Monthly Archives: October 2020

IFComp 2020

I see that the judging for IFComp 2020 is now open. IFComp is, I would say, the biggest annual competition for interactive fiction. You can find the list of entries here.

IFComp has had a bit if a problem in the past with a relatively low number of judges compared to the number of authors, so I encourage everyone to take a look at the games, and take part in the judging. There are a lot of games, but you only need to judge 5 to make your votes count, and you have until 29th November so plenty of time.
Looking at other people’s games is a great way to get inspiration for your own games.

I did a quick tally of systems used:

  • Glulx 23
  • Z-code 4
  • Windows executable 6
  • Web-based 64
  • ADRIFT 2
  • TADS 3
  • Quest 2
  • Total 104

Glulx and Z-code are both Inform behind the scenes (Glulx has support for 32-bit integers), so that totals 27 for Inform; it usually has a lot of entries. Of the web-based games, all but 10 say they are “Choice-based”, so presumably Squiffy, Twine, ChoiceScript, inklewriter, or similar. Only about three say they are parser based. Given how big this category is, I find it odd they do not say what the system is that was used (I guess this is how the organisers set up the submission form). Three “Windows executable” are choice based, two are parser and one does not say. I find the idea of downloading and running an unknown windows executable a little dubious given the security risks; I wonder if that puts players off. The attraction for authors, of course, is that your players only need to download the game, not the system as well as the game.
Presumably all the other games are parser based (I only checked the Quest ones). I make that about 40 parser games and 54 choice based (and 10 unknown).

There are two Quest games this year:

The Brutal Murder of Jenny Lee

Tombs & Mummies

I only had a very quick look, just enough to see the first page really, but both look well written, and both authors have taken the trouble to customise the interface. I hope they both do well.