Spring Thing 2011 -- Unleashed!

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Greg Boettcher

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Jun 17, 2010, 8:43:42 AM6/17/10
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It's official -- Spring Thing 2011 is going to happen. The web site is
up and running, so you can visit it for more information:

http://www.springthing.net/

In case you haven't heard, the Spring Thing is an annual competition
for IF games. There are usually some pretty good prizes, and this year
I have kicked things off with a donation of my own. The rules are a
little different from the IF Comp, and are designed to encourage a
smaller pool of higher-quality games than the IF Comp. Also, the
Spring Thing tries to encourage longer games. Come April, when the
games are in, anybody can play and vote on them, just as in the IF
Comp.

Notable stuff about this year's competition:

(1)
There are already $50 in prizes!

(2)
We are seeking more prize donations -- no amount is too small or
large, and you can donate non-cash items too. See the prizes page for
more details:
http://www.springthing.net/2011/prizes.htm

(3)
If you're an author looking to enter the competition, a good first
step is to check out the rules. Although I've tried to keep the rules
simple, it turns out I'm pretty bad at this. The good news is, I've
tried to keep things nicely spelled out, and it turns out I'm pretty
good at this. Anyway, the rules page is at:
http://www.springthing.net/2011/rules.htm

(4)
Appropriately enough, Spring Thing 2011 takes place in the spring of
2011. Why am I announcing this with eight months to spare? Well,
unfortunately, nobody submitted any games to Spring Thing 2010, and
that was the year I announced the competition later than usual.
Coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. This year, I'm not taking any chances.
I'm announcing the competition with a whopping eight and a half months
to spare. With that much advance notice, there's simply no way to
fail.

(5)
Does anybody know what the dates are for PAX East 2011, or whether
this will be a significant draw of IF gamers? I could budge the ST
dates a week or so in either direction if it would be to people's
benefit.

Greg

Gravel

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Jun 17, 2010, 11:53:51 AM6/17/10
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> there's no way to fail

I think you greatly underestimate my procrastination abilities.

Adam Thornton

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Jun 18, 2010, 12:20:07 AM6/18/10
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In article <f5a3b88c-9a77-43ed...@j4g2000yqh.googlegroups.com>,

Greg Boettcher <WRITET...@gregboettcher.com> wrote:
>(3)
>If you're an author looking to enter the competition, a good first
>step is to check out the rules. Although I've tried to keep the rules
>simple, it turns out I'm pretty bad at this. The good news is, I've
>tried to keep things nicely spelled out, and it turns out I'm pretty
>good at this. Anyway, the rules page is at:
>http://www.springthing.net/2011/rules.htm

How is previously unreleased defined?

Is a game which has had a prior release of a preview or shortened
version eligible?

Adam

Jim Aikin

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Jun 18, 2010, 1:11:27 AM6/18/10
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On 6/17/2010 9:20 PM, Adam Thornton wrote:
>
> How is previously unreleased defined?
>
> Is a game which has had a prior release of a preview or shortened
> version eligible?

Good question. What about entries in IntroComp?

--JA

Jimmy Maher

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Jun 18, 2010, 6:19:26 AM6/18/10
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As of Spring Thing 2009, games that had been previously released in
IntroComp form were not eligible. I assume this is still the case,
unless Greg has specifically changed it. I don't think this is such a
good policy myself, as it effectively puts two contests designed to
encourage longer games in unnecessary competition with each other.
Instead it would be nice to give authors the chance to test their
ideas in the IntroComp and release their completed epics in the Spring
Thing, rather than asking them to choose one contest or the other.
(This sort of cooperation seems a particularly good move considering
that neither contest is exactly drowning in entries, nor is the IF
community drowning in large games.) But in the end Spring Thing is of
course Greg's contest, and it's his decision to make.

But quibbling aside, I'm glad to see Greg is making another go at
Spring Thing. I keep thinking one of these years the dam will break
and Spring Thing will finally attract the interest and quantity of
entries it deserves.

Jimmy

Greg Boettcher

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Jun 18, 2010, 7:33:55 PM6/18/10
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I actually don't remember giving the 2009 ruling that Jimmy mentioned,
but it's consistent with what I've been thinking so far.

