Michael Andersen
They Like to Watch: Embracing Interactive Fiction as a Spectator Sport
Michael Andersen is the owner of ARGN.com, a website that provides coverage on alternate reality games, transmedia storytelling, puzzle hunts, escape rooms, and other types of stories that cross multiple platforms. He has also deployed an unapproved banner ad network in his office restrooms and launched an office ghost hunting society through an elevator ad.
Mars Ashton
Creating the Anura: Reflection on Writing a Beast Race
Mars Ashton is an award-winning Indie Game Developer, Technical Writer for Intel’s Developer Zone (via RHM3) and Director/Assistant Professor of Game Art at Lawrence Technological University. He has been instrumental in establishing the game development community throughout Michigan, co-founding the Ann Arbor chapter and running the Detroit chapter of the International Game Developers Association.
Brent Bailey
Space, Time, Rules and Rooms: How Games Create Narrative Out Of Space
Brent Bailey is a programmer, researcher, and artist based in Brooklyn, New York. He works with all things computational, but is especially interested in games, narrative, and other ways of modeling the world.
Brian Michael Beams
Lingua Vitae: A Narrative VR Game that Teaches Latin
Brian Beams is a technical, visual, and interactive artist working in Northern California. He explores novel uses of virtual, augmented and mixed reality to comment on the relationship between human experience and technology, exploring sublime imagery through virtual processes. He is currently a full-time lecturer and VR lab director at Santa Clara University.
Mark Bernstein
Characters and Automata
Mark has been editing and publishing hypertext fiction since 1987. He is the designer of Tinderbox, a tool for visualizing and analyzing notes, and author of the hypertext fiction Those Trojan Girls. His latest books is Intertwingled.
Kelly Brajevich
The Future of Chess Club, or 80 Days of Serious Play
Kelly is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee researching the mediation of the human voice. She is a part of Serious Play, run through the Center of 21st Century Studies at UWM, a collab that critically plays analog and digital games.
Scott M. Bruner
The Adventure with a Thousand Faces / The Future of Chess Club, or 80 Days of Serious Play
Scott is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee whose research interests include interactive fiction and tabletop role-playing games.
Nilson Carroll
Commodification of (Queer) Love/Intimacy Through Game Mechanics
Nilson Carroll (he/him) is an MFA candidate at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY. A barista-ROM hacker, Nilson explores 16mm expanded cinema, video projection performance, and makes queer video game installations.
Sam Castree, III
How Not to Make a Game: Revenge of the Lawyers
Sam is the head of entertainment law at Crawford Intellectual Property Law, a law firm in the Chicago suburbs. His practice focuses on helping video game developers and others in the video-game and games-adjacent industries to get the legal protections that they need.
Dan Cox
IF.then(): Teaching Programming Concepts Using Interactive Fiction
Dan Cox is a part-time PhD student and full-time instructor. He is best known for not being known. You no longer remember Dan Cox.
Jessica Creane
Cast Thyself: Role Playing Without a Role
Jessica is a multi-hyphenate creator of games and immersive experiences. Her company, IKantKoan, uses agency and storytelling to make sense of complex ideas playful and accessible.
Lissa Crofton-Sleigh
Lingua Vitae: A Narrative VR Game that Teaches Latin
Lissa is a lecturer in the Classics department at Santa Clara University. Her research focuses on ancient Latin literature, in particular the connections between poetry and built environments, which has come in handy when thinking about Latin in VR.
Liza Daly
An Hour With the IFTF Board of Directors
Dawn Davis
Agatha Christie to Ryukishi07: Linear Whodunits as Games
Dawn Davis is a writer and artist from Miꞌkmaꞌki. She is currently working on Chapters: Interactive Stories, but best known for working on Love on the Peacock Express. She loves folklore, foraging, feminism and fandom.
Brendan Desilets
IF Educator’s Roundtable / Inform 7 and the Teaching of Writing
Brendan Desilets has taught in Massachusetts schools since 1968, at the middle school, high school, and university levels. He currently works as an adjunct professor of English at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Brendan’s classes have featured interactive fiction since 1985.
Rachel Donley
IF.then(): Teaching Programming Concepts Using Interactive Fiction
Rachel is an escape room designer turned academic, pursuing the study and creation of games that meld the physical and digital to foster critical thinking and introspection.
Ivy Dupler
Say What?: Bringing Narrative to Life with Voice Over
Ivy Dupler is a NYC-based voice actress who can be heard in video games, commercials, and cartoons. Her video game voice over work includes protagonist Special Agent Vera Englund in Whispers of a Machine, Viv Vision in Marvel Avengers Academy, and characters in Unavowed, Lamplight City, The Vortex, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff, and many more.
