Wow... sorry it's been so long without posting! Life has been pretty crazy. I've started grad school and, well, legends speak of those who go down that path. They are never heard from again...
Anyway, I'm writing because the Windhammer Prize is mid-stream, and if somehow you've been living under a rock and haven't noticed, you should absolutely head on over there to check it out. There's 14 brilliant works of short interactive fiction, and if you read them before Oct 30, you can vote on your favorites!
Go. Go now: http://www.arborell.com/windhammer_prize.html
I've always enjoyed Windhammer because of the innovation it shows, and from what I've managed to glance at so far, this year is no exception. As my past blog posts show, I'm very interested in innovation in gamebooks, and I regret that I haven't taken the time to get more involved in some of the very cool discussions going on in the blogosphere this year about innovation in interactive fiction.
That said, I do hope that I'll be able to show some of my own ideas about innovation in interactive fiction in my own current works. More on that later.
Which leads me into a difficult explanation about a difficult decision...
As you have no doubt noticed, despite being a three-time Windhammer Merit Award winner, my name is not on the list of entrants. It wasn't easy for me to restrain myself from taking the time and energy to write up a new submission for this years contest, especially since I was bursting with ideas about what I could do. But at the end of the day, it just didn't make sense, for three reasons.
First, I feel like I've done my time. I've won a merit award the last three years running. If I were going to win first place, I would have done it by now. Winning another merit award would feel anticlimactic at this point. And if I didn't win at all, that would just be sad. At this point, it's time for me to step aside and make room for some of the other talented authors in this space.
Second, I've gotten what I needed to out of the contest. My successes in Windhammer have helped me get recognized by the community and landed me some truly incredible writing opportunities. What I needed from this contest was a leg up into the community, an opportunity to prove myself and gain some credibility. I've done that. Now, if I want to keep moving up, I have to follow through with the real-world writing opportunities that Windhammer has helped me get to.
Third, and possibly most important, now that I've been offered some incredible writing opportunities, I feel like I need to prioritize working on those. I'm working on two interactive novels and an android game, as well as some side projects of my own. All of these people are expecting me to produce, and though the time scales are flexible, I'm in grad school. I only have so much bandwidth to put toward this, and it's time for me to put my money where my mouth is and actually come out with some of this stuff. At this point, definitely more important to work toward completing professional projects rather than submitting yet another Windhammer entry, no matter how much I enjoy them.
On the plus side, I do feel very optimistic about the projects I'm working on. It's frustrating that they're moving more slowly than I would like, but now that the school year is in full swing, I'm definitely hitting my writing groove. Stay tuned.
I'm going to try and get this blog started regularly again, posting my thoughts about the Windhammer entries (once the voting is done!), more gamebook theory, and updates about interactive fiction products and authors, as well as information about my own works as they come along.
If you have anything you'd like me to post about, a project you're working on that you want to promote, or a recent release you'd like me to review, feel free to let me know!