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Inform Competition ?!!

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Paul Bowler

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May 3, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/3/95
to
Whilst recovering from a day of writing more code for my piece
of Inform I-F, I decided what fun (using the term loosly) it
would be to quickly write a small Inform diversion to try and
keep my sanity in some way intact. Needless to say this didn't
work, and I am now busy writing two scripts !! However, this
second piece only has five rooms and as such is more complete
than the first one which I have been working on for many
months now.

After this revelation, I thought how great (again, using the
term loosly) it would be to have a sort of _competition_
to write a short piece of Inform, say no more than five rooms.
I'm sure many great masterpieces could be knocked up over a
weekend, adn just think of the publicity !!

I'm not sure what the prize could be though !!

Anybody interested ? Post here, post haste !

--
Paul.

JeffJetton

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May 4, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/4/95
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Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk writes:
>After this revelation, I thought how great (again, using the
>term loosly) it would be to have a sort of _competition_
>to write a short piece of Inform, say no more than five rooms.
>I'm sure many great masterpieces could be knocked up over a
>weekend, adn just think of the publicity !!

I've always thought it would be nice to see more short IF pieces. (SIF, if
you will). You know, the sort of thing the player can play in an hour or
so. I really enjoyed Unnkulian one-half. (which would really be more like
a novella than a short story, I guess)

But then, I have a notoriously short attention span.

- Jeff

Fury Op

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May 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/8/95
to
Actually, I think this would be a good idea. I don't know
what the prizes should be (perhaps a US$5.00 entry fee and the winner
takes the pot?) but if someone lays down the rules, it might be good as
a monthly sort of thing. Or it could just be for fun...

So what should the rules be? Lets think of a few -

-The Game must have at least three but no more than 8 rooms.
-There must be a "win" state - ie. a way to finish, not just
wander aimlessly.
-It must be able to be finished in under two hours by an average
player, versed with IF.
-It must be written with Inform.

And it should be judged on:

-Originality (of story, of execution, of puzzles)
-Amusement Quality
-Style (ie. writing quality, or ability to convey a mood)
-Something else quantifiable

Now we just need someone to organize it and run it. If anyone has any
suggestions or comments, post or email me. I'd love to hear Graham's
opinion on all of this

-Fury Op


--
"you could have it all my empire of dirt
i will let you down i will make you hurt."
-Trent Reznor
*** Visit the Isle Armande @ http://www.rpi.edu/~furiop ***

Allison Weaver

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May 8, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/8/95
to
On 8 May 1995, Fury Op wrote:

>
> Now we just need someone to organize it and run it. If anyone has any
> suggestions or comments, post or email me. I'd love to hear Graham's
> opinion on all of this
>

I really like this idea. Can ftp.gmd.de work with us? If there was a
special directory for a competition, then contestants could upload games
which would then be available for download and play. Let peers do the
judging within a certain timeframe?


________________________________________________________
Allison Weaver | Once you've torn down all of the laws in the country |
CMIS-Univ Md | and you find yourself face to face with the Devil, |
| what will you hide behind? -Becket |


Eileen Mullin

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May 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/9/95
to
In article <3olp28$d...@usenet.rpi.edu>, fur...@rpi.edu wrote:

> Actually, I think this would be a good idea. I don't know
> what the prizes should be (perhaps a US$5.00 entry fee and the winner
> takes the pot?) but if someone lays down the rules, it might be good as
> a monthly sort of thing. Or it could just be for fun...

.
.
.


> Now we just need someone to organize it and run it. If anyone has any
> suggestions or comments, post or email me.


Count me in for wanting to help organize and providing nominal prizes (I
don't think entry fees are a good idea, though).

David Gilbert

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May 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/9/95
to
Fury Op (fur...@cii3116-09.its.rpi.edu) wrote:

: -It must be written with Inform.


Hmmmmm... Why is this? What about a plain IF competition, rather than an
Inform competition? Just wondering because I like the idea, but I don't know
inform ( I use TADS).

Only from the warped mind of,

David L. Gilbert


Brian Lane

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May 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/9/95
to
Eileen Mullin (eil...@interport.net) wrote:

: Count me in for wanting to help organize and providing nominal prizes (I


: don't think entry fees are a good idea, though).

I've been knocking this idea around inside my head for a year or so. Its
nice to see someone else get itout of my head and into the open :>

I would prefer the rules to include any portable IF system, so that Inform
and TADS can be included, but not systems that run under only one OS. I like
TADS, and I'm running Linux, so you know where I'm at.

Prizes. Like what? Money? Infocom memorabilia maybe? Advance release of
Avalon :>

Brian
--
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
G.U.E. Technical Institute 1:138/162.0 | ftp.eskimo.com/blane
FREE Dungeon training for budding adventurers | www.eskimo.com/~blane
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Gerry Kevin Wilson

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May 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/9/95
to
In article <D8BG...@eskimo.com>, Brian Lane <bl...@eskimo.com> wrote:
>
> I've been knocking this idea around inside my head for a year or so. Its
>nice to see someone else get itout of my head and into the open :>
>
> I would prefer the rules to include any portable IF system, so that Inform
>and TADS can be included, but not systems that run under only one OS. I like
>TADS, and I'm running Linux, so you know where I'm at.
>
> Prizes. Like what? Money? Infocom memorabilia maybe? Advance release of
>Avalon :>
>
> Brian

Is there a lot of interest in this contest? If so, I can help run it
through the SPAG mailing list. We can get Volker to put aside a special
directory for entries, come up with an entry deadline, and have the thing
judged by peer voting, the vote being announced both here and on the SPAG
list. Let's see, prizes. I'll contribute a lifetime 10% discount card
for Vertigo software if we get at least 10 entries. Who else wants to
contribute something? Dave, Graham, anyone?

Oh yes, I feel that the design system should only matter insofar as it
lets everyone play the game.
--
<~~~~T~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~>
< R I This space | ~~\ >
< E G intentionally left | /~\ | >
<_V____SOFTWARE_________...@uclink.berkeley.edu_|_\__/__>

David Gilbert

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May 9, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/9/95
to
Gerry Kevin Wilson (whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu) wrote:

: Is there a lot of interest in this contest? If so, I can help run it

: through the SPAG mailing list. We can get Volker to put aside a special
: directory for entries, come up with an entry deadline, and have the thing
: judged by peer voting, the vote being announced both here and on the SPAG
: list. Let's see, prizes. I'll contribute a lifetime 10% discount card
: for Vertigo software if we get at least 10 entries. Who else wants to
: contribute something? Dave, Graham, anyone?

