I am pleased to announce that the six entries in the 2008 IntroComp
are now available for download at the following address:
As you play, please rate each introduction on a scale of 1-10, with a
'10' indicating that you'd *really* like to see the author release a
full version of that game.
The introductions will soon find their way to the IF Archive, and a
voting form will soon be up at XyzzyNews.com, but I thought I'd post
the games to my own site in the meantime so that you can download and
begin playing as soon as possible! The voting deadline will be two
Fridays from now, on September 5th, with winners announced two days
later during a live ceremony on ifMUD (to be held Sunday, September
7th, at 2pm Eastern, 7pm UTC).
Just a few reminders:
- Authors may not vote.
- Beta testers are allowed to vote, but only on games they did not
- We ask that judges please refrain from posting reviews of the
IntroComp games during the judging period, so as not to taint the
voting process, but feel free to send feedback directly to the authors
prior to the voting deadline - after all, the best prize that authors
receive is feedback, right?
Watch here for a follow-up post when the voting page is live (though
it might be a few days, as I'm about to head off on a bit of a camping
trip and will be away from the internet through the middle of next
week, though I may find a connection now and then... perhaps...
On behalf of this year's six authors, thank you in advance for
downloading, playing, and voting on these introductions. I know the
authors appreciate the feedback.
The waters of Usenet were once rich in posters. Then the Usenet
trawlers set their nets and devastated the population, leaving the
ecology in serious imbalance.
The Bloody Guns, by Stuart Allen
Fiendish Zoo, by Elizabeth Heller
Storm Cellar, by P. F. Sheckarski
Bedtime story, by Taleslinger
Phoenix's Landing: Destiny, by Caroline VanEseltine
Nine-Tenths of the Law, by Jack Welch
First, I didn't realize (or forgot) that Google Groups removes text in
brackets in subject lines, so my apologies to anyone who saw the
subject line '2008 Competition Underway' and thought the IF
Competition had launched early! The subject line originally read
'[IntroComp] 2008 Competition Underway.'
Second, and more importantly, the voting site is now live:
So please head on over to http://www.allthingsjacq.com/IntroComp08 and
get the zip file so that you can start playing and voting on these six
entries right away! Voting deadline, again, is September 5th.
Hope to see all of you on September 7th when we announce the top three
Additionally, I misspelled Carolyn VanEseltine's name in the original
post, and regret the error. Sorry, Carolyn!
> Out of interest, did any of the entrants from last year manage to
> complete their games (and do it within a year of entering the contest)?
No. Nor the year previous to that, nor the year previous to *that*,
etc. etc., until you get to Adam Thornton's "Fellowship of the Ring"
in 2002. There have only been two other Introcomp games completed:
Michael Martin's "Weishaupt Scholars", and my own "Child's Play".
> No. Nor the year previous to that, nor the year previous to *that*,
> etc. etc., until you get to Adam Thornton's "Fellowship of the Ring"
> in 2002. There have only been two other Introcomp games completed:
> Michael Martin's "Weishaupt Scholars", and my own "Child's Play".
This means that the "Intro" Comp is failing its mission?
Oh, no no ... THIS time there shall be an entry that gets completed!
I am sure of it.
In part, but I think IntroComp has benefit beyond people turning
specific intros into games. Neil deMause started the competition
because so many games' openings were terrible, and he wanted people to
think more about how they hook players. I know that playing through
IntroComp entries has taught me a lot about what does and doesn't
work. In that sense, IntroComp is well and truly fulfilling its
Also, there's a lot of games out there that people swear they will
finish one day. *coughDeadsvillecough*
If I weren't so busy with other stuff, I would have paid attention and
made a submission to this contest. As it is, I don't think I'll be
releasing anything in time for the IFComp this year, which is sad
because I really wanted to get into it again.
That reason for IntroComp never even occurred to me. I always assumed it
was designed to encourage people who would otherwise never finish a game
to actually release something. I guess I made that assumption because
that was my motivation for entering. As it happens, I didn't manage to
get my intro together in time for the comp. But I'd like to think it has
made me craft the beginning of my game fairly carefully.
> That reason for IntroComp never even occurred to me. I always assumed it
> was designed to encourage people who would otherwise never finish a game
> to actually release something.
This means that we could even make a "WhatIFIsInYourMindComp", and
people will release ideas and code fragments... ;)
The Comp asks you to rate the games on a scale that says which game
you would most like to see made into a full-length game. To me this
says nothing about the entry's functionality or aesthetics; some of
the games I would most like to see made into full-length games might
be riddled wth functional and aesthetic problems.
However I'm not sure I should reward an entrant merely for thinking of
a great idea -- I'd like to reward craft as well. And since it seems
like one of the goals of Intro Comp is to get authors to hone their
craft (in making introductions, anyway) does the voting scale work
Would you be interested in seeing an intro that is riddled with bugs,
typos and bad writing made into a full-length game that is riddled with
bugs, typos and bad writing? If the intro is that terrible, I wouldn't
hold out much hope for the full game, even if the premise is interesting.
Of course, occasionally a game does something so clever that one's
willing to overlook a certain amount of implementation problems. If this
is the case with an entry in the comp, then perhaps you'd be happy to
live with the problems in the full-length game too. In that case, knock
yourself out and vote it up.
That's how I see the voting guidelines anyway, I don't claim to speak
for anybody else.
I think I'm with Jerome on this one. If the idea is a 9, great...but
if the execution is riddled with bugs, then I'm going to lower that 9
a bit (possibly quite a bit).
Maybe, if you find the rating system problematic, it would help if you
worked up your own little system that helps you answer the question
"What do I want to see in a finished game?" and then rank those
individual aspects, then average them into a single number that you
submit as your official vote. On the one hand, this sounds like a
fiddly way to figure out your votes, but if it helps you address all
the things that matter to you individually (idea, functionality,
aesthetic, etc) then perhaps it's worth trying. *shrug*
Thanks for playing and voting, George.
I think IntroComp is different things to different people. It forces
people to give serious thought to the hook of their game, it allows
people to float an idea to see how receptive the community will be,
and it gives new authors a bite-sized comp to spread their wings a
little bit. I have always said that the true prize of IntroComp isn't
the money (that I never seem to have to pay out), but rather the
feedback that's generated.
I know the IntroComp gets this flack every year, but as long as people
want to enter, I'll try to make sure this minicomp is here. I think
it's really beneficial to those who take advantage of it, and that's
why I believe in it so strongly--even if people rarely finish.
Also, what William McDuff said... As for me, I *do* seriously work on
my 2002 entry (now simply called 'Waterhouse') with some regularity.
I have my reasons for taking this slowly. I thought about going into
the reasons here as to why it's not out yet and won't be for some
time, but I'm probably the only one that cares about what-I-learned-
after-releasing-The-Fire-Tower and why-I-am-therefore-committed-to-
There wasn't anything wrong with firetower. I enjoyed it actually, a
different way of writing IF. I'd certainly be interested in what you
have learned over the years regarding writing.