The way I will judge.

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David Jones

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Oct 4, 2004, 6:00:51 AM10/4/04
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I'm about to download the IF2004 comp entries. This is a little note
to say how I will be judging the entries. The purpose of this note is
so that you can call me hypocritical when I release my reviews of the
entries. No, actually I want judges to think about the influence they
can have on the competition, its entrants, and the if community as a
whole. This is the first year that I will be judging in an IF comp.

Now, let me place my most important flag in the ground: I like games.
When I sit down to play an adventure game, that's what I expect. I do
not want an essay on the proper use of mimesis and diegesis, I do not
want a short story about the death of the author's cat, I do want to
know that you have coded ADVENT on a Minksy register machine.

Entries that are obivously not games will barely be looked at.

Entries that are obviously not text adventures will barely be looked
at.

Entries that are not obviously not text adventures and are not text
adventures will annoy me and will be marked down heavily.

I'm highly likely to play without graphics and without sound. I'll
play on my iBook and my Palm (so if it's very slow on my Palm I may
notice that and may mark down for it). I won't play anything that's
Windows or BeOS only. I have, at the moment, z-machine, TADS, and
glulx interpreters. It's not clear yet whether I'll be bothered to
download any more interpreters. Hopefully I will, but no promises.

Use of colour will probably get an entry marked down.

Basically I have this romantic notion that I'm still playing all these
adventure games on an old IBM-XT. Even though I'm not.

Entries that are not in English will not be played (unless it's in
some synthetic language, and that's the point, but that's already been
done).

Entries that are not in good English will not be played much (with the
possible exception of a game based around a dyslexic or illiterate
protagonist, but even then, no promises). In dialogue, anything goes
(in other words, talking to a peasant with poor diction won't stop me
playing).

Here are the things I like: toys, puzzles, mystery, intrigue,
research.

My scale of scoring is compressed so that most of the scale covers
high value games. There's no point spending degrees of the scale
distinguishing steaming shit from stinking shit.

1 - no merit.
2 - dire, but with some notable gem that I noticed before I stopped
playing.
3 - mediocre, or dire with some outstanding feature.
4 - competent.
5 - artful.
6 - masterful.
7 - distinguished.
8 - outstanding.
9 - revolutionary.
10 - mind blowing.

At a score of 4 I would expect a game to have almost totally correct
English, no vile zero errors from hell, and no jarring bugs.

At 5 and above I expect no spelling or grammar errors, no bugs, and
most sensible objects and actions implemented. I expect to see some
evidence that the author has wielded the medium to create some
specific sense or emotion and has done that successfully.

Most of the time I would probably be quite happy playing games at
level 4 or 5 were it not for the fact that there are so many great
games out there that I haven't played yet. And this is a competition.

At 6 and above I expect a great deal of depth, a real sense of story
or character or fun. Some genuinely fun toys to play with and some
neat puzzles.

At 7 and above I expect something truly out of the ordinary.

It's difficult to me to conceive of something that would score 9 and
impossible for me to conceive of anything that scores 10 (but that
score is reserved for surprises).

I will rank all my scores and rescale them 1 to 10 (probably will only
one 10).

David Jones

Mark Hatfield

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Oct 4, 2004, 6:32:32 AM10/4/04
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I like your criteria and methods, and see it much the same way, particularly
regarding 'games that aren't games' (although I'll bet a lot of people take
exception to that).

The only part of your comments I disagree with is: .

> I'm highly likely to play without graphics and without sound. I'll
> play on my iBook and my Palm (so if it's very slow on my Palm I may
> notice that and may mark down for it). I won't play anything that's
> Windows or BeOS only. I have, at the moment, z-machine, TADS, and
> glulx interpreters. It's not clear yet whether I'll be bothered to
> download any more interpreters. Hopefully I will, but no promises.
>
> Use of colour will probably get an entry marked down.
>
> Basically I have this romantic notion that I'm still playing all these
> adventure games on an old IBM-XT. Even though I'm not.

Although playing text adventures is something of an indulgement of
nostalgia, I don't believe that it is or should be incumbent upon authors to
be restricted by the technology of 1982. Color, sound, and graphics can be
successfully implemented into a text adventure (I do distinguish between a
graphic adventure and a text adventure with graphics), and the inclusion of
such should not automatically be considered a failing. If you are unable to
fully experience the game due to the limitations of the platform you are
using, you should concede that the failing is that of your platform and not
the game, and dismiss it without a rating.

(Note I use 'you' in the greater sense, not 'you' personally. I respect
your right to set your own criteria. I would encourage you (personally) to
at least think about that though. And no, I don't have a game with
graphics, sound, or color in the comp.)

Interesting post, and food for thought for any prospective judges.

Mark H


Rexx Magnus

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Oct 4, 2004, 6:54:33 AM10/4/04
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On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 10:32:32 GMT, Mark Hatfield scrawled:

> Although playing text adventures is something of an indulgement of
> nostalgia, I don't believe that it is or should be incumbent upon
> authors to be restricted by the technology of 1982. Color, sound, and
> graphics can be successfully implemented into a text adventure (I do
> distinguish between a graphic adventure and a text adventure with
> graphics), and the inclusion of such should not automatically be
> considered a failing. If you are unable to fully experience the game
> due to the limitations of the platform you are using, you should concede
> that the failing is that of your platform and not the game, and dismiss
> it without a rating.

I can't agree more. If we were limiting ourselves in the sense of the art
form being 'retro' - we'd be using crappy two-word parsers and never
developing the art further.

Whilst it may be true that limitations inspire creativity, there's a point
beyond which it makes everything crap. :)

I for one do not like colour in IF (novels always use black and don't have
the odd word here or there in colour), but I'm not against the odd
illustration. Music, on the other hand, I do take offense to!

Victor Gijsbers

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Oct 4, 2004, 9:36:12 AM10/4/04
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David Jones wrote:

> Entries that are obivously not games will barely be looked at.
>
> Entries that are obviously not text adventures will barely be looked
> at.

I hope that will also mean you will not rate them, as it would be very
unfair to give pieces of IF a low rating just because they are not the
kind of IF you prefer. There is, I would like to stress, a difference
between a piece you enjoy and a piece which is good, and a good judge
should look at the latter, not the former. One can not enjoy
Shakespeare, and yet recognise him as a brilliant writer of masterful works.

I, in contradistinction to you, prefer pieces of IF that are not
game-like, and do not involve me having to solve all kinds of puzzles.
Unfortunately for me, though, the first 10 works that Comp04.z5
presented me with all turned out to be text-adventures. (No, that's not
true - 9 of them, but the 10th was still very game-like.) That did not
stop me from playing them and rating them _by the standards of this
genre of IF_. I may not enjoy a text-adventure as I would enjoy
something like Shade, but I can recognise a good text-adventure when I
see it.

(That being said, I _do_ hope there are some less game-like pieces yet
in store for me. :D )

By the way, I do like your scale where a 6 is already quite good. But
doesn't it kind of screw up the ratings if everyone uses different
scales? Is there a consensus on the absolute (rather than relative)
merit of a game with a 6?

Greetings,
Victor Gijsbers

shardar

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Oct 4, 2004, 8:28:12 AM10/4/04
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I would have to say that colour, graphics, etc add to a game, what you
should be saying, is that if the graphics do not add to the game, they
look wrong in the context of the scene you are participating in then
sure mark them down. I have played many adventures for over twenty
years, and yes even those back then had graphics, and some very good
graphics for the time I might add.

If I ever get around to making an adventure game, please do not play it
if you do not like graphics or colour. I wouldn't wish to offend you,
although your views are interesting, I am glad to say I do not agree,
and I will be using everything I wish, to enhance the players pleasure
whilst they enjoy my game, music?, not sure, giving the player the
option to turn off sounds is a must I suppose.

Oh, and btw, I will be using a game playable only on Windows computers,
but that is not a problem for I understand that Windows is used by more
than 95% of the world. Of course, if I felt that I was allowing other
computer operating system users to miss out, then I would allow the
source to be made available for those who wish to have the mammoth task
of converting the game for their chosen platform.

When will this game be available? I have no idea, I get very busy with
real life, and I am about to start learning a new programming language,
so if I do get around to it, maybe this time next year? Very optimistic
timeframe I am sure you will agree. :-)

Regards,

Shardar.