: Oh yes, I feel that the design system should only matter insofar as it
: lets everyone play the game.


Ditto. And I think I have an idea for a contribution.

Marcus-Christopher Ludl

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May 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/10/95
to
David Gilbert (dgil...@bu.edu) wrote:
: Fury Op (fur...@cii3116-09.its.rpi.edu) wrote:

: : -It must be written with Inform.


: Hmmmmm... Why is this? What about a plain IF competition, rather than an
: Inform competition? Just wondering because I like the idea, but I don't know
: inform ( I use TADS).

Yes, why restrict the competition to Inform? Or Inform and TADS? I for my
part don't use any IF-tool, but I'd be happy if my game were also allowed
to compete... of course only games should be accepted that match certain
criterias, like

*) "text-basedness"
*) no graphics, no sound
*) no unusual new functions (just the known commands like "TAKE", "N"...)
*) existance (and "reachablility") of a "win-state"
*) not more than, say, 10 rooms
*) playable within, say, about 5 hours

Anyway, there are still some problems: Who should be the judge? What if
someone does not accept the result? What if the judges make an obviously
"silly" decision?

Marcus

--
----- *********************************************
|M | Marcus-Christopher LUDL
| || ---------------------------------------------
| C || Email: e922...@stud1.tuwien.ac.at
| || Address:
| L|| ---------------------------------------------
---- | And now for something completely different...
---- *********************************************

Brian Lane

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May 10, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/10/95
to
Gerry Kevin Wilson (whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu) wrote:
: > Prizes. Like what? Money? Infocom memorabilia maybe? Advance release of
: >Avalon :>


: Is there a lot of interest in this contest? If so, I can help run it
: through the SPAG mailing list. We can get Volker to put aside a special
: directory for entries, come up with an entry deadline, and have the thing
: judged by peer voting, the vote being announced both here and on the SPAG
: list. Let's see, prizes. I'll contribute a lifetime 10% discount card
: for Vertigo software if we get at least 10 entries. Who else wants to
: contribute something? Dave, Graham, anyone?

I say we do it. Write up a list of rules, set a deadline for entries.

I'd like to keep it limited to under 8 room as suggested in the first
message. No minimum number of rooms(you never know what people can come up
with. How about a party with one location, and just characters to interact
with?).

Design system should be portable between MAC, DOS, and Unix as a minimum
requirement.

Time limit should be say August 1st or so. Time to give students something
to do with their summer break.


I've started writing ideas for mine. (I always do titles first. Gets me
morivated).

Look for it on a ftp site near you (in a couple months, or with a time
machine):

Baldar the Wanderer: The Quest for the Princess's Navel

A whimsical adventurer with a budding Barbarian named Baldar on his quest
to recover the Princess's stolen diamond. Includes the much acclaimed 'How
to be a Barbarian' by Rex the Stout.

Erik Max Francis

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May 11, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/11/95
to
whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu (Gerry Kevin Wilson) writes:

> Let's see, prizes. I'll contribute a lifetime 10% discount card
> for Vertigo software if we get at least 10 entries.

For cryin' out loud, do you even have a business license?


Erik Max Francis, &tSftDotIotE ...!uuwest!alcyone!max m...@alcyone.darkside.com
San Jose, CA ... GIGO, Psi, Universe ... ICBM: 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W _
H.3`S,3,P,3$S,#$Q,C`Q,3,P,3$S,#$Q,3`Q,3,P,C$Q,#(Q.#`-"C`- ftmfbs kmmfa mc2 / \
Omnia quia sunt, lumina sunt. ("All things that are, are lights.") -><- \_/
"We all may have come on different ships, but we're in the same boat now."

Greg Brisson

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May 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/12/95
to
Well, I, for one, would like to add that I'm definitely interested in the
competition on an entry standpoint, if you folks need any reassurance that
there are people interested. I LOVE IF and am glad there are people just
like me! Thank you, everyone, for keeping an underappreciated hobby alive!

- Greg Brisson
2li...@delphi.com

Volker Blasius

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May 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/12/95
to
In article <Pine.SOL.3.91.950508212711.8688A-100000@nova>
Allison Weaver <cm33...@nova.umuc.edu> writes:
>
> I really like this idea. Can ftp.gmd.de work with us? If there was a
>special directory for a competition, then contestants could upload games
>which would then be available for download and play.

No problem. Just tell me that you actually want to do it, and when you
upload games make sure to tell me that they are competition entries so that
they don't get lost in my general backlog swamp. :)

Volker

Ben Chalmers

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May 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/12/95
to
In article <D8DMz...@eskimo.com>,
bl...@eskimo.com (Brian Lane) wrote:

> Gerry Kevin Wilson (whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu) wrote:
> : > Prizes. Like what? Money? Infocom memorabilia maybe? Advance release of
> : >Avalon :>
>
>
> : Is there a lot of interest in this contest? If so, I can help run it
> : through the SPAG mailing list. We can get Volker to put aside a special
> : directory for entries, come up with an entry deadline, and have the thing
> : judged by peer voting, the vote being announced both here and on the SPAG
> : list. Let's see, prizes. I'll contribute a lifetime 10% discount card
> : for Vertigo software if we get at least 10 entries. Who else wants to
> : contribute something? Dave, Graham, anyone?
>
> I say we do it. Write up a list of rules, set a deadline for entries.
>
> I'd like to keep it limited to under 8 room as suggested in the first
> message. No minimum number of rooms(you never know what people can come up
> with. How about a party with one location, and just characters to interact
> with?).

How do we define what a room is? This might sound stupid but it is possible
to use the same number of rooms, but change their descriptions totally.
My idea for a game (a very surreal idea it is too) could well be pushing
the room rules to their limits by what I want to do.

>
> Design system should be portable between MAC, DOS, and Unix as a minimum
> requirement.

Full source should be provided, no matter what language it is in so that
users of other platforms can still try and figure what is going on

>
> Time limit should be say August 1st or so. Time to give students something
> to do with their summer break.
>
>
> I've started writing ideas for mine. (I always do titles first. Gets me
> morivated).
>
> Look for it on a ftp site near you (in a couple months, or with a time
> machine):
>
> Baldar the Wanderer: The Quest for the Princess's Navel
>
> A whimsical adventurer with a budding Barbarian named Baldar on his quest
> to recover the Princess's stolen diamond. Includes the much acclaimed 'How
> to be a Barbarian' by Rex the Stout.
>
> Brian

And check out (eventually)

All the Worlds a Flat.

