PRACTICE 2015, Hamilton, and the power fantasy

So I’m at PRACTICE, one of my favorite game design conferences. This year it has featured a lot of people talking in various ways about narrative design and the power fantasy: Meg Jayanth on the unfairness and hidden statistics in 80 Days; Erik Svedäng talking about fragile game design in the intentionally breakable else Heart.Break(), … Continue reading “PRACTICE 2015, Hamilton, and the power fantasy”

IF Comp 2015: a couple of games I beta-tested

The 21st annual Interactive Fiction Competition is currently on, through mid-November. Voting is open to the general public; the only prerequisite is that you not be an author, not vote on games that you tested, and submit votes on at least five games. (You emphatically do not have to have played them all! In a … Continue reading “IF Comp 2015: a couple of games I beta-tested”

2015 in Interactive Fiction So Far

It might seem a little late in the calendar year to do a half-year roundup of interactive fiction, but in fact the end of September is typically the turning point of the year: after summer is over but just before the release of the annual IF Comp games. First, a general Don’t Miss category. This … Continue reading “2015 in Interactive Fiction So Far”

Regency Games: Regency Love, Marrying Mr Darcy, Regency Solitaire, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Dance Challenge

Regency Love is an iOS game set in a pseudo-Austen town; it is in the same general territory as a dating sim or visual novel, but with a structure that also owes something to roleplaying games. The core interaction loop is that the player can select a place from the map of Darlington, their town; … Continue reading “Regency Games: Regency Love, Marrying Mr Darcy, Regency Solitaire, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Dance Challenge”

Videogames for Humans (ed. Merritt Kopas)

I’ve mentioned the existence of this book before, but only recently did I get my own contributor copies of Videogames for Humans, an anthology of Twine playthroughs annotated by their players. (Here’s Robert Yang talking about the anthology; here’s me talking about Robert Yang talking about the anthology.) It’s a big chunky paperback, devoted to … Continue reading “Videogames for Humans (ed. Merritt Kopas)”

IF-related ideas in computational creativity: ICCC 2015

ICCC is a conference dedicated to computational creativity, which includes a wide spectrum of work: programs that create artwork and images, music generators, systems that invent metaphors and jokes, story and poetry creation systems. I gave the keynote, about Versu, Blood & Laurels, and the work I’m doing in response to the feedback that we … Continue reading “IF-related ideas in computational creativity: ICCC 2015”