IF Comp 2006 Reviews

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Nick.B...@gmail.com

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Oct 9, 2006, 8:03:12 PM10/9/06
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Hey everyone,

In case there are some people out there who are interested in playing
through the if comp games but aren't judging, i'm reviewing the games
as I play through them (trying to do at least one review each day.) So
if you want some idea (at least, my opinion), of which ones are worth
looking at before diving in, come have a look.

http://frater.wordpress.com

Of course, if you're judging, its probably better not to let me bias
you one way or the other ;)

Jimmy Maher

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Oct 9, 2006, 11:02:46 PM10/9/06
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Sorry, but I think this is a very bad idea, and it is also violating
rule #2 for judges:

"Judges are asked not to discuss the entries in a public forum during
the judging period, in order to let other judges form their own opinions
of the games."

I know you are eager to talk about the games, and I commend you for
taking the time to write reviews... but I think you should hold them
until after the Comp.

--
Jimmy Maher
Editor, SPAG Magazine -- http://www.sparkynet.com/spag
Thank you for helping to keep text adventures alive!

crow...@gmail.com

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Oct 10, 2006, 8:16:31 AM10/10/06
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I'll agree with the other gentleman who chimed in: I'm sure you're
doing this with the best intentions, but it just doesn't seem like a
good idea to me, for multiple reasons. Of course, the best one is that
it is against the rules set up for the competition, but another one
which really affects the authors, is that you are actually setting it
up as a 'play this game, don't play this one'. Many people do not want
to get through all of the games of the Comp. I do, but not everyone
else does. Some people may welcome a site that tells them 'what not to
waste their time on'- and those games, though /you/ may not like them,
may actually be quite fine.

Personally, I have no idea what you have reviewed positively and
negatively, because I am judging, and so will not read a thing like
that. But I urge you to please, for the sake of the authors and the
integrity of the competition, take it down until after the judging
period is over.

-Selena Coppa.

dwh...@gmail.com

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Oct 10, 2006, 8:35:05 AM10/10/06
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This is one of those threads I wish I'd seen before the Comp reviews
were removed.

Stephen Granade

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Oct 10, 2006, 1:15:29 PM10/10/06
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Jimmy Maher <mah...@SPAMgrandecom.net> writes:

> Nick.B...@gmail.com wrote:
> > Hey everyone,
> > In case there are some people out there who are interested in playing
> > through the if comp games but aren't judging, i'm reviewing the games
> > as I play through them (trying to do at least one review each day.) So
> > if you want some idea (at least, my opinion), of which ones are worth
> > looking at before diving in, come have a look.
> > http://frater.wordpress.com
> > Of course, if you're judging, its probably better not to let me bias
> > you one way or the other ;)
> >
>
> Sorry, but I think this is a very bad idea, and it is also violating
> rule #2 for judges:
>
> "Judges are asked not to discuss the entries in a public forum during
> the judging period, in order to let other judges form their own
> opinions of the games."

Note that rule #2 is a request, not a requirement. Regardless, I've
been giving this a fair amount of thought. The "no discussion" rule
dates back to the time when discussion was confined to Usenet. The
intent of the rule was to keep judges from being spoiled
unawares. There's a clear danger of that on Usenet, on web boards, or
on a community-wide resource like Grand Text Auto or the int-fiction
LiveJournal community. You see post titles and the number of posts,
which can give you an idea of which games are getting a lot of
discussion.

However, the world is wider than it was back then. The community is
more spread out, with far more outlets than just Usenet. I've never
had a problem with people posting reviews on web pages and handing out
the URL to people who are done judging or aren't going to
judge. Private blogs strike me as being similar.

Due to that, I'd like to try a provisional tweak to the "no
discussion" rule. You're fine posting reviews to your personal
blog. You can even give the URL out on the newsgroups or forums, as
long as you clearly identify it as being a link to competition
reviews.

This does not mean that authors can go around posting about the games
in *any* publically-accessible place.

Stephen

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

Al

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Oct 10, 2006, 7:55:47 PM10/10/06
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Stephen Granade wrote:

> However, the world is wider than it was back then. The community is
> more spread out, with far more outlets than just Usenet. I've never
> had a problem with people posting reviews on web pages and handing out
> the URL to people who are done judging or aren't going to
> judge. Private blogs strike me as being similar.