A mystery spanning the ages and involving one very battered Teddy Bear.

(Assuming the room rule is explained better)


--
+---------------------------------------+
+-Lotsa Luv b...@bench.demon.co.uk-|Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary|-+
| +---------------------------------------+ |
| SELFISH, adj. Devoid of consideration for the selfishness of others. |
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
... Profanity, the language computerists know.

Gareth Rees

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May 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/12/95
to
Gerry Kevin Wilson <whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu> wrote:
> Is there a lot of interest in this contest?

If such a competition does emerge, I will donate my vintage copy of
"Castles and Kingdoms: An electrifying compendium of 15 BASIC adventures
you can type in to your Commodore 64" by Bob Liddil as one of the prizes
(-8.

I agree that the adventure-writing system shouldn't matter and that
portability should.

--
Gareth Rees

Paul Bowler

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May 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/12/95
to
In article <blasius.28...@gmd.de> bla...@gmd.de "Volker Blasius" writes:

>
> No problem. Just tell me that you actually want to do it, and when you
> upload games make sure to tell me that they are competition entries so that
> they don't get lost in my general backlog swamp. :)
>
> Volker
>

As I started this posting, it is probably right that I finish it, so on \
behalf of everyone interested..... LETS DOOOOOO IT !!!

Sorry, I didn't mean to shout, I'm just a little excited.

May I suggest that the first entries are in by the end of June, or do you
all think that is a little too soon ? I suppose I have a slight advantage of
having a piece almost completed, but it has only taken me about four days
so far (and not full days at that), so I personally don't think a month is
asking too much.

Most of the rules mentioned so far seem very reasonable. I know I first
said it was to be an Inform competition, but that was primarily because I
write using Inform rather than TADS, but mainly because of the freeware and
portability aspects, but I now think it fair to let you any entries so long
as they can be executable on the main systems. It may be worth mentioning
that it is your own interest to get as many people playing your IF as
possible. That way you have the chance of gaining more votes.

Which leads us on to scoring. May I suggest setting up a competition thread
where anyone can place their top (say) three votes. These votes can then be
added up after the voting period expires (say one month after the closing
date). I personally think aprize isn't really necessary; the exposure and
fame resulting from such a prestigeous event will be reward enough !!

Before we (I ?) ask Volker to go ahead are there any questions/problems/
objections ??


--
Paul.

[ Everyone should have a motto; that's _my_ motto !! ]

Brian Lane

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May 12, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/12/95
to
Greg Brisson (2li...@delphi.com) wrote:
: Well, I, for one, would like to add that I'm definitely interested in the

: competition on an entry standpoint, if you folks need any reassurance that
: there are people interested. I LOVE IF and am glad there are people just
: like me! Thank you, everyone, for keeping an underappreciated hobby alive!

Feedback is exactly what we need. If there isn't enough interest, there's
no point in trying to come up with worthwhile prizes.

Just for the record, count me in. I'm already working on learning
worldclass and outlining my game.

Magnus Olsson

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May 13, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/13/95
to
First of all, let me say that I really like the idea of a competition
for short IF. I would prefer if TADS entries were accepted, because it
would save not only me, but lots of other people, the trouble of
learning Inform (which isn't the easiest thing in the world).

In article <19950512....@bench.demon.co.uk>,


Ben Chalmers <B...@bench.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>> I'd like to keep it limited to under 8 room as suggested in the first
>> message. No minimum number of rooms(you never know what people can come up
>> with. How about a party with one location, and just characters to interact
>> with?).
>
>How do we define what a room is? This might sound stupid but it is possible
>to use the same number of rooms, but change their descriptions totally.
>My idea for a game (a very surreal idea it is too) could well be pushing
>the room rules to their limits by what I want to do.

Indeed.

The notion of a "room" is not very well defined. To the implementer,
it's often clear: the code will be structured into "rooms". However, to
the player, it's not obvious at all.

An example: in my game Dunjin, there is one room where you can stand
on a table. Standing on the table, you can reach places you can't if you
are standing on the floor. So, is the table a room or not? In Dunjin,
it actually is: typing "stand on table" will move you to the room
"on the table". But if one hasn't seen the source code, one could very
well argue that "of course a table isn't a roo, it's an object".


But we should still have some limit on the game's complexity: for the
entire contest to be feasible, the games should be small and quickly played.

Having many rooms in any reasonable sense will make the game complex
(because the game will then have a complex geography, or at least a
lot of places to visit), so it could be reasonable to limit the number
of rooms to some one-digit figure. However, one could easily imagine a
game with only one room, but this room crammed chock full with
objects. An example is "Mop and Murder", which though relatively brief
certainly can't be solved in an hour. Maybe we should limit the number
of objects?

Limiting the size of the source or executable isn't really fair, since
the code size require to implement the same game varies greatly
between languages.

Maybe one should limit the size of the _text_? Then the author could
choose either to make a very small advenutre in terms of rooms,
objects and actors, with very rich descriptions, lots of flowery
prose, etc, or to make a relatively large one, with many objects woith
very brief descriptions.

This would also correlate with the time needed to play it, since the
more text there is, the more time you have ot spend reading, looking
for clues, etc.

And maybe the question of whether an entry is too large should be left
to the users. Perhaps a game shouldn't automatically be disqualified just
because it has 9 rooms instead of 8, but whoever is going to rate
the entires should be instructed to let size influence their ratings.

>> Design system should be portable between MAC, DOS, and Unix as a minimum
>> requirement.
>
>Full source should be provided, no matter what language it is in so that
>users of other platforms can still try and figure what is going on

I agree. Preferably, the authors should also be required to give their
games away for free - not to give away the rights (or put the code in
the public domain), but not to charge anything for it.

>
>>
>> Time limit should be say August 1st or so. Time to give students something
>> to do with their summer break.
>>
>>
>> I've started writing ideas for mine. (I always do titles first. Gets me
>> morivated).
>>

Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se) / yacc computer club, Lund, Sweden
Work: Innovativ Vision AB, Linkoping (magnus...@ivab.se)
Old adresses (may still work): mag...@thep.lu.se, the...@selund.bitnet
PGP key available via finger (to df.lth.se) or on request.

Jacob S Weinstein

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May 13, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/13/95
to
Paul Bowler <Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk> writes:

>Which leads us on to scoring. May I suggest setting up a competition thread
>where anyone can place their top (say) three votes. These votes can then be
>added up after the voting period expires (say one month after the closing
>date). I personally think aprize isn't really necessary; the exposure and
>fame resulting from such a prestigeous event will be reward enough !!

