Tagged: interactive fiction

Exponential Adventure at EGX Rezzed

Good news for fans of the Dungeon Lord: Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be making an appearance at EGX Rezzed on the 4th of April!

More specifically, a live reading of Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be taking place as part of the brand new EGX Rezzed Fringe Theatre. For anybody unfamiliar with the story, it’s a massively interactive fantasy parody that plays out sort of like a Fighting Fantasy gamebook, but typically involves much, much more booze. I’ll read a chunk out loud (probably with funny voices – it gets hard to tell who’s who otherwise), announce the options available to the audience, and then whichever one gets the loudest cheer decides how the story will continue.

This is essentially what I’ve been doing at open mics for the past couple of years, but instead of taking place in a dingy pub somewhere, it’ll be at London’s largest games event.

If you’d like to come and get involved, Exponential Adventure will be running Thursday 4th of April at 2pm, and go on for about 45 minutes. This should allow time for at least three readings, but could stretch to as many as four or five depending on how things go on the day. We’ll be on the ground floor of the Tobacco Dock, which is probably the second most dungeon-y venue I’ve ever had for this.

Tickets are very reasonably priced for an event of this size. If you’re already near London, twenty quid gets you in all day Thursday which will let you see my show and still have a go at plenty of games. If you’re coming from farther afield, a Super Pass for the full three days is just £44.

Also, not to pile on the pressure or anything, but if nobody turns up then I will literally be standing on stage doing nothing because interactive fiction does not work without an audience. So please do share this around!

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Twine for Beginners: Styling Text

Twine offers several handy options when it comes to displaying text in particular ways. From straightforward bold or italics to more eye-catching animated effects, there are a whole range of features built right in and this tutorial will show you how to use them.

The following techniques are all very simple, but if you’ve never used Twine before then you might like to start off with this tutorial which offers a very basic introduction to it. You might also be interested in my tutorial covering how to colour text in Twine, which this one will also touch upon.

Much of this tutorial is so simple that you could probably get the hang of it simply by reading through the example piece, Snazzy Susan and the Majestic Markup. However, the tutorial below will go into slightly more detail as well as linking to other guides and resources, so if you find that you’re struggling with anything then do pop back. Continue reading

Twine for Beginners: Colouring Text

Colouring text in Twine is incredibly simple, but also incredibly useful. If you’re dealing with important information – whether that’s a particularly significant word or phrase, or a stat the player must recognise at a glance – then it helps to format it in some way that immediately sets it apart from the rest of the text on screen.

If you’re unfamiliar with Twine, you might like to familiarise yourself with it using this tutorial which will get you started in just four clicks – and possibly take a glance at some of the others in the series – but many of the following techniques will be very straightforward. If all you want to do is change the colour of specific bits of text in Twine, this tutorial will help you do just that.

In fact, this tutorial is so simple that you can probably just glance through the example story, Snazzy Susan and the Majestic Markup, which will contain most of the following information (as well as a few examples of how to style text in other ways). This post will only go into marginally more detail, but will also link to some handy external resources so do pop back if you get stuck. Continue reading

Twine for Beginners: Timers and Live Text

If you want to make your Twine games more interesting, there are few easier ways to do that than the (live:) macro. This thing can do as little as shuffle your random text from time to time, or as much as introduce completely new mechanics into your game. This tutorial will borrow a few ideas from others in the series, but honestly – if all you want to do is make your games a little more dynamic – it shouldn’t be too hard to follow on its own. Here are a few different methods of using (live:) to do interesting things:

Method Zero: What (live:) Actually Does

This macro behaves a little differently to (if:), (else:), (either:), etc. so I think it’s worth taking a moment just to introduce it. If you open up Twine 2 and type in (live:)[Here’s some text I want to appear live.], this is what you’ll see when you run the game:

At a glance, it’ll appear that nothing’s going on. However, what’s actually happening is that the (live:) macro is constantly refreshing that text. You just can’t tell because refreshing the text doesn’t actually do anything. It looks the same every time it shows up, so it doesn’t really matter whether it’s being re-displayed a thousand times a second or it’s displayed once and just stays there. However, the fact that this doesn’t draw attention to itself can actually be pretty useful, as you’ll see in the next step. Continue reading

Blunderball Ebook Now Available!

I figured I’d get my 2018 flash fiction anthology out while it was still 2018. Blunderball is now available on Smashwords for $0.99 and should soon appear at other non-Amazon retailers. I’ll aim to get it on Amazon as well before too long, but until then Smashwords also has a Kindle version available so if that’s your device of choice then I recommend getting it there. It isn’t hard to do. A paperback version is in the works as well.

This is actually the fourth book in which my writing has appeared this month, after Unrealpolitik, The Ruminations of a Multiheaded Monster, and of course Ten Little Astronauts!

If you’ve read any of these (or a significant number of the individual stories that make up Blunderball), please do consider leaving a review at your retailer of choice (or Goodreads). It makes such a difference.

