Acorn User IF Competition

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SJP Mumford

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Mar 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/7/96
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To coincide with Graham Nelson's new column in 'Acorn User', the
magazine is running an interactive fiction competition - no financial
rewards as such, but the authors of the best entries will be able to feel
justifiably proud in the knowledge that their creations will be enjoyed by
numerous players all over the world... If you're interested, here are the
rules.

* Entries should be short text-only adventure games, in any style or
genre; we're looking for games that show plenty of originality as well as
creating a good atmosphere and being fun to play. The competition will be
judged by Graham Nelson, and the best entries will be discussed and
included on a future cover disc or CD ROM.

* Your game must be playable on an Acorn machine under Risc OS; sending
an Inform-compiled story file is fine, as is submitting a stand-alone
program that can be clicked on to run. Unfortunately, because of the
current lack of some of the other popular compilers and interpreters for
the Acorn, it means we can't accept entries in TADS or the like. Unless,
of course, someone out there feels like writing an interpreter to go with
their entry... they'd get a special mention... ;-)

* 'Short' might mean having 10 to 20 locations and something to do in
each of them. A good player ought to be able to win through in one rainy
Sunday afternoon.

* Please don't use characters or situations from books still in
copyright, or from films or television - a parody is legal if you change
all the proper nouns.

* Along with your entry, please send a text file containing a full
solution - an actual list of commands that will complete the game if
entered.

* You retain copyright on your work, but grant Acorn User permission to
include it on a future cover disc or CD ROM. If you've used a commercial
adventure creator, please check that you're allowed to distribute the
run-time code in this way.

The closing date is the 1st of July, and the email address to send your
entries to is aug...@idg.co.uk. If snailmail is your preference, post
them to the IF Competition, Game Show, Acorn User, IDG Media, Media
House, Adlington Park, Macclesfield. SK10 4NP (United Kingdom)

Good luck,
Steve Mumford

--
Steve Mumford - Games Editor, Acorn User
sjp...@york.ac.uk / aug...@idg.co.uk / azi...@argonet.co.uk


Julian Arnold

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Mar 11, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/11/96
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In article <4hs7mc$p...@news.lth.se>, Magnus Olsson
<mailto:m...@marvin.df.lth.se> wrote:
>
> I can't really understand why nobody has written to Mike Roberts and
> offered to port TADS to the Archimedes. The Archimedes may not be a
> best seller outside the UK, but there seems to be a (relatively) huge
> interest in IF among Archimedes users and it's really a shame that
> there's no TADS port available. If I'd had access to an Archimedes,
> I'd do it myself...

Well you ain't having mine, even for so noble a cause. :)

I know of one person who has, possibly two, I can't remember. However,
there's never been a reply.

Jools


Joe Mason

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Mar 12, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/12/96
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"Acorn User IF Competition", declared SJP Mumford from the Vogon ship:

SM>* You retain copyright on your work, but grant Acorn User permission to
SM>include it on a future cover disc or CD ROM. If you've used a commercial
SM>adventure creator, please check that you're allowed to distribute the
SM>run-time code in this way.

Just a quick check - if we keep copyright, does that mean its legal to submit
the same game to the Acorn User contest as to the 1996 I-F Contest? Is there
any clause in the I-F contest rules prohibiting this?

Joe
---
þ CMPQwk #1.42þ UNREGISTERED EVALUATION COPY

Andrew C. Plotkin

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
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joe....@tabb.com (Joe Mason) writes:
> Just a quick check - if we keep copyright, does that mean its legal to submit
> the same game to the Acorn User contest as to the 1996 I-F Contest? Is there
> any clause in the I-F contest rules prohibiting this?

whiz...@uclink.berkeley.edu (Gerry Kevin Wilson) writes:
> This year, do NOT post your entries ahead of time. Jumping the gun is
> punishable by disqualification. Instead, you will need to send me your
> entries privately, either through e-mail (as a uuencoded file) or some other
> arrangement that you will have to work out with me. The entries must be
> received by September 30th, 1996. No entries will be accepted after this
> date.

...and the Acorn contest's deadline is earlier than that.

--Z

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

Graham Nelson

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Mar 13, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/13/96
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In article <MlDyR9600...@andrew.cmu.edu>, "Andrew C. Plotkin" <erky...@CMU.EDU> writes:

> sjp...@york.ac.uk (SJP Mumford) writes:
>> To coincide with Graham Nelson's new column in 'Acorn User', the
>> magazine is running an interactive fiction competition - no financial
>> rewards as such, but the authors of the best entries will be able to feel
>> justifiably proud in the knowledge that their creations will be enjoyed by
>> numerous players all over the world...
>
> What terrible timing.
>
> In case it's not obvious, anyone who planning to enter an Inform game
> in "our" competition (the one Whizzard is administering, I mean) is
> now faced with a choice. The current rulesets don't allow you to enter
> both.
>

Oh dear, do they? The Acorn User rules don't require a game sent to
them to be different from one sent anywhere else. Indeed, I deliberately
set them that way, since I thought it couldn't do any harm to provide
an alternative point of view.

