Book and Volume. An [auto mata] release, 2005.
Mystery House Taken Over. With Dan Shiovitz, Emily Short, and the Mystery House Occupation Force. Includes web-based and downloadable mod kits; my Mystery House Kracked by the Flippy Disk; and other people's versions of Mystery House. Commissioned by Turbulence. 2005.
Dead Reckoning. My translation of Olvido Mortal by Andrés Viedma Peláez. 2003.
Ad Verbum. Winner, XYZZY Award for Best Puzzles; 1st place pick of authors in the Sixth IF Competition. 2000.
Winchester's Nightmare. The first IF "hardback." 1999.
Sea and Spar Between. Poetry generator for the browser by Nick Montfort and Stephanie Strickland.
For more, see my poems page.
Curveship was released on February 2, 2011; development continues.
"Curveship's Automatic Narrative Style," Foundations of Digital Games, Bordeaux, 1 July 2011.
"Generating Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction." Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania, 2007.
Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. The first book covering the history of IF and proposing ways to understand how IF works. The MIT Press, 2003.
"Interactive Fiction Communities: From Preservation through Promotion and Beyond." By Nick Montfort & Emily Short. Dichtung Digital, 2012.
"Fretting the Player Character." Article on the concept of the PC. Second Person, 2007.
"Interactive Fiction's Fourth Era." Article on the potential for different types of narrating in IF. Originally published in Portuguese in Nada, October 2006.
"Toward a Theory of Interactive Fiction." Article on understanding IF as a simulation and through narratology. 2003.
"Face It, Tiger, You Just Hit the Jackpot: Reading and Playing Cadre's Varicella." By Nick Montfort and Stuart Moulthrop, 2003.
"Interactive Fiction as 'Story,' 'Game,' 'Storygame,' 'Novel,' 'World,' 'Literature,' 'Puzzle,' 'Problem,' 'Riddle,' and 'Machine.'" Some figurative approaches to interactive fiction. 2004.
Implementation. A novel on stickers. The project involves mail art and sticker art, along with one component online: the Implementation website with photographs of the stickers installed by participants in their new contexts. Written with Scott Rettberg. 2004.
Fields of Dream. Literary game, created with Rachel Stevens. 2003.
2002: A Palindrome Story. 2002-word story in palindrome form. Written with William Gillespie, HTML and book design by Ingrid Ankerson. The online version contains palindrome writing toolkit Deep Speed, by Gillespie, and Reifier, a Java interface to the palindrome, by Montfort. 2002.
The Ed Report. Serialized hypertext novel; honorable mention, trAce/Alt-X New Media Writing Competition. Written with William Gillespie, design by Dylan Meissner. 2000.
The Help File. Conceptual art and hypertext fiction, 1999.
"The Girl and The Wolf." Variable tale, written in Janet Murray's 1997 Interactive and Nonlinear Narrative class at MIT; this version was published in BeeHive Volume 4 Issue 1, March 2001. I now host the original "variable tale" here, along with a Spanish translation by Ruber Eaglenest.
Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System. By Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost. A detailed, accessible study of the most important early videogame console, the Atari Video Computer System (also known as the Atari VCS or the Atari 2600). MIT Press, 2009.
Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction. The first book-length history of interactive fiction of the text adventure sort, with literary and game-based criticism of important works and proposals for how to understand the form. MIT Press, 2003.
“Slant: A Blackboard System to Generate Plot, Figuration, and Narrative Discourse Aspects of Stories,” by Nick Montfort, Rafael Pérez y Pérez, D. Fox Harrell, and Andrew Campana. International Conference on Computational Creativity (ICCC) 2013, Sydney, 14 June 2013.
"Small-Scale Systems and Computational Creativity" by Nick Montfort and Natalia Fedorova, International Conference on Computational Creativity, Dublin, 30 May 2012.
"Curveship's Automatic Narrative Style," Foundations of Digital Games, Bordeaux, 1 July 2011.
