Would you like to take part in an interactive fiction group discussion?

Would you like to chat with other interaction fiction people— for science?

I’m Joey Jones, a regular here. You might know me from works like Sub Rosa, Trials of the Thief-Taker or the forthcoming Lies Under Ice. In recent years I’ve been working on a PhD in interactive narrative at the University of Southampton.

Last year, I began Part 1 of a study where I spoke with several interactive fiction authors about their design process. I was particularly interested in how large projects are authored, with a focus on managing scope and combinatorial explosion: writing content for an interactive system where there’s a lot to write. This sometimes gets called the ‘authorial burden’. Since then I’ve gone away and reflected on what the authors told me… and this brings us to Part 2, where you might come in.

As the second part of this study, I am going to be hosting three group discussions with interactive fiction writers. I’ll share my current understanding of the ‘authorial burden’ (it’ll be a page worth of content, which can be read beforehand, but which I will also explain concisely at the start of the discussion), and then we can discuss what I’ve got right or wrong in your experience. It’ll be an opportunity to talk about craft with other authors, as well as contribute to the academic understanding of interactive narrative. Each discussion will last no more than an hour with 3-4 participants.

How do you sign up? Email (j.d.jones@soton.ac.uk) or PM me here with one or more of the following slots. If it’s not full, I will send you the participant information, consent forms, and virtual Teams video-call link for one of the times.

  • Saturday 25th November 4pm GMT / 11am EST
  • Monday 27th November 7pm GMT / 2pm EST
  • Tuesday 28th November 7pm GMT / 2pm EST

If none of the slots work for you, let me know and you can enter the reserve pool for a fourth discussion. Feel free to post here or in private if you have any other questions. Previous participants are very welcome (but are not obligated) to take part. To take part, you need to be a writer or designer of interactive stories, so if you think that this includes you it probably does.


We still have a handful of slots open on next Saturday and a week on Tuesday if anyone is interested.