----

--Give peace a chance--

Graham Holden

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Oct 4, 2004, 8:42:13 AM10/4/04
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On 4 Oct 2004 10:54:33 GMT, Rexx Magnus <tras...@uk2.net> wrote:

>On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 10:32:32 GMT, Mark Hatfield scrawled:
>
>> Although playing text adventures is something of an indulgement of
>> nostalgia, I don't believe that it is or should be incumbent upon
>> authors to be restricted by the technology of 1982. Color, sound, and
>> graphics can be successfully implemented into a text adventure (I do
>> distinguish between a graphic adventure and a text adventure with
>> graphics), and the inclusion of such should not automatically be
>> considered a failing. If you are unable to fully experience the game
>> due to the limitations of the platform you are using, you should concede
>> that the failing is that of your platform and not the game, and dismiss
>> it without a rating.
>
>I can't agree more. If we were limiting ourselves in the sense of the art
>form being 'retro' - we'd be using crappy two-word parsers and never
>developing the art further.

There is a complete difference (to me, at least) between improving text
adventures (i.e, better parsers, the ability to use more memory than a 16K
TRS-80 for better descriptions, etc., etc., etc.,) and embellishments to
text adventures (i.e. adding graphics, sounds etc.). I see no problem in
keenly wanting the former but at the same time not wanting the latter (in
degrees ranging from don't see the point to actively loathing).

>Whilst it may be true that limitations inspire creativity, there's a point
>beyond which it makes everything crap. :)
>
>I for one do not like colour in IF (novels always use black and don't have
>the odd word here or there in colour), but I'm not against the odd
>illustration. Music, on the other hand, I do take offense to!

And while I'm sort-of on my soapbox; could I throw out a couple of ideas
for packaging the games in future?

First, would it be possible to have different .ZIP files for the different
platforms? There are certain platforms whose games I can judge far more
easily than others, and some that I am almost certain not to be able to
judge. Being able to pick the most relevant bits of a 22M download would
be helpful.

Second, if you're looking at the individual game pages on ifarchive.org, it
would help if those authors who include large amounts of "feelies" could
indicate in a README file how essential they are to the game. I expect the
common response will be "absolutely essential, otherwise I wouldn't have
made them", but in some cases (without naming names at this stage), this is
simply not true. If a judge is deterred from downloading a game by the
size of the feelies, you've lost a potential "10". If the judge doesn't
_really_ need to download the feelies, but can enjoy the game (almost) as
well without, then you've _needlessly_ lost a potential "10".

Just my 2 zorkmid's worth.

Regards,
Graham Holden (g-holden AT dircon DOT co DOT uk)
--
There are 10 types of people in the world;
those that understand binary and those that don't.

Rexx Magnus

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Oct 4, 2004, 9:20:52 AM10/4/04
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On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 12:42:13 GMT, Graham Holden scrawled:

> There is a complete difference (to me, at least) between improving text
> adventures (i.e, better parsers, the ability to use more memory than a
> 16K TRS-80 for better descriptions, etc., etc., etc.,) and
> embellishments to text adventures (i.e. adding graphics, sounds etc.).
> I see no problem in keenly wanting the former but at the same time not
> wanting the latter (in degrees ranging from don't see the point to
> actively loathing).

I see most IF as being an interaction between a storyteller and listener,
so I'm not partial to pictures and music within that interaction. If
there is artwork in a game though, I don't mind it so long as it's good -
it's when what you see is nowhere near as good as the textual description
that it falls over.

Stephen Granade

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Oct 4, 2004, 9:30:06 AM10/4/04
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Graham Holden <lo...@bottom.of.post> writes:

> And while I'm sort-of on my soapbox; could I throw out a couple of ideas
> for packaging the games in future?
>
> First, would it be possible to have different .ZIP files for the different
> platforms? There are certain platforms whose games I can judge far more
> easily than others, and some that I am almost certain not to be able to
> judge. Being able to pick the most relevant bits of a 22M download would
> be helpful.

The easiest way to deal with this right now is to grab the games
individually either as you plan on playing them or in a batch. Short
of that, I am always willing for people to volunteer to create
platform-specific packages.

Stephen

--
Stephen Granade
stephen...@granades.com

Graham Holden

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Oct 4, 2004, 9:44:13 AM10/4/04
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On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 13:36:12 +0000, Victor Gijsbers
<vic...@lilith.gotdns.org> wrote:

>David Jones wrote:
>
>> Entries that are obivously not games will barely be looked at.
>>
>> Entries that are obviously not text adventures will barely be looked
>> at.
>
>I hope that will also mean you will not rate them, as it would be very
>unfair to give pieces of IF a low rating just because they are not the
>kind of IF you prefer. There is, I would like to stress, a difference
>between a piece you enjoy and a piece which is good, and a good judge
>should look at the latter, not the former. One can not enjoy
>Shakespeare, and yet recognise him as a brilliant writer of masterful works.

At the risk of starting the thread that starts every year at this time...

The competition rules do not specify what criteria should be used to mark
games. Whether the rules should say something or not on this matter is a
different question; at present, they don't, and so "a good judge should
look at the latter, not the former" cannot be inferred from the rules, and
"marking up what I like" is just as 'correct' a criteria.

Having said that, I personally _do_ think judges should (and probably most
do) include an element of "how good is it done, even if I don't like it" in
their overall scores.

However, I still think it's important that a reasonable element of the
score is down to personal like/dislike, for the following (somewhat
artificial) reason:

Suppose one year, there was a reasonable proportion of "niche" works that
are "very good in what they're trying to be" but almost everybody thinks
are totally unplayable in practice. If all the score comes from how "good"
they are, not how enjoyable they are, then the results will be heavily
skewed in their favour. In future years, "enjoyable" works may be pushed
even further out because potential authors see that only "niche" games get
good marks, and (incorrectly) assume that only they are liked.

If a reasonable element of "personal like" is kept in the scores, then such
"skewing" is less likely to happen. Good works (of any type) should still
rise toward the top, since all camps will give them a chunk of votes for
"being good". However, which rise to the very top should depend more
closely on the make-up of the (voting) readership of r.*.i-f. If, at some
point, this is mainly "games players", then the winners will reflect this.
If there is a drift in readers'/voters' preference towards "story based
works", then this type of work will predominate. This to me is clearly a
"good thing" (tm).

>I, in contradistinction to you, prefer pieces of IF that are not
>game-like, and do not involve me having to solve all kinds of puzzles.
>Unfortunately for me, though, the first 10 works that Comp04.z5
>presented me with all turned out to be text-adventures. (No, that's not
>true - 9 of them, but the 10th was still very game-like.) That did not
>stop me from playing them and rating them _by the standards of this
>genre of IF_. I may not enjoy a text-adventure as I would enjoy
>something like Shade, but I can recognise a good text-adventure when I
>see it.
>
>(That being said, I _do_ hope there are some less game-like pieces yet
>in store for me. :D )
>
>By the way, I do like your scale where a 6 is already quite good. But
>doesn't it kind of screw up the ratings if everyone uses different
>scales? Is there a consensus on the absolute (rather than relative)
>merit of a game with a 6?

Again, all the rules say is 10 is better than 1, and every year there's
usually a long debate on whether they should be more specific or not.

In a vain attempt to forestall another debate, I think the reasons the
system has remained the way it is are:

1. Not everybody can agree on a common set of rules for how scores should
be calculated and what the "absolute" levels are. Indeed, no
moderately large enough chunk seem able to agree on anything more
specific than "10 is better than 1".

2. In my perceived experience, there is probably much closer agreement
_in practice_ on how voters DO vote than on how the rules should be
worded. In other words, I would be reasonably confident in saying a
sizeable chunk of voters DO give a fair weight to both how good a work
is (whether or not they like it) AND to how enjoyable they found it.

The problem (if there is one) is that a similarly sizeable chunk (a)
doesn't want to be constrained to any one scheme, and (b) couldn't
agree on a particular scheme even if they accepted (a).

3. The law of large numbers probably just about kicks in in most cases so
that "it all works out in the end".

4. If you _really_ don't like it, don't enter or vote; if you _really_
REALLY don't like it, you are perfectly free to start your own
competition.

