Last night I stopped in at the People’s Republic of IF Zoom club. This is a local IF club in Boston, organized by my old boss (Angela Chang at the Media Lab), that for years I’ve had too much impostor syndrome to attend. Now that I’m living in Germany, it’s trickier to attend because time zones are trickier– I’m six hours ahead, and the meetings are scheduled after normal working hours on a weekday in Boston. So I have to stay up well past midnight. Since my partner and I both work with people in the US, our sleep schedules are complicated.

I grew up playing text adventures, and always wanted to make one, but have never made a solo IF work for a competition. The one IFComp I did had three collaborators, and we spent more time arguing with each other than anything else! (The final version, IIRC, was primarily Thomas Mack taking over the project and getting it finished after trying to design by consensus was paralyzing.) Then once I had more spare time, I got into graphical adventure games, which make more money. I’m finally beginning to make IF again; primarily to hone my narrative design skills and prototype a narrative game without having to worry about aesthetics. This means I can focus on mechanics and dialogue and create new NPCs quickly, rather than worry about the overhead of character design and animation.

The meetup was fun. :) I got to hang out with cool people with similar interests, talk about my own work, get some recommendations for other games, and get some perspective.