Why shouldn't people submit to both? What harm could it possibly do?
If you do well in the Acorn User competition, then lots of Acorn users
(most of whom have no Internet access) can play your game. What's
wrong with that?

I'm afraid when I planned the AU competition (some time ago, owing to
publishing lead times) the First r.a.i-f competition had finished a
while back and there was no sign of a second, nor had a year elapsed
since the first.

In any case, why is this a problem? The same film often wins the Oscar
as wins the Golden Globe, or whatever it's called. It would be
sad if the rules for the Oscars said "and your film must not win any
other prizes elsewhere".

Graham Nelson


Olly Betts

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Mar 15, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/15/96
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In article <ant11171...@arnod.demon.co.uk>,

I wrote to him offering to do a RISC OS port ages ago (3 years or so now),
got a reply, sent him an NDA and got the source. I got as far as getting a
TADS runtime (full screen text only) to compile and link (Mike recommends
this as the first stage, before porting the compiler, and it does mean that
people can at least run games).

However, the runtime looks OK for a few moves, but soon odd things happen.
Mike said the code has brought out pointer aliasing problems in other
compilers, and suggested this might be the cause. Armed with little
knowledge of the source and a debugger with the power of wet string (!DDT),
I didn't get too far with working out what was going wrong, and the project
got moved to a rather dimly lit back burner.

This was with Acorn C v4. I also tried with GCC 2.5.(mumble), but there
were similar problems. I've not tried C v5 yet -- I've got access to a copy
now, but haven't had a free weekend recently.

If someone with more spare time wants to try, contact me and I'll try to
sort something out with Mike Roberts.

Olly
--
cool wet grass cool wet grass cool wet grass cool wet grass cool wet grass

Magnus Olsson

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Mar 19, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/19/96
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In article <1996Mar13.170050@oxvaxd>,

Graham Nelson <nel...@vax.oxford.ac.uk> wrote:
>> In case it's not obvious, anyone who planning to enter an Inform game
>> in "our" competition (the one Whizzard is administering, I mean) is
>> now faced with a choice. The current rulesets don't allow you to enter
>> both.

(...)

>Why shouldn't people submit to both? What harm could it possibly do?
>If you do well in the Acorn User competition, then lots of Acorn users
>(most of whom have no Internet access) can play your game. What's
>wrong with that?

(...)

>In any case, why is this a problem? The same film often wins the Oscar
>as wins the Golden Globe, or whatever it's called. It would be
>sad if the rules for the Oscars said "and your film must not win any
>other prizes elsewhere".

As far as I've understood Whizzard's intentions, as well as the opinions
expressed in the discussion, the problem is not really with a game
entering both competitions. The problem is one of publication date.

The r.a.i-f competition requires that all entries be original, previously
unpublished works. The reason for this rule is basically fairness: last
year, there was some discussion whether certain games had profited from
being released earlier than the others - or perhaps the opposite!

In the case at hand, any game that enters the AU competition would get
several months' exposure before the judging of the r.a.i-f competition.
It would also get quite wide circulation among AU's readers. This _could_
prejudice people for - or against - these games, compared to those that
aren't released until the other competition's deadline.

Since the AU competition is open to a smaller category of games than
the r.a.i-f competition, it would mean that it would be impossible to
judge the latter competition in a totally fair way - some games would
be totally new to the judges, while others would be old favourites (or
old hate objects :-)).

It's a bit different in the AU competition, since there is only one
judge, and the outcome of the competition is not expected to be
anything else than his (highly respected) opinion. A competition
that's settled by popular vote needs, IMHO, more safeguards against
biased judging.

Now, if the AU competition were to be held after the r.a.i-f
competition, then there would be less of a problem. I suppose that's
the reason for the "bad timing" comment.

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se)

Joe Mason

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Mar 23, 1996, 3:00:00 AM3/23/96
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"Re: Acorn User IF Competi", declared Magnus Olsson from the Vogon ship:

MO>Now, if the AU competition were to be held after the r.a.i-f
MO>competition, then there would be less of a problem. I suppose that's
MO>the reason for the "bad timing" comment.

:-) But the AU competition IS after the r.a.i-f competition: almost half a
year after! I'd say "go ahead and enter all of last year's contest entries".
As Graham said, a lot of AU readers won't know them yet, so they'll still be
new.

Joe

-- Coming soon: "In the End", a work of Interactive Fiction --
-- More about the 1996 IF Contest at rec.arts.int-fiction --

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