It makes a lot more sense nowadays to have absolutely NO discussion
whatsoever anywhere till the Comp is over and the winners announced.
This is in fairness to all the entrants I would think.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Oct 10, 2006, 11:06:34 PM10/10/06
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This is also plainly impossible. What could you possibly do to
prevent me from posting comments on the games? How could you penalize
me? I haven't entered a game into the competition, and I very well
might not ever enter one again. You can impose rules on the
entrants. You can impose rules on the judges. But you can;t impose
rules on the general public. You (or rather, Sarge) hasn't got that
kind of power.

Of course, he does have access to lasers, so it's not like I'd go
around pissing him off.

Aquillion

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Oct 11, 2006, 3:44:47 AM10/11/06
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Technically even imposing rules on judges is dicy, since anyone who
wants to can come up and review or rate a game without presenting ID or
anything like that. As the system stands there is no effective way to
ban anyone from judging, nor to link anonymous reviews to individual
judges.

I suspect that part of the reason why the bit in question was phrased
as a suggestion rather than a hard-and-fast rule was to avoid that sort
of unpleasantness. There has always been an element of informality to
the IFcomp as, indeed, there HAS to be if it's going to operate the way
that it does. So while I do think that discouraging people from
posting reviews is a good idea, I don't think that it should be taken
any more firmly than it is currently written.

And, really. While keeping people from being exposed to inadvertent
spoilers is an excellent goal, the idea (as one of the posters above
here seemed to be saying) that games are best judged in a complete
vacuum is questionable at best. Like any work of art, the ability of a
piece of interactive fiction to evoke meaningful discussion can be a
valid part of its success.

L. Ross Raszewski

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Oct 11, 2006, 9:26:23 AM10/11/06
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On 11 Oct 2006 00:44:47 -0700, Aquillion <frog...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>And, really. While keeping people from being exposed to inadvertent
>spoilers is an excellent goal, the idea (as one of the posters above
>here seemed to be saying) that games are best judged in a complete
>vacuum is questionable at best. Like any work of art, the ability of a
>piece of interactive fiction to evoke meaningful discussion can be a
>valid part of its success.
>

Indeed. One of the things I like about the way the rules are
structured is that -- though, having been here and listening to the
discussion when they were hammered out, I know this probably isn't the
intention -- they do not *require* games to be judged "in a vacuum",
they only make it possible for any judge who *wants* to judge that way
to do so.

Nick.B...@gmail.com

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Oct 11, 2006, 5:36:32 PM10/11/06
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So I take it the general consensus now is that I -can- post the
reviews, so long as I don't mind being hated by everyone? ;)

I didn't mean to start an in depth discussion as to the merits of
certain rules of the IF Comp, I will admit I was at fault for not
checking the rules before I made my announcement. I was just hoping to
review some of the games ( A couple of which have had me quite excited)
and provide a starting point for other people. Maybe start some
discussion about them, I don't know.

It was something I thought some of you might like. If thats not the
case, then it doesn't really matter if the rules say I can do it or
not, theres no point to doing it.

I would like to point out that I made it very clear that this wasn't
something judges should look at, at no point have I tried to subvert
the judging process. I'm judging myself, as I said earlier, and I am
personally avoiding any discussion prior to playing a particular game.

After i've played it however, theres no reason why discussion can't
help further my understanding or enjoyment of a particular game. So
long as first impressions are my own, I can judge knowing that the
final score is what I believe it should be.

Dan Shiovitz

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Oct 11, 2006, 5:50:07 PM10/11/06
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In article <1160602592.5...@h48g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,

Nick.B...@gmail.com <Nick.B...@gmail.com> wrote:
>So I take it the general consensus now is that I -can- post the
>reviews, so long as I don't mind being hated by everyone? ;)

Personally, I'd be in favor of it. I'm not going to look until I'm
finished playing, but that's likely to be in the next few days, so I'd
hate to have to wait until the end of the comp to see your reviews.
The big pile o' reviews that comes at the end of the comp is always
kind of a mixed blessing -- I like seeing what everyone has to say,
but they do start to run together a bit when I'm reading so many at
once.

