Mid-June Link Assortment

Events

June 30 is the last day to submit games to ParserComp.

July 3 is the next SF / Bay Area IF Meetup.

New Releases

Overboard! is a new interactive detective story from inkle – in which you are definitely the culprit, and the only question is who is going to take the fall for your misdeeds. It’s available for iOS and on Steam.

If you prefer your stories in interactive audio form instead, you may be interested in Wanderword’s audio horror story Escape from 63rd and Wallace, set in 1890s Chicago. Playable on the Amazon Echo, it features two modes, story-focused and puzzle-focused.

Books

Narrative Mechanics is a book of articles on games and the making of meaning through mechanics.

Articles

Aaron Reed’s 50 Years of Text Games series continues to deliver extraordinary stories about the history of the medium. I found myself particularly enthralled and fascinated with his telling of the games written by St. Bride’s – a chapter in game history I’d not heard of before Aaron brought it to my attention.

Talks

The London IF Meetup heard from Destina Connor about characterisation and identity in JRPGs. A recording can be found here.

Jeremiah McCall recently spoke about teaching history through video games, and that talk can be found on YouTube.

End of May Link Assortment

Events

June 5 is the next SF / Bay Area IF Meetup.

June 13 is the next Seattle Area IF Meetup.

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.

June 30 is the ParserComp 2021 submission deadline.

Links & Articles

Sofia Kitromili at Bournemouth University is currently conducting a user experience study on improving mental resilience through the use of an interactive narrative application, and is looking for people over the age of 18 to participate.

The storytelling experience will prompt participants to engage in choice-based conversational storytelling and allow them to traverse a narrative as well as engage in optional reading and writing activities that are designed to strengthen mental resilience. Anyone interested to know more can send an email to Sofia at skitromili@bournemouth.ac.uk.

New Releases

Steve Ince has a new book coming out, aimed at kids who want to learn the ropes of game writing. The book launch is scheduled for June 20, and will have a live streaming event on Facebook at 5pm BST. The book is primarily written for designers ages 10 and up.

Kickstarters

Tim Fowers is currently running a kickstarter for his latest game, Paperback Adventures. As of this post, the project is already backed, but you can still donate or secure a copy if you are so inclined.

“Conquer a menagerie of pulp novel characters in this solo deckbuilding word game.

Just like in the original game Paperback—and its follow up, Hardback—you will build your own deck of cards throughout the game, and those cards will have letters to help you spell words every turn. But in Paperback Adventures, instead of testing your wordsmithing wit against other players, you will use your words to defeat a series of AI enemies in “roguelike” fashion.

Paperback Adventures is a solo-focused game. It was designed from the ground up as a strategic, highly-replayable solo word game. There are also additional gameplay variants for cooperative play between two players.”

Mid-May Link Assortment

Events

May 16 is the next Seattle Area IF Meetup.

May 17 is the next Boston 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 5 is the next SF / Bay Area IF Meetup.

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

The folks at Clockwork Bird have recently released Silicon Dreams on Steam.

It’s 2065, and you are an interrogator-model android tasked with rooting out deviants among your own kind. You must probe for lies, monitor and exploit emotional spikes, earn the trust of your subjects, and make the final call: release, or destroy?

More info is available here.

Filip Hráček has also finished the modern-day fantasy Knights of San Francisco for both iOS and Google Play.

What if goblins, ogres, and dragons weren’t imagined? What if our ancestors were, unwittingly, foretelling the future? Find yourself in that future, centuries from now, among the ruins of what was once the 21st century – where these terrifying creatures roam freely…

Links & Articles

Stella Wisdom, the Digital Curator for Contemporary British Collections at the British Library is running a tree-themed game jam for the Urban Tree Festival this month. The jam is accepting submissions until May 23.

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 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.