Jasmine Eisinger
Breaking the Cage: Meaningful and Feminist Narrative Design of the Uncaged Anthology
Jasmine Eisinger is a Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition adventure writer and anthology editor, indie TTRPG game designer, and avid actual-play podcaster on Heart Beats: A Heartwarming Fantasy (a hack of Ryuutama) and other actual-play podcasts.
Jess Erion
Realist narratives in games moor protagonists of color in oppressive histories – now is the time for stories of liberation
Jess is a writer and game designer with an interest in experimental works. They love their cat very much.
Matt Farber
IF Educator’s Roundtable / Terrifically Awkward: Games To Teach Social Emotional Learning
Matthew Farber, Ed.D. is an assistant professor of Technology, Innovation, and Pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado. He is the author of several books on game-based learning, and currently researches the intersection of games and social and emotional leanring (SEL).
Kiel Gilleade
Using Multi-Dimensional Data to Communicate Lived Experiences of Trauma in Public Displays
Kiel is a computer scientist with a research background in Physiological Computing: computer systems that use brain and body signals as an input control. Kiel has worked in R&D on a range of brain and body controlled systems including computer games, artworks and Quantified Self applications.
William Gillespie
Literature as Game
Willliam Gillespie is co-author of the hypertext The Unknown, and publisher of Spineless Books.
Francisco Gonzalez
Okay To Fail, But Not To Lose: Lessons From Lamplight City
Francisco is an indie developer specializing in point and click adventure games. He has three published titles, with a fourth currently in development.
Josh Grams
Making Storylets Work For You: How to Build a Quality-Based Narrative
Josh has been a math geek, a word nerd and a mostly-hobbyist programmer since he was a kid, and a full-time small organic farmer since 2007. Has played a lot of the Discworld MUD and a fair amount of IF but never gotten around to writing any himself...
Jason Grinblat
Caves of Qud: A Decade of Worldbuilding
Jason Grinblat is co-founder, research artist, and creative lead at Freehold Games, the tiny studio behind Caves of Qud and Sproggiwood. He’s interested in the intersection of authorship and generativity, and he’ll find any excuse to put generated histories, hidden monasteries, or sentient plants in his games. He’s based out of Berkeley, CA.
Rebecca Harwick
Writing the Never-Ending Story (Without Burning Out)
Rebecca has been writing video games that don’t end since 2006. She is currently head of writing at Wooga, a story-driven game company based in Berlin, Germany.
Kenton Taylor Howard
IF.then(): Teaching Programming Concepts Using Interactive Fiction
Kenton Taylor Howard is a PhD Candidate in the Texts and Technology program at the University of Central Florida and a full-time instructor in the Games and Interactive Media program at UCF. His research focuses on video games with an emphasis on representation in games, teaching with games, and video game culture.
Sisi Jiang
More Choices is Not Better: Advantages of Linear Storytelling
Jordan Jones-Brewster
Designing Intimacy Through Modularity and Anxiety
Jordan Jones-Brewster is a Narrative Designer/Writer based in Brooklyn, NY that likes to write stories about the Black American experience. He believes that writing a bio is a difficult task but is grateful that you took the time to read it.
Melissa Kagen
Wandering Games
Melissa Kagen is a game studies academic and an incoming Assistant Professor of Communication at Curry College. She’s published in Game Studies, Convergence, and Gamevironments, and she serves as an Associate Editor of the Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds. Her book project, Wandering Games, is forthcoming. She holds a PhD in German from Stanford University.
Erik Kersting
The Future of Chess Club, or 80 Days of Serious Play
Erik is a PhD student at UW-Milwaukee interested in the meaning of games and the social phenomenon of competitive gaming.
Chris Klimas
An Hour With the IFTF Board of Directors / IF Educator’s Roundtable / Chapbook: Coding, Debugging, and Pretty Pictures
Chris Klimas created Twine, an open-source tool for interactive text-based storytelling, in 2009 and continues to lead the project. He’s also the author of several IF works, including the award-winning Blue Chairs, and is a principal at Unmapped Path.
Em Lazer-Walker
Analytics? In MY Interactive Fiction?!
Em is a Toronto-based artist, engineer, and game designer. Most of her work focuses on using nontraditional interfaces to reframe everyday objects and spaces as playful experiences, and to inspire people to become self-motivated learners. She currently works as a developer advocate at Microsoft.
