Oxford/London Meetup in 2018

The Oxford/London IF Meetup is putting together a cool selection of craft and design talks as well as tool workshops for next year — starting with a talk on story and mechanics from me in January, and a workshop on using ink with Unity in February.

Later in the year, we’re also looking at doing workshops in Ren’Py and Tracery, design talks and post-mortems from the creators of some very cool commercial and hobbyist IF, parser-IF and choice-IF coverage, networking for people interested in doing paid interactive narrative work, and of course our annual session of playing IF Comp games together.

This is a bit of a step up from previous years, but we can afford to be more ambitious about London events in 2018 because we have a new, regular venue: Karlien Van Den Beukel is kindly hosting us at London South Bank University.

Work has me traveling a lot these days, so I am looking for support in a couple of areas to keep Meetups running regularly.

  • volunteer co-hosts for London events in 2018 (multiple). Co-hosts promise to come to one or more specific events, do announcements, introduce the speaker, close the meeting again afterward, usher folks on to the pub at the end, and be on hand in case any issues arise. This is a limited time expenditure (mainly the event itself, and you can volunteer for as few as one). But it is a position of trust — please volunteer only if you’re committed, and willing to chat with me first about how we keep Meetups safe and welcoming.

  • volunteer A/V assistant. I get requests to record our talks and make them available to people beyond London, but I don’t have equipment or experience with this. If we have someone who can take responsibility for recording and uploading talks, I’ll figure out which of our speakers are open to having their presentations captured.

  • workshop presenter on an IF tool (other than ink, Ren’Py, and Tracery) in Oxford. Time of year is open, but I’m looking especially at early March, May or October, as students would be around. I’m in conversations with an Oxford maker-space that might host. This role pays an honorarium; if you’re new to running tool workshops, I’m also happy to offer coaching and suggestions.

If any of that sounds like you, please drop me a line at emshortif@gmail.com.

Our next event will be in London on March 7, with Greg Buchanan speaking about IF, indie, and AAA games writing:

"Greg Buchanan presents a talk on ‘breaking in’ to professional game writing through a retrospective look at his work over the last two years in interactive fiction and the wider field of indie and AAA games.

Although the talk (and Q&A) will touch on professional “breaking in” advice, it will more focus upon questions of craft and how professional work benefits and challenges a writer’s development. It will discuss different, less immediately glamorous kinds of game writing; constraints, both in terms of process and time; collaboration with non-writers; and how to improve and hone your craft when you hit the reality of deadlines and project scope."

If you’d like to join us, meetup details are here: meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 247456174/

Meanwhile, Queer Code London will be hosting a workshop on graphical applications of Twine, March 17, which is cosponsored by us: meetup.com/Queer-Code-Londo … 247025468/

Next up, April 18 in London, we have Joseph Humfrey of inkle studios talking about beautiful text presentation. (Learn from the best!)

meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 245986151/

And as mentioned above, Queer Code London will be hosting a workshop on graphical applications of Twine, March 17, which is cosponsored by us: meetup.com/Queer-Code-Londo … 247025468/

In May, we’ve got a couple of workshops lined up – one of these is already full, but the other is a workshop on Tracery and Twitterbots, for people interested in procedural text generation. That’s May 19: meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 245664139/

And then June 9, Graham will be speaking about progress on Inform: meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 245986295/

Can you or anybody else who attended the meetup give us some insight/summary on the future of Inform? Thanks!


Graham has said he’ll be posting his slides and text in the next few days; I’ll link when that happens.

…and that talk with slides interspersed is now available here: emshort.com/ifmu/inform.html

Please thank Graham for giving this excellent talk and for posting the slides. Great stuff!

Have done, jkj, thanks!

At our next event, Wednesday, July 4, Leigh Alexander speaks about the narrative design of Reigns: Her Majesty. meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 245967516/

Yes. Thank Graham for the incredible presentation. What an intellect!


Wow, amazing report about Inform!! Just perfect for newbies like me.
Thanks a lot, @Emshort

Awesome, I’m really glad to read that Inform 7 report!

Sept 8, we’re hearing from Jon Ingold and Joey Jones (and possibly one other person, still working on confirming that) about puzzle post-mortems: meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 254173493/

October, per tradition, we have a meetup to play through games submitted to IF Comp, with a special focus on ones written by members of our group. I’m still getting the venue confirmed for that event, but it will definitely happen.

And here’s the date and venue information for the group play of IF Comp games — that will be October 6 at LSBU. meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 245968205/

Our next meetup will be January 19, where Flo Minuzzi of Tea-Powered Games and I will each speak about Conversation as Gameplay, talking about mechanically-rich dialogue. As usual for us lately, this will be in London at LSBU. The event is free, and is followed by drinks at the nearby pub, where you can get to know fellow IF Meetup folks.

meetup.com/Oxford-and-Londo … 257658533/ contains the signup information.