As I mentioned Monday, I’m backing off from the blog this month so I can focus on my ShuffleComp game. But I hate to leave you emptyhanded, so:
Two articles about how medium affects form
Various world models in IF, by Andrew Plotkin
Fighting Words: Thoughts on Prose Style Prompted by John Wick, by Max Gladstone
These articles focus on different mediums, but they both address how a story’s medium affects the story’s execution. Plotkin’s article is more hands-on (here is an existing game I made; here are choices I made so the UI would support the content) while Gladstone’s is more analytical (what did John Wick do spectacularly well in the film medium, and what is the equivalent in prose?)
Three IF events worth investigating
Historically, Spring Thing was the long-form sister to IFComp, but Aaron Reed relaunched it this year as “an annual festival”, shifting the focus from competition to celebration.
There are nine games in this year’s Spring Thing, including entries from familiar names such as Alan DeNiro, Emily Short, and Porpentine. The majority of games are in Twine, but Glulx, Ren’Py, Undum, Seltani, and Z-code are also represented.
From 3/26 to 4/9, Porpentine ran a game jam for 300 word Twine games. She received over 241 entries. By definition, they’re all very short, and by nature, they trend heavily toward experimental and unusual. I’ve played a handful, and I haven’t been disappointed by any of them. (I submitted an entry, too. [http://www.sibylmoon.com/a-love-song-for-alpha-centauri])
The XYZZY Awards
Okay, I mentioned the XYZZYs on Monday – but they’re really exciting, so I’m mentioning them again today.
The XYZZY awards are for the best games in 2014, with categories spanning writing, story, setting, puzzles, NPCs, implementation, innovation, and more. Anyone can vote – just register at the IFComp site (since they share a login) and you’re good to go!
Please note – the XYZZYs are supposed to reflect game quality, not author popularity. If you’re voting to support a specific author, please give the competition a chance before you decide. Worst case scenario, you try four other games and find out that you were right in the first place, and then you can feel smug and happy. Best case scenario, you try four other games and love them all, and then your life has been brightened for the experience (regardless of how you vote!)
(I entirely understand that there will be exceptions. For example, Twine games are not friendly to screenreaders, and 80 Days requires a mobile device. But apart from cases like those… it’s honorable to give every game its fair chance.)