Picture of my daughter as Puck and me as Oberon. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cabaret Theatre, Latrobe, July 13-23.

The Course of True Fun Never Did Run Smooth: A Midsummer Night’s Dwarf Fortress Reflection

I am in rehearsals to play Oberon in a community theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He is a fairy king who manipulates the lives of humans who wander into his realm. I am also playing Dwarf Fortress, an insanely complex game in which the player indirectly manages a community of dwarves. I’ve been surprised by the connections I’ve observed.


Narrow Parsers

Creating n00b-friendly interactive fiction by deliberately reducing the number of available verbs? Intersting… Though I rather liked the results when I experimented with diegetic (in-game) hints delivered by an NPC who gets more and more specific to help the player accomplish some orientation tasks. Parser IF is fundamentally driven by player action, by game verbs, in a way that’s not necessarily the case of choice-based IF. When you’re designing a protagonist, a…


Releasing a Tiny Game and Trying to Get Paid

[G]ames is a bit more financially brutal than either theatre or poetry, which is funny, because poetry is already financially brutal. It is harder to get people to pay for games than for any other artform I work in. I could make more money for less work elsewhere. That said, in both theatre and poetry most of my money comes not from sales but from commissions and public funding: trying…


Jimmy Maher’s Appreciation of Infocom’s Classic Sherlock Text Adventure

I learned a lot while reading this enjoyable essay by Jimmy Maher. Looked at today, however, Sherlock certainly wasn’t a bad note to go out on. Being built on the sturdy foundation of everything Infocom had learned about making text adventures to date, it’s not notably, obviously innovative, but, impressively given that it is a first-timer’s game, it evinces heaps of simple good craftsmanship. We may celebrate the occasional titles…


ink: Inkle’s open source scripting language for writing interactive narrative

Gearing up to teach “Digital Storytelling” this summer. Not sure whether I have time to add this tool to the syllabus, but I’m definitely going to play with it. ink is a scripting language built around the idea of marking up pure-text with flow in order to produce interactive scripts. At its most basic, it can be used to write a Choose Your Own-style story, or a branching dialogue tree.…