Call for Proposals

The deadline for proposals has passed. Thank you for your interest! We will respond to all proposals with a yes or no by the end of January.

Push the boundaries of discussion about narrative games by presenting a talk or leading a discussion at NarraScope 2020! Speak to a diverse audience and share your knowledge and expertise to help bring the genre to even higher levels.

We’re looking for talks that explore the field in detail. Our net is being cast wide to get as many perspectives as possible, in order to serve up a conference rich with information for gamers, devs, and aficionados alike.

Panelists and speakers will receive a complimentary membership in NarraScope 2020.

We cannot cover travel or other expenses for speakers. If you have specific needs please contact us.


  • Jan 17, 2020: Deadline for proposals.
  • Jan 31, 2020: Notification of acceptance or rejection.
  • Feb 28, 2020: Deadline for your confirmation of acceptance.
  • May 29-31, 2020: NarraScope 2020 at UIUC.

Presentation categories

Individual Presentations

These talks should focus on everything from the very technical to comparative and informational. This is not a time to sell your game or self promote. We want to hear how you made your game, what you learned, what games you’ve studied, and what knowledge or ideas that you have that can help push the genre forward.

Individual talks will be 30 minutes or 60 minutes, including 5-10 minutes at the end for Q&A.


Panels will consist of a group of 4-6 people discussing a central topic. This can be anything from a postmortem for a game to a group of experts in a field such as VR or Twine. If you propose a panel discussion, you must be willing to lead and moderate said discussion. You may also suggest names for panelists, but this is not required. Include topics and potential questions that will be asked of panelists in your proposal.

Panel talks will be 60 minutes, including 5-10 minutes at the end for Q&A.

Lightning Talks

Lightning Talks are brief explorations of a topic in great detail, or the sharing of specialized information. Want to talk about one particular piece of poetry, and why it changed the entire theme of a game? How about an overview of how quest items were used to further the plot?

Lightning talks can be anywhere from 5-10 minutes.


  • We want in-depth discussions about specific fields or styles of IF, narrative writing, and game design.
  • Everybody at the conference will already know what interactive fiction is and why narrative games are important. What’s the next question?
  • Specifics are always better than overviews.
  • Talk about a problem you solved or a problem you didn’t solve.
  • Tell us something that your players and fellow authors don’t know about your workflow.
  • Find the sweet spot between “so obscure that I can’t make use of it” and “so well-known that I learned it in school.” Tell us something that makes us want to run off and start a new project just to try it out.
  • Reveal a wonderful secret.

NarraScope 2019 led off with Natalia Martinsson’s talk on games with emotional intelligence. Many of the other talks that weekend touched on our emotional connection to games: romance, horror, empathy. One possible topic for 2020 is to reflect on the progress we’ve made — or possible next steps in making games that express our inner lives.

A springboard of other possible topics to think about:

‧ Histories of interactive fiction, adventure games, etc. ‧ Education, using, and making narrative games ‧ Narrative games and/as electronic literature ‧ Art contexts and narrative games ‧ Narrative gaming and computing subcultures (the demoscene, etc.) ‧ Identity, trauma, and other challenging topics in narrative games ‧ Designing narrative games ‧ Commercial narrative games today ‧ Simulating words in narrative games ‧ Narrative gaming and AR/VR/XR ‧ Narrative gaming and mobile media ‧ Particular narrative game development systems/platforms ‧ Postmortems on particular games ‧ Readings/critical discussions of particular games or sets of games ‧ Modeling conversations, characters, or environments in ways which support narrative ‧ Representation and appropriation of culture ‧ Interactive narrative outside of videogames: television, museum exhibits, alternate-reality fiction, interactive theater ‧ Puzzles: do we have a grand theory after forty-one years? ‧ Tools to manage narrative complexity ‧ Domain-specific languages of IF and narrative design ‧ AI tools for narrative games ‧ What different types of players want from narrative games