Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Interactive Fiction?

Hi, friends! I’ve been wondering whether the guild might be interested in adding an interactive fiction category to the Cóyotl Awards in the future, or at least allowing novel-length text-based interactive fiction to be considered under the “novel” category (and/or other text-based interactive fiction to be considered under other fiction categories).

The idea is not without precedence: Choice of Games, the publisher for my upcoming (and furry!) interactive novel, is considered a qualifying novel publisher for membership in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, rather than a game writing market. SFWA also recently added game writing as a new category for the Nebula Awards. Text-based interactive fiction, such as that published by Choice of Games, has no graphics or sound effects, but relies entirely on words (with some minimal coding going on in the background based on player choices) to craft a story, just like a book.

I’m bringing this up not just for my own sake, but so that other interactive fiction authors may have their work honored by the guild in the future. I’ve read many outstanding interactive novels that are furry in nature, such as Jeffrey Dean’s werewolf series “Claw, Shadow, and Sage.” I would like to heighten awareness of such stories and see them celebrated alongside more traditional forms of prose. Having a separate category for them in the Cóyotls, or permitting their inclusion in other categories, might be one way to help achieve this.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts and questions! Thank you for listening to mine. :slight_smile:

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We have seen your post and it is being discussed. Grill wanted me to show this to you: FWG Admission Requirements Discussion

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Hey there, Cóyotl chair here! This is a fantastic idea, thanks for bringing it up. I’m totally willing to consider IF for the Cóyotls, but figuring out how to get it in there as a category will take a bit of thought. I’m of two minds, as I worry about the number of submissions received for IF as a category unto itself, but it really does feel separate from the other categories, as word count affects play in different ways from reading.

I can think of options off the top of my head:

  1. An interactive fiction category (or categories) devoted solely to IF. Pros: IF works judged against IF works. Cons: if there are not enough submissions for a given year, an award might not be feasible — we don’t currently have a mechanism in place for what happens if there are not enough entries in a particular category.
  2. Lump interactive works into related categories based on word count. Pros: the categories are already there and not likely to be without entries. Cons: pitching IF against other works doesn’t totally feel fair, as the markets are different.
  3. A “related work” category for IF, graphic novels, articles, and such. Pros: potentially more level playing field when not being considered against the existing categories. Cons: entries within the category may be uneven or skew heavily in one direction.

I’m totally open to other suggestions as well, and I think it’s well worth opening this conversation up to everyone to see what they think.

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Hey Makyo! Thank you so much for your thoughtful consideration of this proposal. All three of your ideas have merit, and their own pros and cons as you so carefully outlined. I’d be open to any of these. Whatever you and other folks from the guild feel is best! ^-^