Is it really necessary to post votes to a thread? I think it would be
more efficient if some kind soul volunteers to tabulate the results, and
people e-mail them to him or her--no reason to waste bandwidth.

And while I'm posting--I agree that judges should be on the honor system
to play all the games, rahter than have to answer a question.

Brian Lane

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May 13, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/13/95
to
Paul Bowler (Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk) wrote:

: As I started this posting, it is probably right that I finish it, so on \


: behalf of everyone interested..... LETS DOOOOOO IT !!!

: Sorry, I didn't mean to shout, I'm just a little excited.

YAAAAA! Let's just do it! (oops, don't mean any copyright infringement
there...)

: May I suggest that the first entries are in by the end of June, or do you


: all think that is a little too soon ? I suppose I have a slight advantage of
: having a piece almost completed, but it has only taken me about four days
: so far (and not full days at that), so I personally don't think a month is
: asking too much.

End of June sounds good to me. A less than 10 room game shouldn't take too
long.

: Most of the rules mentioned so far seem very reasonable. I know I first


: said it was to be an Inform competition, but that was primarily because I
: write using Inform rather than TADS, but mainly because of the freeware and
: portability aspects, but I now think it fair to let you any entries so long
: as they can be executable on the main systems. It may be worth mentioning
: that it is your own interest to get as many people playing your IF as
: possible. That way you have the chance of gaining more votes.

Lets leave it open. If it only runs on one OS, then it will lose out, but
we should leave that decision up to the author.

: Which leads us on to scoring. May I suggest setting up a competition thread


: where anyone can place their top (say) three votes. These votes can then be
: added up after the voting period expires (say one month after the closing
: date). I personally think aprize isn't really necessary; the exposure and
: fame resulting from such a prestigeous event will be reward enough !!

I would set up a mailinglist, but my UUCP connectino isn't up yet. If its
active before anyone else takes control, I'll volunteer to run a competition
list, with summaries posted here.

: Before we (I ?) ask Volker to go ahead are there any questions/problems/
: objections ??

Need an official list of rules, just to keep things kosher.

My main points:

10 rooms or less
Solve in less than a week of moderate playing(of course this will vary
somewhat).
Fun!

JeffJetton

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May 14, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/14/95
to
Just thought I'd toss my two cents into the fountain again. I say we make
this a rather informal (no pun intended) contest. We could discuss the
nitty-gritty of the rules for months and never get anything done.

First, on the issue of portability, I think requiring that the programs
run on PCs and Macs is good enough, which pretty much means that either
TADS or Inform be allowed. If the game can't run on, say, a Timex-Sinclair
1000, then so be it. Not only do PCs and Macs cover about 90% of the
platforms used for playing IF out there, they, in all likelihood, cover
99% of the platforms used for *creating* IF, which is what this is about
anyway.

Second, as far as the voting process goes, the honor system would be fine
by me. People could download the games, rate them, and e-mail their
ratings to a volunteer. The volunteer would have to check for "ballot
stuffing", but I think we're a pretty trustworthy group.

Third, the subject of rooms is a tricky one. As stated here before, what
is a *room* anyway? I vote for less than 10, but who really cares? A big
factor in the ratings should be what the author does with those rooms. A
game with that does a lot with 12 locations would rank higher in my book
than one that has only 5, but does nothing with them. Of course, one with
2 rooms that still engages the imagination would rank above them all. In
any case, any room limit should be pretty "fuzzy", and the voter should
consider how well the game conforms to the general concept of "short IF".

But enough of my yakkin', let's get this thing going!

Regards,

- Jeff

Paul Bowler

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May 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/15/95
to

I'm not entirely happy about releasing the source code for my piece
of I-F. The main reason for me posting the idea of a SIF competition
was to increase the number of works out there. Being in the middle of
creating a large Inform piece myself I know just how long it takes to
write (the coding is the easy bit; coming up with the ideas to put into
code is many times more difficult), which is why I suggested a short
piece. The 'competition' aspect was really just motivation to get
people writing. The resulting programs were intended to be games
in their own right, not just means for earning a few bucks, and as such
a would feel cheated to release my own code or have a walk-through
immediately available. The 'fun' would be ruined instantly.

I though that after a few games had been downloaded, more and more
people would be encouraged to do the same, thus increasing the scope
for discussion (I am rather tired of us all just talking about IF
rather than getting out there and playing it - after all, that's the
fun part isn't it ?!). Remember the amazing number of postings that
were flying around a few months ago when Grahams 'Curses !' was in
full swing ?

The creation of interactive fiction was my intention, _not_ the great
who-can-vote-who-can't-vote argument that it is rapidly becoming.

Shouldn't we get back to the point ?

Paul O'Brian

unread,
May 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/15/95
to
Paul Bowler <Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk> writes:

>I'm not entirely happy about releasing the source code for my piece
>of I-F.

Maybe a good thing would be to think about it this way: A great side benefit of having this competition (besides having more games out there to play) would be the resulting increase in available source code for Inform (not that Inform necessarily SHOULD be the language of choice, but there is far more source code available for TADS), which can only help those people out there (like me) who are working to learn Inform and sometime in the future write their own games. I know that one of the frustrations I have had with trying to teach myself Inform is that there just aren't that many examples out there, especially of the non-pedestrian variety (I loved Adventure, too, but it just wasn't that sophisticated by today's standards). So, releasing your source code CAN help move towards the goal you mention in your post: the eventual creation of more IF.

>The resulting programs were intended to be games
>in their own right, not just means for earning a few bucks, and as such
>a would feel cheated to release my own code or have a walk-through
>immediately available. The 'fun' would be ruined instantly.

It seems to me that it doesn't necessarily follow that having source code out there would necessarily spoil the fun. After all, there's no reason why people who are of a like viewpoint (again, like me) can't just download the game file, play it, and when they've solved it (the fun part) THEN look at the source code. The best of both worlds, eh? Not only that, but a spoiler file might also help those of us (once again, like me) who don't have a whole lot of spare time, but want to try to play all the games entered and, if the votes are going to be due by a certain date (and I can't imagine a competition without a deadline), may need a clue or two to solve the game so that we can judge it as a complete work.

