Yes, I've been running quiet for the past couple of months. I've been working away on various projects. But soon I will enter a season of furious public activity! While also still working away, because the projects aren't done yet.
First, as I recently posted, I will be at IndieCade to show off Seltani. That's Oct 23-25 in Los Angeles. Extra thanks to Carl Muckenhoupt (Baf of the fondly-remembered Baf's Guide) who will be helping me demo Seltani that weekend.
There's also an IF meetup on Saturday night at the IndieCade Night Games festival. I'll be attending that too.
The WordPlay festival of narrative games and IF is back in Toronto on Nov 7th. I'll be there, along with other stalwarts of the IF scene including Emily Short, Sam Barlow, Christine Love, and (our blog-host) Jason McIntosh.
(Is "stalwarts" an okay thing to call people? I don't always know.)
Let me also mention the Boston IF meetups (at MIT) on Oct 12 and Nov 11. Emily Short will be visiting for the November meeting.
Now the more exciting report: projects in progress.
I showed off a prototype of The Flashpaper War at Boston FIG a couple weeks back. That went great! My table didn't draw enormous crowds -- the perils of demoing a couple of meek ipads amid the hall's obstreperous beeping and flashing. But people kept sitting down and trying it... and when they tried it, they generally sat and read/played through several pages of interactive text. Amid all the beeping and flashing! So that's a good sign.
I must admit that Flashpaper is still only a prototype. (Although it's a much more polished prototype than it was before FIG!) The web page says "Coming later this year," and I intend to stick to that, but there's a lot of writing and adjusting to do before it's ready to go.
You may have seen that the new Apple TV is about to ship, and it will support third-party apps. I'm very excited about this; I've been working through the dev tools to see how it works. (Summary: very similar to iOS. No surprise there.)
I've just finished up a draft of Pocket Storm for Apple TV. Is this not the perfect fit? Push button -- soothing rainstorm audio in your living room. Or cricketsong and distant thunder, if you prefer. If all goes well, Pocket Storm will be among the first wave of apps available when the new TV box goes on sale.
(If you already own Pocket Storm for iOS, fear not -- you'll be able to download the Apple TV version for free! One purchase covers both platforms.)
(I know, "Pocket Storm" isn't the best name for a set-top box app. I couldn't think of anything better, I'm afraid. "Living Room Storm" is all wrong.)
So what else would make a good Apple TV app? I'm thinking that Hadean Lands is probably not ideal. The UI is not built for text input, and while you could attach a Bluetooth keyboard, most users won't. So parser-based IF is probably not going to fly. (Flashpaper, on the other hand... we'll see.)
I'm also taking a look at Meanwhile. I'll have to see how the UI works with a remote control, and of course I'll have to consult with Jason Shiga about it. But it could be sweet.
That's all for now. Keep an eye on this blog for things shipping. I'm eager to get to the shipping part.
Comments imported from Gameshelf
Jay LaPorte (Nov 29, 2015 at 12:35 PM):
This is not intended to be a jab—so please don't take it as a jab—but is The Flashpaper War still targeting this year? "Interactive Fiction in a New Style" are big words to say, but you have a history of innovating the field, so I've been excited to see it! :)
Andrew Plotkin (Nov 30, 2015 at 12:41 AM):
I'm glad you asked!
Okay, I'm not glad you asked, because the answer is "no". Sigh. But it's a question that needed to be asked.
I have been snowed under by side projects and travel preparations, and Flashpaper has not gotten the attention it needed. So I've pushed it back a few months. (I need to update the teaser page.)
I'll try to make another "what Zarf is up to" post later this week.