In September 2023, we opened our grant program for the very first time. The program exists to disburse small amounts of money in support of projects that serve the interactive fiction community. Since then, half a dozen Grant Advisors have reviewed each submission, providing their recommendations to the grants committee, who ultimately selected four projects to fund. We are happy today to announce our first batch of funded projects through this grants program!
Interestingly, we saw great diversity in the projects submitted, which altogether touch on the very different areas of interactive fiction. Thank you to everyone who submitted their ideas! Below, you can learn about the awarded projects and the people behind them.
iOS Test Device for Parchment – Dannii Willis
Dannii Willis is the main developer of Parchment, a web interpreter that lets users read and play through interactive fiction on the web. Dannii will receive $500 in funds to purchase an iOS device, allowing him to more accurately test how Parchment functions on the iOS version of Safari, as well as test Parchment’s accessibility in UserVoice. An iOS-native device will help Dannii run these tests and iterate faster than with other tools, in service of supporting iOS users in the community and those who rely on iOS accessibility features.
Teaching Indonesian Authors to Write IF – Felicity Banks
Novelist Felicity Banks will receive $1,000 to fund an IF workshop for 10-20 English-speaking writers in Indonesia at a writing festival next year, focusing on Twine and ChoiceScript. Felicity knows Indonesia well and is experienced in such workshops, especially for raw beginners; the funds will cover necessary travel requirements. Her project is inspired by the benefits that diversity brings to the IF community, and she intends to serve Indonesia’s vibrant writing community by helping them participate by introducing them to the medium and planting a seed towards a budding Indonesian IF community.
Writing with Inform Audiobook – Ryan Veeder
Based on his experience helping blind users get started with Inform 7, Ryan Veeder saw an opportunity to translate “Writing with Inform” documentation into an audiobook format, thereby making it more accessible to the wider IF community. While assistive technology like screen-reading software can help users who rely on it, it often fails to accurately represent the specific punctuation use and other formal considerations that are critical to Inform 7 code. Therefore, Ryan will receive $400 to start producing a few chapters of Inform 7 documentation in a bespoke audiobook format, to demonstrate the utility and feasibility of such a resource.
Improvements to Pre-Existing IF Research – Brian Rushton
Brian Rushton is a prolific chronicler of the history of IFComp and the XYZZY awards, and is the most active reviewer at the Interactive Fiction Database. Based on the positive reception his writing has earned in the community, Brian wants to fill in the years missing from his history and touch up existing research. He will receive $500 to devote his time toward continuing to write the history of IFComp and the XYZZY awards from about 2016-2022, as well as revising and editing other essays to be more professional, along with standardized and uniform citations. The resulting work will be disseminated for the community’s benefit.
It’s inspiring to see the variety of projects proposed in this cycle, each of which serve the IF community in different ways. We thank all applicants, and we’re excited to see how the awarded projects develop! And we would also like to thank this year’s Grant Advisors, who volunteered their time to review the projects and formulate a recommendation for IFTF: thank you very much to Grim Baccaris, Kate Compton, Emilia Lazer-Walker, Juhana Leinonen, Colin Post, and Kaitlin Tremblay!
Congratulations again to our first batch of funded projects, and keep an eye out for our next grant cycle!