We're hugely excited to be able to announce that inkle will be teaming up with UK games' legend, Ian Livingstone, at the Games Britannia festival this July. Games Britannia is a week-long festival of workshops, talks and competitions aimed at getting schoolchildren interested in videogames and we're going to be there with inklewriter helping kids turn Ian's classic Fighting Fantasy book The Warlock of Firetop Mountain into slick and modern interactive fiction.
<!--more-->We couldn't really be happier about this: it's just a bucketful of win. Ian Livingstone is one of the leading figures in the UK games industry, known for the Fighting Fantasy series, which along with the Infocom games was my personal introduction to interactive stories and games in general; also known for the Tomb Raider games which, along with Prince of Persia, was my introduction to 3D gaming...
And Games Britannia is a great thing too: having worked in games, I'm fully conscious of the difficulties of getting new talent into the industry. I've done several careers' events in the past and always had trouble answering that most simple of questions: "How do I get started?" The answer is, like most creative industries, to have a showreel, but while artists can make animations, and coders can make software, it can be hard for designers to find a way in. It's not always easy to even explain exactly what a designer does. (The answer: everything, and nothing.)
Events like Games Britannia can give interested school-kids a taste of what the games industry is like, and an idea of what they can do now to start learning the skills and building a portfolio which might eventually take them through the doors of Rockstar, Rare, Sumo or Climax. It can get kids talking about games, designing games, even coding games.
We're super-chuffed that inklewriter can take its small place in all that. As a non-linear writing tool, it's about creating flow-diagrams without creating flow-diagrams, it's about turning player decisions into narrative, and creating cause-and-effect. It's about thinking in a non-linear way without worrying about naming your variables or learning to script. It's about no-setup, no-fuss, make, test and share of stories.
It's also going to be a great chance for us to see the tool in action, and get that essential user-feedback that will help us turn it from a great tool into an excellent one.
So, roll on July!