February 18th 2017
Help me write more IF!
In 2017, with the release of Voyageur, I want to get back to splitting my time between different projects. And, in particular, I want to do more noncommercial work: more short free IF, more reviews and criticism of noncommercial IF, more games writing that doesn’t find a home in commercial outlets, and more altgame experiments like Storytelling Skeletons.
I also want to be able to dedicate time to improving and maintaining the various open-source projects I’ve released over the last two years. All of these are things that I’m happy to release for free, but which do take up time and energy like anything else. So I’m experimentally launching a patreon; with only a few supporters, I’d be able to put more time and resources towards making those kinds of experiments, and that would mean being able to make more of them.
Pledges or helping spread the word are deeply appreciated.
February 10th 2017
Voyageur is out now!
January 11th 2017
New Release: Storytelling Skeletons
A little side-project for the Pico-8. Wander an endless graveyards, find dark warnings about daunting perils, and never encounter any of them.
December 31st 2016
New release: Not All Things Make It Across
A follow-up to last year’s The World Turned Upside Down, Not All Things Make It Across commemorates the end of 2016 with another short vignette set in the Mere Anarchy universe. Taking advantage of the threshold of the new year, choose what debris of the past you want to destroy… or keep.
I hope you all enjoy it. Happy new year, and thanks.
October 31st 2016
New release: Four Sittings in a Sinking House
October 13th 2016
Introducing Gall and Blotter
Earlier this year when Inkle released their Ink scripting language, there was a lot of excitement from the IF community around using it as a tool for building sophisticated branching stories in the vein of Choicescript. Today I'm releasing a couple of open-source tools that should help people who want to experiment with Ink without having to build a full game UI to go around the story engine.
January 27th 2016
I’m currently working on a project involving some fairly demanding procedural generation of text. While that project isn’t ready to be announced yet, one of the first core pieces of functionality I wrote for it was a text-generating library. Said library had to be powerful, flexible, and fulfil the following needs:
- Like Tracery, it needs to randomly choose text from nested webs of corpora, recursing itself.
- Also like Tracery, it needs some basic templating functionality.
- Unlike Tracery, it needs to run with the backing of a world model that can guide text generation.
Most of the ideas used to build this initial version of the tool were taken from Emily Short’s Annals of the Parrigues, which contains a long and extremely useful discussion of generative text in its epilogue.
Since this library is a separate module, I’ve decided to open source it. Improv has been released under the MIT license and can be viewed on Github. It’s an npm module, but it’s built so that it will work in a browser environment using a module-bundling tool like webpack or browserify. Improv is currently in active development, but the latest (0.4.2) version is one I consider to be reasonably usable.
Assuming you have node (v4 or newer), npm, and gulp installed, you can see a demo of Improv in action by doing:$ git clone https://github.com/sequitur/improv.git$ cd improv$ npm install$ gulp demo$ node demo_build/hms.js
This demo produces descriptions of fictional ships, along the lines of:
The HMS Reliable is a clipper commissioned 6 years ago.
Using a whale oil engine, she can reach speeds upwards of 32 knots. The Reliable is one of the new generation of vessels built to fight against the Arkodian fleet in the Short War. Her crew is known to be one of the more disciplined in the Navy. She is currently serving as a colonial troop transport.
The most obvious place to play around with Improv, at first, is Raconteur projects, since those are already friendly to including npm modules. NanoGenMo and ProcJam are some time away, but I look forward to seeing what people do with this tool in the meantime. Bug reports and pull requests are welcome.
December 18th 2015
Notes on the Euphoria chat
A brief reminder, since I haven’t posted about this on the blog ever since the comp postmortem: the Euphoria IF chat (&if) is still ongoing and regularly active. It’s an open channel, so anyone can join the conversation on Euphoria.
Euphoria is a “a platform for chat rooms you care about”, developed by some friends of mine; it’s a web-friendly, modern recreation of the IRC chat environment with support for threading and other cool features. As before, it’s a public chat that anyone is welcome to join in on.
November 18th 2015
IFComp post-comp discussion this Saturday
I’m trying something new: this Saturday, I’m organising a live post-IFComp discussion on Euphoria. It’s supposed to take place on Saturday, November 21st, 4PM EST/9PM UTC (Or if you like ISO time, 2015-11-21T21:00:00-00:00). We’ll be talking about the comp’s games, organisation, past and future.
Euphoria is a new platform for chat rooms that, unlike Slack and other new solutions in that area, are designed for social conversation rather than team collaboration. It’s accessible, fun, and designed so that multiple conversations can happen in the same space without trampling one another, using threading; I’m really exciting about it, and hopefully this is just the start of using the new &if space for the interactive fiction community.