And the "you"s in the above aren't "you" in particular, they're generic
"people out there" "you"s.

>Greetings,
>Victor Gijsbers

Rexx Magnus

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Oct 4, 2004, 9:30:55 AM10/4/04
to
On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 13:20:52 GMT, Rexx Magnus scrawled:

> I see most IF as being an interaction between a storyteller and
> listener, so I'm not partial to pictures and music within that
> interaction. If there is artwork in a game though, I don't mind it so
> long as it's good - it's when what you see is nowhere near as good as
> the textual description that it falls over.
>

(Bad form and all)

I'm not saying that if I were to judge games, that I'd mark them down
based on the quality of graphics or sound - I'd probably just not factor
it in, unless it was really good.

For me, it's all about the quality of writing and sense of immersion that
I get when playing/reading something.

Zach Flynn

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Oct 4, 2004, 9:31:40 AM10/4/04
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shardar wrote:
>
> Oh, and btw, I will be using a game playable only on Windows computers,
> but that is not a problem for I understand that Windows is used by more
> than 95% of the world. Of course, if I felt that I was allowing other
> computer operating system users to miss out, then I would allow the
> source to be made available for those who wish to have the mammoth task
> of converting the game for their chosen platform.

Why don't you just use TADS or Inform. Easier to learn than other
languages and can be played on Mac or Windows? Just a helpful idea I
would think.


Dave Bernazzani

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Oct 4, 2004, 10:42:01 AM10/4/04
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"Rexx Magnus" <tras...@uk2.net> wrote in message

> I can't agree more. If we were limiting ourselves in
> the sense of the art form being 'retro' - we'd be
> using crappy two-word parsers and never
> developing the art further.

I love two-word parsers ;) Then again I don't get an extra boost out of
games with sophisticated parsers nor do I care all that much for games that
are heavily text laden. But that's just me. I just finished Scott Adam's
Ghost Town - great fun and equally as good as anything I've played in recent
years. It's the game (a combination of concept, story, interactive elements
and overcoming obstacles), not the parser that makes these enjoyable for me.
Given a choice, I'd prefer a good n-word parser but it is not essential.
Using TADS or Inform gives players a great parser and a robust library of
stock verbs and responses - but doesn't necessarily produce classics or even
games that are fun (both very subjective terms).

>Whilst it may be true that limitations inspire creativity, there's a point
>beyond which it makes everything crap. :)

Even I'll agree here! Though I'm still hopeful to get some very creative
folks to work within the limitations of the C32 contest to see what level of
games can be designed given those constraints.

--
Dave Bernazzani dav...@gisNOSPAM.net (remove NOSPAM to use)
Join the Commodore 32 Inform minigame contest:
http://www.gis.net/~daveber/minform/c32.htm

Rikard Peterson

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Oct 4, 2004, 4:03:15 PM10/4/04
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Rexx Magnus wrote in news:Xns957893ABE84...@130.133.1.4:

> I'm not saying that if I were to judge games, that I'd mark them
> down based on the quality of graphics or sound

I would. If the author put it there together with the text, then it's
there together with the text to be judged. (And even though I have
nothing against graphics, inclusion of graphics in a game will be more
likely to draw my score down than raising it.)

Rikard

Ben Heaton

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Oct 4, 2004, 4:04:38 PM10/4/04
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On Mon, 4 Oct 2004, shardar wrote:

> Oh, and btw, I will be using a game playable only on Windows computers,
> but that is not a problem for I understand that Windows is used by more
> than 95% of the world.

That doesn't necessarily mean that Windows is used by more than 95% of
people interested in IF, but I agree that it's not a problem. People with
other systems would simply play some other games. There are quite a few
to choose from, after all.

-Ben Heaton

--
No sale, honcho!

David Jones

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Oct 4, 2004, 4:05:28 PM10/4/04
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Victor Gijsbers <vic...@lilith.gotdns.org> wrote in message news:<cjrcnj$3l0$1...@newshost.accu.uu.nl>...

> David Jones wrote:
>
> > Entries that are obivously not games will barely be looked at.
> >
> > Entries that are obviously not text adventures will barely be looked
> > at.
>
> I hope that will also mean you will not rate them, as it would be very
> unfair to give pieces of IF a low rating just because they are not the
> kind of IF you prefer. There is, I would like to stress, a difference
> between a piece you enjoy and a piece which is good, and a good judge
> should look at the latter, not the former. One can not enjoy
> Shakespeare, and yet recognise him as a brilliant writer of masterful works.

I basically agree with Graham Holden's response and would just like to
add a few words of my own.

Tripe.

Things I do not like will be rated and they will be rated with low
marks. I'm not trying to establish a self congratulating elite here,
I'm trying to promote more of the sort of works that I like playing.
And you can do the same as well! That's our power as judges and it's
symmetric; you and I have the same power. Perhaps my (small)
influence on the scores will encourage more game-like games to be
written and I will think that's a good thing.

This is of course an age old debate that has gone on and on in the
wider Arts for centuries. I sympathise. There is a distinction
between the sort of work I enjoy looking at in a museum and the sort
of work I hang on my wall; there's an analogous thing in IF. There
are definitely works of IF that I think are culturally important, but
which I wouldn't, or don't, enjoy playing.

If I was judging IF as part of some select panel then, yes, I would
take the broader canvas into consideration. I would try and
neutralise my personal prejudices. But there are likely to be about
100 judges for each game. That number alone will be a promise of
balance.

One of the reasons I made my post is sort of banner waving for the
puzzles and games fraternity, I suspect there are many people who
enjoy these sorts of games, but they find few people sharing those
opinions on the news groups. If you like puzzles then rally to my
banner and vote for those games in the competition!

David Jones

PS

I do like Shakespeare -- not every Saturday, but every now and then --
and I do appreciate his mastery. Joyce might be a better example. I
did not at all appreciate slogging through Ulysses (off my own back,
not as part of school or anything like that), but I can see its
brilliance.

Ben Heaton

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Oct 4, 2004, 4:12:04 PM10/4/04
to
On Mon, 4 Oct 2004, Graham Holden wrote:

> In a vain attempt to forestall another debate, I think the reasons the
> system has remained the way it is are:
>
> 1. Not everybody can agree on a common set of rules for how scores should
> be calculated and what the "absolute" levels are. Indeed, no
> moderately large enough chunk seem able to agree on anything more
> specific than "10 is better than 1".

I don't even agree with that part. If it weren't one of the official
rules, then I assure I'd use my own system of ranking, in which 6 is
highest and 8 is lowest. 10 is right in the middle, which is to say, two
places better than 1. 7 can be eliminated entirely.

Also, if I were in charge, the two-hour rule would be changed to the
2000-character rule. You can spend as much time playing a game as you
want, but once it prints out its 2000th character, you have to stop. This
one simple change would usher in a new golden age of IF.

--
No sale, honcho!

David Jones

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Oct 4, 2004, 4:20:36 PM10/4/04
to
"Mark Hatfield" <bhat...@columbus.rr.com> wrote in message news:<4F98d.923$kC2...@fe2.columbus.rr.com>...

> The only part of your comments I disagree with is: .
>
> > I'm highly likely to play without graphics and without sound. I'll
> > play on my iBook and my Palm (so if it's very slow on my Palm I may
> > notice that and may mark down for it). I won't play anything that's
> > Windows or BeOS only. I have, at the moment, z-machine, TADS, and
> > glulx interpreters. It's not clear yet whether I'll be bothered to
> > download any more interpreters. Hopefully I will, but no promises.
> >
> > Use of colour will probably get an entry marked down.
> >
> > Basically I have this romantic notion that I'm still playing all these
> > adventure games on an old IBM-XT. Even though I'm not.
>
> Although playing text adventures is something of an indulgement of
> nostalgia, I don't believe that it is or should be incumbent upon authors to
> be restricted by the technology of 1982. Color, sound, and graphics can be
> successfully implemented into a text adventure (I do distinguish between a
> graphic adventure and a text adventure with graphics), and the inclusion of
> such should not automatically be considered a failing. If you are unable to
> fully experience the game due to the limitations of the platform you are
> using, you should concede that the failing is that of your platform and not
> the game, and dismiss it without a rating.

