Log in

You Are a Turkey!

If you are into interactive fiction, you have five minutes, and you want to play the game that I coded in under an hour today, it can be played online at:


Happy Thanksgiving!! ; )
I promise this will not just become a blog where I start regularly advertising interactive fiction for profit, but there's a new cool project up at Kickstarter, Hadean Lands.

This is an Andrew Plotkin project. Andrew is an excellent and prolific writer, an incredibly talented coder, and a genuinely good chap. He also makes a good deal of money at his current job which, um, he'd really like to quit so he can write IF full time. It's worth paying him to do just that.

He posted his project yesterday, with a month long time limit to raise $8K. He'll make that before the end of today. He made that goal in about twelve hours(!). The original point of my post still stands: I'm sure he's probably got stuff socked away in savings, but I would still put forth that he's worth far more than the amount he's asking. I hope people who have the means don't avoid backing him just because he's reached his goal.

And his final product won't just be a game, it'll be an open source product that will allow other authors, like me, to publish to the iPhone store. So if all you give is $1, please consider contributing.


I woke up this morning to learn that an interview I recently did is now being featured over at GetMeWriting.com

A screenshot of the intro to my interview on GetMeWriting.com

I feel ever so slightly like a poser after reading the introduction that Matt Roberts wrote about me, but maybe I said a couple of things that are worth reading, should you be so inclined.  Perhaps even more interesting is that Matt has also recently interviewed Stephen Granade, Emily Short, Sarah Morayati, and Aaron Reed.

I shall end my shameless self promotion and go back to my morning coffee. 

As you were. 
A few months back I sat in a crowded room in Boston which was filled with dedicated interactive fiction enthusiasts and stated to the group that I thought one of the things IF needed to do was develop itself more for the mobile app market if we wanted it to reach new audiences. I suggested the Kindle would be an excellent platform for this. I also commented that we were too used to coding for the massively overpowered computers we use these days, such that our code ran sluggishly on mobile devices, detracting from the experience for everyone (but especially new users). Part of me was internally smug when I noticed Don Woods sitting in the corner, listening to my remarks and nodding sagely.

In saying all that out loud to that audience, I also did something I hate doing: I was expressing an idea I really believe in but feel more or less powerless to do anything about. There's a person in the IF community who shall remain unnamed but who frequently annoys me and others by publicly saying things like, Here's a great idea and why aren't you people doing it and I would do it but I simply haven't the time or skill but you should all get right on that right now.

And then there I was, doing just that. I mean, I'm on several people's list as a prolific interactive fiction author, but the fact is I've only released one decent game, have no less than a half-dozen works in progress, and I am a decent writer but a generally horrid coder. (The good news: I am actually working on three of those works in progress, and on two of them I'm teaming up with competent coders!).

Anyway, today I feel like I've actually bought back a little bit of my integrity by donating some cash to help kickstart Textfyre mobile development:

Textfyre will be publishing interactive stories to all mobile devices. Stories will be developed internally at Textfyre, but also licensed from any author or company that wishies to publish their content on our platform.

The platform will allow free and paid content while offering a central repository. The reader can interact on a Kindle, then open up the same story on their iPhone and start where they left off. They can move to their Mac or PC and do the same. Stories will come in all genres and lengths, leaving those details to the story designers.

We plan to have our engine and user interfaces implemented by the end of 2010 with your help. This will include native Mac OS X, iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Kindle, Blackberry, and Palm Pre devices (barring unforseen technical or other factors).

Dave has said that everything will be open source, too.

So, if you have $10 or $25 or more to spare, please please please go help out.

Collectively we can help Textfyre hit its goal and they'll do this and it will benefit all of IF.

What I personally think Dave will do if fundedCollapse )

What *I* will do if Dave gets fundedCollapse )

Books on Interactive Storytelling?

I went to pre-order Aaron Reed's Creating Interactive Fiction with Inform 7 on Amazon and was offered the suggestion Digital Storytelling: A creator's guide to interactive entertainment by Carolyn Handler Miller. Anybody got a copy? It gets high ratings, but (unsurprisingly) not many of them. I'd kind of like a nudge from an IFer before I shell out $25, but if no one replies in the negative then I might be willing to be the guinea pig.

Also recommended to me was Meanwhile: Pick Any Path. 3,856 Story Possibilities by Jason Shiga, which I've ordered in hardback.