--
Paul O'Brian obr...@ucsu.colorado.edu
"No one knows how I feel or what I say unless you read between my lines"
-Stevie Nicks

Gerry Kevin Wilson

unread,
May 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/15/95
to
In article <800542...@mdown.demon.co.uk>,

Paul Bowler <Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
>I'm not entirely happy about releasing the source code for my piece
>of I-F. The main reason for me posting the idea of a SIF competition
>was to increase the number of works out there. Being in the middle of
>creating a large Inform piece myself I know just how long it takes to
>write (the coding is the easy bit; coming up with the ideas to put into
>code is many times more difficult), which is why I suggested a short
>piece. The 'competition' aspect was really just motivation to get
>people writing. The resulting programs were intended to be games

>in their own right, not just means for earning a few bucks, and as such
>a would feel cheated to release my own code or have a walk-through
>immediately available. The 'fun' would be ruined instantly.

Well, those two things will be optional, I reckon. Sort of like most of
the other rules. On the other hand, I AM trying to create, if not an
impartial field, at least a decently fair one, or it will discourage
entries, and that is a Bad Thing (tm).

>I though that after a few games had been downloaded, more and more
>people would be encouraged to do the same, thus increasing the scope
>for discussion (I am rather tired of us all just talking about IF
>rather than getting out there and playing it - after all, that's the
>fun part isn't it ?!). Remember the amazing number of postings that
>were flying around a few months ago when Grahams 'Curses !' was in
>full swing ?

But on the other hand, this newsgroup is about talking about writing such
games, not for particularly discussing finished works. I mean, not
unless I've missed something. We have rec.games.int-fiction for that
sort of thing, and the messages there, while not whizzing around, still
come at a fairly respectable rate.

>The creation of interactive fiction was my intention, _not_ the great
>who-can-vote-who-can't-vote argument that it is rapidly becoming.

I didn't ask for that either, you might have noticed, it has evolved as a
side-effect of throwing open the game to all the authors here, and as
such must be dealt with, unpleasant or no.

>Shouldn't we get back to the point ?

I suspect that we will in about a week or so. But people have needed
rules ever since Hammurabi (sp?) and his codes. Probably before then.
So, we sort out the nit pickings, and then it's back to business.

--
<~~~VERTIGO~~~~~~~~~~~~THE~BRASS~LANTERN~~~~~~ISSUE~1~INCL~W/AVALON~~|~~~~~~~>
< In the irreverent tradition of _The New Zork Times_ comes The | ~~\ >
< Brass Lantern, an informative newsletter from Vertigo Software. | /~\ | >
<___SOFTWARE____________...@uclink.berkeley.edu__|_\__/__>

Ben Chalmers

unread,
May 15, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/15/95
to
In article <800542...@mdown.demon.co.uk>,
Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk (Paul Bowler) wrote:

>
> I'm not entirely happy about releasing the source code for my piece
> of I-F. The main reason for me posting the idea of a SIF competition
> was to increase the number of works out there. Being in the middle of
> creating a large Inform piece myself I know just how long it takes to
> write (the coding is the easy bit; coming up with the ideas to put into
> code is many times more difficult), which is why I suggested a short
> piece. The 'competition' aspect was really just motivation to get
> people writing. The resulting programs were intended to be games
> in their own right, not just means for earning a few bucks, and as such
> a would feel cheated to release my own code or have a walk-through
> immediately available. The 'fun' would be ruined instantly.
>

> I though that after a few games had been downloaded, more and more
> people would be encouraged to do the same, thus increasing the scope
> for discussion (I am rather tired of us all just talking about IF
> rather than getting out there and playing it - after all, that's the
> fun part isn't it ?!). Remember the amazing number of postings that
> were flying around a few months ago when Grahams 'Curses !' was in
> full swing ?

I agree understand what you are saying, and I think it looks like the
competition will do just what you are suggesting it should (I know it has got
me to write a game). I don't think the releasing of source code will spoil
anyones fun (after all I got all the hints free in the LTOI package but
rarely refer to them). Since the game should be playable in 2 hours it
makes little sense making it too difficult - the game should be an interesting
diversion, not another crossword puzzle. Because of this releasing your
source code should help people enjoy it more (showing them extra aspects
of the game).

Your source will have a far better role however. I imagine many people are
looking for just the sort of code these bite sized games will give - the
inspiration neded for them to go and do something similar. They will be
an excellent acompanyment to resorces such as the Inform programmers page.

For me, coding has always has been more fun than playing games (but then I am
rather strange) I really hope this competition will get me fully launched
into the IF coding scene.

TTFN

Ben

--
Lotsa Luv b...@bench.demon.co.uk-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-
= In you're heart you know its real... =
- Squiggle (the author formerly known as Terry Pratchett) -
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
... A bird in the hand is safer than one overhead.

Mathematical Institute, (01865) 2-73525

unread,
May 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/16/95
to
If I might presume to suggest that we have a consensus on rules for
this competition, how about:

(a) Closing date: end of August (I think this is more reasonable,
and nicer since it means there will be games around on the net
for the start of the next academic year);

(b) At most 8 locations (I've tried this one, since 8 is about the
number of locations in Balances);

(c) Written in either TADS or Inform;

(d) With source code made public, all to be archived together.

Perhaps, as a gesture of reconciliation in this schismatic world, the
winning entry could be ported to both systems (a game this size can
usually be ported in a couple of evenings' work, I think).

I suggest that at the end of August, or thereabouts, executables
(e.g. Infocom format story files, or TADS executables for Macs and PCs)
are lodged in a special directory at ftp.gmd.de for the world to play
as much as it can stand, and that someone collect votes by email;
or perhaps, rather than votes (which would only be appropriate if you'd
played all the games thoroughly), scores out of 10.

It might be fun if the entries were anonymous during the judging period.

Graham Nelson


Neil Demause

unread,
May 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/16/95
to
Count me in for a game, and you can have my source code too, though it'll
be in TADS. This whole thing is a great idea.

One question, though: If Whizzard's going to be away from his Net account
for the summer, should he really be tabulating the votes? Wouldn't it
make more sense for someone who's going to be online regularly do it, at
least this time around?

Andrew C. Plotkin

unread,
May 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/16/95
to
I believe I will be in on this; I think I can get something together
by August 1. (Earlier is unlikely. Free time. Sigh. First I have to
get this Mac port of XZip working, for lo, I am cantankerous and want
my interface the way I want it. Yes, I've tried MacZIP and ZEX.)

I'll be using Inform, in case anyone is counting.

--Z

"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."