What if I was blind? (I'm not)

I don't really consider it a failing if an author decides to use
coloured text (or sound, or graphics). It's just that I think that
belongs on the other side of a line that I've drawn in the sand.

David Jones

Michael Chapman Martin

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Oct 4, 2004, 4:28:00 PM10/4/04
to
David Jones <d...@pobox.com> wrote:
> Entries that are not obviously not text adventures and are not text
> adventures will annoy me and will be marked down heavily.

That's an interesting categorization, though it sounds like from the
rest of your post that you're talking more about Photopia than about
some subtle game of Magician's Choice that subtly robs the player of
his free will.

I won't say any more, but I've been through a nontrivial fraction of
the games now and I'm pretty sure you won't find this competition a
disappointment, unless, of course you think that the whole community
should be catering solely to your whims.

(And if color offends you, most games let you turn it off. I *would*
claim it's bad form to mark off a game that is configurable to your
tastes merely because it isn't set that way by default.)

(And wasn't the C-64 around in 1982? It had color.)

--Michael

Sidney Merk

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Oct 4, 2004, 4:40:01 PM10/4/04
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"Michael Chapman Martin" <mcma...@Stanford.EDU> wrote in message
news:cjsbof$1pe$1...@news.Stanford.EDU...

> David Jones <d...@pobox.com> wrote:
>> Entries that are not obviously not text adventures and are not text
>> adventures will annoy me and will be marked down heavily.

> (And if color offends you, most games let you turn it off. I *would*


> claim it's bad form to mark off a game that is configurable to your
> tastes merely because it isn't set that way by default.)

...Graphics and sound, too. I wouldn't say it's bad form to express a true
opinion in voting at all (whether it's based on an existing aversion to
multimedia or not), but if it's optional and you prefer to avoid the
distraction, flip it off. Mark down the score because it existed, but at
least give yourself a shot at playing with your own preferences. Speaking
generally, I mean. :)

Excuse me if this post borders on being against the rules for authors not
posting about the competition games. I'll sink away into "lurk" mode again.
:)

---- Sidney Merk


Kevin Venzke

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Oct 4, 2004, 5:00:40 PM10/4/04
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"David Jones" <d...@pobox.com> wrote in message
news:3e298a5b.04100...@posting.google.com...

> I do want to
> know that you have coded ADVENT on a Minksy register machine.

Hmm, that's weird of you.

> Basically I have this romantic notion that I'm still playing all these
> adventure games on an old IBM-XT. Even though I'm not.

I have something similar. Forty columns, fixed-width font, and long
delays and disk reads between prompts if possible. It really
magnifies the feeling of horror when the game reads the disk for
a few seconds, and then... Nothing special seems to have happened.
I just know I'm going to get killed by some nasty surprise monster
in a few turns.

Kevin Venzke


Carolyn Magruder

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Oct 4, 2004, 5:35:25 PM10/4/04
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d...@pobox.com (David Jones) wrote in message news:<3e298a5b.04100...@posting.google.com>...

> I'm about to download the IF2004 comp entries. This is a little note
> to say how I will be judging the entries. The purpose of this note is
> so that you can call me hypocritical when I release my reviews of the
> entries. No, actually I want judges to think about the influence they
> can have on the competition, its entrants, and the if community as a
> whole. This is the first year that I will be judging in an IF comp.

Interesting post. Since I am also planning to publish IFComp reviews,
I thought I'd follow your lead and post a bit of commentary on my
planned judging scheme. (I'll probably rewrite and repost the
commentary at the top of my reviews, as I really don't expect anyone
to memorize this post and recall it verbatim on November 16, but the
act of writing it out helps me crystallize my scoring system, and
other people might find it interesting to compare their intended
judging system with mine.)

On a scale of 0 to 10...

10 - "This game is so good that I see absolutely nothing about it that
could be improved to make it more enjoyable. I recommend it without
reservation." (I don't expect to give out any 10's.)
9, 8 - "This game is very well written, and I enjoyed playing it. If
it's in a genre that you generally enjoy, then you'll probably enjoy
it too."
7, 6 - "There are things that could be improved, but I approve
overall."
5 - "Playable, but barely within tolerance. I wouldn't tell people to
play it, but I wouldn't actively tell people not to play it, either."
4, 3 - "This game is intolerable, and I'd actively tell people not to
play it. With proper work and attention, though, it could be improved
into something worthwhile."
2, 1 - "I could tell the author was trying, but this game should
really be scrapped in favor of writing something entirely new."
0 - "This game actively offended me. It was a waste of my time and
the author's. Not only is the game unredeemably bad, but, short of a
massive change in attitude, I see no reason to think that the author
will ever be capable of producing something that isn't unredeemably
bad." (I would say that I don't expect to give out any 0's, but it's
too late for that.)

It may surprise some people that I spend so much time differentiating
"unenjoyable" from "terrible" and "unredeemable", but I used to run a
poetry workshop. From my experiences there, I firmly believe that
writing is about 20% talent and 80% skill. With time and effort, the
skills required can be learned, and most of those people who go so far
as to submit a game to IF Comp are probably willing to put in some
effort even if they don't possess the skill this time around. I don't
want any score but a 0 to say to a person, "Give it up and never try
again." (As for the 0... well, if you get a 0, consider it a
challenge. I will be overjoyed if you prove me wrong.)

If you are an author, and you are trying to figure out how I will
score your game, here are a few guidelines.

What makes me particularly happy?

- Interesting plots make me happy.
- Strong motivations make me happy.
- Well-implemented NPCs make me happy.
- Unusual settings make me happy.
- Flawless English makes me happy.
- Multiple paths through a game make me happy.
- Logic and consistency make me happy.
- An effective "mood" (comedy, tragedy, romance, etc.) makes me happy.
- Really cool puzzles make me happy. (See "Spider and Web" for the
coolest puzzle I've seen to date.)
- Alternately, puzzleless games make me happy. (I am blessed with
neither intuition nor patience, and, considering the rules of IF Comp
judging, I will only be playing your game for two hours. If I don't
need a walkthrough in those two hours, then kudos to you.)

What makes me particularly unhappy?

- Crashing games make me unhappy.
- Blatant bugs make me unhappy.
- Spelling and grammar errors make me unhappy.
- Incoherent or pointless settings make me unhappy.
- Poorly implemented objects and unresponsive NPCs make me unhappy.
- Games without walkthroughs or hints make me unhappy.
- Alternately, games with inaccurate walkthroughs or unhelpful hints
make me unhappy.
- Immature attempts to handle mature themes make me unhappy. (Ditto
for immature humor.)
- Plotless games make me unhappy. (I do not want to struggle through
your puzzles just because you think they are cool. Give me a reason
or get out of my way.)
- Puzzles requiring telepathy make me unhappy. (That's telepathy in
the sense of "there is no way whatsoever that I could have known how
to do this without the walkthrough", not telepathy in the sense of "my
character can read minds.")

If your game includes nothing on the "happy" list, or includes things
on the "unhappy" list, then I'm probably not going to like it. Still,
there are exceptions to every rule; for example, while I make a point
of disliking Adam Sandler, I really enjoyed "50 First Dates". If I
don't like it, well, someone else may... someone who isn't a stickler
for grammar, or someone who prefers puzzles to plot, or someone who
thinks walkthroughs are for wusses. (If your game crashes, though,
the odds are against you.)

I will now return to judging.

Carolyn

shardar

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Oct 4, 2004, 5:35:12 PM10/4/04
to

True, and yes the c64 was around had great colour adventure games. So
did my computer of the time the ZX Specrum, had some amazing graphic
adventure games. A fair number were preferable to some of the ,ahem,
attempts I play nowadays.

To me an adventure can have graphics, text, speech, be 3d like, and
perhaps transform into something almost akin to an rpg. Hmm, isn't that
what we are doing here? Playing a RolePlayingGame? Anyway, I can see
that some out there will never be happy, so I suggest a way to vote that
will make all happy, I hope.

Most marks should be out of ten of course, with 10 the best to 1 the worst.

Graphics -
Atmosphere -
Storyline -
Whatever -
Etc, etc, etc,....

