So apparently the powers that be at the Austin GDC were curious enough about modern interactive fiction to give it the floor (part of it anyway), for a few minutes at least. I received notice the other day that my proposal for a talk on “game design innovations in IF” was accepted for presentation during the Game Writers Summit. I’m pretty happy about that, especially considering that last year I found the Game Writers Summit to be the most interesting part of AGDC. I’m curious to see how many people are intrigued enough by the topic to attend. I’m hoping it’s more than four.

Of course, the e-mail notice was soon followed by one of those “Oh shit” moments. I suppose this means I actually have to do it now.

That happens on occasion in the day job. We submit grants all the time for various ambitious research projects, and we’re pretty used to rejection. But, occasionally, we do just enough to bullshit our way past the review committees and the work gets funded. Yayz. Except usually it’s quickly followed by a collective, audible *gulp*.

So, we’ll see how this goes. Many thanks to the people who supported this and helped with the editing. I’ll be preparing the talk throughout the summer, so if anyone is interested to see how it evolves, just let me know and I’ll keep you updated on it. Below is the synopsis of the talk that will appear in the program guide, which is pretty similar to what I had posted earlier. If you’re interested in seeing the whole abstract, just drop me a line and I’ll e-mail it to you.

“What’s old is new again: game design innovations in interactive fiction”

Synopsis: The modern commercial game industry is frequently criticized for a reluctance toward innovation. Although independent game developers, to a certain extent, have accepted the challenge of advancing innovation in game design, another small but devoted group of individuals has been doing this for years, behind the scenes, in a genre largely overlooked in gaming circles: interactive fiction, formerly known as text adventures. A closer look at the many ways in which this medium has evolved over the years will reveal a number of techniques and strategies that game developers, mainstream and independent alike, might consider exploring and translating to their own genres and projects.

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  1. Sande
    Posted June 8, 2009 at 8:33 AM | Permalink

    Congrats! I'm sure your talk will be great.

  2. El Clérigo Urbatain
    Posted June 10, 2009 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

    That synopsis express perfectly what I feel about the medium: we have been innovating in interactive narration for over a decade. Indie games are just starting to follow right now.

    I'm always quite glad when I read about some sophistication of an industry game about storytelling and narration where Interactive Fiction have conquered that topic years ago. It makes me laugh, and makes me very happy, at the same time 😉

    Good to hear you are going to develop an interesting talk about the topic.


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