So far my default position has always been, "When in doubt, do
whatever the IF Comp does" -- i.e., in this case, don't accept
finished IntroComp games. My vague idea is that if the IF Comp is
doing something, it's sometimes for a good reason, and sometimes due
to many years of experience.

Okay, that's not a very good reason, but I do have another reason.
While I don't find it so objectionable to accept games whose first 25%
was previously released, I really don't want to accept games whose
first 75% was previously released. Thus, if I changed the rules, I'd
be left with the burdensome and thankless task of trying to pull out
the yardstick and decide *how much* of an IntroComp game was
previously released. It would become my most onerous rule to enforce.

I'd be willing to rethink this point of view if I felt there was
overwhelming support for me to do so. What do people think? Do people
feel strongly about this? Is it worth the effort to accept games that
are less-than-halfway released?

Greg

Greg Boettcher

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Jun 18, 2010, 7:56:29 PM6/18/10
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On Jun 17, 7:43 am, Greg Boettcher <WRITETOgre...@gregboettcher.com>
wrote:

> It's official -- Spring Thing 2011 is going to happen.

*** NEWS FLASH ***

Kate McKee has just donated $500 to the prize pool! This is the
largest ST donation ever, bringing the prize pool up to $550. Thanks,
Kate!

Greg

Poster

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Jun 18, 2010, 8:52:36 PM6/18/10
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In article
<5d6be15f-40fc-472f...@x27g2000yqb.googlegroups.com>,
Greg Boettcher <WRITET...@gregboettcher.com> wrote:

I don't feel STRONGLY about it, but I think that it's a good idea to not
accept games that have been submitted to another contest.

--
Poster

www.intaligo.com I6 libraries, doom metal, Building, Zegrothenus
sturmdrangif.wordpress.com Game development blog / IF commentary
Seasons: Q4 '11 -- One-man projects are prone to delays.

Stuart Allen

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Jun 18, 2010, 11:59:47 PM6/18/10
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On Jun 19, 10:52 am, Poster <pos...@nospam.com> wrote:
> I don't feel STRONGLY about it, but I think that it's a good idea to not
> accept games that have been submitted to another contest.

I guess I have mixed feelings about this one. I entered my current WIP
into the IntroComp and I must admit that being able enter it into a
different
comp like Spring Thing would certainly provide some much-needed
motivation, not to mention a deadline to work towards.

The trouble is that I was surprised at how extensive some of the
other
entries were. I certainly only entered the intro to my game, but some
of the other entries were almost complete games. Obviously, there
needs
to be a single rule that covers all games so I can see why people lean
towards not allowing resubmission.

The other big appeal of entering into a comp is almost guaranteed
feedback. I'm not saying that it isn't possible to get many reviews of
a large, well publicised game outside of a comp, particular if you
already
have a name for yourself, but for the rest of us it is still possible
to
release a game, post in the appropriate places and never find out if
anyone liked it or not.

The reason I mention all this is that it gets me thinking whether
there
isn't some other type of organised event that could provide the same
level of feedback as the comps without being a competition as such.
Something for me to think about and organise I guess. :)

Stuart


S. John Ross

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Jun 19, 2010, 12:16:37 AM6/19/10
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> I'd be willing to rethink this point of view if I felt there was
> overwhelming support for me to do so. What do people think? Do people
> feel strongly about this? Is it worth the effort to accept games that
> are less-than-halfway released?

I'm not a comp guy, so no strong feelings.

BUT ... I do feel that poor IntroComp needs some kind of FinishComp to
complement it :) Maybe every four years or so ...

George Oliver

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Jun 18, 2010, 1:58:09 AM6/18/10
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On 6/18/2010 4:33 PM, Greg Boettcher wrote:

> I'd be willing to rethink this point of view if I felt there was
> overwhelming support for me to do so. What do people think? Do people
> feel strongly about this? Is it worth the effort to accept games that
> are less-than-halfway released?

I would like to see shorter games in IntroComp which are then entered as
finished games in Spring Thing. If someone enters a nearly complete game
in IntroComp and then enters it again in Spring Thing, I think there's
enough self-awareness in this community that someone would call that out.

Emily Boegheim

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Jun 19, 2010, 4:50:14 AM6/19/10
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Bother. I'd typed out a long reply to this and then I absent-mindedly
closed the window.