You then devide the total by the number of attributes you wish to mark
the game for, for example, if it doesn't have graphics, or you don't
feel graphics should be marked, you omit the graphics attribute and
devide by the ones it does have.
In the above example I have three, just for an example mind you,

Graphics - 7
Atmosphere - 9
Storyline - 5
add the totals =(21) devide by the number of attributes and you get eg: 7.
I would feel it is up to you whether you round up or down if you have an
amount and a half.
I hope you get my meaning.

You could add whatever you feel makes a good adventure to you, eg:
Punctuation, parsar response, Humour etc...

Regards,

Shardar

--

--Give peace a chance--

Richard Bos

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Oct 4, 2004, 6:30:39 PM10/4/04
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carolyn...@yahoo.com (Carolyn Magruder) wrote:

> Interesting post. Since I am also planning to publish IFComp reviews,
> I thought I'd follow your lead and post a bit of commentary on my
> planned judging scheme.

> On a scale of 0 to 10...

Erm, the scale used for the comp is 1 to 10.

As for me, mostly I judge by guesswork, but I will sometimes take a
point off for a very blatant bug, or give a bonus point for a very
special feature. Oh, except 10, which in my scale is "perfect" and
hasn't been given yet; and 1, which means "not IF, intentionally
obnoxious, or obviously didn't try at all", and has, in past comps, been
too common.

Richard

Michael Chapman Martin

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Oct 4, 2004, 6:37:59 PM10/4/04
to
Carolyn Magruder <carolyn...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> I thought I'd follow your lead and post a bit of commentary on my
> planned judging scheme. (I'll probably rewrite and repost the
> commentary at the top of my reviews, as I really don't expect anyone
> to memorize this post and recall it verbatim on November 16, but the
> act of writing it out helps me crystallize my scoring system, and
> other people might find it interesting to compare their intended
> judging system with mine.)

Mine has been rather looser, but it's been steadily hardening (and I've
gone back to revise scores to fit various other insights), but it boils
down to:

1-3: You have wasted my time. If it isn't entirely your fault, or if I
had fun in ways that aren't to your credit, you'll be on the high
end here. (My commentary on '3' games is often twice as long as the
others.)

4-7: Worthy, but not exceptional. From "Ehn" on the 4 end to "solid" on
the 7 end. 4 in particular is generally "This is neat, but..." and
6-7 are the kinds of games I'd recommend outside of comp, but with
a few reservations.

8-9: Excellent and actually recommendable outside of comp without
reservations.

10: Reserved for the single best game in the comp. This may end up
changing if I cannot decide between two incomparable games.

David Whyld

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Oct 4, 2004, 6:35:55 PM10/4/04
to
I tend to judge by how good I thought the game was and often add or take a
few points if it was particularly buggy.

I never give 10 to any game because that would imply the absolute perfect
game which could never be bettered and no game is *that* good. I do give
quite a few 1's out though. Which isn't to say that a 1 is the worst
possible game and no game will ever be worse because there's always the
chance that something even worse will come along at some point. I just judge
anything less than a 2 to be complete drivel and lump the absolute complete
drivel games and the slightly complete drivel games together.


Gene Wirchenko

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Oct 4, 2004, 9:24:48 PM10/4/04
to
Ben Heaton <bh0...@mail.rochester.edu> wrote:

[snip]

>Also, if I were in charge, the two-hour rule would be changed to the
>2000-character rule. You can spend as much time playing a game as you
>want, but once it prints out its 2000th character, you have to stop. This
>one simple change would usher in a new golden age of IF.

Ah, Introcomp!

Do you distinguish between difference occurrences of a character?

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

Computerese Irregular Verb Conjugation:
I have preferences.
You have biases.
He/She has prejudices.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Oct 5, 2004, 1:23:50 AM10/5/04
to
On Mon, 4 Oct 2004 22:37:59 +0000 (UTC), Michael Chapman Martin
<mcma...@Stanford.EDU> wrote:
>Carolyn Magruder <carolyn...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> I thought I'd follow your lead and post a bit of commentary on my
>> planned judging scheme. (I'll probably rewrite and repost the
>> commentary at the top of my reviews, as I really don't expect anyone
>> to memorize this post and recall it verbatim on November 16, but the
>> act of writing it out helps me crystallize my scoring system, and
>> other people might find it interesting to compare their intended
>> judging system with mine.)
>
>Mine has been rather looser, but it's been steadily hardening (and I've
>gone back to revise scores to fit various other insights), but it boils
>down to:
>

Since everyone's whipping them out, I rate on the very simple and
unscientific metric of "How much did I like this game."

More or less, every game receives a score of 3, 6, or 9, unless it's
obviously abysmal, in which case I give it a 1. Games receiving a 3 I
did not enjoy, games receiving a 9, I did enjoy, and games receiving a
6 I recognize as good but did not actively enjoy.

Then I go back and move things around so that no two games of which I
have a substantially different opinion have the same score. I find
that the system allows me to make snap judgments and get through
scoring quickly, without accidentally biasing aganst games that I
played before I realized how wonderful/banal the year's offerings
were on average.

David Jones

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Oct 5, 2004, 4:20:13 AM10/5/04
to
"Kevin Venzke" <step...@yahooo.frr> wrote in message news:<YRi8d.664370$Gx4.5...@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net>...

> "David Jones" <d...@pobox.com> wrote in message
> news:3e298a5b.04100...@posting.google.com...
> > I do want to
> > know that you have coded ADVENT on a Minksy register machine.
>
> Hmm, that's weird of you.

Damn. Missing not. Here, have a few: not not not not not not.

Actually I might be interested if you have coded ADVENT on a Minsky
register machine, but not at all in the context of judging the
competition.

David Jones

David Jones

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Oct 5, 2004, 4:46:19 AM10/5/04
to
Michael Chapman Martin <mcma...@Stanford.EDU> wrote in message news:<cjsbof$1pe$1...@news.Stanford.EDU>...

> David Jones <d...@pobox.com> wrote:
> > Entries that are not obviously not text adventures and are not text
> > adventures will annoy me and will be marked down heavily.
>
> That's an interesting categorization, though it sounds like from the
> rest of your post that you're talking more about Photopia than about
> some subtle game of Magician's Choice that subtly robs the player of
> his free will.

Photopia was, of course, exactly what I had in mind when writing that.

> I won't say any more, but I've been through a nontrivial fraction of
> the games now and I'm pretty sure you won't find this competition a
> disappointment, unless, of course you think that the whole community
> should be catering solely to your whims.
>
> (And if color offends you, most games let you turn it off. I *would*
> claim it's bad form to mark off a game that is configurable to your
> tastes merely because it isn't set that way by default.)

I see your point, but like most slippery slopes I prefer to stay near
the top. Configuring colour is one thing, but what if there was sound
to configure as well? And the preferred length of a room description?
Or whether I wanted menus to appear in a separate window or inline?
I don't want to spend 30 minutes configuring a game, nor even 30
seconds. Films and novels aren't configurable.


>
> (And wasn't the C-64 around in 1982? It had color.)

What it is this apropos of? Yes the C-64 was around then, yes it had
colour (and color). No, I didn't have one. I had a Spectrum.
Attached to a black and white TV (and later a lovely green screen mono
monitor for which I had to solder a connector to the inside of the
Spectrum). These days I have a lovely 12" iBook G4 so obviously
colour and sound and hi-res graphics need not be an issue. But I kind
of feel that that's what my GameCube is for.

David Jones

Michael Chapman Martin

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Oct 5, 2004, 4:59:49 AM10/5/04
to
David Jones <d...@pobox.com> wrote:
> Photopia was, of course, exactly what I had in mind when writing that.

It's been awhile since Photopia. It might have been Shade. Heck, depending
on how strict you're being there, it could even have been Slouching
Towards Bedlam, or anything short of The Muldoon Legacy.

Where does, say, "A Change in the Weather" fit into this categorization?

> I see your point, but like most slippery slopes I prefer to stay near
> the top. Configuring colour is one thing, but what if there was sound
> to configure as well? And the preferred length of a room description?
> Or whether I wanted menus to appear in a separate window or inline?
> I don't want to spend 30 minutes configuring a game, nor even 30
> seconds. Films and novels aren't configurable.

Bringing up sound reminded me of the obvious. If you don't want color,
turn color off on your terp. For frotz, make the association for .z?
files be "frotz -d" instead of merely "frotz", and color goes away forever.

