Helsinki Worldcon 75


Naturally I forgot to ask this in a timely manner, but here goes in case anyone happens to notice it(directed at our good folk at COG):

Do you mind if I bother you at Worldcon or are you too busy? I’d be interested in talking about Hosted Games, in particular about the one I’m in the process of creating.

If you’re open to the idea, how should I go about it? Just say hi at some arbitrary time, or would a small meetup be possible?


lol of course you can say hi; I posted this so that we could organize some sort of meet-up if anyone was actually here.

I’m sitting outside 204 at the moment, waiting to get in to the Economics panel in 40 minutes. Come say hi!


Heh, thanks for the offer. Unfortunately I had to leave for the day already. I’ll be back tomorrow, though(every day, actually), so I’ll definitely say hi at some point. If you have some spare time at some point, be sure to post about it(or send me a message) so I can use the opportunity.

Besides, I’ll likely be listening to some of the panels you’re holding. If it seems like you’re not too busy afterwards, I might say hi. (though I would suspect that is the very moment you’re at your busiest). Probably starting with Mary’s Style of the Gaming Studios, if I get there early enough.


Yeah, these rooms on the second floor are stupid small. I’ve been shut out of two panels already that had twice as many attendees in line as seats, and I just forced my way into a third. This is really nuts.

But feel free to reach out to me on Twitter if you have it. That might be easier than the forums.


I guess they didn’t expect so many attendees to Worldcon for some reason. Then again, it’s not like there are any bigger rooms at the Convention Center anyway. That’s just the way it is in a country with such a low population. :slight_smile:

I don’t have a Twitter account but I guess I might just as well make one just for the occasion.


Meh. You can also email me.


Uh if anyone bumps into Mary Robinette Kowal, one of the hosts from the Writing Excuses podcast, can you gush a little for me?

(seriously I think every writer on this site should listen to that podcast…it’s both funny and ridiculously informative for new writers)


She’s super nice. I met her at Losers Party last year.


Writing for Video Games


Great job on the panel to everyone involved.
Some really interesting discussion.
Of particular interest was the overlap between gaming and story elements.

In particular, I think ChoiceScript (and its ability to manipulate variables and handle math) can be used in some really neat and novel ways to emphasize a bit more of the gaming aspect that I don’t believe we see enough of in existing titles, even within a text-only project.


Good discussion – thanks for sharing! I always enjoy hearing the fruit of all the in-house discussion of what makes good IF.

Thought it’s worth noting that “Have very divergent endings based on your cumulative choices from the first 85% or so of the game,” which has become standard CoG advice and was discussed halfway through the panel, makes the problem discussed later of “how do you leave the door open for sequels” even harder.

Either you take the Choice of Romance approach of one ending becoming canon for the sequels, or you funnel the endings back into a single ending that sets things up for the sequel. Both earn their share of complaints.


You save the have wildly divergent endings for the last installment of your series, if you have indeed always conceived of your games as being a series, like with XoR. I could see this be more of a problem if you write one game with the intention of it being stand-alone but it becomes so popular that you feel the need to give in to popular demand for a sequel.
Though it was always a series, Arthur Conan Doyle had to write more of Holmes then he through he would, or perhaps even wanted to write, eh?
And I guess have the prior installments of your series be variations on the “all roads lead to Rome” theme, where the player determines how they will end up at the end and which route they follow but they all lead to more or less the same metaphorical destination.

As stated above this would be my preferred method, if the writing is good enough I likely won’t even notice it until I replay the thing, which means the significant chunk of your audience who will never replay won’t even notice, whereas the other option always feels forced and doesn’t really have an elegant way to disguise it through clever writing.

Still I’m glad you’re definitely not taking an of those easier ways with XoR. :wink: