Interactive fiction

I have been involved in playing, creating, or supporting interactive fiction for most of my life. I created the Interactive Fiction MUD, an early online gathering place for the community, and have written or cowritten many hypertext or parser-based stories. I also help run the non-profit Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation which supports many popular IF programs, including the annual Interactive Fiction Competition.

The Windrift logo

I publish hypertext interactive fiction using my open source framework Windrift, which allows for rich user interfaces and experimentation. There are many example stories in the manual and in the Windrift Playground.

Harmonia (2017)

An interactive mystery, playable in a web browser, about utopian ideals and bookish delights.

Harmonia is one of those rare pieces of interactive fiction where the author has woven a unified experience out of crosshatched decisions in writing and systems design, with the weft amplifying and supporting the warp.

Bennett Foddy, designer of QWOP

Best Use of Innovation and Best Use of Multimedia, 2017 XYZZY Awards. Finalist for Best Story and Best Implementation. Third place, 2017 Interactive Fiction Competition.

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Image like a 19th century postcard of a large house, with a tear at the bottom. The word Harmonia is in handwriting.

Stone harbor (2016)

An interactive detective story, playable in a web browser. Interview about the development of the piece with Emily Short. Source code. Portuguese translation by José Carlos Dias.

Fourth place, 2016 Interactive Fiction Competition, and finalist for three 2016 XYZZY Awards including Best Writing.

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The title Stone Harbor over a picture of a beach in shadow

The Ballroom (2019)

A two-tone image of a chandelier with the words The Ballroom Liza Daly

Modifying something that seems trivial can overturn the whole chain of events, adding entire stretches of paragraph to the page and radically changing the existing ones. — Interactive Licktion review

A short “mutable story” in which a complete narrative is always present but can be manipulated by the player in sometimes surprising ways.

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Best in the Back Garden audience ribbon, Spring Thing 2019 festival

First Draft of the Revolution (2012)

A piece of parchment and some glowing text that says Rewrite This

A marvel—an exploration of the space between the mind and the page the likes of which I’ve never experienced. — Kotaku

An interactive epistolary story I commissioned from Emily Short. I worked on the design and implementation with inkle (80 Days, Heaven’s Vault)

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Emily Short‘s design notes

Best Use of Innovation, 2013 XYZZY Awards.