The 25th Interactive Fiction Competition is now over, and the results are in! Girth Loinhammer and the Quest for the Unsee Elixir came 33rd in the end, which may not be a Top Ten result but I’m still pretty happy with. There were 82 entries altogether so that’s very much in the top half of the rankings, and apparently high enough to score a small cash prize and possibly some other stuff. (IFComp is pretty generous when it comes to runners-up: if you’re on the fence about submitting something in 2020, I highly recommend giving it a go.)
The range of responses from the judges is interesting: the game attracted more votes than most (I’m guessing because people saw the title, thought “Haha what?” and clicked it), and managed to snag every possible score from one to ten. It didn’t divide opinion enough to earn me the Golden Banana of Discord (which, as you can imagine, I really really would have liked to win), but clearly there were at least a few people out there with strong feelings about it, and quite a few more who got a chuckle out of it. For something I hammered together in about a week, I think that’s a pretty good response.
I’ll be aiming to produce a slightly more ambitious version of the game in the not too distant future, which I’ll hopefully make available as an actual printed gamebook. There should also be an ebook, an online version, and probably a mobile app.
If you’re interested in learning to make games with Twine – and especially if you’re interested in using them to build up a portfolio – it’s well worth considering how to reach as many players as possible.
Anything that runs in a browser (such as a Twine game) will tend to be played more often that something must be installed, and anything that’s primarily text and choice -based (like most Twine games) is generally more accessible to players with disabilities than something that depends primarily on using quick reflexes to respond to graphics on screen. By making just a few small adjustments to your Twine games – such as ensuring your text is clearly legible, and adding descriptions to any visual media included along with it – you can boost their reach even further!
This post offers a few quick tips, as well as links to further resources if you want to look into the subject in a little more detail:
Hey all, After our group discussion about my “Disability Media” Twine project on Frost accessibility, I went on to do some further research on how to make Twine and the HTML you put in it as accessible as possible. I hope to update this post as I learn more, because this is actually to some […]
Since Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure will be returning to EGX next week, I thought it was about time I uploaded the audio from its appearance at EGX Rezzed back in April.
If you’d like to catch Exponential Adventure at the main EGX event, it’ll be running from 13:00 to 13:45 on Friday the 18th of November. Even if you’re not there in person, the Fringe Theatre schedule suggests that you should be able to catch it streaming live on the official EGX YouTube channel, so you can still enjoy my live interactive* theatre thingy from the comfort of your own home!
*Unfortunately you can’t actually interact with it over the internet.** You’ll only be able to have a hand in the story if you’re there in the ExCeL centre.
**I guess technically you could still yell at your computer screen, but I won’t be able to hear you. Also, you’ll probably get some funny looks from anyone who can hear you. Especially if you’re in a library.
I had big plans to enter IFComp this year with a big fancy sci-fi game, but they were pretty much scuppered by a perfect storm of things getting in the way: I got called up for jury service again (making me the only person I know who’s done it twice), I snagged some extra freelance work, and EGX accepted my Fringe Theatre panel (also making me the only person I know who’s done it twice).
Since that plan went out the window, I came up with a new one:
It’s exactly what it looks like.
The scenario is going to be pretty familiar if you played Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure: Girth Loinhammer (Dungeon Lord) is unsatisfied with the public perception of his seriously evil dungeon, but this time – more than that – he’s traumatised by a certain something he was unfortunate enough to witness during its day-to-day operation. A certain something he wishes to unsee. Continue reading
If you missed my live reading of Girth Loinhammer’s Most Exponential Adventure at EGX Rezzed this year, then good news! You’ve got another chance to catch it. I’ll be performing at the EGX Fringe Theatre at 1pm on Friday the 18th of September!
This will all be happening at ExCeL in London, and it’s my first time there. In all honesty I’m a little disappointed to see EGX move away from Birmingham, but I’m also incredibly happy to get a chance to take my work to the “big” EGX. I think it went well last time (which I assume is why they’re letting me do it all again), and if you did manage to catch it back in April then you’ll be happy to know that the odds of hearing any of the same storylines again are more than a hundred to one.
If you don’t already have a ticket for EGX, you should know that they’re now running a little low. Early entry day tickets are already gone, but you can still catch my panel with a standard Friday ticket. There are also a limited number of Super Passes left, which will get you in early all four days. If you can stick around for the whole thing, I highly recommend it: if the London version of this event is anything like the Birmingham one, there’ll be way too much to see than you have time for while it’s running, let alone in just one day.