--
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

James Mitchelhill

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Oct 11, 2006, 6:13:44 PM10/11/06
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On 11 Oct 2006 14:36:32 -0700, Nick.B...@gmail.com wrote:

> So I take it the general consensus now is that I -can- post the
> reviews, so long as I don't mind being hated by everyone? ;)

Consensus? On raif? Let's not be silly...

> I didn't mean to start an in depth discussion as to the merits of
> certain rules of the IF Comp, I will admit I was at fault for not
> checking the rules before I made my announcement. I was just hoping to
> review some of the games ( A couple of which have had me quite excited)
> and provide a starting point for other people. Maybe start some
> discussion about them, I don't know.

This is a good thing. One of the nice things about the comp is that is does
inspire a lot of reviews to be written. I'm reviewing every game I play as
I go along for similar reasons. Well, that and the chance to happily rip
apart the games I dislike.

You're more likely to get disucussion after the comp, though, when maximum
people will have recently played the games you're talking about. I'd
suggest posting to your blog as you go along, and also posting the reviews
to the newsgroups after the voting deadine. Best of both worlds then.

> It was something I thought some of you might like. If thats not the
> case, then it doesn't really matter if the rules say I can do it or
> not, theres no point to doing it.

Nah, go for it. I was going to comment on one of the reviews you posted. I
have somewhat different opinions about that game. And isn't that what
discussions are made of?

--
James Mitchelhill
ja...@disorderfeed.net
http://disorderfeed.net

Nick.B...@gmail.com

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Oct 11, 2006, 6:25:40 PM10/11/06
to

> Nah, go for it. I was going to comment on one of the reviews you posted. I
> have somewhat different opinions about that game. And isn't that what
> discussions are made of?
>

See! Just like that i'm itching to know where we disagree. Discussion
is a good thing people ;)

I guess the worry might be that a particularly bad review or compelling
argument might cause a reviewer to go "Oh.. I didn't think of that" and
change their review....

Seeing as permission was granted, I think I will repost the reviews
sometime today. I've given the address so if people -really- hate the
idea of reviews being available before the end of the, they'll know
whose site to avoid.

(And just hope you don't come across the same obscure WSE error that I
did the other night with the same cause, because i'm the only one I
could find with the solution posted :P )

ChicagoDave

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Oct 11, 2006, 10:49:55 PM10/11/06
to
> Stephen Granade wrote:
> Note that rule #2 is a request, not a requirement.
>
> <snip>

>
> This does not mean that authors can go around posting about the games
> in *any* publically-accessible place.

These are the two "rules" I have always thought were silly. I think the
best way for a contest such as this to be judged is to let everyone
talk about all of the games openly. Why shouldn't an author be able to
discuss why he did "this" or why he did "that". Enlightening someone
might actually make them appreciate a game more. Or less. And having
reviews up will help weed out the really crappy games quickly and focus
all of the voting attention on the top games. There are two months for
the best games to be determined.

I have a question for anyone that's judged the contest. How many times
have you gone bacl to play a game after the contest and reading the
reviews and felt that you had misjudged it?

In everything else we vote on in this world we always wish for an open
system with a clear paper trail. When people try to close or confuse
our systems we generally go nuts about it.

Why is the Annual IF Comp different?

David C.

ifb...@hotmail.com

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Oct 11, 2006, 11:29:39 PM10/11/06
to
> > Stephen Granade wrote:
> > This does not mean that authors can go around posting about the games
> > in *any* publically-accessible place.

> ChicagoDave wrote:
> These are the two "rules" I have always thought were silly. I think the
> best way for a contest such as this to be judged is to let everyone
> talk about all of the games openly. Why shouldn't an author be able to

For whatever it's worth, I wouldn't want to participate in an IF
competition that encouraged public discussion before the end of voting.
I don't think it's the best way to judge a contest at all. I can be
biased for or against a game with a single comment.

It could be "oh wow, game x was really cool" or "game x was a waste of
my time."

It could even be simpler -- a small detail about the plot, or the
mention of a bug, or just the tone of the post when somebody who has
already played mentions a game. When I play and review an IFComp game,
I want to know that everything about that experience is my own. I want
to know that it hasn't been influenced by comments others have made. If
I'm biased by the title, or the platform, or whatever else, so be it.
These, at least, are my own.

