Spring and Summer Updates

It’s been a few months since we posted an update, but that doesn’t mean the People’s Republic of Interactive Fiction hasn’t been busy. Listed below is a sampling of how we finished up the spring and started up the summer…


We held our monthly meetings, one on Monday, May 9, a second on Monday, June 13. On both occasions we filled Nick Montfort’s lair with approximately a dozen IF enthusiasts. Our agenda focused on the plethora of competitions out there, including the Spring Thing, the Indigo New Language Speed IF, and IntroComp (voting concludes in just under a week!). We also test-drove a few of our member’s games, the first a work-in-progress by M. Flourish Klink, the second Zarf’s contribution to the Speed IF competition: The Matter of the Monster, a game written in Undum. And per our usual, after each meeting, we sauntered off to the Cambridge Brewing Company for libations, comestibles, and additional confabulation.

Cambridge Science Festival

On Saturday, May 7, as part of the 2011 Cambridge Science Festival, several of us attended Story and Play: Interactive Fiction for Children. Hosted by our own Brendan Desilets, the event involved a group of children playing Mrs. Pepper’s Nasty Secret. Although we didn’t discover the aforementioned secret or its nastiness (we only made it a little more than half-way through the game), the children were entranced, some of them enough to request even more games. Perhaps Zarf summed up the experience best with his tweet: “The sound of little voices shouting ‘Oo, pull the switch!’”

Purple Blurb

On the same day as our Cambridge Science Festival event, Nick Montfort hosted “Adventuresome Creations: Interactive Fiction Graphical Adventures & Electronic Literature”, the final session of this spring’s Purple Blurb series. Our own Clara Fernández-Vara discussed the design of two of her games, Symon and Rosemary. Although Brian Moriarty of Infocom was scheduled to attend, he unfortunately could not make it to the session.

Grue Street

Several of us are currently pounding out games, so Jason McIntosh generously outsourced his home as the site for a Grue Street gathering on Sunday, June 12. The single condition for attending Grue Street is that you must have at least one “interactive situation” implemented that we can play and critique. During this particular Grue Street, no less than seven authors arrived with their works-in-progress! We hope to continue encouraging authors to create games with yet another Grue Street, but no additional plans have been made.