Cragne Manor

Not so long ago, I contributed to Cragne Manor, a massive (80+ authors) interactive fiction project created as a tribute to Anchorhead. The game is now finished, and you can play it in your browser!

This is quite a different sort of game to the things I’ve made with Twine. It’s a parser-based text adventure, meaning that instead of simply clicking links you must control it by typing things like “go north,” “take key,” and “hit shoggoth with inflatable novelty hammer.” I’ve got no idea if that last one is ever an option in the game. I’ve got no idea what’s in the game at all beyond the one room I designed, to be honest. It might be terrible! The opening text suggests that it is (and that that’s part of the fun).

It also offers quite a list of objectionable content that appears in the game, so maybe not one for the squeamish. It is cosmic horror after all!

Damon L. Wakes’ WiFi Simulator 2018 Simulator 2019

One year ago today I released Damon L. Wakes’ WiFi Simulator 2018. But as we all know, technology moves along quickly and the innovations of yesteryear are soon left behind.

That’s why I’ve produced a brand new work of bold, hyper-realistic interactive fiction: Damon L. Wakes’ WiFi Simulator 2018 Simulator 2019. All the fun of WiFi Simulator 2018, updated and improved for 2019. Just look at this flowchart!

I hope you enjoy playing the game as much as I enjoyed making it. Which is very likely because to be honest it was a bit of a chore.

Wolf at the Door Debuts at WordPlay 2018 — Deck of Bards

This Saturday I’ll be heading to London for AdventureX. Also this Saturday, Wolf at the Door – the collaborative folk horror game I’ve been working on for the past few months – will be heading to Toronto for WordPlay 2018. Check out the shamelessly self-reblogged post below for more details.

If you’re anywhere near Toronto and can make the trip, I highly recommend it: there are a whole lot of other great games (and talks) to catch as well, and you should also definitely check out the following post for those reasons as well.

I’d love to head to WordPlay myself but on top of having other plans and it being an impractically huge distance to travel (which pretty much rule it out anyway), they won’t even let me into Canada at the moment. In what feels like pretty much the most “me” turn of events ever, I can’t get to Canada right now because I’m Canadian. In order to fulfil the requirement that Canadian citizens travel into Canada on Canadian passports, I have to provide proof of Canadian citizenship or (potentially) be turned away for having Canadian citizenship. It’s hard to articulate just how stupid this is.

But this is getting a little off-track. The main thing take away from this post would be that you should definitely check out the following (much more professional) post on the Deck of Bards website. It includes a link to the Wolf at the Door demo – the first time it’s ever been available to anyone outside our team – and also you might like to subscribe to the Deck of Bards blog for more Wolf at the Door updates.

Hint hint.

Slice-of-life folk horror game Wolf at the Door will be on show for the first time ever at WordPlay, a free annual games festival hosted by the Hand Eye Society. This year’s event will be taking place from 12-5pm on November 10th at the Toronto Reference Library. The current version of the game contains only […]

via Wolf at the Door Debuts at WordPlay 2018 — Deck of Bards

Project Pandora 3

You might be wondering how there can be a Project Pandora 3 given how Project Pandora 2 ended. You might also be wondering what Project Pandora even is, and if that’s the case then I recommend starting with the first one.

Project Pandora 3

That said, familiarity with the series isn’t essential and this wouldn’t be a terrible place to jump in (especially compared to Project Pandora 2, which will not even function if you haven’t played the original). My Project titles in general have always been about exploring one particular (usually fairly meta) game mechanic and how the player interacts with it, and developing an epic multi-game storyline isn’t really a big part of that.

Basically, have a quick go at the first two beforehand if you want the full experience, but don’t be afraid to get stuck in with Project Pandora 3 if you just fancy playing something vaguely sinister.

Happy Halloween!

Blacklight 1995 and Unicorn Deathmatch Shortlisted for Wonderbox Digital Fiction Competition

I’ve been pretty heavily focused on getting Ten Little Astronauts ready for publication recently, which might be why I never noticed that two of my interactive fiction games were on the People’s Choice shortlist for Wonderbox’s Opening Up Digital Fiction Competition.

You can play either one by clicking its icon above.

I sent in a whole bunch of games back when the competition was open for submissions, but wasn’t particularly confident in any of them making the cut. To see two in there is a real surprise, especially since these two in particular are very different in tone.

Because I discovered this pretty late on, not only has voting now closed but the winners have already been announced! Sadly neither of my games are amongst them, but there was some pretty serious competition: the winners look absolutely top notch, and I encourage you to check them out.

This is hardly the first time something I’ve worked on has been up for a prize, but it is the first time it’s happened specifically for an interactive piece that wasn’t a team project. It just goes to show that it’s usually worth taking a chance on these things even if you’re not sure what will come of it. Also, do keep an eye on Wonderbox specifically: the competition is annual so if you’d like to take a shot at it yourself then you’ll have a chance next year!