As a participant, it's also important that I am on equal footing with
everyone else. It would be to my benefit if positive discussion
influences judges in my favor, sure. But that's not how it should be.
It's just as possible that one judge's bad (but isolated) experience
could influence others in a way they might have been avoided entirely
in the absence of public discussion. If you read these opinions to be
informed before casting your own vote, how can you know just how much
your score was affected?

> discuss why he did "this" or why he did "that". Enlightening someone
> might actually make them appreciate a game more. Or less. And having

We can do this already. We can submit a forty-page thesis along with
the game, if we're so inclined. We can include tips and hints and
walkthroughs and ramblings to go along with the game, if this is
information we want to make available to judges.

> reviews up will help weed out the really crappy games quickly and focus
> all of the voting attention on the top games. There are two months for
> the best games to be determined.

One judge's crappy game could be a few notches higher to another judge.
My tastes differ from yours, probably. I just want to make up my own
mind about what's good and what's not.

> I have a question for anyone that's judged the contest. How many times
> have you gone bacl to play a game after the contest and reading the
> reviews and felt that you had misjudged it?

This happens, but I firmly believe it's as it should be. Plus, it works
both ways. If I give a high score to a game that finishes low in the
competition, I don't feel like I made a mistake. Rather, I feel like I
was being honest. If I rate a game low and it finishes near the top,
it's the same thing. I would hate to think that I was swayed to change
my mind.

I'm not against private discussion, and even the pre-result posting of
reviews to blogs and personal websites. This lets me play, score,
review, and then compare. It also gives me advance warning on what I
might expect in the results. I'm at least strong-willed enough to let
my opinions stand _after_ I've formed them, regardless of what I find
out afterwards.

It's just too easy for me to let this information affect my views
_before_ I form opinions. And, wouldn't that be the point? If nobody is
going to be affected by looking at opinions about what's good and bad
beforehand, then it would miss the goal I think you have in mind.

> In everything else we vote on in this world we always wish for an open
> system with a clear paper trail. When people try to close or confuse
> our systems we generally go nuts about it.
>
> Why is the Annual IF Comp different?

Just what I already mentioned above. I like that every game, in theory,
is on equal footing in the competition. Informed voting destroys that,
and I wouldn't want to participate in that kind of competition.

Stephen Granade

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Oct 11, 2006, 11:51:22 PM10/11/06
to
"ChicagoDave" <david.c...@gmail.com> writes:

> In everything else we vote on in this world we always wish for an open
> system with a clear paper trail. When people try to close or confuse
> our systems we generally go nuts about it.
>
> Why is the Annual IF Comp different?

This is not the same issue as the previous one (discussion or no
discussion during the competition). The IF Comp voting system is
completely open: by reading the site you can see exactly how voting
works and how we decide the winner. There is a paper trail: everyone
who votes can keep a record of their votes, and Mark Musante and I
have a copy of everyone's votes.

Nick.B...@gmail.com

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Oct 12, 2006, 12:12:58 AM10/12/06
to
I got to admit, I do agree with IFBeta about reviews being a source of
potential bias for judges, which is one of the main reasons I started
this thread to begin with. To let people know there are reviews and
discussion to be had if they want them, and to warn people.

In my mind it'd be far worse if a judge stumbled upon my reviews
without prior warning. At least this way, judges can steer cleer of my
site until they have finished their judging, without taking away the
possibility of discussion and review from those of us who are ready.

I'm not running around looking for reviews of the games I havn't judged
yet, you notice ;)

dwh...@gmail.com

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Oct 12, 2006, 2:26:29 AM10/12/06
to
As the author of a Comp game, I'm not going to risk getting my game
disqualified by discussing it before the end of the Comp, but I'd sure
like to see game discussion prior to then. And reviews. And comments on
the games. I'd like to think we're all mature enough to make up our
minds on the quality of the games in question and not just adopt a
sheep mentality of "oh, he said that game's bad so let's all avoid it".

BTW, thanks for the nice review of my game. Much appreciated. :)

Gene Wirchenko

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Oct 12, 2006, 2:12:12 PM10/12/06
to
dwh...@gmail.com wrote:

>As the author of a Comp game, I'm not going to risk getting my game
>disqualified by discussing it before the end of the Comp, but I'd sure
>like to see game discussion prior to then. And reviews. And comments on
>the games. I'd like to think we're all mature enough to make up our
>minds on the quality of the games in question and not just adopt a
>sheep mentality of "oh, he said that game's bad so let's all avoid it".