This is particularly important if the white-on-blue text offends you,
because Inform Library 6/11 appears to enforce this whenever it thinks
it can get away with it.

(I use a console app for playing Hugo games with, so sound and graphics
simply don't appear.)

--Michael

Graham Holden

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Oct 5, 2004, 5:49:40 AM10/5/04
to
On Mon, 04 Oct 2004 18:24:48 -0700, Gene Wirchenko <ge...@mail.ocis.net>
wrote:

>Ben Heaton <bh0...@mail.rochester.edu> wrote:
>
>[snip]
>
>>Also, if I were in charge, the two-hour rule would be changed to the
>>2000-character rule. You can spend as much time playing a game as you
>>want, but once it prints out its 2000th character, you have to stop. This
>>one simple change would usher in a new golden age of IF.
>
> Ah, Introcomp!
>
> Do you distinguish between difference occurrences of a character?
>

Presumably one must, otherwise surely only games written in something like
Chinese would ever finish. It could form the basis of a whole new "Halting
Problem" through...

Rexx Magnus

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Oct 5, 2004, 5:46:29 AM10/5/04
to
On Tue, 05 Oct 2004 09:49:40 GMT, Graham Holden scrawled:

> Presumably one must, otherwise surely only games written in something
> like Chinese would ever finish. It could form the basis of a whole new
> "Halting Problem" through...

If it were x number of characters output since the start, chinese games
would get a fair bit more content across to the player, as well. :)

Carolyn Magruder

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Oct 5, 2004, 6:51:23 AM10/5/04
to
r...@hoekstra-uitgeverij.nl (Richard Bos) wrote in message news:<4161cb2a...@news.individual.net>...

> carolyn...@yahoo.com (Carolyn Magruder) wrote:
>
> > Interesting post. Since I am also planning to publish IFComp reviews,
> > I thought I'd follow your lead and post a bit of commentary on my
> > planned judging scheme.
>
> > On a scale of 0 to 10...

That's a bit embarrassing. Somehow, I got "10" stuck in my head and
forgot what the low end looked like. Can you tell it's my first time
judging?

Guess I'll rate the 0 (0's?) as a 1 on the comp... and keep it a 0 on
the review.

And no, I don't expect the rest of the world to be as critical (or
anal-retentive, select your choice of term!) about this as I am.

~Carolyn

Zach Flynn

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Oct 5, 2004, 9:21:07 AM10/5/04
to

> David Jones <d...@pobox.com> wrote:

>
> > I see your point, but like most slippery slopes I prefer to stay near
> > the top. Configuring colour is one thing, but what if there was sound
> > to configure as well? And the preferred length of a room description?
> > Or whether I wanted menus to appear in a separate window or inline?
> > I don't want to spend 30 minutes configuring a game, nor even 30
> > seconds. Films and novels aren't configurable.

For sound why don't you just turn off your speakers like I do.

Papillon

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Oct 5, 2004, 10:25:45 AM10/5/04
to
lrasz...@loyola.edu (L. Ross Raszewski) wrote:

>Since everyone's whipping them out, I rate on the very simple and
>unscientific metric of "How much did I like this game."

I went back and looked up my last comp judging record before starting to
refresh my memory of how I do this.

Mine is the 3 C's method - cleanliness, completeness, and coolness. The
first refers to fairly objective problems with the game. Were there bugs?
Were there spelling mistakes? Capitalisation/grammar ones?

The second score has to do with how fleshed-out the world is. Sparse
descriptions, lack of objects for nouns that were mentioned in the
description, undescribed scenery objects... All of this will get you a low
Completeness score. For a *high* completeness score, you must have
implemented verbs that are not needed to complete the game. If when I find a
puddle of a goo on the ground, I can smell, touch, and taste it, you get
Complete points. This is slightly more subjective, as I often complain that
the world *feels* sketchy even though some effort has been made.

The third score is my personal liking of the game, and here I don't bother
with assigning a high score to a game I know is 'good' but I didn't like. If
it's such a great game, it'll score points in the other two categories. This
is me personally enjoying it.

Wildcard category gets bonuses for things like a really *good* walkthrough
or contextual help system, or interesting and appropriate use of
color/sound/graphics. Just having color isn't worth anything, it has to be
done well to get the bonus.

On initial playthrough, notes are written for all these categories, but no
score assigned. Then when everything is done I will go through and use the
notes to figure out what an appropriate score out of 5 is for each of the 3
c's, then add any bonuses, then use those numbers to determine overall
scores out of 10.

How to get a high score out of me? Be a good writer, free of spelling
mistakes and full of interesting details. Have a cool plot. Don't make the
game hard, because I am crap at puzzles. Best is if I can actually get
through it without consulting any external help files... this will probably
require some clever hinting on your part. Contextual in-game help is very
good.

A *good* walkthrough is one that explains why you are doing something, and
shows you the commands that would have uncovered the clues that would have
let you solve the puzzle. A walkthrough with just the solutions could
potentially get you marked down because it might make me think your puzzles
were terribly clued (performing walkthrough actions and wondering "Why on
EARTH am I doing this?") or your story is boring.


---
Hanako Games
Anime Games and Screensavers To Download
http://www.hanakogames.com/

L. Ross Raszewski

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Oct 5, 2004, 12:43:33 PM10/5/04
to
On Tue, 5 Oct 2004 08:59:49 +0000 (UTC), Michael Chapman Martin
<mcma...@Stanford.EDU> wrote:
>
>This is particularly important if the white-on-blue text offends you,
>because Inform Library 6/11 appears to enforce this whenever it thinks
>it can get away with it.

No it doesn't. The inform library never sets the color, not even to
the default.

It's frotz that "enforces" the white/gray on blue scheme, for values
of "enforces" approaching "uses whenever nothing else has been
specified" That's what "default" means.

A.P. Hill

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Oct 6, 2004, 12:05:44 AM10/6/04
to
I just enjoy coding the verb fart:

fartVerb : deepverb
verb = 'fart'
sdesc = "fart"
action(actor) =
{
"Done. ";
}
;

...and having you download, play, eat a pop-tart, and post your
thoughts on it. I should be banned from this much fun.

A.P. Hill

Joao Mendes

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Oct 6, 2004, 1:17:03 AM10/6/04
to
Ahey, all, :)

"Carolyn Magruder" <carolyn...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:ad17d854.04100...@posting.google.com...

> Interesting post. Since I am also planning to publish IFComp reviews,
> I thought I'd follow your lead and post a bit of commentary on my
> planned judging scheme.

Wasn't it, though? I thought I'd jump in the badnwagon and post mine. Go
figure. :)

> What makes me particularly happy?
>
> - Interesting plots make me happy.
> - Strong motivations make me happy.

I notice that we have very similar tastes. I particularly concur with this
here statement:

> - Plotless games make me unhappy. (I do not want to struggle through
> your puzzles just because you think they are cool. Give me a reason
> or get out of my way.)

However, this is IF, so I guess some puzzles are in order. Or not. Whatever.
Anyway, here's my criteria: I have no idea what a 10 is or how much a 7 is
better than a 3. So, I use categories with few distinct scores, then just
add the whole shebang together. My categories are:

Story (0-4); Writing (0-2); Technical (0-2); Puzzles (0-2).

Obviously, then, I place emphasys on story. Here I include things like plot,
PC motivation, etc, etc. I should note that non-story games, such as jokes,
gags, puns, etc, might get rated as high as a 2 in this category if they are
well implemented. 0 is reserved for works where the sequence of events, or
indeed, the whole point of the thing escapes me utterly. Stories that are
just bad will get a 1. Also, a 4 is reserved for very strong, powerful
stories with a drive to them, like in Tapestry or Photopia. A story that is
simply good will get a 3.

Writing is what it is. Again, 0 is reserved for blatant abuse of the
language, such as when more paragraphs have spelling errors that not, or
spelling errors in the introduction, or things like that. 2 is reserved for
powerful and effective writing, good imagery, strong humor, stuff like that.
1 is everything else.

Technical is more difficult. It relates to how well I was able to see that
the author has mastered his selected authorship platform (or lack thereof).
Things like verb implementation, object detail, alternative responses (not
solutions), dynamic NPCs, etc, all score high in this category. Blatant bugs
almost always mandate a 0.