"Integrating a Plot Generator and an Automatic Narrator to Create and Tell Stories" by Nick Montfort and Rafael Pérez y Pérez, Proceedings of the International Joint Workshop on Computational Creativity 2008 (IJWCC08), Madrid, 17-19 September 2008, pp. 61-70. Posted 20 September 2008.
"Computing Makes the 'Man': Programmer Creativity and the Platform Technology of the Atari Video Computer System" by Ian Bogost and Nick Montfort, Proceedings of the International Joint Workshop on Computational Creativity 2008 (IJWCC08), Madrid, 17-19 September 2008, pp. 137-145, Posted 20 September 2008.
"Generating Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction," a dissertation in computer and information science, University of Pennsylvania. Advisors: Mitchell P. Marcus and Gerald Prince. 2007.
"Ordering Events in Interactive Fiction Narratives," a paper for the Intelligent Narrative Technologies AAAI Fall Symposium , November 9-11, 2007 in Washington, DC. This covers how my system, nn, orders events so they can be narrated in different, non-chronological ways. Posted 27 August 2007.
"Natural Language Generation and Narrative Variation in Interactive Fiction," a paper for the Computational Aesthetics Workshop at AAAI 2006, July 16, 2006 in Boston, Massachusetts. This explains the architecture of the IF system I am developing. While the implementation shown in this paper is preliminary, it is used to provide some examples of how natural language generation and narrative variation can work in IF. Posted 21 May 2006.
"Toward a Theory of Interactive Fiction." Proposing concepts that allow IF to be discussed precisely as a program, a simulated world, a generator of narratives, and a game, this essay seeks to bring some insights from narratology and game studies to IF and to separate the formal aspects of IF from matters of the interactor's interpretation. Definitions of character, room, and puzzle are given, and metalepsis and other concepts from narratology, along with concepts particular to IF, are used to explain some of the unusual aspects of certain IF works. Version 3.5 (intended to be final) was posted 19 December 2003.
"Continuous Paper: Print interfaces and early computer writing." Text of talk about the material experience of Eliza, Hunt the Wumpus, and Adventure, presented at ISEA in Helsinki, 20 August 2004.
"Interactive Fiction as 'Story,' 'Game,' 'Storygame,' 'Novel,' 'World,' 'Literature,' 'Puzzle,' 'Problem,' 'Riddle,' and 'Machine'" In First Person: New Media as Story, Performance, and Game, eds. Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Pat Harrigan, pp. 310-317, MIT Press, 2004. Online at ebr (Electronic Book Review.)
"Continuous Paper." Text of talk about the material experience of interactive fiction (and other computer writing) that I gave in the History of Material Texts Seminar, University of Pennsylvania; Posted 23 Feb 2004.
"Face It, Tiger, You Just Hit the Jackpot: Reading and Playing Cadre's Varicella." Paper about Adam Cadre's Varicella, treating it as something that must be understood to work simultaneously as literature and as a game. MelbourneDAC 2003 — Digital Arts and Culture, Melbourne, Australia, 19-23 May 2003. HTML version published in Fineart Forum 17:8, Aug 2003. (Offiline as of 2008, see an Internet Archive snapshot.) PDF from conference proceedings. Written with Stuart Moulthrop.
"ifMap: A Mapping System for Cooperatively Playing Interactive Fiction Online." In Proceedings of the Technologies for Interactive Digital Storytelling and Entertainment (TIDSE) Conference, Darmstadt, Germany, March 24-26, pp. 364-369, Fraunhofer IRB Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-8167-6276-X. Written with Jessica Rubart.
"Cybertext Killed the Hypertext Star" A review of Espen Aarseth's Cybertext in ebr (Electronic Book Review) 11, Winter 2000/2001. Includes an implementation of Eliza and an interactive excerpt from Deadline.
"Interactor's Nightmare." Media-critical humor column about interactive fiction in Suck.com, 27 Jan 1997.
"Interfacing with Computer Narratives: Literary Possibilities for Interactive Fiction." Thesis for B.A. in liberal arts, Plan II Honors Program, University of Texas at Austin, May 1995.
