No Time To Play

Weekly Links #91

by on Oct.11, 2015, under News

Welcome, everyone, to another short week. I’d complain again about the usual stuff but you’re probably tired of hearing it. The big thing is of course the Interactive Fiction Competition, but I won’t cover it — plenty of mainstream outlets are taking care of that. Suffice to say, Emily Short thinks it’s the strongest edition ever, and that’s a huge compliment.

(Also it’s worth noting that Twine is powering the most entries this year, and nobody’s bitter about it for a change. Let’s hope the peace lasts.)

But frankly I’m more excited about the next big event this autumn. Set to start in less than a month, the Procedural Generation Jam is once again calling for participants, and organizer Michael Cook writes about his expectations. What can I say? I understand the sentiment, but the truth is I got into procedural generation for two reasons: one, because it allows me to express game content as code, which comes naturally to me as a programmer, and two, because that way I can actually play my own games, rather than knowing all the maps by heart.

(And yes, programming can be natural. Programming is a species of mathematics, and mathematics is a language for describing the natural world. So there’s no real contradiction.)

But don’t worry, hand-crafted worlds and stories aren’t going anywhere. Over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun we have a top of the best RPG worlds, while Hardcore Gaming 101 posts a retrospective of the Gabriel Knight games — both of them good reminders that quality writing makes a real difference. Which is especially meaningful to point out when literary games are all the rage these days.

But I’ve run out of content again. See you next week.

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