Cat Manning is creating interactive fiction criticism
32

patrons

$90
per month
Hi, I’m Cat, and I write things. Among other things, I've written for Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, an upcoming fabulist folktale about telling stories and the shining lie at the heart of the American Dream, and have an urban fantasy choose-your-own-adventure game in progress with Choice of Games. My upcoming narrative game "What Isn't Saved (will be lost)" was an Indiecade 2016 selection, and my short interactive fiction piece "Invasion" was selected as a Wordplay Festival Toronto showcase entry and was written up in Rock Paper Shotgun. Maybe you’ve played some of that work, or you’re excited to play it. Maybe you’ve read some of my SFF reviews. Maybe you’ve heard me speak about interactive narrative at a conference or seen some of my tweet threads. I do a lot of things!


[A screencap from "Invasion", a speculative fiction Twine about memory, identity, and the end of the world.]

I also have to make a living, though, and this means that I prioritize commercial work these days. Which doesn’t leave me much time to write up my thoughts on what I’m playing for those who are interested. That’s where this Patreon comes in. It gives me an opportunity to justify writing about structure, pacing, and criticism of interactive fiction.

There’s a lot of great work in IF and narrative games being produced, and it’s easy for small games that are narratively innovative or well-crafted to get lost. That’s bad for creators, for players, and for devs who want to explore what they’re doing and learn from it. Once a month, I’ll look at work that's narratively interesting and well designed (both overall and in one component like writing, pacing, usage of a common mechanic). My write-ups will generally skew towards both free and paid work by small developers; the largest thing you’d be likely to see is along the lines of We Know the Devil or Ladykiller in a Bind. My goal is for people to be exposed to well-made interactive narratives and to support work being done in that space, while also giving young or new devs explanations of how these games succeed at what they’re doing.

To that end, I’ll be choosing what I want to play and talk about every month…up to a point. That’s where you come in. Once a quarter or so, I’ll write an additional piece that’s a little more flexible. This might vary from “ways I think about choice structures” to emergent narratives in 4X games to “I talk about my Ork boyfriend in Shadowrun: Dragonfall”. There’s a patron reward tier where you can vote on a handful of things I’m considering writing about, if that's the sort of thing you're into.

By choosing to back me, you'll support once-monthly long-form criticism of interactive fiction, help spotlight deserving pieces, and get to discover new work and dig into interesting mechanics.

If you're able to throw a little bit of cash my way to enable me to make free, accessible work for the IF and interactive narrative communities, that's so very much appreciated. Thank you.
Tiers
The Excellent Human
$1 or more per month
  • The knowledge that you're helping make my criticism free and accessible, and my thanks!
The Exemption
$2 or more per month
  • Pledging above the minimum means I will never, ever use the words "ludonarrative dissonance" in your presence.
The Spy
$5 or more per month
  • At this level, you get access to parts of drafts: lists of games I'm considering playing, topics I'd like to write about, works I'm thinking about in opposition to each other as I write. There may even be screencaps of amusing notes I leave for myself!
  • Plus all previous rewards, of course.
The Influencer
$10 or more per month
  • Pledging at this level allows you to vote on the quarterly interactive narrative posts. If you have strong feelings about wanting to see more of a particular kind of content (how-to, narrative deep dives, tabletop games, cultural analysis, etc), this is your chance to influence that!
  • Plus all previous rewards.
Goals
$90 of $100 per month
At this point, I can start thinking about doing more curation: roundup posts, recommendation threads, etc. in addition to the monthly criticism.
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Hi, I’m Cat, and I write things. Among other things, I've written for Where the Water Tastes Like Wine, an upcoming fabulist folktale about telling stories and the shining lie at the heart of the American Dream, and have an urban fantasy choose-your-own-adventure game in progress with Choice of Games. My upcoming narrative game "What Isn't Saved (will be lost)" was an Indiecade 2016 selection, and my short interactive fiction piece "Invasion" was selected as a Wordplay Festival Toronto showcase entry and was written up in Rock Paper Shotgun. Maybe you’ve played some of that work, or you’re excited to play it. Maybe you’ve read some of my SFF reviews. Maybe you’ve heard me speak about interactive narrative at a conference or seen some of my tweet threads. I do a lot of things!


[A screencap from "Invasion", a speculative fiction Twine about memory, identity, and the end of the world.]

I also have to make a living, though, and this means that I prioritize commercial work these days. Which doesn’t leave me much time to write up my thoughts on what I’m playing for those who are interested. That’s where this Patreon comes in. It gives me an opportunity to justify writing about structure, pacing, and criticism of interactive fiction.

There’s a lot of great work in IF and narrative games being produced, and it’s easy for small games that are narratively innovative or well-crafted to get lost. That’s bad for creators, for players, and for devs who want to explore what they’re doing and learn from it. Once a month, I’ll look at work that's narratively interesting and well designed (both overall and in one component like writing, pacing, usage of a common mechanic). My write-ups will generally skew towards both free and paid work by small developers; the largest thing you’d be likely to see is along the lines of We Know the Devil or Ladykiller in a Bind. My goal is for people to be exposed to well-made interactive narratives and to support work being done in that space, while also giving young or new devs explanations of how these games succeed at what they’re doing.

To that end, I’ll be choosing what I want to play and talk about every month…up to a point. That’s where you come in. Once a quarter or so, I’ll write an additional piece that’s a little more flexible. This might vary from “ways I think about choice structures” to emergent narratives in 4X games to “I talk about my Ork boyfriend in Shadowrun: Dragonfall”. There’s a patron reward tier where you can vote on a handful of things I’m considering writing about, if that's the sort of thing you're into.

By choosing to back me, you'll support once-monthly long-form criticism of interactive fiction, help spotlight deserving pieces, and get to discover new work and dig into interesting mechanics.

If you're able to throw a little bit of cash my way to enable me to make free, accessible work for the IF and interactive narrative communities, that's so very much appreciated. Thank you.

Recent posts by Cat Manning

Tiers
The Excellent Human
$1 or more per month
  • The knowledge that you're helping make my criticism free and accessible, and my thanks!
The Exemption
$2 or more per month
  • Pledging above the minimum means I will never, ever use the words "ludonarrative dissonance" in your presence.
The Spy
$5 or more per month
  • At this level, you get access to parts of drafts: lists of games I'm considering playing, topics I'd like to write about, works I'm thinking about in opposition to each other as I write. There may even be screencaps of amusing notes I leave for myself!
  • Plus all previous rewards, of course.
The Influencer
$10 or more per month
  • Pledging at this level allows you to vote on the quarterly interactive narrative posts. If you have strong feelings about wanting to see more of a particular kind of content (how-to, narrative deep dives, tabletop games, cultural analysis, etc), this is your chance to influence that!
  • Plus all previous rewards.