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Interactive Fantasy: The Journal of Role-Playing and Story-Making Systems [Periodical Link] RSS Feed

Four issues, published 1994-1995 by Hogshead Publishing. ISSN 1356-6520.

Publisher James Wallis described this as "a serious magazine about games design and storytelling systems." It had academically-oriented articles, but also reviews of RPGs and related items.


From publisher blurb:

Interactive Fantasy was the first magazine devoted to the subject of interactive narratives and storytelling in games. It included articles by leading designers and game-thinkers of the time, and is cited in many academic works on gaming, but has not been properly available since its original release.

The magazine was published by Hogshead Publishing in 1994-5, and was edited by Andrew Rilstone. There were four issues. The first issue was titled Inter*action but was changed for trademark reasons.

Interactive Fantasy was an attempt to bring insight, intelligence and consistency to the discussion of narrative-based games, which at the time primarily meant tabletop RPGs. We were inspired by Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, and in later issues by Chris Crawford’s Interactive Entertainment Design. We tapped friends and contacts across the world and at all levels of the industry for articles, using the tendrils of fandom, conventions, APAs and the nascent internet RPG community to make links and spread the word. We were astonished by who responded.

Although Interactive Fantasy only lasted for four issues, its list of contributors is almost a who’s-who of forward-thinking tabletop designers of the 1990s. From ground-breaking designers like Jonathan Tweet and Robin D. Laws to industry stalwarts like Greg Stafford, Allen Varney, Nicole Lindroos-Frein (now Nicole Lindroos-Pramas) and Greg Porter, we were very fortunate. People wanted a venue to share their ideas and philosophies of design, and IF was briefly it. In retrospect the jewel in our crown came in issue 2, with Greg Costikyan’s masterful and often-cited essay ‘I Have No Words And I Must Design’, but every issue had high points, and some were very high indeed.

This digital reconstruction is not 100% faithful to the original printed edition. The layout has been recreated but the fonts are not exact matches, and lines and pages break in slightly different places. However, any page-references to the print edition should be applicable to this edition. Advertisements have been scanned and reproduced. A few schoolboy errors in typography have been tightened up and original typos corrected.

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