Never fear, we'll just bump back the deadline, so
everyone has two months notice. That worked well
last year, and should work well again this year.
Since the rules this year are the same as last year's,
I've just cut and pasted last year's rules. If you find
any discrepancies, bear that in mind.
For those of you unfamiliar with the IF Art Show,
visit the IF Art Gallery -- the ur is below. It is an
annual event, and this is the sixth show. What is
it? It's an Interactive-Fiction competition of a
different color. ;-)
IMPORTANT STUFF ---------------------------
The deadline is Friday, May 21st.
The judges still have to be assembled. Once I have
their parts put together I will announce the panel of
judges. (I don't know why I keep using that joke, I've
used it for years and no one finds it funny.)
I will also post a reminder before the deadline.
These rules and an accompanying FAQ are also
Depending on how this post new lines, the rules
may be easier to read at the web page.
THE RULES ---------------------------
A foreign-language piece translated into
English will be considered a new piece as far as
English-speaking judges are concerned. Any judge
who also speaks the original language and has seen
the piece before, shall not vote on it.
IF Art Show 2004 Rules ****************
IF Art Show 2004 (Juried)
(or How to Build a Better Mouse Trap)
You have entered a hushed art gallery with pale
walls and subdued lighting, except for bright
spotlights aimed at pictures and various pedestals
around the room. At first the raised displays look
like ordinary sculpture, until you notice the
intriguing "Flash Gordon" ray gun in the center.
As you glimpse flashing lights and hear rustling,
you discover even more unusual forms: a Cubist
futuristic booth and what appears to be an outdoor
setting, complete with storm clouds rolling over
wind-tossed trees. But it is only when you spot
the burly man in the flannel shirt chopping
wood that you fully realize that this is
sculpture unlike any you have imagined before.
These 3-dimensional displays are IF sculptures,
modeled with text.
To explore the I in IF, the Interactivity of
Interactive-Fiction (without the obscuring
framework of too much structure). To run one's
hands over an "IF sculpture". TO EXPERIENCE
INTERACTIVITY AS A MEDIUM.
This explorative venture is intended to be
two-way: for you to explore the various
interactive techniques you can use to involve
players, and for players to interactively explore
your piece in turn.
See the following Q&A for more on interactivity.
(Only available on at the web page gallery.)
This is a juried show. Juried shows are judged
BEFORE the entries are shown to the public.
Judges to be announced.
Only the top four (possibly eight) places are
awarded. All other entries are not ranked, but
are put on display.
Best of Show
Any category for which there are three or
more entries will also have a best of category
award. Or these honors may be awarded depending
on the total number of entries (the more entries
-- the more awards).
Best of Still Life (Objects)
Best of Landscape (Scenery/Rooms)
Best of Portrait (NPCs)
Best of Event (Activity)
Also, to encourage newbies -- although these
honors will not necessarily be presented
exclusively to newbies -- if there are
enough entries, honorable mentions will also be
Honorable Mention for Show
Honorable Mention for Still Life
Honorable Mention for Landscape
Honorable Mention for Portrait
Honorable Mention for Event
1 MULTIMEDIA - Multimedia is now *allowed*,
even encouraged. However, it is not
required, because: 1.) not all IF authoring
systems offer it; 2.) not all platforms
support the various graphic & sound
capabilities of the IF systems which do
offer it; and 3.) "text modeling" is an art
Suggestion: If using multimedia, make sure
your entry can stand alone without it,
because judges with incompatible platforms
may play it without graphics and/or sounds.
This can be accomplished either by employing
programming switches, or by providing two
copies -- one with multimedia, one without.
It is also recommended that you avoid static
multimedia objects. For example, an object
represented by just a picture might be
considered static. Objects represented by
graphics and/or sounds should also usually
have accompanying textural interactivity --
not only to fulfill this show's purpose --
but for the same incompatibility reason
See the following Q&A for more about
multimedia IF. (Only on web page.)
2 ORIGINAL - All entries must be original
works. Plagiarism is frowned on. However,
pieces may be excerpts from works in progress
that will be released at a later date.
3 LENGTH - "Playable" in 45 minutes or less.
Shorter is usually better.
4 CATEGORY - To make your exploration of
interactivity easier, choose one of the
Still Life - Object
Landscape - Scenery
Portrait - NPC
Event - Activity
1 Style - The presentation of your
selection may be: realistic,
surreal, etc. The style is up to
you -- your entry need not be
experimental, only experiential.
2 Number - There is no maximum on the
number of items per category (i.e.
Still Life objects), but fewer is
Other types of items (inventory
objects, stationary objects, and
locations) may be used to support
your selection (except for interactive
NPCs, which are solely for portraiture).
Suggestion: To keep your entry short
and your focus tight, it is best that
supporting items be limited in number
Remember: Judges will focus on how you
explore and present your choice, not on
the "background." So you will do yourself
a favor if you avoid wasting time on extra
items. An excellent entry might have none
3 New Event Category - The event category
is a bit hard to describe -- its closest
art analogy is "performance art."
Instead of focusing on the details of
interacting with: objects, scenery, or npcs;
your interactive focus should instead be on
an activity. The player may be a participant
in and/or an observer of this event. Examples
of events: a wedding, fencing, dancing,
swimming, a war, sculpting.
5 PEDESTAL OR FRAME - To isolate your piece on
a pedestal and/or put it into an artistic "frame",
feature a minimal plot with a restrained use of
This has often been the least-understood part of
the IF Art Show. Entries are not intended to be
"full-blown games", but more vignettes -- exploring
interactivity in greater depth by narrowing the
focus to one type of IF/artistic subject matter.
