News

Interactive Fiction meetup in North Greenwich

January 29, 2014 · Narrative

It’s always very hard to type ‘Emily Short’ without prepending ‘the legendary’. I nearly managed it this time. Anyway, Em is organising Oxford and London interactive fiction meetups. These are intended to be informal and friendly: “Meet to play and discuss interactive fiction of all kinds, from classic Zork-style text adventures to Twine games to interactive […]

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Choice, Complicity and Consequence

September 19, 2012 ·

Choice, complicity and consequence are  key terms  for Failbetter – we use them internally in design conversations, and externally in talks and seminars, all the time – and I only just realised that we’ve never blogged about what we mean by them! So, belatedly…

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Narrative Snippets: StoryNexus Tricks

September 9, 2012 ·

[This is part of the ongoing series on narrative engineering: design, organisation and writing. These short articles (which are republished from our wiki) deal with a few specifics of StoryNexus.] Sometimes storylets Storylets in Sometimes decks are not always available. There’s less chance of them being available at any one time as the deck they’re in […]

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Narrative Snippets: Pacing

September 4, 2012 ·

[This is part of the ongoing series on narrative engineering: design, organisation and writing. These short articles (which are republished from our wiki) deal with pacing.] Pacing wheels and content reuse Here’s a way you can get more use out of an existing bit of content. You have a story that’s ten branches long. But you […]

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Narrative Snippets: Difficulty, Rewards and Punishment

August 31, 2012 ·

[This is part of the ongoing series on narrative engineering: design, organisation and writing. These short articles (which are republished from our wiki) deal with difficulty, rewards and punishment.] Punishing characters Punish characters – they’ll love you for it. And it’s good for introducing a bit of strategy to your world. When something goes wrong for […]

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Narrative Snippets: Agency and Choices

August 26, 2012 ·

[This is part of the ongoing series on narrative engineering: design, organisation and writing. These short articles (which are republished from our wiki) deal with agency and choices.] Player agency A major difference between a StoryNexus game and a novel is that the player is in charge. They make the choices. The story is about their […]

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Narrative Snippets: Writing for Story Games

August 21, 2012 ·

[This is part of the ongoing series on narrative engineering: design, organisation and writing. These short articles (which are republished from our wiki) deal with writing for games like StoryNexus.] Write short StoryNexus games are played over multiple short chunks of text. For most storylets, a single sentence for root and branch descriptions and a paragraph […]

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Narrative Snippets: Parsimony

August 16, 2012 ·

[This is part of the ongoing series on narrative engineering: design, organisation and writing. These short articles (which are republished from our wiki) deal with keeping things simple and doing a lot with a little.] Quality Parsimony You can easily create new qualities for your world. It’s just a few clicks. But should you? Often, you […]

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Narrative Snippets: Organising Creative Efforts

August 8, 2012 · Failbetter

[This is the first in a series of articles about narrative engineering: design, organisation and writing. They are aimed at people making quality-based narrative games, and especially our StoryNexus beta testers. These short articles are republished from our wiki. The first few are lessons we’ve learned about organising a creative effort. If you’d like to […]

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StoryNexus Developer Diary #2: fewer spreadsheets, less swearing

August 5, 2012 · Failbetter

Long past due: some discussion of why we chose the approach we have for StoryNexus and, indeed, most of our other work. That approach is QBN, ‘quality-based narrative’, which is to say, little bundles of interactive story (storylets) whose appearance controls and is controlled by changeable state (qualities). Very broadly, the two approaches to building […]

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