ChoiceBeat Zine #10

Issue #10 of ChoiceBeat: The Visual Novel and Interactive Fiction Zine is alive!

Download it on the ChoiceBeat website
Read it online

This is the only zine covering text-heavy, choice-heavy, narrative games from around the world! Thank you so much for reading and sharing!

Highlights Include…

Portal: A Computer Novel: This unique “interface novel” from 1986 represents an alternative evolutionary branch of interactive fiction design.

Choice of Games: Interviews with Choice of Games authors of Lies Under Ice and Hollywood Visionary.

Night Cascades: Lesbian detectives solve mysteries in an alternate history America where the Satanic Panic never ended.

Gamebooks Go Digital: The classic British gamebooks of the 1980s are being transformed into digital games in mass! How many different ways can you die on Firetop Mountain?

Also, we are always looking for contributions, news tips, and feedback. Let me know if there is something cool and noteworthy in the world of Interactive Fiction we should be talking about. Thank you again for your attention!


Copypasted from the CoG forum, with some additions:

This time we do have things that I hope the CoG community will be familiar with, and those that will hopefully get them to explore what’s outside of it, and the general IF community:

  1. Recaps of Hollywood Visionary and Lies Under Ice. Both authors are IF veterans, by the way, and should inspire some of the newcomers working on their WIPs here.
  2. Some gamebook stuff. Some of us here may have been exposed to these first. By the way, one of them got an Ink adaptation/remake.
  3. A shout-out to the parser (Inform 7) gang- this is indeed surprising, since this magazine tends to be very choice heavy, in particular Twine (and a dose of Choicescript).
  4. A sneak preview of Spring Thing 2024. After that spirited IFComp 2023, it’s interesting to see who and what will be there. Spoiler alert: there is at least one Choicescript game planned, Dragon of Steelthorne. This will be the first Choicescript game in 10 years, the last being 2014’s The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost.

What I’m predicting for Q2 2024:

  1. A sneak preview of IFComp 2024. Spoiler alert 2: I am already planning to put something on the table. But I can’t reveal much about it for now.

Thank you to the following:
Aaron Reed (Spring Thing organizer, Hollywood Visionary)
Joey Jones (Lies Under Ice, past year IFComp entrant)
Aletheia Knights (Choicebeat editor)
Everyone who has read the newsletter
and Keep up the good work!

I can’t call myself a veteran yet, after only one year since my very first post, but I hope this will inspire and encourage others to follow in their, and in my, footsteps.

I saw this earlier on the CoG forum, and thought that I’ll put this one up here as well.

Now that I’m active on both sides of the forums, I really have to do this, right?


It really is a great issue (and I’m not just saying because I’m in it). I enjoyed the Hollywood Visionary piece, the game was quite influential on my own thinking about design structures for long-form storygames and so I was glad to read more on it.


Terrific issue! Highlights for me were the interview with Aaron Reed, the review of Portal, and the gamebook adaptation rundown. Keep up the great work!


Thanks for the insight on the CoG side of the fence.


Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting!

The review of Portal was also an eye-opener for me. Here is an example of “interactive fiction” that isn’t about player control of the narrative at all. It’s about the player interacting with a structure (in this case, a database) to tease the narrative out of it. Interesting!