Andrew C. Plotkin

unread,
May 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/16/95
to
Thinking about it, I am averse to the idea of releasing my source code
or a transcript. (For the same reasons that I never give out hints: if
you go through my game with hints, you're not experiencing the artwork
that I tried to produce. And also, I break down and look at hints too
quickly, so I figure you will too. :-)

I understand that something like that will be necessary for the
purposes of a contest. I'll probably just break down and upload the
game and source separately. (Assuming I finish them, of course.)

Gerry Kevin Wilson

unread,
May 16, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/16/95
to
In article <3pab9f$7...@subway.echonyc.com>,
Neil Demause <ne...@echonyc.com> wrote:

>One question, though: If Whizzard's going to be away from his Net account
>for the summer, should he really be tabulating the votes? Wouldn't it
>make more sense for someone who's going to be online regularly do it, at
>least this time around?

Ah, grasshopper. Whizzard will be moving to AOL for the summer, but will
return to uclink in the fall, as the birds return to the south year after
year to roost for the winter.
--
<~~~~~E~~~G~~~SIGHT~UNSEEN~~~LOST~IN~THE~FOG~~~CYBER~CHESS~~~SPAG~~~|~~~~~~~>
< V R I O Software. We bring words to life! | ~~\ >
< T "We at Vertigo apologize for the delay. Sorry." | /~\ | >
<_WATCH for Avalon in early 1995!_____w...@uclink.berkeley.edu__|_\__/__>

Dan Shiovitz

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May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
In article <1995May16.133809.32409@oxvaxd>,

Mathematical Institute, (01865) 2-73525 <nel...@vax.oxford.ac.uk> wrote:
>If I might presume to suggest that we have a consensus on rules for
>this competition, how about:
[...]

> (d) With source code made public, all to be archived together.
Perhaps, to satisfy the people who don't wish to make their games too easy
by releasing source (and I'm *always* tempted to cheat when source is available
:P), the authors could wait until after the contest to make the source
available?

>It might be fun if the entries were anonymous during the judging period.

Also a good idea.

> Graham Nelson
--

------------------------------------------------+--------------
The Grim Reaper ** scy...@u.washington.edu |
Dan Shiovitz ** sh...@cs.washington.edu | Aude
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ | Sapere
_Music of the Spheres_ : Coming Nov '95 |
------------------------------------------------+--------------


Gareth Rees

unread,
May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
Mathematical Institute, (01865) 2-73525 <nel...@vax.oxford.ac.uk> wrote:
> If I might presume to suggest that we have a consensus on rules for
> this competition, how about [...]

That sounds good to me; but what about allowing AGT games as well (the
AGT interpreter seems quite portable)? I would suggest that votes be a
list of games you have played in order of preference, with the winner
calculated by single transferrable vote.

--
Gareth Rees

Gerry Kevin Wilson

unread,
May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
In article <GDR11.95M...@stint.cl.cam.ac.uk>,
Gareth Rees <gd...@cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:

>That sounds good to me; but what about allowing AGT games as well (the
>AGT interpreter seems quite portable)? I would suggest that votes be a
>list of games you have played in order of preference, with the winner
>calculated by single transferrable vote.

Hell, games written in C are fine as long as they can be played on Mac,
MSDOS, and Unix with little or no trouble (i.e. no forcing players to
compile it themselves.)

I still feel very strongly that if we are going the voting route at all,
then we require folks to play/read transcript and source of every entry.
In a 'real' contest, all entries are given consideration equally (or as
equally as possible). You wouldn't have a Mrs. America pageant judge
going to the bathroom during part of the judging and so missing several
of the entries altogether. This contest has the potential to degenerate
into a 'my programming language is bettter than yours' flamewar, when all
I'd like to see done is let everyone participate and give them all an
equal opportunity to win. If the potential voters don't feel that they
can be impartial, then we need to consider other venues of judging.

I stated before that an imperfect contest was better than none at all.
Let me amend to this: An unfair contest is worse than none at all. It
creates division in a community that is small enough as it is.

A judging system that gives an advantage to a game for reasons other than
merit is an unfair system, and should not be considered. Consider, if
players vote on the games the play, and aren't required to play them all,
then there's no basis for a contest at all. If a player doesn't like the
title you gave the game, he can just decide not to download it at all,
zing, you're out of it. If he thinks your game is too big to download,
zing, history. If he knows you and dislikes you personally, zing,
doesn't even have to look at the game. No, I am definitely pushing for
an 'equal time' system wherein all games are, if not given the absolute
same opportunity, at least get looked at by every judge.

Anyways, you may not agree with some of the things I've said above, but
the main one, that everybody should have an equal chance of winning, is
necessary if you want people to come back the next contest you hold.
Will they say, "Cool, I can't wait to try again." or will it be "Oh
geez. Last time nobody even played the TADS games, so why should I
bother this year?"
--
<~~~~T~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~|~~~~~~~>
< R I This space | ~~\ >
< E G intentionally left | /~\ | >
<_V____SOFTWARE_________...@uclink.berkeley.edu_|_\__/__>

Brian Lane

unread,
May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
Mathematical Institute, (01865) 2-73525 (nel...@vax.oxford.ac.uk) wrote:
: If I might presume to suggest that we have a consensus on rules for
: this competition, how about:

: (a) Closing date: end of August (I think this is more reasonable,


: and nicer since it means there will be games around on the net
: for the start of the next academic year);

Sounds reasonable! I may actually finish by then.

: (b) At most 8 locations (I've tried this one, since 8 is about the


: number of locations in Balances);

Actually I think the 2 hour play limit is more reasonable than a room
limit. I have several locations that are really just for decoration which
may push me over the limit. Removing them would affect the 'feel' of the
game.

: (c) Written in either TADS or Inform;

: (d) With source code made public, all to be archived together.

: Perhaps, as a gesture of reconciliation in this schismatic world, the


: winning entry could be ported to both systems (a game this size can
: usually be ported in a couple of evenings' work, I think).

: I suggest that at the end of August, or thereabouts, executables
: (e.g. Infocom format story files, or TADS executables for Macs and PCs)
: are lodged in a special directory at ftp.gmd.de for the world to play
: as much as it can stand, and that someone collect votes by email;
: or perhaps, rather than votes (which would only be appropriate if you'd
: played all the games thoroughly), scores out of 10.

Sounds good!

: It might be fun if the entries were anonymous during the judging period.

Why?

Paul Bowler

unread,
May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to

Are we starting to argue again or have I just had an huge deja-vue ?!

