Boon Hill is a successful-but-still-in-progress Kickstarter for a project in which the player/reader explores a graveyard full of epitaphs. It’s an invitation to create your own meaning out of scraps of evidence, conceptually a little reminiscent of 18 Cadence.
Conversations With My Mother is a Twine piece by Merritt Kopas, in which you can click on the text to swap one piece of text for another before proceeding. It’s powerful and very brief to experience, and it does some things with Twine that go beyond typical formal features of choice-based narrative. Worth a look.
Pipe Trouble is one of those pipe-laying puzzle games… except that it’s also about the politics of gas pipelines in Canada. Connect the pipes in the wrong way and you’ll annoy farmers, cause spills, or irritate environmental protesters. And it has text by Jim Munroe.
Here are some things I want to say from my own perspective about the IF community. I acknowledge starting out that my perspective is one of considerable privilege and good fortune, and that I know my experience is not the same one everyone has. But I think also that what I’ve said may give the wrong impression about what I think is going on, and I would like to balance it a little. Necessarily this is more personal than my usual output, and I do it in a separate thread because I don’t want to frame this as an excuse for things that are wrong. If that’s not input you’re interested in and you mostly hang out here for the reviews, that’s totally cool too.
Porpentine wrote this about her experience of entering howling dogs in the IF Comp:
It was natural for me to approach the circle of interactive fiction. I made games with words in them. But there was nothing for me. I was poor, not middle class. I was queer, not straight. I wrote experimental hypertext, not traditional parser. I was a woman, not a man, and there were many of them, and one of me.
It was intimidating.
Once I did participate, by submitting my Twine game howling dogs, I got harassing emails saying making howling dogs was a “crime”.
It shames and angers me that that was her experience with the IF community. I am sorry for it, but cannot repair it; I’d like to think we’re better than that, but I can see that we aren’t, because the reality is right there.
inkle has been posting for some time about their Sorcery! project with Steve Jackson, and it’s now available for iOS. I haven’t had a chance to try it out yet, but it looks gorgeous, with fun gamebooky play, a revamped combat concept, and a really attractive map. Here’s more about the making of, including discussions of the combat system and the creation of the user interface. It looks gorgeous, however, and is getting rave reviews at the app store, as well as positive coverage at Pocket Gamer. One unfortunate note: it’s not (yet?) really playable with VoiceOver.
The People’s Republic of IF in Boston is organizing another IF meetup this year, September 14-15, coordinated with the NoShowConf and the Boston Festival of Indie Games. This is an opportunity to hang out with other IF authors, share in-progress concepts, demo to the public (at Boston FIG), and attend game design talks (at NoShowConf). There may be some IF-specific programming there, though this isn’t finalized.
I’ve mentioned this before here briefly, but I’m speaking next week at the Inventing the Future of Games conference put on by UC Santa Cruz. That’s in Mountain View May 10. I’ll be talking about tools for interactive narrative creation, drawing on experience with Inform, Versu, and (to a lesser degree) various other IF tools.
XYZZY Award voting is ongoing through May 7. If you want to participate, check out the nominees and voting page.
I’m late to the party on this, I know, but I’ve finally finished Telltale’s The Walking Dead series.
Though I generally dislike the gun porn and grotesquery typical of zombie fiction, I got so many recommendations of this series that I had to play it. I thought very highly of it, and I thought the later episodes were significantly better than the first couple.
There has already been a ton written about the series, so this isn’t really a review or an attempt to summarize its content, as both of those purposes have been amply served already; what follows is more of an essay about the mechanics, choice mechanisms, and writing. It is fairly full of spoilers, because it’s pretty much impossible to talk significantly about this game without getting into the details. Consider yourself warned.
I’m reposting this, with permission, from the intfiction forum. I did not write this announcement; it is by Sam Kabo Ashwell. But it is about how the XYZZY Awards are changing to attempt to incorporate works that weren’t promoted to or didn’t originate inside the traditional IF community, and to avoid imposing unnecessary formal barriers to people who might be interested in having their work considered.
If that’s something you’re interested in, read on.