October and November is IFcomp season. People submit interactive fiction games (well, “works”, anyway: not everything really qualifies as a game) and other people play and score them. A lot of people write reviews, and it’s becoming just as entertaining to follow the reviews as it is to play the works themselves.
For the past seven years, I’ve been writing the Breakfast Review, in which I compare IF works to breakfast. It started as a joke, and I never really expected much to come of it; but people seem to like these reviews. I’ve received comments, and I’ve come across them elsewhere … it’s very flattering, and I guess there’s no way I can stop doing them now.
When JF spoke of the need for some sort of following, it occurred to me that perhaps I did have something of the sort. I was hardly an IF heavyweight (Sam Ashwell calls me a cruiserweight) but, at the very least, my name was known. I would not be some stranger suddenly pushing a book within seconds of saying “hello” … or so I hoped.
I still wasn’t seriously thinking of going with Inkshares yet, though. My employment was officially terminated at the end of October, and there was a bit of paperwork to deal with in order to get my Employment Insurance. And 2015 saw an unusually large number of works submitted to the IFcomp: I was also kept busy with breakfast.
What I was really thinking, at the time, was that I might parlay my IF experience into a writing gig with one of the gaming companies based here in Montreal. Ubisoft, perhaps; I knew a bunch of people who worked there. Seeing the required qualifications, though, I was not entirely sanguine: they wanted years of experience in the industry and a degree in Literature. When I wrote up my resumé, I glossed over my educational qualifications and dedicated a lot of space to my entries to the IFcomp.
I have yet to hear back from Ubisoft, and at this point, I’m assuming the answer is no.
But, even as I went on with the original plan of “short stories first, traditional publisher after” (I’d made my first submission to Ellery Queen in the beginning of October, and was anxiously awaiting a reply while I set to work on another short story) the thought remained somewhere in the back of my mind, that I had connections beyond my Facebook friends list. That my years of fooling around with this little hobby might have generated an audience. That this could mean something.