In other IF news, just a reminder that I'm accepting IntroComp intents through the end of May, introductions to games due at the end of June. This is a comp even first-time coders can enter. Details at http://www.allthingsjacq.com/introcomp.html

Games too vast? Too hard? Or too stupid??


And I quote:

"Conventional gaming wisdom thus far has been 'bigger, better, MORE!' It's something affirmed by the vocal minority on forums, and by the vast majority of critics that praise games for ambition and scale. The problem is, in reality its almost completely wrong. ... How do we know this? Because an increasing number of games incorporate telemetry systems that track our every action. They measure the time we play, they watch where we get stuck, and they broadcast our behavior back to the people that make the games so they can tune the experience accordingly. Every studio I've spoken to that does this, to a fault, says that many of the games they've released are far too big and far too hard for most players' behavior. As a general rule, less than five percent of a game's audience plays a title through to completion. I've had several studios tell me that their general observation is that 'more than 90 percent' of a game's audience will play it for 'just four or five hours.'"

Okay, okay, perhaps they have a point. If they quit because the games were too inane or stupid, perhaps they'd have quit after less than an hour. Still...

...seems reminiscent of a discussion we had a PAXeast.

Yet Another Retrospective on the IF Summit

I've (semi)recently returned from my first-ever gaming convention, PAX East. PAX was great, but mostly because the interactive fiction community used it as a bit of a summit. Beyond the scope of a normal IF meetup, we had a series of formal events, and the dialogue that's begun is really refreshing, rejuvenating, and energizing. Hopefully lots of folks (myself included) will Go Forth and Do Good Things in light of the experience we've had.

Lots o' people have written up their well-constructed, interesting thoughts. I instead have written more of a daily journal from the weekend. It's really long, and it's written for me rather than an audience. I've included some headers to break it up a bit and find what you might be interested in, but even then it may not be worth wading through... unless you're really, really curious/bored, of course, in which case, you're welcome to read on. But you were warned... no TLDRs in comments! [That means you, maga_dogg!]

A retrospective of my long holiday weekend in Boston, with favorite moments highlighted.Collapse )

I'm hoping we make this a somewhat regular habit.

There. I've written it. Over 6500 words! Now... can I start channeling this energy into my works in progress?

ClubFloyd Feed

For those of you interactive fiction afficianados who might be interested in ClubFloyd, but who don't spend much time on ifMUD, I've set up an RSS feed, which you can either view in your favorite RSS reader by adding http://www.allthingsjacq.com/cf-feed.xml or here on LJ by adding clubfloyd to your friends list.

The feed will announce when game transcripts are posted, what game has been scheduled for the next week, and any other ClubFloyd related news (such as the occasional hiatus).

Please feel free to distribute this link so that non-mudders know what we're playing (because they're always welcome to attend).
I am pleased to announce that I finally created an RSS feed for my website, AllThingsJacq.com. You can follow it in your favorite feed aggregater by adding http://www.allthingsjacq.com/feed.xml or, spankily enough, you can watch it right here on LiveJournal by adding allthingsjacq to your friends list!

The feed just announces updates with a short blurb and a link to the actual page. Updates generally pertain to interactive fiction, photography, and various reviews of books and games and such. Granted, most of it you'll see here, but I thought I'd announce it nevertheless. And I'll soon be announcing a different feed specifically for ClubFloyd, so you IFers might want to keep an eye out for that.

Now, if only I had time to overhaul the 220 pages on my site so that they could have dynamic updates, with the ability to leave comments on any one page... sigh.


Jacqueline A. Lott Ashwell

Apropos of Something

"If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it." - L B Johnson

"One hundred years from now, as people look back on our use of this continent, we shall not be praised for our reckless use of its oil, nor the loss of our forests; we shall be mightily damned for all these things. But we may take comfort in the knowledge that we shall certainly be thanked for the national parks." - R L Wilbur, former US Interior Secretary

"If I were to name the three most precious resources of life, I should say books, friends, and nature; and the greatest of these, at least the most constant and always at hand, is nature. Nature we have always with us, an inexhaustible storehouse of that which moves the heart, appeals to the mind, and fires the imagination, -health to the body, a stimulus to the intellect, and joy to the soul." - J Burroughs


My isquiesque icons are John Allison's character Shelly Winters in all her many moods altered by me to look a bit more like me, with permission from Allison. He is wonderful, and everyone should check out his work at ScaryGoRound.com!



Latest Month

May 2014


RSS Atom
Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow