Interactive Fiction Writing Month

What is this, and Why?
How do I participate?
Helpful links!
Submitted Stories

What is interactive fiction?

It's like a video game without all that pesky video. Or a Choose Your Own Aventure novel, with fewer paper cuts. Actually, it's way better than either of those things, but I'm going to link you to the Wikipedia article instead of rewriting it here. Basically, Interactive Fiction (hereafter referred to as "IF") is a form of story that unfolds as a "game" on a computer, through simple text commands like "take boat" or "ask dinosaur about boat." It could involve quests and puzzle solving (hence the alternate name for the genre, "Text Adventures"), but it equally well could not. Classic titles in the latter category include "Galatea," "The Space Under the Window," and "Aisle."

What is Interactive Fiction Writing Month?

IF Month is a loosely-organized set of tasks assigned one per week for four weeks, from February 15 to March 15, 2009, hopefully coupled with a few informal live discussion sessions (location-dependent, of course). The goal is to get a group of participants familiar enough with the Inform language to produce some simple games, and to promote discourse on game design in general through the medium of IF.

Why interactive fiction?

I'm interested in writing IF because I'd like to explore the issue of game design, but I have neither the time nor skill to make a "full" video game, and because I enjoy playing IF more than most other kinds of game. I think you could be interested in IF for the same reasons, or some of the following reasons:
You enjoy logic puzzles.
You want to write a story, but a linear structure just isn't working for you.
You appreciate IF aesthetically for its minimalism, or because it is retro-cool.
You just want to learn a new skill or make some new friends, and hey, this is as good a chance as any.

Why Inform 6?

Inform is an incredibly beginner-friendly language designed solely for creating text adventures. I'm recommending the 6th edition instead of the most recent edition because the documentation and tutorials for Inform 6 are excellent. Some people may prefer Inform 7 for its natural language approach to coding, which can be less intimidating to non-programmers. You are allowed to use whatever you like, as long as you produce Z code that the rest of us can play.

Whose idea is this, anyway?

Yours; you just don't know it yet. However, I'm your friendly host, and I'm Lea.