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Mission Statement

Inside Erin is written and published by people who enjoy AIF. It is done for fun, but we also have some goals that we seek to achieve through the newsletter:

1. To encourage the production of more quality AIF games by providing advice from game developers, and by offering constructive criticism that is specifically relevant to AIF.

2. To encourage activity and growth in the AIF community. We aim to generate a constant level of activity so that there aren’t long periods in which people can lose interest in AIF.

3. To help document and organize the AIF community. This is done through reporting on games and events, as well as by helping to organize community-wide activities such as competitions and the Erin Awards.

Newsletter Index: Writing AIF
writing
If you take a look at the mission statement you will see that some of the main purposes of the newsletter are to encourage growth in the community and production of quality AIF games. With this in mind, the newsletter has included many fine articles dealing directly or indirectly with how to write AIF games. Even if you have never written a game and have never seriously considered doing so these articles are still very interesting and give a glimpse of what it takes to write a good game.


Article Title Author Summary of the Article Issue PDF TXT
The Zen of Testing: Part I A. Bomire Part I - The Art of Alpha Testing
In the first part of the series A. Bomire discusses how to organize and test your game yourself. It includes many good hints for the new (or even not so new) author to keep you from getting overwhelmed by the project.
Feb-05 PDF TXT
The Zen of Testing: Part II A. Bomire Part II - Desperately Seeking Testers
Part two deals with how to find beta testers for your game as well as when you should seek their services.
Mar-05 PDF TXT
The Zen of Testing: Part III A. Bomire Part III - Making the Most of a Good Thing
Ok, so now that you have your game and your beta testers what do you do with them? A. Bomire gives some hints to help you figure out what you want and what to do with the information you get.
Apr-05 PDF TXT
Story in AIF BBBen BBBen take a look at the story in AIF. What should it be like? Should it be character driven? How much sex is enough? Does AIF even need a story at all? You'll have to read the article to find out. Feb-05 PDF TXT
Beta Testing Games: A Primer A. Ninny A. Ninny has probably beta tested more games than any other single person out there. Who better to give some hints on what it takes to do the job and do it well. Mar-05 PDF TXT
TADS and ADRIFT Compared Lucilla Frost Lucilla Frost is in a rather unique position to compare these two systems having written her British Fox game in ADRIFT and later porting it herself to TADS. A very insightful article about the strengths and weaknesses of each system. May-05 PDF TXT
Programming File Editors A. Ninny A. Ninny reviews Crimson Editor 3.7 and Imaginate 1.5 with an eye on the pluses and minuses of using them to write AIF. Jun-05 PDF TXT
Persistent Worlds in Games Orgun Orgun explores the possibilities of having multiple games taking place in the same world. Not just something that looks the same but one where old save games would work, objects could be carried over, etc. A very interesting idea. Jul-05 PDF TXT
Stripping in an SSS BBBen BBBen takes a look at the different stripping systems used in games and the pros and cons of each. Aug-05 PDF TXT
The Free City of Stolgar DrisArter DrisArter suggests a communal AIF project where the same location and themes would be used by multiple authors spanning several games. Sep-05 PDF TXT
Non-Linearity and Choose Your Own Adventure BBBen BBBen takes a look at why a choose your own adventure type game may not be the best way to show non-linearity in your game and discusses some alternatives. Oct-05 PDF TXT
Gamism and Simulationism is the SSS BBBen BBBen examines two of the main approaches to writing a SSS and games in general. Nov-05 PDF TXT
Drawing the Line and Getting it Done BBBen A look at how to avoid "scope creep" and how to cut down all those great ideas you have into something manageable that you can actually finish before 2028. Dec-05 PDF TXT
Review of Inform 7 A. Bomire A. Bomire reviews Inform 7, a new system that boasts a 'natural language' programming language. Jun-06 PDF TXT
Impressions on Interactive Fan Fiction Grimm Sharlak Grimm Sharlak gives his impressions on a new game engine and how it stacks up to ADRIFT and TADS. Aug-06 PDF TXT
Review of RAGS A. Bomire A. Bomire reviews the Rapid Adventure Game System (RAGS) and tells up the good and bad about this new authoring system. Mar-07 PDF TXT
Review of CYOA Development Systems A. Bomire A. Bomire takes a look at Tweebox and QuestML, two tools used to create choose your own adventure type games. May-07 PDF TXT
Why Write AIF Pual Swift Paul Swift talks about his ideas and experiences in writing AIF. Jun-07 PDF TXT
The Vachon Method BBBen BBBen lists the rules that must be followed if you want to write like Vachon. Jul-07 PDF TXT
Deconstructing AIF StormNinjaBlade StormNinjaBlade takes a look at the three parts of our AIF acronym and how each fits in to make a good game. Aug-07 PDF TXT
Writing AIF Using TADS 3 Knight Errant Knight Errant takes a look at TADS 3 with a focus on features useful to the AIF author. Sep-07 PDF TXT
AIF and Fetishes: Part 1 Deathworks Deathworks discusses a few of the fetishes out there with an eye to how they can be used to add additional content to AIF games. Nov-07 PDF TXT
AIF and Fetishes: Part 2 Deathworks Deathworks discusses a few of the fetishes out there with an eye to how they can be used to add additional content to AIF games. Dec-07 PDF TXT
Writing Sex in AIF BBBen BBBen gives some hints and tips to help you write those steamy sex scenes that we all love so much. Mar-08 PDF TXT
SSS Layers BBBen An article about using layers in steamy sex scenes to make them more interesting and engagin. Jun-08 PDF TXT

