m. c. de marco: To invent new life and new civilizations...

I found Killing Hitler With Praise And Fire on a list of grown-up CYOA at Goodreads and, though the ratings there were uninspiring, I followed a link to Amazon and checked out those reviews as well. Most of the positive reviews mentioned the novelty and nostalgia of finding a modern CYOA book. Other opinions ranged from “meh” to negative, with one interesting “review” in which the reviewer said nothing about the book except that it was not this “book”.

Note: it’s not available on Kindle.

Scree 3.0.3

I’ve updated Scree, my Scrivener template for writing hyperfiction with Twine/Twee, to work with Scrivener 3. Scrivener 3 is Mac-only right now, but there’s the usual free 30-day-total trial for new and Scrivener 2 users. The most notable improvement for Twine writing is that Scrivener 3 can now do automatic post-processing after compiling, plus it offers to open the resulting HTML story file for you.

You can still use the old template on Windows or in Scrivener 2 for Mac.

The Interactive Fiction Writers Conference is going on live today. You can still register and play back the earlier sessions or join the current one. We got to play some cool multiplayer choice fiction over Telegram in an earlier session, and won!

I’ve been working on updating Scree to Scrivener 3, using a trial version that’s currently at version 3.0.3. The latest Scrivener has lots of options, including one that can post-process text files on the command line (as long as you don’t have the sandboxed Mac App Store version of Scrivener) as part of the compile process, which means no more hacky UI scripting for me.

But there are bigger fish to fry in Scrivener 3, such as possibly leaving Twee/Scree altogether for a more direct hyperfiction writing process involving Scrivener internal document links or a non-Twine, pandoc-based CYOA format, or both.

I fell down an internet hole and found this Twine Garden via this Twine gardener.

I set up an Amazon author page a while back.

The Gamebook Adventurer posted yesterday about how to combine Four Against Darkness with Dungeons & Dragons: Four Against Dungeons & Dragons.

Myrmex 1.3.1

Myrmex, one of my JavaScript implementations of solitaire games for the Decktet, suffers from an iOS 11.3 scrolling bug that’s going around all the drag-and-drop libraries. I’ve done a bit of hacking around the issue for the moment and made a beta version 1.3.1 for anyone actually having issues. (You’d know it immediately if you were.)

The reason it’s only in beta is that the hack will break older browsers in the process of fixing newer ones, and there’s still some hope that Apple will fix the bug on their end.

Paloma 1.1.1

A couple of NaNoWriMos ago I mentioned that I’d made a Twine 2 replacement for the popular scrolling/stretchtext story format Jonah from Twine 1. I didn’t port Jonah itself; instead I based Paloma on Chris Klimas' minimalist Twine 2 story format Snowman. At the time I also threatened to backport Paloma to Twine 1, which I apparently did soon afterwards, as well as tossing in some special passages (versions 1.0.1 and 1.1.0).

Today’s version, 1.1.1, fixes an iPhone < 6 issue involving tiny fonts on tiny screens.

Aucteraden 1.1

My JavaScript implementation of Jack Neal’s Decktet solitaire game Aucteraden has been slightly updated.

Aucteraden 1.0

Aucteraden is yet another JavaScript implementation of a Decktet solitaire game, along with a scoresheet (for playing with actual cards) and an interactive rules summary. It features offline play, undo, variants (both intentionally created by the author as well as accidentally invented by users), rule and card stats popups, and a black moons option.

Aucteraden was devised by Jack Neal; see the credits for more links. The source code is available at BitBucket.

Boskone on the Cheap

In my previous post about Boskone 55, I forgot to mention that once again you can try the convention out for free for Friday afternoon from 2pm to 6pm, which includes a couple of the panels I’m on: “My Favorite Game” at 3pm and “Revisiting Big Dumb Objects” at 4pm. The full free schedule is online.

Magnate Roller 1.1.1

Magnate Roller has been brushed up to version 1.1.1, now with clearer rules for playing with the dice, since Peter and I are continuing our trend of getting wrong things you never thought you could get wrong with the rules right in front of you.

Boskone 55

Boskone 55 is coming up like a freight train! In about a week (February 16–18, 2018) fans will gather in Boston for New England’s longest-running science fiction and fantasy convention. You can find out more about Boskone at The Boskone Blog, Twitter, Facebook, and the Boskone website.

I’m on the schedule for Boskone, where I’ll be talking about games, Big Dumb Objects, medicine, fanfiction, and filk.

A Brief History of BDOs

Via reddit: Today’s Big Dumb Object (BDO) story is a non-fiction recap of the genre, “A Brief History of the Big Dumb Object Story in Science Fiction” by James Davis Nicoll at Tor. He thinks “the heyday of the BDO seems to be over,” because of the zeitgeist or the stock plots—I would say it’s the difficulty of fitting a human-sized story to an inhuman-sized setting—and he laments the lack of women writing BDO stories, though the commenters come up with plenty of recent examples, one of them even female.

Myrmex 1.3

Happy new year!

Myrmex is one of my JavaScript implementations of solitaire games for the Decktet. The latest version, 1.3, now autosaves and has some additional options you can check out in the settings. Myrmex is set up to play offline and/or save to your iDevice home screen.

Many thanks to Myrmex’s devisor, both for Myrmex itself and for beta testing version 1.3.

Magnate Roller 1.1

Magnate Roller has been updated to version 1.1, now with a rules cheat-sheet, since in our first game Peter and I managed to get wrong almost every possible thing you could get wrong, despite the rules being open right in front of me. (It didn’t help that I’d found both an old version of the rules and a new one, and it was apparently the old version that I still had open.)

Magnate Roller 1.0

I got some stacking counters to use for suit chips for Decktet games, but when I went to play Magnate, I couldn’t find my old D&D dice. So I made a little tool to roll for me: Magnate Roller. I used Vue.js just in case I ever decide to expand it into the full game.

Peter and I tied our first game (including tying on the tie-breaker).

Myrmex 1.2

Myrmex is one of my JavaScript implementations of Decktet games. The new version, 1.2, is slightly less buggy than the previous, unannounced versions, so you should just be able to play without obvious bugs. (If you do experience a bug, the solution is to save the game with the Save button, then restore it immediately with the Resume button.) Myrmex is also set up so you can play it offline and/or save it to your iDevice home screen.

DotGraph 2.1.0

I used DotGraph during this NaNoWriMo, and besides my intermittent minor updates (to 2.0.5 and 2.0.6), I made some semi-major changes now dubbed DotGraph 2.1.0. The new version lets you trace a word or phrase though your story, and also lets you pass your desired DotGraph settings in using the StorySettings special passage.