sub-Q Magazine wants you!

Last month we launched sub-Q, an interactive magazine for interactive fiction. Since our launch in August, we’ve been bringing together IF creators and literary authors to bring IF to more readers and make them as obsessed with it as we are.

We want your F/SF, horror, and mystery stories! And we need them. WE NEED THEM REAL BAD.

You may have some questions…

If you have more questions, feel free to ping me here or use our contact form.

We look forward to seeing what you do!

Trust me, this is a brilliant opportunity.

Behold this bump!

We are up and running and accepting submissions! sub-Q pays authors and developers for original work and reprints made in any of the various IF tools out there.

We are primarily looking for works of speculative fiction (fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or genre-bending) but are open to seeing what you’ve got. You can find out more about sub-Q by checking out our submission guidelines.

We are hungry for submissions. So hungry. Dang near starving.

Expect another bump in November after IF Comp. We want to bring more eyeballs to work that might miss out on awards.

Thanks for your time, and looking forward to seeing your work!

How does the word limit work for parser IF? Is it based on the word count of a typical playthrough, or the number of words within double-quotes in your source file, or the number of words of printable text in the entire game (including default library responses and such)?

Sub-Q.jpgIn my defence, I have not yet clicked the “why is it called Sub-Q” yet.

Okay now I clicked on it. I like my version better. Also I did not goof with any text at all, that was really on there.

Might be sending you some Inform stuff sometime. :3

Draconis - Good question. We define word count as the count of all words written by you (per unique sentence, so disregarding any repetition) that could be displayed to the reader as part of the narrative. So all branching paths, alternate endings, etc. count. However default library responses/help text/end credits/source code/stylesheets do not.

That said, unfortunately our budget limits the number of words we can buy! So we’re looking for pretty short and sweet IF stories right now.

WesLesley - I like your version better, and, frankly, it doesn’t make LESS sense…

Please do send Inform stuff! We’d love, love, love to publish some parser fic.

Not sure we’re right for you? We’re open to proposals AND reprints.

Hope this helps. We’d love to see what you do.

I see. One more question then: if I use an extension which I created, does that text count against my word limit? E.g. I have an extension called Distant Movement which prints things like “You set out toward the garage…” when the player types GO TO GARAGE. That’s text written by me, and it is to some extent part of the story, but it’s not written specifically for this one story. (Sorry to split hairs like this, I like to know the restrictions when I begin a project.)

It sounds like (I’m inferring from the previous comments) that repeated system messages don’t count. “You set out toward the Garage. You set out toward the Parking Lot. You set out toward the Pyramid of Giza”…repeated system messages aren’t going to inflate word count, but normal one-off story text will. Perhaps it’s a matter of the system message prose might go toward word count once?

AFK but will respond in detail soon. Knee-jerk response is programmatically generated content counts once; repetition is covered by interactivity rate. See submissions page for details and breakdowns.

It’s new media so there will be many edge cases. Disputes about what constitutes a “word” will be resolved in good faith

Hope this helps.

Sounds good to me. Just want to make sure I don’t overshoot the limit accidentally.

Very cool. And FWIW the word counts are a general guideline, not a hard/deal-breaking limit.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing what you do!

sub-Q is on Planet IF which is good, but sub-Q’s password protected posts being on Planet IF is not. Is there a way they could be filtered out?

Heard, agreed, and no problem. Have removed the password-protected puzzle category from the news feed, which Planet IF uses. Will apply going forward. Enjoy!

Awesome thanks! I didn’t expect it to be that easy :slight_smile:

Heh heh! Sometimes I draw a long straw.

I’m intrigued. However, based on my latest check of an Inform 7 WIP, 3500 words would indeed be a pretty small game.

although now that I think about it, maybe it’s not exactly “flash fiction” small. Much of the wordcount in my source code is rules and subroutines that the player never sees, and many players read room/item descriptions only once, if at all. It’s like an iceberg, most of it is underwater. I’m always astonished when I spend hours implementing rooms with scenery and descriptions, and then it takes me ten minutes to play through, and the world still seems too thin.

I suppose for a linear Twine game where most of the words are seen by the player, 3500 words would seem to be plenty. That is middling-longish for a magazine story in static form.

Note that the only words that should be counted are actual content that can be seen by the player. The word count in the results page of the I7 IDE includes the code in that count, which isn’t accurate to what sub-Q means by word count.

Copying what Sequitur said.

sub-Q has a script for finding Twine word count (Twine does a good job of separating prose from markup, but the script finds a few more.) Unfortunately we don’t have such a thing for Inform. I’d like to dig into it at some point, but I haven’t had the chance yet.

3500 words of reader experience is a sweet spot for short stories.

Hope this helps. Would very much like to see more parser fic submitted.

Actually, here’s a quick and dirty script that extracts all of the quoted text from a source file and produces a word count. It was written to do this for the coffeescript in Raconteur projects, but should probably work with Inform source code files too because it ignores single quotes (My practice is to write actual text in double quotes, identifiers such as situation names in single quotes). This is very quick and dirty so you’ll have to edit in the file names and so on. It’s meant to be run by Node.

Very cool! Thank you, Sequitur. I’ll add a link to this to sub-Q’s FAQ.