Puzzles refers to how well each obstacle is described, how well its solution
is clued, and how well failures contribute to an understanding of the
situation and to eventual success. The telepathy thing will most likely earn
a 0. Puzzles based on deductive reasoning will likely get a 2. Puzzles based
on creative induction are likely to get a 1. By the way, if your game has
puzzles, I'm likely to need hints. That's ok. But ultimately, if I have to
turn to the walkthrough, you're not likely to get a 2 from me.

The sharper among you will notice that it is conceiveable that a piece of
work be so bad as to get a 0 from my system. If such a thing were to happen,
I shall use the following procedure: a) Change the scoring to a 1; b) Ponder
whether to beat the author upside the head with a soft club for entering the
game; c) Ponder whether to beat the organizer upside the head with a soft
club for not allowing a vote of 0. Not being of a violent nature, I doubt
that the object such ponderings would ever be carried out. But I would
ponder them nonetheless.

Here's hoping that I made sense. Good luck to all you authors!

Cheers,

J.


Gene Wirchenko

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Oct 6, 2004, 11:06:00 AM10/6/04
to
carolyn...@yahoo.com (Carolyn Magruder) wrote:

[snip]

>That's a bit embarrassing. Somehow, I got "10" stuck in my head and
>forgot what the low end looked like. Can you tell it's my first time
>judging?
>
>Guess I'll rate the 0 (0's?) as a 1 on the comp... and keep it a 0 on
>the review.
>
>And no, I don't expect the rest of the world to be as critical (or
>anal-retentive, select your choice of term!) about this as I am.

I am probably more so. I consider 1 to 10 ratings to be an
abomination started by people who can not count.

Richard Bos

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Oct 6, 2004, 4:19:21 PM10/6/04
to
d...@pobox.com (David Jones) wrote:

Pah. That's just a matter of bootstrapping. Surely someone has written a
Turing machine on a Minsky machine, and v.v.? That's step one solved,
already.

Richard

Kevin Venzke

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Oct 6, 2004, 7:27:44 PM10/6/04
to
"A.P. Hill" <aph...@altavista.com> wrote in message
news:61188078.04100...@posting.google.com...

> I just enjoy coding the verb fart:
>
> fartVerb : deepverb
> verb = 'fart'
> sdesc = "fart"
> action(actor) =
> {
> "Done. ";
> }
> ;

I wish you had prefaced this with spoiler space. Now we know
that it doesn't affect the game state.

Kevin Venzke


Carolyn Magruder

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Oct 7, 2004, 7:38:19 AM10/7/04
to
I take a certain comfort in being the kind of person who is almost
certainly not going to enter the command appropriate to discovering
that you coded this.

On my own, I would never find it, and I cannot conceive of a game
well-written enough to lead me up to this point and keep me enjoying
the game while still causing me to enter it.

I suppose there's a great market for potty humor, though. I'm just
not it. To each his own.

~Carolyn

aph...@altavista.com (A.P. Hill) wrote in message news:<61188078.04100...@posting.google.com>...

A.P. Hill

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Oct 7, 2004, 8:43:56 AM10/7/04
to
Well, there is a slight odor. Until Intel develops the smell chip,
your safe from further wit.

A.P. Hill

Jess Knoch

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Oct 7, 2004, 9:33:07 AM10/7/04
to
Carolyn Magruder wrote:
[re: verb "fart"]

>
> On my own, I would never find it, and I cannot conceive of a game
> well-written enough to lead me up to this point and keep me enjoying
> the game while still causing me to enter it.

A bit of a stretch, perhaps, but have you played Risorgimento Represso?

--
Jess, who can't believe she posted on this subthread. Ah well.


Graham Holden

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Oct 7, 2004, 11:42:26 AM10/7/04
to

Siemens are already working on it....
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3683794.stm

David Alex Lamb

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Oct 7, 2004, 12:10:20 PM10/7/04
to
In article <4161d04d$0$17952$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net>,

David Whyld <m...@dwhyld.plus.com> wrote:
>I never give 10 to any game because that would imply the absolute perfect
>game which could never be bettered and no game is *that* good.

At least one other judge took the same position earlier in this thread. So,
if *many* people think this way, what's the purpose of having a never-granted
10 score anyway?
--
"Yo' ideas need to be thinked befo' they are say'd" - Ian Lamb, age 3.5
http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/ qucis->cs to reply (it's a long story...)

Victor Gijsbers

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Oct 7, 2004, 2:42:58 PM10/7/04
to
David Alex Lamb wrote:

> At least one other judge took the same position earlier in this thread. So,
> if *many* people think this way, what's the purpose of having a never-granted
> 10 score anyway?

Because it will allow us to grant that score to that mind-blowing,
incredibly brilliant piece of IF that makes you shiver, cry, scream:
"NO! This masterwork has made all my past, present and future
achievements mere trifles produced by a well-meaning amateur who lacked
the genius of [insert name of author]!", and either give up your
authorship and embrace the role of reader, or look for another genre in
which you can still distinguish yourself.

Or something like that, anyway.

Greetings,
Victor

Jess Knoch

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Oct 7, 2004, 1:50:37 PM10/7/04
to
David Alex Lamb wrote:
> David Whyld <m...@dwhyld.plus.com> wrote:
>> I never give 10 to any game because that would imply the absolute
>> perfect game which could never be bettered and no game is *that*
>> good.
>
> At least one other judge took the same position earlier in this
> thread. So, if *many* people think this way, what's the purpose of
> having a never-granted 10 score anyway?

Even if many people never give a score of 10, many do. Some of us use it to
mark our favorite game in the comp, some of us give 10s to the ones we
really, really like, and some of us just give a 10 to our own game and 1s to
all the others (kidding!).

Anyway, you can look at last year's votes to see how many tens were handed
out if you're curious. The top ten games last year received 79 scores of 10
between them all.

Jess

David Whyld

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Oct 7, 2004, 2:18:00 PM10/7/04
to
If you get rid of the 10 rating, 9 would be the maximum. Which would mean I
wouldn't be giving any 9's out because that would be the absolute perfect
game which could never be bettered and no game is *that* good. :)

"David Alex Lamb" <dal...@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote in message
news:ck3ppc$aeo$1...@knot.queensu.ca...

Max

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Oct 6, 2004, 10:23:47 AM10/6/04
to

"Zach Flynn" <mog_...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:2dx8d.33408$7k.23218@okepread05...

>
> For sound why don't you just turn off your speakers like I do.
>

Sound, my friend, is big. It took me about half an hour to download ONE
game. So, for you in the First World, please upload sound only if really
necessary or in seperate files, and similarly download seperate files.

I would love to play every entry which runs on my platforms (TADS2+3, Z,
Adrift, windows and linux). Unfortunately, I just don't have the bandwidth.
So, I'll probably only play one or two. (Well, I've already played your "A
Light's Tale" - as you know - and I've just downloaded Eric's "Square
Circle"). I'll probably favour TADS3, and then go on from there.

I probably won't vote. Won't play enough games. And I'm slow; I'd rather
enjoy the games than stop playing after two hours.

--Max


Kevin Venzke

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Oct 7, 2004, 4:34:29 PM10/7/04
to

"Carolyn Magruder" <carolyn...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:ad17d854.04100...@posting.google.com...
> I take a certain comfort in being the kind of person who is almost
> certainly not going to enter the command appropriate to discovering
> that you coded this.
>
> On my own, I would never find it, and I cannot conceive of a game
> well-written enough to lead me up to this point and keep me enjoying
> the game while still causing me to enter it.

What I wonder is, does it reduce the quality of the game, in anyone's
eyes, if the author has included farting responses, &c., without
requiring the player to encounter them? (Meaning that the player
finds out about the responses later, on rgif or from Paul O'Brian.)

"I-0" comes to mind, I guess, but even though naughtiness on the player's
part is not required, it's easy enough for someone to be put off by the
game.

What if "Hunter, in Darkness" or "Photopia" are stuffed with farting
and peeing responses, if only you think to try it? (I just tried it, so you
don't have to.)

What if "Tookie's Song" has a well-hidden "cannibal" plot path?

Just thinking out loud.