If this is going to get anywhere at all we have to come up with a
solution. One way is to segrate each system into its own category,
i.e. have an Inform, TADS, _and_ AGT competition. It doesn't make
things more complicated other than having three winners rather than
one. A fourth group called 'other' could be used for people wishing
to enter using more novel forms of creation.

Any good or am I going to be flamed yet again ?!!! (yes, I'm talking
to YOU whizzard !!)

Andrew C. Plotkin

unread,
May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
Paul Bowler <Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk> writes:
> Are we starting to argue again or have I just had an huge deja-vue ?!
>
> If this is going to get anywhere at all we have to come up with a
> solution. One way is to segrate each system into its own category,
> i.e. have an Inform, TADS, _and_ AGT competition. It doesn't make
> things more complicated other than having three winners rather than
> one. A fourth group called 'other' could be used for people wishing
> to enter using more novel forms of creation.

I dislike this. This is a competition of game design. I don't want to
not be compared with other people's work because of implementation
choice.

I'd go with the suggestion of a voting system that doesn't require
everyone to play every game. It can be done fairly (well, with the
unfairness distributed fairly. :-) The Hugo Awards work like this, for
example.

Hm, put it this way: clearly it is impossible that everyone be able to
play every game. But I don't think a transcript fairly represents a
game. So we *have* to use such a voting system.

Oh, and if I may supply some Halon: I will be working on a short game,
hoping to be completed by the end of the summer, *regardless* of
whether a contest gets organized. I humbly suggest that everyone who's
planning to enter do the same. If we don't have the First Annual I-F
Competition, we'll have the First Annual Tournee of I-F, and damn the
prizes (which were nominal anyway, fer Chrissake!)

Neil Demause

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May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
Gareth Rees (gd...@cl.cam.ac.uk) wrote:

: Mathematical Institute, (01865) 2-73525 <nel...@vax.oxford.ac.uk> wrote:
: > If I might presume to suggest that we have a consensus on rules for
: > this competition, how about [...]

: That sounds good to me; but what about allowing AGT games as well (the


: AGT interpreter seems quite portable)? I would suggest that votes be a
: list of games you have played in order of preference, with the winner
: calculated by single transferrable vote.

Uh, people, I thought the whole problem with AGT was that it won't run on
newer Macs (i.e., anything from the past five years or so).

Aside from that, I heartily endorse Graham's suggestions.

russ...@wanda.pond.com

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May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
In article <GDR11.95M...@stint.cl.cam.ac.uk>,

Gareth Rees <gd...@cl.cam.ac.uk> wrote:
}Mathematical Institute, (01865) 2-73525 <nel...@vax.oxford.ac.uk> wrote:
}> If I might presume to suggest that we have a consensus on rules for
}> this competition, how about [...]
}
}That sounds good to me; but what about allowing AGT games as well

Gaak!

} (the AGT interpreter seems quite portable)?

Not IMO.


Jason Dyer

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May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
Andrew C. Plotkin (erky...@CMU.EDU) wrote:
: Paul Bowler <Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk> writes:
: Hm, put it this way: clearly it is impossible that everyone be able to

: play every game. But I don't think a transcript fairly represents a
: game. So we *have* to use such a voting system.

Why is it impossible? I doubt there will be that many entries...

--
Jason Dyer - jd...@indirect.com

John Holder

unread,
May 17, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/17/95
to
Thus spake Mathematical Institute, (01865) 2-73525 (nel...@vax.oxford.ac.uk):
] If I might presume to suggest that we have a consensus on rules for
] this competition, how about:

Add: An unlimited number of entries allowed. (Unlikely to be a necessary rule,
I know.)

As far as entries go, I will strive to play anything that will compile on
my DEC Alpha running UNIX, or on my SPARCstation. I know TADS and Inform
work, and I don't mind downloading and compiling anything that will be
required to play other systems. If I have to, I'll even use a PC. Now,
let's stop arguing about systems of choice and get to work on some entries!
__ __
__/\_\ John Holder - jho...@nmsu.edu /_/\__
/\_\/_/ Computer Science - New Mexico State University \_\/_/\
\/_/\_\ I Brew the Beer I drink! /_/\_\/
\/_/ Hmmm... Let's brew up a good adventure, shall we? \_\/

Mark Jefferys

unread,
May 18, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/18/95
to
[Deactivating lurking device.]

In article <3pce07$k...@agate.berkeley.edu>, whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu
(Gerry Kevin Wilson) wrote:

% I still feel very strongly that if we are going the voting route at all,
% then we require folks to play/read transcript and source of every entry.

If there are too many entries, this may make judging impossible for more
than a select few.

% Consider, if
% players vote on the games the play, and aren't required to play them all,
% then there's no basis for a contest at all. If a player doesn't like the
% title you gave the game, he can just decide not to download it at all,
% zing, you're out of it. If he thinks your game is too big to download,
% zing, history. If he knows you and dislikes you personally, zing,
% doesn't even have to look at the game.

This isn't really true. As long as we know which games each judge
examined, this problem can be avoided. We only need to ensure that each
game has enough ratings to dilute individual bias.

For example:

Suppose each judge rates each game tried from 1 to 5. We could average
all the ratings for a particular game, ranking them by highest average.
The fact that some games have more ratings than others won't help (or
hinder) them.


Of course, this won't stop someone from rating your game badly because
they don't like you. There is something to be said for anonymity.


Mark

Magnus Olsson

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May 18, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/18/95
to
In article <mjeffery-180...@134.10.6.1>,

Mark Jefferys <mjef...@reed.edu> wrote:
>[Deactivating lurking device.]
>
>In article <3pce07$k...@agate.berkeley.edu>, whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu
>(Gerry Kevin Wilson) wrote:
>
>% I still feel very strongly that if we are going the voting route at all,
>% then we require folks to play/read transcript and source of every entry.
>
>If there are too many entries, this may make judging impossible for more
>than a select few.

I have no idea of how many entries there'll be: maybe five, maybe 25,
probably less than 50. Playing 10 or 20 adventure games, let alone 50,
is certainly not a trivial undertaking, even if they are quite small.
I've seen the size requirement "max an hour to solve" mentioned. This
may be possible if it means "max one hour for an _experienced_ player,
but a beginner may need days for a single puzzle. Maybe the judges
should get walkthroughs for all games after, say, a week, to ensure
they don't get stuck (and, believe me, with amateur-written games
there will be the occasional "guess-what-the-author-is-thinking
puzzle"?

