July 26, 2016 — March 12, 2021

making things


Figure 1: McCurdy, Lein, Coles and Meyer: Poemage

A jumble of electronic words upon the electronic jumbling of other words.

I am thinking about form. You might find more content-related stuff at narrative or rhetoric.

1 AI-driven composition

Eager to see what it could do, Lepp selected a 500-word chunk of her novel, a climactic confrontation in a swamp between the detective witch and a band of pixies, and pasted it into the program. Highlighting one of the pixies, named Nutmeg, she clicked “describe.”

“Nutmeg’s hair is red, but her bright green eyes show that she has more in common with creatures of the night than with day,” the program returned.

Lepp was impressed. “Holy crap,” she tweeted. Not only had Sudowrite picked up that the scene Lepp had pasted took place at night but it had also gleaned that Nutmeg was a pixie and that Lepp’s pixies have brightly colored hair.

2 Interactive fiction

Figure 2

Putting interactive stories online, in a texty way.

Twine is a classic tool. See Adi Robertson’s Text Adventures: how Twine remade gaming


Easy to play: We created a word-on-word interaction mechanic suitable for touchscreen phones and tablets, as well as web browsers.

Easy to create: Our WYSIWYG editor makes composition and design a right-brained, no code affair — right in the browser.

Easy to share: Click a button to publish and publicly share your work on social media. Or download an .html file to host it yourself or share via email.


See Em Short’s inform7 intro

ink claims to be a literate coding language for narrative that is more like writing than coding. Also

The powerful scripting language behind Heaven’s Vault, 80 Days and Sorcery!

Presumably those were good games?

3 Incoming

An amulet is a kind of poem that depends on language, code, and luck. To qualify, a poem must satisfy these criteria:

  • Its complete Unicode text is 64 bytes or less. [1]
  • The hexadecimal SHA-256 hash of the text includes four or more 8s in a row. [2]

Jeff Noon, Cobralingus, and his “post-futurist manifesto”, Poemage, rhymedesign.

Machine-learning-based rhyme and portmenateau generation? Rhymebrain. Or perhaps botnik writer:

The web prototype of the Botnik predictive keyboard offers word suggestions based on any text you feed it. Load a text file via the menu in the top left, then write using the grid of options.