NarraScope 2019 -- an IF conference in Boston

For the past several months, we’ve been talking internally about hosting an IF conference. “We” being IFTF, current managers of IFComp, the IF Archive, etc.

Your early announcement: ! To be held June 14-16, 2019, probably at MIT (Cambridge, MA).

Our plans are not yet solid, so we’re not opening registration yet. We will be opening a call for talk proposals soon, so keep an eye out for that.

Not sure what’s going on that weekend, but nearly every hotel is sold out or $300+ per night.

Program Items

These are the talk and panels currently scheduled for NarraScope.

(Note: exact times have not yet been scheduled. This list is subject to change between now and conference time, because things can happen.)

  • All The World’s A Screen: How Improv and Playwriting Can Inform Digital Narrative – Aaron Zemach
  • Coming Soon in Inform 7 – Graham Nelson
  • Designing Games That Listen – David Kuelz
  • Dinosaurs, Podcasters, and Wake Words, Oh My!: The Narrative Design of Earplay’s Jurassic World Revealed – Heather Albano
  • Engineering Empathy – Dave Gilbert
  • Integrating and Assessing Interactive Design through Interactive Fiction using Ink – Taylor Howard, Rachel Donley
  • Introduction to JavaScript for IF authors – Claire Furkle
  • Location-based Gaming: Writing for the Real World – Austin Auclair
  • Making Horror: Hacking the Brain In Games – Ian Thomas
  • The Math Behind the Drama: Writing IF like a Pop Song – Katherine Morayati
  • Mathematics Through Narrative – Mike Spivey
  • Narrative Immersion in Escape Room Games – Laura E. Hall
  • Player Will Remember This – Why Dialogue Systems Make or Break Player Engagement – Julius Kuschke
  • Plotting: How Save the Cat Can Save Your Game – Amanda Gardner
  • Queer Stories in Videogames: A Performance – Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer
  • Tiny Screens, Big Stories: Narrative Design in Mobile Games – Caroline Guevara
  • Twine: Past, Present, Future – Chris Klimas
  • What Digital Storygames Can Learn From Analog Storygames – Aaron A. Reed
  • Worldbuilding Out of Bounds – Jess Haskins
  • Writing Gender in Historical Narratives – Rebecca Slitt
  • Writing Within the Lines: Designing IF Without Scope Creep – Cat Manning

Panels and roundtables:

  • Consent and Continuity: Writing Interactive Romance – Rebecca Slitt et al
  • Cragne Manor Postmortem – Mike Spivey and many Cragnites
  • Dissecting The Bandersnatch With A Vorpal Blade: What Netflix’s Choose Your Own Adventure Got Right And Got Wrong – Heather Albano, Mary Duffy, Jason Stevan Hill, Emily Short, Ian Thomas
  • How Telltale designed tools for Efficient Narrative Development – Zacariah Litton, Carl Muckenhoupt
  • Meet the IFTF Board – Jason McIntosh, Andrew Plotkin, Judith Pintar, Chris Klimas, Liza Daly
  • Narrative Intelligence in Interactive Storytelling – Chris Martens, Brian Magerko
  • Narrative on the Smartphone Screen: Writing for Interactive Story Games – Toiya Kristen Finley et al
  • You Are Standing in a Classroom…: Meet the IFTF Education Committee – Judith Pintar et al

Lightning talks:

  • Multiplayer Interactive Fiction: Technical and Authorial Challenges – Mark Baumann
  • Making Failure Fun: Moving Beyond Success-Based Dynamics in Narrative Design – Ian Michael Waddell
  • Sensory Details and Engaging the Player’s Imagination – Toiya Kristen Finley
  • Write Short! – Ben Schneider

And also:

  • Conversations
  • Lunches
  • Seeing new and in-progress work
  • Getting excited about that project you put aside
  • Helping to figure out how to run a new interactive story conference
  • Maybe a singalong
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Late addition to the schedule:

  • Modernising and Opening: Inform for the 2020s – Graham Nelson

I registered for the conference and hoped to attend. Unfortunately, I cannot make the trip.

Will the presentations be recorded and archived?

Thank you,

Karsten Feyerabend of articy Software has volunteered to record some of the talks. (With the permission of the speakers, of course.) He can’t cover the entire conference, but we should be able to get a selection of the talks online. We’ll let you know the details as we work them out.


Thank you very much for the update.

It is going to be an incredible conference. I am very sorry that I am going to be unable to attend.

I am most interested in the Inform update by Graham Nelson and Emily Short. Hopefully their presentations, or a summary will be posted here.

Thank you again,

Emily Short most certainly will blog even if there isn’t a video made.

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Registration for NarraScope closes tomorrow night!

Can I ask how many people registered? On the IFTF blog it said you were hoping to sell out, but it didn’t sound like that actually happened?

We wound up with about 240.

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I looked at the schedule. What an amazing lineup.

Narrascope is happening RIGHT NOW.

Great images and reports going up on Twitter under hashtag #narrascope. If you can’t be there, live vicariously through social media!


Neato poster at Narrascope!


I will get this data up on the web site in a more readable form. But not tonight. :)