01 Dec WordPlay London Photo & Video Recap

WordPlay 2016 was held on the 19th of November at the British Library in London as part of International Games Day @ your Library. Throughout the day over 150 people joined us to participate and enjoy our celebration of writerly games.


We took over 3 spaces in the library to host talks, workshops and the interactive fiction showcase.  


We also shared some space alongside the British Library, hosting boardgames, generative poetry and games from the off the map competition and the National Archive Steam Punk jam.

See more photos of the day on Press Fire to Win’s flickr album.

Our schedule of talks throughout the day included:

The City is your Playground: Games Played in Public

Holly Gramazio – director of game design for Matheson Marcault, with a particular interest in site-specific work and physicality.
Tom Williams – Designer of mystery events and immersive treasure hunts.
Hannah Nicklin – Writer, game designer, academic, producer and artist working in game design.
Mink Ette – Digital storyteller specialising in interactive experiences, particularly around escape rooms.

As a designer, pervasive games allow you to use the greatest set of all — the real world — already pre-populated by unpaid extras! Moderated by Paul Callaghan.

See a video of this talk, and a storify.

Not Losing the Point with A Normal Lost Phone

Rafael Martinez-Jausoro

Rafael explains how they found a balance between a social impact message and engaging gameplay by using narrative and an original point of view with A Normal Lost Phone.

See a video of this talk, and a storify.

wordplaylondon3Standard Structures in Choice-Based Games

Hannah Powell-Smith

While choice-based games are simpler in form to systems-based games, there is a considerable variety of structure that impacts player experience.

See a video of this talk and a storify.

wordplaylondon4Crafting Interactive Fiction Tools

Richard Bartle, co-creator of MUDs, or Multi-User Dungeons;
Jon Ingold, whose company released Inkle and Ink;
Juhana Leinonen, co-creator of Texture;
Emily Short, who was closely involved with the development of Inform 7.

What motivates people to make interactive fiction tools, and what encourages people to use them?

See a video of this talk, and a storify.


Practical Considerations of Writerly Games

Olivia Wood, writer and editor at Failbetter Games
Haley Uyrus, marketer at Failbetter Games
Adrian Hon, CEO at Six to Start
Rob Sherman, writer at Bonfire Dog

A panel of seasoned writerly games types discuss some nitty gritty issues: funding possibilities, useful production tools and methods, and how to connect with an audience.

See a video of this talk, and a storify.

Worldbuilding with Words

Hannah Powell-Smith, Twine creator
Nate Crowley, dystopic Twitter writer
Helen Carmichael, historical game writer
Jon Green, gamebook author

Creators of interactive fiction, prose-forward games, Twitter microfictions and gamebooks discussed the challenges and joys of using words to evoke historical eras and weird universes.

See a video of this talk.


We also held workshops teaching Texture, Twine and Inform.


This year’s showcase had over 120 submissions — more than double the year before!  Well done to our 27 selections:

A Normal Lost Phone – by Accidental Queens

Apartment 613 – by Carlos Ramírez, Isabel Cano, Carlos G. Gurpegui and Samuel Fiunte

Arcane Intern (Unpaid) – by Astrid Dalmady

Birdland – by Brendan Patrick Hennessy and Izzy Marbella

Draculaland – by Robin Johnson (with thanks to Chandler Groover and Luke Jones for testing, and to Eve)

Emily is Away – by Kyle Seeley

Emoji Shakespeare – by Arzamas academy, The British Council

Event[0] – by Ocelot Society

Far from Noise – by George Batchelor and Geoff Lentin

Hana Feels – by Gavin Inglis, Scribble Imp and Stephen Redman

Invasion – by Cat Manning and Kerstin Hall

Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory – by Katherine Morayati

Midnight. Swordfight. – by Chandler Groover

Open Sorcery – by Abigail Corfman

SwapTales: Leon – by Witty Wings

Tectr – Claris Cyarron, Lucas J.W. Johnson, Ken Glass and Megan Furesz

Text Quest – by Chris Ingerson

The Wild Eternal – by Ilsanjo

Trawl – by Daniel Gallagher and Nathan Gallardo

Two Interviewees – by Mauro Vanetti, Emanuele Klemp, Tommaso Annoni, figuredisfondo, Tania Ziegler and Phoebe Revolta

Typoman – by Brainseed Factory

wordplaylondon10Wheels of Aurelia – by Santa Ragione

When acting as a particle – by David T. Marchand

Which Passover Plague Are You? – by Veve Jaffa

Winter – by Joost Vandecasteele and Happy Volcano

Word After Word – by Jonah Warren

youarearock – by Sa Friend





This event could not have taken place without the following people, so great thanks to:

Our Programming Committee :

Emily Short
Adrian Hon
Alexis Kennedy
Stella Wisdom
Jim Munroe
Sharna Jackson

Our Showcase Judges :

John Rathiganthan
Kaitlin Tremblay
Andrew Plotkin
Liz England
Robert Yang
Merritt Kopas
Sarah Cole
Jo Summers
Gary Green
Jerry Jenkins

Festival Director :

Jo Summers

Technical Coordinator :

Sarah Cole

Our volunteers :

Tom Betts
Johannes Brunnhuber
Annora Eyt-Dessus
Tom Godden
Carlos Godoy
Becky Leigh
Daniel Mcmahon
Geziena Mallett
Ben Meredith
Ignas Vieversys

Banner Artwork :


Festival Identity :


Founder :

Jim Munroe


If you have any feedback about the event or have an enquiry about future events, get in touch by emailing wordplaylondon@handeyesociety.com