Irina Leu
Writing for Young Women in the Developing Countries
Irina LEU is an editor, copywriter, and creator from Minsk, Belarus. She gives lectures about presentations and copywriting for CSOs of all kinds, makes a podcast for activists about campaigning, works as a content producer for educational mobile applications. Now she is a co-founder of a game app against the girls’ kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan. Irina stands for girlz power, equal possibilities, and good UX-copies.
Bobby Lockhart
The Harold: A Structure for Interactive Narrative
Bobby is an award-winning game designer based in Chicago and a co-founder of the Bit Bash Interactive Arts Festival. His electronic/physical game Hi-5 Heroes has been selected for festivals like Alt.Ctrl GDC and Out of Index. His educational game Codemancer is out now for PC, Mac, Android and iOS. He is currently working on Ozaria, a new introductory coding game for the web.
Janelle Malagon
The Future of Chess Club, or 80 Days of Serious Play
Janelle is a PhD student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she studies environmental games and the climate crisis. She is a member of UWM’s Digital Cultures Collaboratory and hosts shows on the Collaboratory’s Twitch Channel, Serious_Play.
Cat Manning
Making Storylets Work For You: How to Build a Quality-Based Narrative
Jessica Marcrum
Breaking the Cage: Meaningful and Feminist Narrative Design of the Uncaged Anthology
Jessica is a social worker by day and a game designer by night dedicated to destroying the patriarchy one adventure at a time.
Roger Matthews
Moral Ambiguity in SOMA
Roger is a game designer with a background in filmmaking and video editing. He is currently getting his MFA in game design at Becker College, with a focus on narrative design and level design.
Jason McIntosh
An Hour With the IFTF Board of Directors
Jason is president and co-founder of the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation. By day he works as a freelance writer and software toolsmith.
Ruby Mendenhall
Using Multi-Dimensional Data to Communicate Lived Experiences of Trauma in Public Displays
Laura Michet
Just Enough Cooks in the Kitchen: Managing an Anthology game with 25 Writers
Laura writes and edits narrative indie games at night, and provides narrative support for Riot Forge during the day.
Stuart Moulthrop
The Future of Chess Club, or 80 Days of Serious Play / IF Educator’s Roundtable / Chapbook: Coding, Debugging, and Pretty Pictures
John Murray
IF.then(): Teaching Programming Concepts Using Interactive Fiction
John Murray is an Assistant Professor in Games and Interactive Media at the University of Central Florida. He is co-author most recently, with Aaron Reed and Anastasia Salter, of the book Adventure Games: Playing the Outsider published by Bloomsbury.
Graham Nelson
Inform 7 Update
Graham Nelson is the author and maintainer of the Inform design system for interactive fiction, which is based on natural language. He is a Fellow of St Anne’s College at the University of Oxford.
Xalavier Nelson Jr.
A Very Normal and Encouraging Keynote
Xalavier Nelson Jr. is an award-winning narrative director and writer who has held leading roles on projects including Hypnospace Outlaw, Can Androids Pray, SkateBIRD, We Are The Caretakers, and many, many more. His current project is an absurdist first-person open world comedy adventure game called An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs, and he is very tired.
Jedidjah Julia Noomen
The Differences Between Writing Voiced and Non-Voiced Dialogue
Julia is a writer and narrative designer with a background in theatre. She recently did script and voice direction for audio-only game Alt-Frequencies and also wrote (unvoiced) Criminal Minds: the mobile game.
Johnnemann Nordhagen
Just Enough Cooks in the Kitchen: Managing an Anthology game with 25 Writers
Johnnemann is a 17-year veteran of the game industry. He has worked as a QA tester, in Sony’s Research and Development department, on the Bioshock series at 2K Marin, and was co-founder of The Fullbright Company and the sole programmer on Gone Home. He founded Dim Bulb Games and headed development of Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, released in February of 2018.
Dave Pickett
The Geometries of Non-Linear Games
After a decade in digital marketing and YouTube, Dave Pickett is pivoting to pursue a career in game design. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Game Design at DePaul University and working on lots of small game projects. Dave is also the creator of the popular YouTube channel BRICK 101 and co-author of The LEGO Animation Book. When he’s not building video games or LEGO creations, Dave enjoys reading watching nerdy TV shows, and exploring Chicago with his husband Bert and their dog Sophie.
Judith Pintar
An Hour With the IFTF Board of Directors / The Quad Game: Collaborative Narrative Design in a Massive Multi-authored IF Sandbox / IF Educator’s Roundtable
Judith Pintar directs the Electronic Literatures & Literacies Lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she is a faculty member of the School of Information Sciences amongst other motley affiliations.
