• September 15th 2015

    New release: Prospero

    Prospero, a loose adaptation of EA Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, has been released by sub-Q Magazine. You can go play it right now, for free.

    sub-Q is an online magazine that publishes weekly interactive fiction, focusing on fantasy, science fiction, and horror. It’s a brilliant project that everyone in the IF community should have a stake in, and they’re a great opportunity for authors. Right now, they’re taking submissions, and they also have some interesting benefits for users who subscribe.

  • August 14th 2015

    Introcomp: Walker's Rift

    I'm deep in the mire of writing an IF Comp entry, which is why I barely had the time to play recent IF releases. But Introcomp is nice in that I can read and evaluate a game in a lot less time than usual, and feel like I have something to say about it. First up: Walker's Rift, by Hope Chow.

  • May 27th 2015

    When the Land Goes Under the Water: Mini-Postmortem

    Shufflecomp, which has just closed its second edition, is an IF competition in which entrants swap playlists and make games based on songs. Not content with taking part in the previous two IF comps, I entered Shufflecomp this year.

    When the Land Goes Under the Water, pseudonymously released under the name Nikephoros de Kloet, was my entry.

  • May 16th 2015

    ShuffleComp Impressions: Ansible

    For the duration of ShuffleComp, I won't be commenting on games because I don't want to blow my own pseudonymity just yet. However, Jacques Frechet appears to be a real person, meaning he's definitely not me; whereas all other ShuffleComp authors are either Doug Orleans or currently in a quantum state of simultaneously being and not being me. So I get to talk about Jacques' submission, Ansible.

  • May 12th 2015

    Mere Anarchy Postmortem

    I said I wasn't going to write a postmortem for Mere Anarchy. Well, I kind of lied. This is the actual postmortem. As you might expect, it contains spoilers for the game; so if you haven't played it yet, I suggest you do before reading.

  • May 1st 2015

    Raconteur, and why it exists

    Taking a break for a moment from the tutorials to write about where Raconteur comes from, and where it's going; starting with a survey of the landscape of choice-based game engines.

  • April 21st 2015

    Writing IF with Raconteur, part 3: adapting some text

    This is the third part of a series walking step-by-step through developing a game with Raconteur. In this post, I'll explain Raconteur's adaptive text features.

  • April 16th 2015

    Writing IF with Raconteur, part 2: choices, choices

    Last we left off, I had explained setting up Raconteur and writing a very basic Situation: Enough to make simple stories. This tutorial is going to delve a little deeper into using Undum and Raconteur to write more complex stories.

    Background information on Raconteur.

  • April 15th 2015

    Writing IF with Raconteur, part 1: a difficult situation

    Undum is a system for writing hypertext interactive fiction, similar to Twine. It's probably one of the most powerful, versatile, better-looking systems, but it's also pretty complicated to use; Undum stories are written by editing a JavaScript file, and essentially you write an Undum game by modifying and adapting Undum itself to your needs.

    Raconteur is "Undum with batteries included," a set of tools and libraries that speed up Undum development and give it a gentle learning curve. Raconteur, like Undum, has an API documentation out; but API documentation is great as a reference, not so much for learning something new. And Raconteur, while (I hope) still substantially easier to work with than Undum, still has a learning curve.

    This is the first in a series of posts walking through the authoring of an IF game with Raconteur/Undum. This one goes from setting up a development environment to writing down your first situation.

  • March 15th 2015

    Terminator Chaser: the Postmortem

    This is a postmortem for Terminator Chaser, my ParserComp 2015 entry. As you might expect, it contains severe spoilers for the game.

    This postmortem is based on my own impressions of replaying the game after its release, but it's also based on watching the reaction to the game itself. I want to single out reviews from Sam Kabo Ashwell and Emily Short, as well as the players who submitted feedback through ParserComp's judging form.

    You can play or download the post-comp release of Terminator Chaser, with various improvements, here.