AIF 101
by Johnny Freebase

Johnny Freebase's excellent tutorial on how to write AIF was originally posted on alt.games.xtrek and was re-printed in the newsletter in the same serial form that it was there. It is a great tool to help authors learn what they need to do to write a successful game. Although this is just one style of organizing and writing a game and may not, in the whole, appeal to everyone, there is certainly a lot of good information here that any author or potential author would benefit from reading.

Topic Issue PDF TXT
Brainstorming Jun-06 PDF TXT
Plotting Jul-06 PDF TXT
Characters Aug-06 PDF TXT
Events Sep-06 PDF TXT
Dialog Oct-06 PDF TXT
Mapping Nov-06 PDF TXT
Coding Dec-06 PDF TXT
Testing Jan-07 PDF TXT

AIF Author's Log
by Bitterfrost

In the very first chapter of this series Bitterfrost comes right out and says that this is not a guide on how to write a game but is a little something he likes to call "How NOT to write AIF". In each installment he takes us through the disillusions, disappointments, and distractions that conspire to keep the game from ever seeing the light of day. Of course, it doesn't help much that his first attempt looks to be about as big as War and Peace and Les Miserables combined. I find myself alternately smiling and cringing as I read about the problems he has encountered and I'm amazed at how often I (as an author myself) can identify with what I read. If he ever finishes the game it is liable to turn out to be one of the best ever written. I just hope a few of us are still alive when it comes. If your looking for a guide on how to write a game check out AIF 101 above but for a guide on how NOT to do it, there's none better. Well, maybe the Vachon Method but that's another matter completely.

Chapter Issue PDF TXT
Chapter 1 Sep-06 PDF TXT
Chapter 2 Oct-06 PDF TXT
Chapter 3 Nov-06 PDF TXT
Chapter 4 Dec-06 PDF TXT
Chapter 5 Jan-07 PDF TXT
Chapter 6 Feb-07 PDF TXT
Chapter 7 Apr-07 PDF TXT
Chapter 8 May-07 PDF TXT
Chapter 9 Jun-07 PDF TXT
Chapter 10 Jul-07 PDF TXT
Chapter 11 Dec-07 PDF TXT
Chapter 12 Jan-08 PDF TXT
Chapter 13 Apr-08 PDF TXT
Chapter 14 Jun-08 PDF TXT

How to Write a One Night Stand
by Purple Dragon

This is a very basic tutorial on how to write a One Night Stand type game.  That is, a game with only a single NPC and few rooms.  The first three parts deal with general and specific information on writing the actual text of the game.  Starting with Part 4 it turns into a basic Inform 7 tutorial showing how to take all the text written in the first three parts and put it together into a game.
Part Issue PDF TXT
Part 1 Sep-07 PDF TXT
Part 2 Oct-07 PDF TXT
Part 3 Nov-07 PDF TXT
Part 4 Dec-07 PDF TXT
Part 5 Jan-08 PDF TXT
Part 6 Mar-08 PDF TXT
Part 7 Apr-08 PDF TXT
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