One idea I have to speed up the process while ensuring fairness is to
distribute the games randomly among the judges. For example, if there
are 20 entries and 25 judges, each game could be assigned to 5
different judges, and each judge would be given four games to rate.
He/she would be required to rate all of these, and none of the others.

> Suppose each judge rates each game tried from 1 to 5. We could average
>all the ratings for a particular game, ranking them by highest average.
>The fact that some games have more ratings than others won't help (or
>hinder) them.

This could alos be a possible scheme - provided every game is rated by
at least one judge. The problem would be bad statistics - som egames
may end up being played by only one or two judges, while others might
be played by everyone and hence receive a more "average" score.

>Of course, this won't stop someone from rating your game badly because
>they don't like you. There is something to be said for anonymity.

Definitely!

I propose that each entry be signed with a pseudonym (for copyright
reasons - I wouldn't be very keen on releasing a completely anonymous
copy of my game) and that only the organizer (who is not allowed to
judge) know the true names of the authors. I'm probably going to
add a PGP signature to my code as well, so I can prove afterwards that
it's really mine [What? Me paranoid? :-)].

Ben Chalmers

unread,
May 18, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/18/95
to
In article <IjiVksO00...@andrew.cmu.edu>,

erky...@CMU.EDU ("Andrew C. Plotkin") wrote:

> Paul Bowler <Pa...@mdown.demon.co.uk> writes:
> > Are we starting to argue again or have I just had an huge deja-vue ?!
> >
> > If this is going to get anywhere at all we have to come up with a
> > solution. One way is to segrate each system into its own category,
> > i.e. have an Inform, TADS, _and_ AGT competition. It doesn't make
> > things more complicated other than having three winners rather than
> > one. A fourth group called 'other' could be used for people wishing
> > to enter using more novel forms of creation.
>
> I dislike this. This is a competition of game design. I don't want to
> not be compared with other people's work because of implementation
> choice.

How about choosing a winner from each of the four categories, then choosing
an overall winner based on the number of votes from people that use all
three systems or something. I however stand by the view that there is more
to a game than how well it plays, DOOM would never have become popular if
it only played on an Acorn computer - portability of games is a factor.

Alternatively we could choose a winner from each category, port each game
to every other system and vote for an overall winner after that. (I'm sure
since it was sort of his idea Grahem won't mind porting them all to Inform :-)

Ben
--
Lotsa Luv b...@bench.demon.co.uk-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=--=-=-

= In your heart you know its real... =


- Squiggle (the author formerly known as Terry Pratchett) -
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=

... No artist sees reality, if he did he wouldn't be an artist.

Mark Jefferys

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May 19, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/19/95
to
In article <3pg8jh$l...@nic.lth.se>, m...@oberon.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:

% > Suppose each judge rates each game tried from 1 to 5. We could average
% >all the ratings for a particular game, ranking them by highest average.
% >The fact that some games have more ratings than others won't help (or
% >hinder) them.
%
% This could alos be a possible scheme - provided every game is rated by
% at least one judge. The problem would be bad statistics - som egames
% may end up being played by only one or two judges, while others might
% be played by everyone and hence receive a more "average" score.

Exactly. This is what I meant by "we only need to ensure that each
game has enough ratings to dilute individual bias." I was thinking of
more than one rating for each game, though.

Each judge could be provided a randomized list of the games with
instructions to play them in order. The judge could skip games that won't
work on his/her system, and play as many or as few as desired. If any
games still get too few ratings, they can be given to a few more judges to
be rated.


Mark

M. Sean Molley

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May 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/23/95
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I realize that I'm coming in late to this thread, and the issue has
probably already been debated, but I fail to understand why the entrants
cannot also vote. Clearly, if everyone voted for his own game, things
might get a bit out of hand -- but IF authors tend to be a fairly
self-deprecating lot (Steve Meretzky and Whizzard excepted, of course ;)

If you want to ensure that every game will be rated at least a few times,
why not require everyone who enters a game to also rate every other game
that is written using the same system that author used? So if I were to
submit a TADS game, I would also have to rate every other TADS game. If
I chose, I could also play and rate the Inform/Alan/native C/whatever games.

Also, I see no reason to use a numerical rating system. Everyone has a
different idea of what each individual "point" represents. I much prefer
the thought of everyone having to choose three favorite games, in no
particular order. The game which gets the most total votes wins. If two
or more games get the same number of votes, they tie. I mean, it's not
like there is anything at stake here; the idea is just to encourage
people to write and play some new stuff in the near future, right? Or,
if you absolutely must have a tiebreaker, have each person send in their
three favorite games and mark one of them with an asterisk as "the best
of the best". That would be the tiebreaker -- the game which was chosen
by the most people as the best of the three voted for.

Of course, people will have to be on the honor system as to whether or
not they actually play all of the games for their system. And each entry
ought to be anonymized, at least until after the contest. I don't care
whether source code is released or not -- but I think the games all ought
to be freeware, and when the contest's over, an archive/compilation ought
to be put on ftp.gmd.de and we ought to publicize it in various computer
game groups on the net as being available. Might encourage a few people
to play something other than The Space King's Leisure Police Hero XVIII.

Anyway, just my thoughts on the matter.

Sean
----
"Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he
is a tolerable sub-human who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not
make messes in the house." -- Robert Heinlein


K.J. Bracey

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May 23, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/23/95
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In article <3p5dpa$7...@newsbf02.news.aol.com> jeffj...@aol.com
(JeffJetton) writes:

[...]

>First, on the issue of portability, I think requiring that the programs
>run on PCs and Macs is good enough, which pretty much means that either
>TADS or Inform be allowed. If the game can't run on, say, a Timex-Sinclair
>1000, then so be it. Not only do PCs and Macs cover about 90% of the
>platforms used for playing IF out there, they, in all likelihood, cover
>99% of the platforms used for *creating* IF, which is what this is about
>anyway.

I would agree for this competition, that it would be unfair to disallow
anything other than the use of Inform (which full portability effectively
requires). However, I really do feel that for text-based adventures
generally more effort should be made for portability, as they must surely be
the most easily portable kind of game. It is a shame that by using TADS many
authors are excluding part of their potential audience. What prospect is
there of TADS ports to other platforms? (I am thinking in particular of
Acorns, which by the very existence of Curses must surely account for more
than a mere 1% of the platforms used for creating IF).

Otherwise, could I please urge potential authors to consider seriously the
portability benefits of Inform?

Kevin, who does not, and will not, own a PC or Mac
=====

Neil K. Guy

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May 24, 1995, 3:00:00 AM5/24/95