Two starter kits for interactive fiction in Inform that I put together and used when I had the chance to teach IF. In December 2005 I finally packed them up and put them online.
The Interactive Fiction FAQ, written on ifwiki, provides some concise answers for those new to IF.
Interactive Fiction Recommendations for those new to IF.
"Underground Adventures: Interactive Fiction." A few slides I used in a proseminar, a one-meeting class at the University of Pennsylvania, 2 September 2003. The handout from that class, with URLs, is also online.
"Further Reading: Interpreters & Emulators for Electronic Literature." Slides shown with my presentation at e(X)literature, University of California at Santa Barbara, 4 Apr 2003.
"Interactive Fiction as New Media." Slides shown with my presentation to Mitch Marcus's CSE 100 class at the University of Pennsylvania, Fall 2002.
"The Line / The Line: Interactive Fiction and Symmetry in Human-Computer Text Exchange." Presentation at the ACM SIGGRAPH Art Gallery, Los Angeles, 14 Aug 2001. The full text of my presentation and my HTML slides from it are both online.
Review of Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern's Façade. SPAG #41, Jul 15, 2005.
"A Bad Machine Made of Words." Review of Dan Shiovitz's Bad Machine on the trAce site. 17 Aug 2004. Review award winner, New Media Article Writing Competition, trAce/Writers for the Future.
"Memorious Marker." Review of Chris Marker's Immemory in Grand Text Auto. 16 Aug 2003.
Review of Greg Troutman's Dark Mage. SPAG #22, Sep 15, 2000.
Review of Gareth Rees's Christminster. SPAG #20, Mar 15, 2000.
"Digital Decay." Review of Mary Flanagan's [phage] and The Impermanence Agent (by Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al.) in Technology Review, Jan-Feb 2000.
Purple Blurb, a series where authors read and discuss their digital writing at MIT.
Perform (Perceptron Classifier in Inform) for fellow users of Graham Nelson's IF development system.
Reading notes, "The Art of Code" by Maurice J. Black My notes from reading this intriguing dissertation which considers the literary turn in computer programming, and which reads Finnegan's Wake via object-oriented programming. 18 May 2005.
Interactive Fiction Walkthroughs. A reading of IF with Star C. Foster, Nick Montfort, Daniel Ravipinto, and Emily Short. Hosted by Scott Rettberg. To take place at the Kelly Writers House, 27 October 2004.
Grand Text Auto. A group blog by Michael Mateas, Nick Montfort, Scott Rettberg, Andrew Stern, and Noah Wardrip-Fruin — the principals are listed alphabetically. We discuss interactive fiction and computer literature alongside many kindred topics. Grand Text Auto began in May 2003.
>MEMORY, SPEAK. 19 September 2004.
Acid-Free Bits: Recommendations for Long-Lasting Electronic Literature. (By Nick Montfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin.) A pamphlet relevant to IF and other e-lit, published by the Electronic Literature Organization, 14 June 2004. This is a mirror of the Web pamphlet available at the ELO site.
Joint Work. A reading of three collaborative literary works at the Kelly Writers House, 14 February 2004.
Reading notes, Composition No. 1 by Marc Saporta. My notes from reading this novel (printed on 150 loose pages) in English translation in December 2002.
Digital Intercourse. A reading of interactive fiction and hypertext fiction at the New School on 19 November 2001.
A Night at the Cybertexts. A reading that took place during DAC 2001 at Brown University on 27 April 2001.
The Boston T1 Party: Electronic Literature in Performance. A reading that took place at the Boston Public Library on 25 April 2001.
The IFNYC Web page with information about a reading and discussion group that met monthly from November 1999 - June 2000. Links related to the reading selections are available on that page.
An e-List, that is, a list of bunch of computer literature works I read from for a UB literature class in early May 2002.
"A Conversational Computer Character to Help Children Write Stories." Thesis for S.M. in media arts and sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Jun 1998.