Andrew Plotkin
An Hour With the IFTF Board of Directors
Andrew Plotkin tried playing some interactive fiction in 1978 and has not stopped. He wrote System’s Twilight, Hadean Lands, and other games in between. He also serves on the board of IFTF.
Kris Purzycki
The Adventure with a Thousand Faces
Outside of his one spouse, Kristopher Purzycki likes to spend time with two of everything: cats, children, screens, webcams, microphones, easels, bikes, shoes, rums, and whisks. Otherwise he’s teaching with the English and Digital Arts & Culture programs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Collette Quach
Breaking the Cage: Meaningful and Feminist Narrative Design of the Uncaged Anthology
Collette is a writer and narrative designer, focusing on analog games and tabletop RPG. She has a passion in creating fantasy worlds based on non-European cultures and using games as way to tell stories from marginalized communities. Collette also has an interest in the weird, the unexplainable and the spooky.
Aaron A. Reed
Machines for Getting Lost on Purpose: Kentucky Route Zero and the Future(s) of Adventure
Aaron is a writer and game designer focused on helping gamemakers and players tell stories together. He is a multi-time IndieCade and IGF finalist, and has spoken about digital storytelling at venues as diverse as art museums, sci-fi cons, queer game meet-ups, middle-school summer camps, and Google.
JooYeon Christina Ri
Lingua Vitae: A Narrative VR Game that Teaches Latin
Dr. JooYeon Christina Ri is a communication media scholar and learning experience designer with 15+ years of Higher Ed teaching experiences. Dr. Ri earned her Doctor of Education in Media Studies, Human-Computer Interaction for User Experience Design from MIT, MS in Digital Imaging and Design, and BFA in Film from New York University. Dr. Ri is passionate about developing ways to enhance learning and teaching experiences using digital storytelling
Matthue Roth
Visual Storytelling in Immersive Reality
Matthue is a creative writer at Google, where he co-created the voice of the Google Assistant and now designs immersive reality experiences. His short fiction has appeared in Ploughshares, Tin House, and The Best American Short Stories. He’s the author of the picture book My First Kafka, and keeps a secret diary at matthue.com.
Anastasia Salter
Procedural Play with Tracery
Nathan Savant
Beyond Time: Adapting Film’s Techniques for Nonlinear Stories
Nathan is a game and narrative designer who works in conversational AI games by day, and indie games by night. His background in art and film bring a unique perspective to his work, which he uses to give personality to his characters, and which he hopes will help him to better understand the medium of games as a whole.
Maria Sereda
Writing for Young Women in the Developing Countries
Maria Sereda is a human rights activist and writer from Russia, now living in Portugal. After years of work in Russian and International human rights organisation she founded Scafander Games, an independent collective creating interactive stories to promote social causes.
Melanie Snyder
Novel about a Picture that is a Game: Re-readings of Media in The Picture of Dorian Gray
Melanie is graduate student at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign who will be starting her PhD in Medieval Literature this coming fall. In her work, she blends ecocritical frameworks, global medieval literatures, and game studies to navigate the distant past’s relationship with the present. In everything else, she enjoys being active in natural and virtual worlds.
Sam Sorensen
Multiple Role-Playing Groups in a Shared Campaign World
Sam Sorensen is a graduate student studying game design at NYU’s Game Center.
Mike Spivey
Tips and Tricks for Teaching an Interactive Fiction Course
Mike Spivey is a mathematician and interactive fiction author. He taught his first interactive fiction course in the fall of 2019.
Dietrich “Squinky” Squinkifer
Making Games in Transition: Designing SECOND PUBERTY
Squinky makes weird games about feelings as an art practice. They are in the process of discovering what it means to be a teenager and a thirtysomething-year-old at the same time, while continuing to survive in a cyberpunk dystopia.
David Stanley
The Adventure with a Thousand Faces
Dave is a PhD student at UWM who is researching the intersections of culture, business, and government on the internet.
Sarah Stanley
The Adventure with a Thousand Faces
Kaitlin Tremblay
Writing and Designing Text-Based Horror Games about Mental Illness
Kaitlin Tremblay is a writer and game developer, currently at Capy Games, and previously a team lead narrative designer at Ubisoft Toronto. Tremblay is also a co-director of the non-profit video game organization, Dames Making Games.
Doug Valenta
Building Narrative Chat
Doug is a computer programmer based in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-creator of Mote, a real-time storytelling platform.
Rachel Noel Williams
Job Applications and You: Building Your Resume and Samples
Normally a shy and reclusive cryptid, Rachel “Ro” Noel Williams has successfully integrated with human society and now lives among them peacefully. They love cats, music, nature, and you.