Template:State of the Scene 2013

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It's a thriving time for interactive fiction right now. An explosion of new platforms and forms have arrived on the scene in the last few years. Varytale and inkle let writers create typographically gorgeous CYOA-style stories; StoryNexus makes more procedurally assembled, stats-based worlds that unfold slowly across weeks of play. Andrew Plotkin's Seltani is a web-based multiplayer ecosystem for easily creating living worlds, while Versu (co-created by Emily Short) is driven by complex AI for stories about character and social interactions. Existing platforms for interactive storytelling like ChoiceScript and Twine have become increasingly popular, rediscovered by new groups of makers and increasingly receiving recognition in the wider indie gaming world. 2012 XYZZY winner howling dogs by Porpentine was a 2013 IndieCade selection, while the prior year's festival featured Christine Love's Analogue: A Hate Story, a text-driven visual novel.

Of course, parser-based IF is still thriving, too. Quest now has a web-based authoring and distribution platform for text adventures, while Playfic provides a similar service for Inform 7 games, and TADS 3 authors can now make use of robust networking capabilities. The Vorple library lets authors interface with Parchment and JavaScript code to create beautiful interfaces or multimedia content for IF. Community projects like Apollo 18+20: The IF Tribute Album or the continuously evolving IF roguelike Kerkerkruip bring authors and players together online, while meetup groups like Boston's People's Republic of Interactive Fiction and San Francisco's SF Bay Area Interactive Fiction Group provide real-life chances to connect and introduce text games to new crowds. Annual competitions from IF Comp to Spring Thing and IntroComp are still going strong, and a few favorite IF authors have returned to the scene (try Adam Cadre's Endless, Nameless).

In short, it's a great time to be writing IF!