Kevin Venzke


Victor Gijsbers

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Oct 7, 2004, 7:53:13 PM10/7/04
to
Kevin Venzke wrote:

> What I wonder is, does it reduce the quality of the game, in anyone's
> eyes, if the author has included farting responses, &c., without
> requiring the player to encounter them? (Meaning that the player
> finds out about the responses later, on rgif or from Paul O'Brian.)

O yes, it would. Like finding out that your favourite poem, a piece of
fragile beauty, contains a hidden message if you look at the first
letter of the first line, the second of the second etcetera - a message
which is of incredible banality. That would destroy the poem. And if I
were to read a piece of IF knowing that it contained all kinds of
immature jokes, I would have a very hard time appreciating it. Were I to
learn about them later, I would be severly disappointed with the author
cheapening his own artistic creation in such a way.

Of course, I can imagine even a farting verb to appear in a way which is
not immature - I seem to recall a wonderful scene from a book by Roald
Dahl (wouldn't know its English title, its about several kids getting a
tour through a candy factory) were after drinking a special kind of
soda, the main character can fly by farting. Roald Dahl being the writer
he is, this merely evokes the innocent fun of children's games, not a
feeling of disgust at the author's immaturity.


Greetings,
Victor

Richard Bos

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Oct 7, 2004, 6:32:31 PM10/7/04
to
dal...@qucis.queensu.ca (David Alex Lamb) wrote:

> In article <4161d04d$0$17952$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net>,
> David Whyld <m...@dwhyld.plus.com> wrote:
> >I never give 10 to any game because that would imply the absolute perfect
> >game which could never be bettered and no game is *that* good.
>
> At least one other judge took the same position earlier in this thread. So,
> if *many* people think this way, what's the purpose of having a never-granted
> 10 score anyway?

If you mean me - I only wrote that I have never given a 10 yet, not that
it is inconceivable that I would. Last year, Bedlam narrowly escaped
getting a 10 only because I found the library machinery too difficult to
figure out.

Richard

danie...@hotmail.com

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Oct 7, 2004, 8:18:23 PM10/7/04
to
In effect it does not screw up the ratings for people to use different
rating scales, so long as 10 is high and 1 is low. If someone gives a
10 to everything, it won't affect the relative scores; it'll just make
all the scores a little higher. Comp04.z5 assures that the same 100
people aren't going to give "Game #1" a 10 and then quit playing,
skewing the scores towards the games at the beginning, so it doesn't
really hurt the contest to use different ratings, so long as you're
only worried about what order the games finish in, and not comparing
this year's winners to last year's.

As to making distinctions between genres, I'm in the Louis Armstrong
camp -- "if it sounds good, it is good." If color fits into the story
well, (i.e. photopia) then it should be there; if it doesn't, it
shoudn't.

Kevin Venzke

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Oct 7, 2004, 11:24:08 PM10/7/04
to

"Victor Gijsbers" <vic...@lilith.gotdns.org> wrote in message
news:ck4e1c$7ki$1...@newshost.accu.uu.nl...

> O yes, it would. Like finding out that your favourite poem, a piece of
> fragile beauty, contains a hidden message if you look at the first
> letter of the first line, the second of the second etcetera - a message
> which is of incredible banality. That would destroy the poem. And if I
> were to read a piece of IF knowing that it contained all kinds of
> immature jokes, I would have a very hard time appreciating it. Were I to
> learn about them later, I would be severly disappointed with the author
> cheapening his own artistic creation in such a way.

I suppose you're right. But I think it's too bad, because the
author is not free to include juvenile (or adult, or offensive) content,
even if it's well-hidden except to those looking to find it, for fear that
"normal" or "mainstream" players will find out about it and think less
of the work.

> Of course, I can imagine even a farting verb to appear in a way which is
> not immature - I seem to recall a wonderful scene from a book by Roald
> Dahl (wouldn't know its English title, its about several kids getting a
> tour through a candy factory) were after drinking a special kind of
> soda, the main character can fly by farting. Roald Dahl being the writer
> he is, this merely evokes the innocent fun of children's games, not a
> feeling of disgust at the author's immaturity.

IIRC, the English title is "Fly by Farting." You nailed it.

Kevin Venzke


A.P. Hill

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Oct 8, 2004, 1:34:41 AM10/8/04
to
Victor,
You obviously do not fart. You probably wiffle.

Victor<--- sounds like someone who owns driving gloves for a Cheverelot Impala.

A.P. Hill

Dan Shiovitz

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Oct 8, 2004, 3:44:53 AM10/8/04
to
In article <ck3ppc$aeo$1...@knot.queensu.ca>,

David Alex Lamb <dal...@qucis.queensu.ca> wrote:
>In article <4161d04d$0$17952$ed26...@ptn-nntp-reader02.plus.net>,
>David Whyld <m...@dwhyld.plus.com> wrote:
>>I never give 10 to any game because that would imply the absolute perfect
>>game which could never be bettered and no game is *that* good.
>
>At least one other judge took the same position earlier in this thread. So,
>if *many* people think this way, what's the purpose of having a never-granted
>10 score anyway?

If other people want to lower their voting power, that's fine, but I
don't see why it should change how I get to vote.

--
Dan Shiovitz :: d...@cs.wisc.edu :: http://www.drizzle.com/~dans
"He settled down to dictate a letter to the Consolidated Nailfile and
Eyebrow Tweezer Corporation of Scranton, Pa., which would make them
realize that life is stern and earnest and Nailfile and Eyebrow Tweezer
Corporations are not put in this world for pleasure alone." -PGW

Quintin Stone

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Oct 8, 2004, 8:59:22 AM10/8/04
to
On Thu, 7 Oct 2004, David Alex Lamb wrote:

> At least one other judge took the same position earlier in this thread.
> So, if *many* people think this way, what's the purpose of having a
> never-granted 10 score anyway?

The only obvious solution is to raise the top end of the scale from 10 to
11.

/====================================================================\
|| Quintin Stone O- > "You speak of necessary evil? One ||
|| Code Monkey < of those necessities is that if ||
|| Rebel Programmers Society > innocents must suffer, the guilty must ||
|| st...@rps.net < suffer more." -- Mackenzie Calhoun ||
|| http://www.rps.net/QS/ > "Once Burned" by Peter David ||
\====================================================================/

Aramael Musitello

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Oct 8, 2004, 10:02:09 AM10/8/04
to
Victor Gijsbers <vic...@lilith.gotdns.org> wrote in message news:<ck4e1c$7ki$1...@newshost.accu.uu.nl>...

> Of course, I can imagine even a farting verb to appear in a way which is

> not immature - I seem to recall a wonderful scene from a book by Roald
> Dahl (wouldn't know its English title, its about several kids getting a
> tour through a candy factory) were after drinking a special kind of
> soda, the main character can fly by farting. Roald Dahl being the writer
> he is, this merely evokes the innocent fun of children's games, not a
> feeling of disgust at the author's immaturity.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Although IIRC drinking the soda
made them light enough to float, and burping brought them back to
earth again.

_The BFG_, also by Roald Dahl, has soda where the bubbles go down
instead of up; the two protagonists disagree on whether the consequent
bodily function is a bug or a feature.

ObIF, ObVotingExplanation: An entry I played showed that a personal
disconnect with the main character reduces my enjoyment, but it's hard
to say whether or not I should mark it down. It wasn't badly written,
it was simply something I did not care to be part of.

A.

Carolyn Magruder

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Oct 8, 2004, 12:11:55 PM10/8/04
to
I prefer to let my "10" rating be the A++ of interactive fiction --
it's conceivable, but it's remarkably unlikely. If the 10 were
eliminated, then I would use the 9 for the same purpose.

I don't mind at all if other people give out 10s, though. Everyone's
styles are different (and isn't that the way it should be?) The
important thing is just for each person to be honest and consistent.

~Carolyn

danie...@hotmail.com

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Oct 8, 2004, 5:22:53 PM10/8/04
to
In the English version of the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"
which I read as a child, there was no actual farting; Charlie and his
uncle simply started flying from the bubbles. They burped in order to
lose altitude to avoid hitting a menacing-looking ceiling fan.

Russell Wallace

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Oct 8, 2004, 6:07:13 PM10/8/04