Chris Crawford has been working on a tool for computer-generated storytelling for a while. Once it was called the Erasmatron; now it's known as the Storytron. Chris has now released a pre-alpha version of Swat, the tool for creating story worlds.
What do I do with Swat?
You edit verbs. A verb is the the most basic atom of action in Storytronics. Actors in a storyworld interact with each other one sentence at a time, and at the core of every sentence is its verb. A storybuilder (the artist who creates a storyworld) creates a storyworld primarily by editing the verbs that can take place in that storyworld. If it's a romantic storyworld, you'll want lots of verbs for romantic interaction. If it's a mystery storyworld, you'll want verbs for deception, misdirection, and inquiry.
All this is done with a special scripting language we created expressly for Storytronics. You will spend most of your time as a storybuilder writing scripts, so it behooves you to start learning now -- and Swat is pretty good with script-writing already. The scripting system we have built is unlike anything you've ever seen. In other words, it's weird. We designed it for non-techie people. Yes, it's a programming language, but it certainly doesn't look like one. Yes, you use it to perform complicated calculations, but we think that anybody who made it through high school algebra can master this language.
Tor Andersson, who originally developed the Gargoyle Glk interpreter, has a new project: Spatterlight. Spatterlight is a multi-interpreter application for Mac OS X. It can run z-code, Glulx, TADS, Hugo, ADRIFT, AGT, and Alan games (among others), and includes an iTunes-like game browser, and can now handle Treaty of Babel metadata and cover art.
IFReviews.org is a community site for collating reviews of interactive fiction. It's officially open now, and is ready for any and all reviews.
Francesco Cordella has announced that the games entered in the 2006 One Room Game Competition are available to be played and rated. There are two English games and seven Italian games. You have until June 11th to vote on which games are the best.
The fifth episode of Gumshoe Online, a free film noir game, has been released.