For the next minute, do not think of a horse.

Were you mature enough?

[snip]

Sincerely,

Gene Wirchenko

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

dwh...@gmail.com

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Oct 12, 2006, 3:08:53 PM10/12/06
to

Gene Wirchenko wrote:
> dwh...@gmail.com wrote:
>
> >As the author of a Comp game, I'm not going to risk getting my game
> >disqualified by discussing it before the end of the Comp, but I'd sure
> >like to see game discussion prior to then. And reviews. And comments on
> >the games. I'd like to think we're all mature enough to make up our
> >minds on the quality of the games in question and not just adopt a
> >sheep mentality of "oh, he said that game's bad so let's all avoid it".
>
> For the next minute, do not think of a horse.
>
> Were you mature enough?
>

Neigh.

ColCommunism

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Oct 12, 2006, 6:11:55 PM10/12/06
to

That should go down in history as genius in text form.

Jake Wildstrom

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Oct 12, 2006, 6:49:19 PM10/12/06
to
The Prophet Nick.B...@gmail.com, known to the wise as Nick.B...@gmail.com, opened the Book of Words, and read unto the people:

>So I take it the general consensus now is that I -can- post the
>reviews, so long as I don't mind being hated by everyone? ;)

I'd say -- and I realize this may be a minority position -- that
posting them on rgif (or raif) would actually be quite poor form, even
with a spoiler tag, simply because this is a forum actively
encouraging discussion, and one which the entire community (many of
whom do _not_ wish to see reviews in advance) participates. I'd say
squirreling your comments on a webpage somewhere or your blog or
whathaveyou is good, but putting it in a community-central forum, even
if it isn't against the rules, seems to be unhappily close to
_encouraging_ pre-deadline discussion.

Basically, I'd say something is worth doing if it is likely to make
more people happy than annoyed. On your own space, posting reviews
before deadline may well do that. On community space, well, if they're
good thoughts now, they'll be good in a month, too, and we'll _all_
enjoy them then.

--
D. Jacob (Jake) Wildstrom, Math monkey and freelance thinker

"A mathematician is a device for turning coffee into theorems."
-Alfred Renyi

The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily endorsed by the
University of California or math department thereof.

Nick.B...@gmail.com

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Oct 13, 2006, 1:46:41 AM10/13/06
to
In that case, i'll see you in a month ;)

Stephen Granade

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Oct 13, 2006, 7:52:34 AM10/13/06
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dwil...@euclid.ucsd.edu (Jake Wildstrom) writes:

> The Prophet Nick.B...@gmail.com, known to the wise as Nick.B...@gmail.com, opened the Book of Words, and read unto the people:
> >So I take it the general consensus now is that I -can- post the
> >reviews, so long as I don't mind being hated by everyone? ;)
>
> I'd say -- and I realize this may be a minority position -- that
> posting them on rgif (or raif) would actually be quite poor form, even
> with a spoiler tag, simply because this is a forum actively
> encouraging discussion, and one which the entire community (many of
> whom do _not_ wish to see reviews in advance) participates.

What I posted originally was:

> Due to that, I'd like to try a provisional tweak to the "no
> discussion" rule. You're fine posting reviews to your personal
> blog. You can even give the URL out on the newsgroups or forums, as
> long as you clearly identify it as being a link to competition
> reviews.

So, no, please no posting to the newsgroup or the newish forum.

Johnny Awesome

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Oct 13, 2006, 12:33:04 PM10/13/06
to
As a writer covering the IFComp for a gaming website, I approve of this
rule.

Now to properly cover the thing, instead of waiting 'till afterwards!

Stephen Granade

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Oct 14, 2006, 2:02:22 PM10/14/06
to
"Johnny Awesome" <orikaes...@gmail.com> writes:

Since my mission is to annoy as many people as possible: I'd rather
you hold off doing *reviews* for a gaming site, which is why I
specified a personal blog above.

dwh...@gmail.com

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Oct 14, 2006, 2:47:52 PM10/14/06
to

In what way is a personal blog (with a link from here) different than a
gaming site (with a link from here)?

Johnny Awesome

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Oct 14, 2006, 8:06:36 PM10/14/06
to

It's the same thing, no?