Anyway, the short version is: I agree. Even if opening the competition to
preview-released games only gives the competition one more good game,
that's still a positive. Sure, there are ways to abuse the rule, but I
think you can trust the judges to police them.

Emily

Victor Gijsbers

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Jun 19, 2010, 5:31:59 AM6/19/10
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On 06/19/2010 01:33 AM, Greg Boettcher wrote:

> I'd be willing to rethink this point of view if I felt there was
> overwhelming support for me to do so. What do people think? Do people
> feel strongly about this? Is it worth the effort to accept games that
> are less-than-halfway released?

I would like to weigh in on the "accept games if only a small part has
been published before" side. You could have authors who wish to do this
write down which parts are old and which parts are new, so that you can
more easily see whether a substantial part is new.

Of course, they could "cheat" with this -- but I very much doubt this
will be a problem. If the judges find the update too slight, this will
surely ruin the game's score.

It seems to me that the advantage that IntroComp games and other
non-competition "preludes" can now be entered into the Spring Thing very
much outweighs the disadvantages.

Kind regards,
Victor

dott.Piergiorgio

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Jun 19, 2010, 10:19:33 AM6/19/10
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Amazing !

My kudos to Mrs. McKee.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

Adam Thornton

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Jun 19, 2010, 11:02:42 AM6/19/10
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In article <4c1c8e8f$0$22918$e4fe...@news.xs4all.nl>,

Victor Gijsbers <vic...@lilith.gotdns.org> wrote:
>On 06/19/2010 01:33 AM, Greg Boettcher wrote:
>> I'd be willing to rethink this point of view if I felt there was
>> overwhelming support for me to do so. What do people think? Do people
>> feel strongly about this? Is it worth the effort to accept games that
>> are less-than-halfway released?
>It seems to me that the advantage that IntroComp games and other
>non-competition "preludes" can now be entered into the Spring Thing very
>much outweighs the disadvantages.

Well, to be honest, the reason I'm asking is that, if my game is
finished by then, I may want to toss it into the Spring Thing.

However, it was released as part of the TWIFcomp. The game, as
delivered, exited about halfway through, give or take. However, the
source code was present, so that an enthusiastic player with some
Inform7 skills could have gotten to what will ultimately turn out to be
about 80% of the game.

Thus my interest.

Adam

jeremy...@gmail.com

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Jun 19, 2010, 1:56:02 PM6/19/10
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> I'd be willing to rethink this point of view if I felt there was
> overwhelming support for me to do so. What do people think? Do people
> feel strongly about this? Is it worth the effort to accept games that
> are less-than-halfway released?

My own opinion, I would accept anything that hasn't been released
before as an intendedly complete game. It's a contest that didn't get
any entries this past year. Why not shake things up? Any rules
change/clarification made nine months before the deadline can hardly
be considered ad hoc or unfair. So if it ends up turning some of the
various half-finished quasi-released IF WIPs that exist out there into
finished games, how can that not be a net positive for the community?

--Jeremy

Ron Newcomb

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Jun 19, 2010, 4:18:41 PM6/19/10
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An option would be to disallow previews etc. except for the IntroComp
participants.

Benjamin Penney

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Jun 19, 2010, 10:42:36 PM6/19/10
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On 17/06/2010 10:43 PM, Greg Boettcher wrote:
> It's official -- Spring Thing 2011 is going to happen. The web site is
> up and running

A couple of things you might want to look into:

Links to old entries point to baf.wurb.com (for instance, Tinseltown
Blues goes to http://baf.wurb.com/if/game/1824). From here at least,
baf.wurb.com doesn't resolve properly. The links work if I remove the
"baf" subdomain.

Links in the first paragraph of the 2011 home page include "public_html"
in the URLs and end up at 404 pages.

Regards,
Benjamin Penney.

