No Time To Play
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Weekly Links #91

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.

For my taste this is the best IF Comp in 21 years of comp history. Such variety and color; so many authors doing their best work yet.

— Emily Short (@emshort) October 8, 2015

(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.