There are robots in this rabbit hole, also interactive fiction

As part of a new project I'm working on, I’ve been exploring the structure of Last Year at Marienbad and The Invention of Morel in terms of a branching narrative--or perhaps more accurately, a kind of fractured narrative. I hope to write more about that later. But first, I wanted to do a little bit… Continue reading There are robots in this rabbit hole, also interactive fiction

A Clock in its walls

My annual Christmas re-watching of Meet Me in St. Louis, coupled with, well, all of 2020, has gotten me thinking a lot about time, and the way that the passage of time is both communicated and experienced in choice-based interactive fiction (for a great discussion of time in parser games, see this). Specifically, I’ve been… Continue reading A Clock in its walls

My favorite Bitsy games

I am fortunate to be employed and able to work from home. Since our shutdown began in late March, I’ve spent my weekends looking at prepper-adjacent product reviews (backpacks, camping percolators) on the internet, and trying to learn Bitsy (Adam Le Doux’s “little editor for little games or worlds”) by making small Bitsy games. I’ve… Continue reading My favorite Bitsy games

Cement is the flour, concrete is the bread: making So Are the Days

By the time the SNES came out, I had pretty much stopped playing videogames. This is why So Are the Days’s overall conceit is based on games from 30+ years ago: besides Twine games, those games (e.g., StarTropics, Bubble Bobble, Super Contra, Duke Nukem, DOOM, Wolfenstein 3D, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?) are… Continue reading Cement is the flour, concrete is the bread: making So Are the Days

Where one endless corridor follows another: thoughts on translating Robbe-Grillet into Inform 7

Background I’ve been learning more about parser IF lately, and what I think I like most about it (and what I liked most about lurking around LambdaMOO back in the day) is exploring space that is at the same time imaginative and rule-bound. Learning to write parser IF in Inform is especially interesting and exciting… Continue reading Where one endless corridor follows another: thoughts on translating Robbe-Grillet into Inform 7

Making ROUND / SQUARE

Well, I have covered myself in hundreds of index cards again! This time to make ROUND / SQUARE, a micro game I submitted to sub-Q Magazine’s #subQjam. The prompt was to tell an interactive story about love in fewer than 1,000 words--1,000 words across ALL paths. In the way it distills each choice into two… Continue reading Making ROUND / SQUARE

Favorite necropastoral games

I have spent much of this October making a silverfish costume out of duct tape and re-reading Joyelle McSweeney’s The Necropastoral: Poetry, Media, Occults. In the book (and on the now-inactive blog Montevidayo), McSweeney explores a variety of texts that  employ necropastoral strategies: Sylvia Plath's Ariel, CAConrad's The Book of Frank, Jack Smith's Normal Love,… Continue reading Favorite necropastoral games