A heavy plot could divert players' attention to
the writing (the F in Interactive Fiction), and
might also make a piece more static. While, on
the other hand, tricky puzzles, even if highly
interactive, wouldn't really EXPLORE
interactivity -- as that is the form that we are
all already familiar with.
Convoluted puzzles can also function as "stoppers",
halting players' exploration.
The following *guidelines* are offered for
1 Plot - No overriding, compelling, "world saving"
goal that hurries players on, encouraging them to
1 Introduction - Minimal or optional; to set
the stage and provide players with some
motivation to explore.
2 Middle - Experiential.
3 Ending - Minimal or optional; a finish to
give players closure.
1 Stumpers - Absolutely no "brain twisters".
If players need to figure out an
object/conversation, guide them to the
appropriate action/topic with subtle hints
(not too subtle) in descriptions/responses.
Suggestion: Make complicated/very complicated
puzzles optional, so players need not solve
them to finish. Or provide a graceful exit
(other than quit) in case they are unable to
2 Scoring - Optional; a "task achieved" score, to
give players an idea of when they have explored
as much as possible.
Remember: The entry with the cleverest puzzle(s)
will not be an automatic winner, as judges will be
looking for a complete exploration of interactivity.
For instance, a realistic piece should probably
implement a fair number of verbs in order to avoid
too many standard library responses.
>>> STUMPING PLAYERS IS NOT THE GOAL.
ENCOURAGING EXPLORATION IS. <<<
6 SHOW - All entries will be displayed at the IF Art Gallery
for a two-week show. Afterward, they along with the judges'
reviews, will be uploaded to http://www.ifarchive.org.
7 DEADLINE - The deadline is Friday, May 21st, at midnight
EDT (Eastern Daylight Savings Time -- four a.m. Saturday,
May 22nd GMT).
8 DESTINATION - E-mail your entry in a zipped file to:
doea...@aol.com. You will also need to specify which
category (Still-life, Landscape, Portrait, Event) you are
9 EXAMPLES - Past entries function as IF Art examples. To
see how others have previously defined "IF Art", read more
about the concept, and peruse past judges' reviews, visit:
Would a horse count as an object, an NPC, or an activity?
Susan Davis <s...@sue.net>
>Would a horse count as an object, an NPC, or an activity?
>Susan Davis <s...@sue.net>
It sort of depends what you do with it -- but, ususually, a NPC. However, if
it's a statue, well, then it's an object, and if riding it is the major point,
then it's an event. Just interacting with it, giving it an apple, talking to
it, etc. -- NPC.
You got choices, and *you* make the decision which category it really fits in.
If you still have doubts/questions, download some past entries (see the IF Art
Gallery) and take a look.
How's that for a real definitive answer?
[An Iffy Theory | Glux/Glk for Duncies | unglklib | Inform Primer]
IF Art Gallery http://members.aol.com/iffyart/
IF Review Conspiracy http://www.plover.net/~textfire/conspiracy
If it's just standing in a pasture cropping the grass, it could even be
Or, if the IF author's purpose is to show a horse's anatomy from the inside,
it could even be a room ...
>What would an interactive "The Last Supper" be?
I would hazard a guess that it would be an event. Or if there were no people it
could be an object. Lots of wiggle room here.
> >What would an interactive "The Last Supper" be?
> I would hazard a guess that it would be an event. Or if there were no people it
> could be an object. Lots of wiggle room here.
> Doe :-)
Too much wiggle room. I'm still waffling. But thanks. :)
> Too much wiggle room. I'm still waffling. But thanks. :)
If you include waffles at your Last Supper, I think it qualifies as
Or maybe post-modern?
"Interactive Last Supper" seems like a kind of oxymoron to me. IIRC the
whole event was pretty railroaded from pretty high up. Though it would
be interesting to see what would happen if a food fight broke out.
Judas would start it, of course. ;-)
>>What would an interactive "The Last Supper" be?
Of course, with no people, no waffles, and no food fight, it could also be a
>>>What would an interactive "The Last Supper" be?
> Of course, with no people, no waffles, and no food fight, it could also be a
Oppressive silence swamps this kitchen. The long, low table is empty of
trays of palatable delicacies.
Judas is nipping out the door, cradling something in his hands. It's a
bottle of wine and loaf of bread. You're too late again. He's got...
the last supper.
> 4 CATEGORY - To make your exploration of
> interactivity easier, choose one of the
> Still Life - Object
> Landscape - Scenery
> Portrait - NPC
> Event - Activity
I decided this would be good practice for me (plus the IF Art Show is
just too cool as a concept), but I'm having real issues trying to narrow
down the admittedly sketchy opening to Still Life or Landscape. Given
my penchant for endless reams of scenery description, this shouldn't've
surprised me, but do past IF Art Show veterans have any advice how to
really focus in on a category?
(Quintin, BTW, I haven't forgotten about Scavenger. Will get to it
within this week if the Three-Month-Old is better about sleep in the
next few days.)
Yoon Ha Lee
Pi = 3, for small values of pi and large values of 3.
>I decided this would be good practice for me (plus the IF Art Show is
>just too cool as a concept), but I'm having real issues trying to narrow
>down the admittedly sketchy opening to Still Life or Landscape. Given
>my penchant for endless reams of scenery description, this shouldn't've
>surprised me, but do past IF Art Show veterans have any advice how to
>really focus in on a category?
>Yoon Ha Lee
FYI, some past entrants have had a hard time deciding too, not even sure at the
last moment if they had selected the right category.
The structure of having categories is to promote the idea of narrowing one's
focus so that one can concentrate more fully on interaction and developing
interactive techniques -- it's not meant to be a stumbling block to that end.
Pick out the category you think it fits most. That's the best you can do.
No entries are rejected. So no entries are rejected if they don't "fit" a
certain category. If some judges feel it fits another category better than the
one you selected, they will probably say so in their reviews.