Finally, if you’d like to come along but can’t shell out for a ticket, you might like to know that Tranzfuser is looking for abmassadors (but be quick – applications close at 5pm on the 15th of September). Not only will you get free entry, they’ll pay you £70 per day to run their stand. I don’t know for sure that you’d be able to duck out and catch Exponential Adventure, but I figure there’s at least a possibility you could make that your lunch break or something. Regardless, it sounds like a great opportunity, and I’d be applying for it myself if I weren’t already attending as an exhibitor.
If you haven’t already been following my interactive fiction, this should be a really good introduction to it. Even if you have, there’s still some new stuff including plans for a sequel to Blacklight 1995. It also touches upon Ten Little Astronauts pretty heavily, so there’s something for everyone!
I’ve made an account on The Interactive Fiction Database and am in the process of adding my Twine games. So far the only thing I’ve put on there is Draw Nine, but if you visit my profile you’ll also see Cragne Manor alongside it: the game page already listed me as a contributor at the point I signed up.
I aim eventually to have all my significant works of interactive fiction on there (ie. everything but the Twine for Beginners example pieces and some of the April Fools jokes), but if you’ve got any particular favourites then let me know in the comments and I’ll aim to get those in there first.
Alternatively, IFDB follows a Wikipedia sort of format where anyone can edit it, so if there’s anything you really want to see in there then you can add it yourself!
The entries for IntroComp 2019 are now available to play, and I’ve got two in there this year! As always with IntroComp, they’re extracts rather than complete games, but I think there’s enough to both of these that you’ll find them amusing regardless.
Gallery Gal’s Architectural Adventure
This work of interactive fiction (set in the same world as those featuring my other slightly unusual superheroes) sees you take on the role of Gilda Garrison – aka. Gallery Gal – who possesses the incredible power to spontaneously transform into an art gallery, but only once and not back again. You may do this at any time during the game, almost always with disastrous results. Play it here.
Steamed Hams, but It’s a Twine Game
I probably don’t even need to explain this, but here it is anyway: Steamed Hams, but It’s a Twine Game is my (second) contribution to the Steamed Hams meme, in which the player controls Principal Skinner’s choices during his unforgettable luncheon with Superintendent Chalmers. It features sound, images and video from the original episode (and some other sources) and will eventually offer a reasonably deep level of interactivity. Play it here.
A bunch of other great stuff!
The rules of IntroComp prohibit me from voting on entries or even discussing them publicly, but I’m 100% permitted to point you towards them. The full list is available right here and I encourage you to play as many as you can and vote for your favourites! You have until August 31st.
You might have heard of Meditations, a collection of 365 (or more) games being released one-a-day through a special launcher over the course of the year. It’s been mentioned in PC Gamer, the Telegraph, and various other places.
What you might not have heard is that today’s game is mine! July 23rd is significant to me because it’s the date of my first “banana story,” and that’s what this game is all about.
Described by Flyover Games as “strangely compelling,” Bananagglomeration is an idle clicker in which you accumulate as many bananas as possible, plus some other stuff. The organisers of the Meditations project asked that it not contain any words – which is a challenge when your main development tool is Twine – but I got around it by constructing the game entirely from emojis.
It’s possible the 24-hour window for playing the game may have closed by the time you read this, but fortunately Luk & Lok have already recorded a playthrough of the game which is pretty representative of the thing as a whole:
This game was actually a bit of a precursor to Cookie Cracker, though due to Meditations‘ release schedule you obviously got that one first. This makes Bananagglomeration something of an oddity: it was made before I branched out into HTML5, released after, and may well end up being the only 0-word Twine game I ever write (unless you count Treasure Hunt).
If you do miss your chance on this, the launcher should make it available on July 23rd every year from now on, so stick it in your calendar or something. It’s also quite possible that I’ll release it myself at some point, though not for a few months at least. I like the idea behind Meditations and I don’t feel as though making my game available indefinitely before the launcher’s run is finished would be in keeping with the spirit of the thing.
I hope you enjoy!
That’s DISCo as in the Interdisciplinary Digital Culture and Society Conference, not Disco as in, you know…
The event will be running from the 9th to the 12th of July at the University of Nottingham’s De Vere Jubilee Conference Centre, and I’ll be there for the full four days. My workshop in particular will be running all day on Thursday the 11th.
If you’d like to see what else is going on, you can find the full range of workshops through this link. Mine requires no previous experience and will borrow a fair bit from my Twine for Beginners series of tutorials. Since we’ll have a full day available and I’ll be there in person to help with any problems, there should be an opportunity to become quite proficient with the software in just this one session.
Tickets for the event are £65 for one day, £195 for the full four, or £340 for the full four with accommodation. They’re available until the 2nd of July.