Posts Tagged ‘reading’

Updated 3-31-2010@9pm: Please see last paragraph on contributing…

In Boston we had a panel discussion about IF outreach and I’ve decided to take a proactive approach to this subject. Outside of marketing Textfyre, I’d like to help promote IF in general. I think of the things we can do is reach out to libraries. In order to do this, I think we need to drop off a sort IF Promotion Package.

I see the package including:

  • The IF Promotionall CD, and if we can get a Mac version, that would be great.
  • A Dozen of the IF Help Cards we had at PAX.
  • A single printed (color) page of each game on the CD. This would have the cover art, a blurb, and the standard basic help for an IF game. I would try to get approval from each author to finalize their game page.
  • An introductory IF newsletter that describes what people need to know in 4 pages about IF, including where to find more information.
  • A binder with cover art to bring it all together.
  • Possibly a small swag bag to hold it all.

The idea would be to bring a binder or bag to a new library every weekend, pitch IF to the librarian of your choice, and drop off the material.

We could also give the binder to teachers of course, if you find a way to do that.

I’d also like to mention that there is a Middle School convention in Baltimore in the first week of November. Textfyre may have a booth at this convention, but I’m open to having the booth be about Interactive Fiction and having Textfyre just be one of the sponsors and participants. If other people want to join in, I would welcome that.

I think we need to stop talking about outreach and start pounding the pavement. We need to go out and hand the stuff to people that might actually be interested. People that read regularly are very likely to be found in libraries and libraries all have computers these days.

I’m also working on the Follett angle, trying to get IF into school libraries, and I will share my progress as it happens there.

If anyone is interested in helping put all of this material together, please let me know. I have a SharePoint site I can give access to so we can collaborate. I just added an IFWiki Outreach page. Please visit and contribute.

Once upon a time there was a tween girls social networking site called iTwixie. One day, a start-up Interactive Fiction software publisher named Textfyre called upon iTwixie to see if they would like to be friends. iTwixie, represented by its owner, Rebecca Gaynier, checked out Textfyre’s demo game Shadow in the Cathedral and thought Textfyre had great potential as a friend to iTwixie and vice versa.

Anyway, Rebecca and I have chatted and she’s very interested in ways we can bring IF to her audience of tween girls. Obviously this is an important portion of our target market and I believe we can tell stories in ways that will be greatly appreciated by iTwixie’s users.

I look forward to continued conversations with iTwixie, bringing their ideas into our stories and having thier users review and play our games.

It could be a very beneficial partnership for both companies.

I stole that title form a NY Times Article on using video games to teach reading to school-aged children. Of course the title of that article is right out of the marketing playbook we plan to use when we sell our games to school systems and parents. It’s great to see that we’re not the only ones that see the value in providing children with technological solutions to educational themes.

In other news, we have hired Paul Belanger as our formal financial advisor. We see him as a sort of “CFO” in waiting. Paul will be squaring up the books, providing financial advice and forecasting and budgetary reports, and helping us move from start-up to funded company. Welcome aboard Paul!

The UI design is progressing, the UI development has taken some sharp leaps ahead, and Secret Letter is being heavily play-tested. Progress is being made on all fronts.

I just picked up an iPhone the other day as my T-Mobile Wing’s touch screen sort of flaked out on me. I love the iPhone although I wish its development platform were open to things like Mono or .NET. Objective C isn’t exactly the simplest platform in the world and it’s always been my contention that simplicity is what wins platform mindshare. But the iPhone is great and I’m looking forward to designing the UI for our games on the platform.

We’re still making slow progress towards our launch goals. Everyone works full-time and only spends a few hours per week on Textfyre business so until we get funded and can hire people full-time, it’s going to remain a very slow process. On the bright side, that deliberate slowness is helpful in that we have been able to make adjustments without any major chaos.

Stay tuned…