fiction competition is looking for entries from both individuals and creative teams, consisting of a complete story or demo of a longer piece, no longer than 30 minutes worth of gameplay in total. It may be the whole piece, the opening section, or a subsequent chapter or scene.

Winners will receive cash prizes and editorial feedback. Entries are due February 3, 2020.

Mid-October Link Assortment

Events

IF Comp is live now! You can visit the site to play and judge the games. The competition is also still accepting prize donations, in the form of cash or interesting objects, until the end of the judging period.

Ectocomp will be running again this year, with submissions opening October 27, if you’d like to contribute a piece of spooky interactive fiction.

AdventureX runs November 2 and 3 at the British Library — I think it’s already sold out, however, so if you’re attending, you probably already know that.

November 7-8 is Code Mesh 2019 in London.  The conference focuses on promoting useful non-mainstream technologies to the software industry.

Wordplay in Toronto runs November 9-10 this year, showcasing games focused on words, text, and language.

OldGamesItalia is running a game jam for Italian-language games; that’s already in progress, with created games due December 15.

Continue reading “Mid-October Link Assortment”

End of September Link Assortment

Events

Indiecade Festival will be in October in Santa Monica, CA.

IF Comp begins properly at the beginning of October, and is still accepting donations to the Colossal Fund as well as donations of prizes of other types.

October 5 is the next meeting of the SF Bay IF Meetup.

October 12, the London IF Meetup gets together to play IF Comp games, starting with contributions created by our own members. We play for much of the afternoon, with someone reading the text and someone else driving interaction, while the audience participates by voting for what we do next. We sometimes get through five games or more in the play time, meaning that participants have played enough to vote in the Comp if they wish.

Indiecade Festival will be in October in Santa Monica, CA.

Ectocomp will be running again this year, with submissions opening October 27, if you’d like to contribute a piece of spooky interactive fiction.

ProcJam, the jam to “make something that makes something” is running November 2 to 10.

AdventureX runs November 2 and 3 at the British Library — I think it’s already sold out, however, so if you’re attending, you probably already know that.

November 7-8 is Code Mesh 2019 in London.  The conference focuses on promoting useful non-mainstream technologies to the software industry.

Wordplay in Toronto runs November 9-10 this year, showcasing games focused on words, text, and language.

OldGamesItalia is running a game jam for Italian-language games; that’s already in progress, with created games due December 15.


Game Releases

Ryan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing is now available. Here’s how he describes the project:

I call Ryan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing a “game,” but it’s not the kind of game that has conditions of failure or success. And it’s not really a proper story, with a beginning, middle, and end. I like to think of Ryan Veeder’s Authentic Fly Fishing as a place you can visit once in a while, to get away from whatever other stuff you have going on. I hope you’ll play for a while today, and maybe come back tomorrow, and then go on visiting as often as you care to, until you don’t care to any longer.

Articles and other Coverage

Verb Your Enthusiasm will be providing podcast review coverage of the IF comp while it runs.

A brief post about the Dialog tool and why one might want to try it out to build classic parser-based IF.

An interview with IF author Erin Roberts about her approach to interactive work; Erin has written for Sub-Q, a piece called Thanks for the Memories.

A GPT-2 implementation of parser IF, where the model is trained to take input and respond as though it were a parser game. The output isn’t exactly consistent, but it makes for an interesting toy.

Following my earlier post about IF pedagogy, Jeremiah McCall has shared some additional materials he’s created for history teaching with interactive fiction, including rubrics for students who are building new projects in Twine and some blog posts about using Twine in the history classroom. The existence of these rubrics also made me think back to conversations with Mark Bernstein about the absence of clear expectations when grading hypertexts.

Game Writing and Narrative Design Podcasts

I’ve covered many books on game writing here over the years, and I’ve collected and linked a lot of online resources on narrative design and on the history of IF design in particular. I also recently did a post about blogs in this space; and here is one about podcasts.

Continue reading “Game Writing and Narrative Design Podcasts”

Signs of the Sojourner (Alpha, Crowdfunding)

Signs of the Sojourner is an IF-friendly work with a beautifully expressive conversation mechanic that focuses on our resources and style of interaction rather than specifics of dialogue choice.

Play through conversations by deciding how to follow your partner’s lead.

Signs of the Sojourner is a conversational deck-building game by the small indie studio Echodog, currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo and featuring writing by the excellent Kevin Snow. A polished, substantial demo is available on itch.io.

In short: I saw Kevin Snow’s pitch about this game and thought, neat, any game with Kevin’s writing is worth a look. Then I paid a couple dollars to download the demo from itch — you can of course get it for free, but it seemed polite. Then I played the demo through from start to finish, twice, getting significantly different experiences in the two playthroughs.

When I got to the end of the second play, I was having so much fun that I really felt quite sulky about the fact that this was just a demo and that I can’t play the full game until later.

Since I really want the full game to exist in maximum glory, I backed it and then came over here to tell you about why it’s cool. And as I wrote up this post, I needed a few more screenshots and wound up replaying almost all of the alpha for a third time because I was still having fun and discovering some new things about how the mechanics worked.

Continue reading “Signs of the Sojourner (Alpha, Crowdfunding)”