Phrontisterion 7

July 2, 2012 · Failbetter

Participant reports from Phrontisterion, which I discussed in a previous post, are up. I’m cheered by this comment from Rod Humble (who runs Linden Lab and also makes crazy art games, among other exploits): “It became clear to me (I don’t think I was in the majority, but its my report so hey) that text […]

Read more

StoryNexus Developer Diary #1: ‘Worlds exist’

June 29, 2012 · Failbetter Narrative

[StoryNexus is currently in closed beta – we’ll be widening the beta soon. Sign up at] The first item in the StoryNexus spec, back when it was still codenamed ‘Falstaff’, was ‘worlds exist’. All content in StoryNexus exists in its own world: every world owner is the king of their own infinite space. Fallen […]

Read more

Hammers, screwdrivers, cake-mix

June 29, 2012 ·

I’m just back from the North American tour which ended at Phrontisterion, a microconference in Chris Crawford’s forest lair in Oregon. Chris compiles reports from the participants – I’ll link to that when it’s up – but I wanted to make a couple of observations. Chris is the Don Quixote of computer-mediated narrative. I’m not […]

Read more

Late to the party: games and stories

May 27, 2012 ·

Nicholas Lovell recently kicked off a wide-ranging argument about games and stories on Twitter, and Tom Jubert just posted a characteristically articulate response which reminded me that I meant to say something about all this. Let me set out my own stall first. Tom says ‘If games weren’t about stories we wouldn’t be shooting down space […]

Read more

Coming very soon: StoryNexus!

May 18, 2012 · Failbetter

Fallen London was always a research project. We wanted to learn the best ways to build interactive stories on the web – stories that broke away from the usual constraints of games, and weren’t ashamed to be text-heavy and provoking. We wanted to build a platform to do that… and to allow other creative folk […]

Read more

The Okapi Conundrum

January 26, 2012 ·

Today sees another content release, with a big pile of changes and enhancements to the economy. This is the next step in a long-term plan, and I wanted to talk a bit about what we’re up to. Nearly three years ago I sat down at the PC in my spare room and started writing and […]

Read more

The Night Circus

September 1, 2011 · Failbetter

This week, we are delighted to launch The Night Circus, our new interactive narrative set in the world of Erin Morgenstern’s acclaimed, exquisite debut novel of the same name. Paul, Henry and I have spent most of the last couple of months building the site, and this is a bit of an emotional moment as […]

Read more


August 23, 2011 ·

Stagconf is the slightly alarming name of a conference where the speakers are to be decked with asphodel, transformed into deer and rent to gobbets by the frenzied audience. Wait, wrong PR notes. Stagconf is the slightly alarming name of a conference about storytelling in computer games. There hasn’t ever been one of these before. […]

Read more

Ghost Stories

August 8, 2011 ·

Rambly, speculative, Sunday night blog post. Every interactive story is haunted by the ghosts of those choices not taken: and also, by every choice previously taken. Here’s an academic sort of take on this and here’s an enthusiastic one. This often means you’ve replayed the story, but it can also mean you’ve spoken to someone else […]

Read more

Complicity: Building Interactive Narrative

July 19, 2011 · Failbetter

After the BioWare seminar, we got a number of requests to do something similar back home. I trailed the idea on Twitter and got a promising response. So, here: – a Failbetter seminar on narrative engineering, Wednesday 24th August 2011. But the really exciting news is that Emily Short, arguably the doyenne of traditional interactive fiction […]

Read more