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)”

Mid-September Link Assortment

Events

September 17 is the next meeting of the People’s Republic of IF at MIT, for those in the Boston/Cambridge area. The website here also features notes from previous meetups.

The 20th annual European GAME-ON® Conference on Simulation and AI in Computer Games is September 18-20 in Breda, The Netherlands.

September 25, the London IF Meetup has a 7 PM talk on interactive and immersive theatre and LARP projects. This will be a densely-packed session with four speakers, talking about work by Fire Hazard Games, Coney and Venice as a Dolphin, and Crooked House.

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.

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.

Articles

Sam Ashwell on how to write a good blurb for a comp game, which may be relevant to a number of people around now.

Chris Martens and Owais Iqbal on Villanelle, a research language for authoring autonomous characters in IF.

End of August Link Assortment

Events

September 1 is the deadline if you want to submit an intent to enter IF Comp 2019. (That’s tomorrow!)

PAX West in Seattle features a panel September 2 about building an interactive fiction portfolio and becoming a paid IF author.

September 7 is the next meeting of the SF Bay area IF Meetup.

September 14 is Boston FIG, or festival of indie games, held at Harvard.

Also September 14, the Baltimore/DC IF meetup gets together to discuss Hanon Ondricek’s Cannery Vale.

The 20th annual European GAME-ON® Conference on Simulation and AI in Computer Games is September 18-20 in Breda, The Netherlands.

September 25 is the next meeting of the London IF Meetup, and we will be hearing about live-action interactive narrative experiences including immersive theatre and LARP from several amazing speakers.

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

New Releases

Greg Boettcher has released an illustrated parser game that debuted in IntroComp 2006. It is now, at last, available from his website, and for a limited time you can also make a charitable donation and receive some feelies as a reward.

Sam Barlow’s Telling Lies is now out, a new FMV/exploration story that is not a sequel but perhaps a conceptual heir to Her Story.

Community and Volunteer Things

Sofia Kitromili is looking to interview IF authors about their experiences creating games and using IF tools. You can contact her any time in the next several months if you would like to speak to her and contribute to her doctoral research.

The Colossal Fundraiser is now raising money for prizes for this year’s IF Comp, as well as to cover the IF Technology Foundation’s other needs and overhead for the year. IFTF supports the IF Archive and other community technology, preserves interactive fiction work and tools that might otherwise be abandoned, and leads accessibility and education initiatives to improve the IF community’s resources.

IntroComp 2019

IntroComp is a recurring competition featuring game ideas that the creators are considering fleshing out into full games. This year’s crop includes a wide variety of styles.

IntroComp is an annual IF competition that invites authors to contribute partial and unfinished works for feedback. IntroComp 2019 is currently in progress, and if you’d like to check out the work here, you too can judge the entries.

Below the fold, some words on a few of the entries that I had time to play — but you may want to try them out yourself without spoilers.

Voting closes August 31.


Continue reading “IntroComp 2019”