Greg Boettcher

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Jun 20, 2010, 3:04:18 PM6/20/10
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On Jun 19, 9:42 pm, Benjamin Penney <benja...@nerdshack.com> wrote:
> On 17/06/2010 10:43 PM, Greg Boettcher wrote:
>
> > It's official -- Spring Thing 2011 is going to happen. The web site is
> > up and running
>
> A couple of things you might want to look into:
>
> Links to old entries point to baf.wurb.com (for instance, Tinseltown
> Blues goes tohttp://baf.wurb.com/if/game/1824). From here at least,

> baf.wurb.com doesn't resolve properly. The links work if I remove the
> "baf" subdomain.
>
> Links in the first paragraph of the 2011 home page include "public_html"
> in the URLs and end up at 404 pages.
>
> Regards,
> Benjamin Penney.

Fixed. Thanks for the report.

Greg

Greg Boettcher

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Jun 20, 2010, 3:06:37 PM6/20/10
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On Jun 18, 6:56 pm, Greg Boettcher <WRITETOgre...@gregboettcher.com>
wrote:

> Kate McKee has just donated $500 to the prize pool! This is the
> largest ST donation ever, bringing the prize pool up to $550. Thanks,
> Kate!

...And then there was another big donation. Poster has just donated
$150, bringing the prize pool up to $700. Thanks, donors!

Greg

Greg Boettcher

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Jun 20, 2010, 3:25:33 PM6/20/10
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Well, it sounds like there is pretty substantial support for opening
up the Spring Thing's doors to "IntroComp games and other non-
competition 'preludes,'" as Victor put it. So okay, let's try it.

Sometime in the next week I'll update the rules to reflect that games
can be entered into the Spring Thing even if part of the game was
already released, **as long as the previously released portion
constitutes no more than approximately half of the game.** I'll
probably also ask authors who are in this situation to email me info
on the details of this as part of the submission process. Note that I
will also look at such games to decide if I agree that the previously
released portion is no more than about 50% of the game. If you think
it's 50% and I think it's 70%, then you won't get into the competition
(and I'll refund your entry fee, if already paid).

But anyway... thanks for the feedback, and I look forward to seeing
how the new rule change works out. As I said, give me a week to write
the new rule change among the rules on the site. And feel free to
write me with any questions.

http://www.springthing.net/

greg at springthing dot X, where X = net

Greg

Robb Sherwin

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Jun 20, 2010, 10:50:51 PM6/20/10
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On Jun 18, 5:33 pm, Greg Boettcher <WRITETOgre...@gregboettcher.com>
wrote:

I think it would be a wonderful idea to accept finished Intro-Comp
games. The best currency you can be paid, in IF, is in the number of
reviews, and entering a competition is the best thing to generate
them. With no major competition accepting finished Intro-Comp games,
well, you can sort of see why they tend to not get finished. Plus -
who does it hurt, really? It also adds a distinct element to the
SpringThing that the Fall Comp doesn't have.

And really, there's been maybe three or four SpringThing games
recently - arbitrarily closing off what could be a nice source of
entries doesn't seem necessary.

Greg Boettcher

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Jun 21, 2010, 7:39:42 PM6/21/10
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On Jun 20, 2:06 pm, Greg Boettcher <WRITETOgre...@gregboettcher.com>
wrote:

> ...And then there was another big donation. Poster has just donated
> $150, bringing the prize pool up to $700. Thanks, donors!

What a remarkable few days it's been...

Wayne Miller has just donated an additional $200. Thanks, Wayne! That
brings the prize pool up to $900, more than twice as high as it's ever
been.

Also, Aaron Reed just donated a copy of his upcoming book, Creating
Interactive Fiction with Inform 7. Thanks to Aaron and to all the
other donors!

And with that, I'll stop spamming the group about every new donation.
I just didn't want Wayne or Aaron to think their donations were
unappreciated.

Greg

Stephen Granade

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Jun 22, 2010, 1:59:52 PM6/22/10
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Greg Boettcher <WRITET...@gregboettcher.com> writes:

I haven't allowed fleshed-out IntroComp games in the annual IF Comp
because I expect that the ratio of new material to previously-seen
material would be too low. Given the kinds of entries the Spring Thing
gets versus the annual IF Competition, I think you're much more likely
to get 75%+ new game. You'd also have the benefit of an additional
inducement for IntroComp authors to complete their game.

Given that, I'd allow finished IntroComp games in the competition. I
also wouldn't worry about trying to measure how much new game is
there. If a game doesn't have a lot of new material, Spring Thing voters
are likely not to vote it as highly as other games, all else being equal.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade
ste...@granades.com

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