The aesthetics of IF languages

I don’t intend to get into a(nother) flamewar with Steve Breslin, but he’s said some false things about me recently, and some provocatively semi-true ones about IF languages and the state of IF discourse. Though what follows starts out with some newsgroup politics, it winds up as some more general stuff about language design and … Continue reading “The aesthetics of IF languages”

Inform 7 for the Fiction Author

Jeff Nyman recently raised the idea of having a guide to Inform 7 specifically written for an experienced fiction author without background in IF, and I posted a brainstormed outline for such a project. The formatting was pretty ugly on Usenet, though, and I had a few ideas for revisions, so here is another, longer … Continue reading “Inform 7 for the Fiction Author”


Puzzle categories Diagnostic puzzles. The challenge is to collect enough information about a problem to identify an item or type. Research puzzles. The player needs to look up information in various sources in order to assemble a complete picture and learn how to proceed. NPC manipulation. The player has to get an NPC into a … Continue reading “Puzzles”

My Articles

I’ve written various articles on the craft of interactive fiction, which you may or may not find useful. Many are pages on this site; others are blog posts that got a lot of response, or else articles submitted to other sites, which I list here for reference: Tightening the World-Plot Interface: or, Why I Am … Continue reading “My Articles”


I am a game writer, narrative designer, coder, and critic with twenty years of experience developing games, tools, and interactive media experiences. My work with modeling interactive conversation and generating procedural text has led to me to work with AI to achieve the character and narrative effects that interest me — but I’ve also created … Continue reading “Overview”

Writing IF

Choosing a Tool One of the first decisions you’ll need to make before you do serious work on your own piece of interactive fiction is what tools you will use to create it. While you could create IF in a general purpose programming language, most people choose to use a language or design system specially … Continue reading “Writing IF”