I'd planned the addition of a big disclaimer at the top, saying 'if you
plan to judge the IFComp, don't read this review!' and link to more
information.

Johnny Awesome

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Oct 14, 2006, 8:07:31 PM10/14/06
to

I mean, it'd be on the honour system, but then so is the actual IFComp
rule.

Mark Tilford

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Oct 22, 2006, 11:16:59 PM10/22/06
to
On 2006-10-12, ChicagoDave <david.c...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>> Stephen Granade wrote:
>> Note that rule #2 is a request, not a requirement.
>>
>> <snip>
>>
>> This does not mean that authors can go around posting about the games
>> in *any* publically-accessible place.
>
> These are the two "rules" I have always thought were silly. I think the
> best way for a contest such as this to be judged is to let everyone
> talk about all of the games openly. Why shouldn't an author be able to
> discuss why he did "this" or why he did "that". Enlightening someone
> might actually make them appreciate a game more. Or less. And having
> reviews up will help weed out the really crappy games quickly and focus
> all of the voting attention on the top games. There are two months for
> the best games to be determined.
>
> I have a question for anyone that's judged the contest. How many times
> have you gone bacl to play a game after the contest and reading the
> reviews and felt that you had misjudged it?

ISTR that plenty of people replayed Shade after judging ended.

TheR...@gmail.com

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Nov 7, 2006, 11:03:49 PM11/7/06
to
I posted a couple of reviews when I hijacked the topic about "In The
End". It's now "Some Real Reviews, with *HEAVY SPOILERS*".

Andrew Plotkin

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Nov 7, 2006, 11:15:57 PM11/7/06
to
Here, TheR...@gmail.com wrote:
> I posted a couple of reviews when I hijacked the topic about "In The
> End". It's now "Some Real Reviews, with *HEAVY SPOILERS*".

Would have been clearer if you'd said "heavy spoilers for Comp06
games", since you started out talking about "In the End".

--Z


--
"And Aholibamah bare Jeush, and Jaalam, and Korah: these were the borogoves..."
*
When Bush says "Stay the course," what he means is "I don't know what to
do next." He's been saying this for years now.

TheR...@gmail.com

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Nov 8, 2006, 3:55:29 AM11/8/06
to
Okay, I'm a newbie here...hadn't thought to mention I was reviewing
IFComp '06 games there. Feel like a freakin' idiot now. >_> It was
mostly a topical thing, though at least I remembered to mark spoilers
(a habit borrowed from my lurkings in other corners of the Internet).

I just finished "Game Producer!" (years of IF experience have beaten
the verb "use" out of me, so finishing the finances was harder than it
should have been); a fun little diversion, but that's the first one
I've seen this competition where the author didn't even double-check
what his NPCs are identified as: Sally comes up as "91" in the stock
reactions, and Raoul seems to be related to The Cheat. With some more
polish, more things to do and a much-needed injection of some humor,
Game Producer! could be something memorable; as it is, it's a diversion
and not much else.

Am I also the only one befuddled as to why I was expected to know that
the witch that dwelled in Moon-Shaped's cave swung a walking stick when
entering, let alone be aware there was a witch at all apart from the
ipso facto references to her "hexed candies"? (Not a serious complaint;
I love a good fractured fairy tale. ^_^ But if anyone knows how I was
supposed to know of the witch's existence, let alone where to find the
graveyard without the aid of the walkthrough, please let me know.)

Of course, naturally, Floatpoint would be one of the strongest entries
in the competition. I love a game with multiple endings, and perhaps my
experience with Ravipinto's "Slouching Towards Bedlam" has given me a
taste for ambiguity. Out of context, the moon colony could easily be
mistaken for a fantasy setting, but it's part of a well-built science
fiction universe where our generations-removed cousins in space have
genetically engineered themselves into the stuff of...damn, which
author am I thinking of? (And, of course, the language barrier presents
one of the more inventive ways of hiding the shortcomings of
predetermined NPC responses.) As for polish, the only bug I noticed was
after loading a save I made in front of the terminal: inexplicably,
issuing a WAIT caused Pamela's conversation from earlier to continue.
Call me what you will, but I like a game that makes your goals fairly
clear: you're left to your own devices on accomplishing them, though.
^_^ (My only other problem, similar to Moon-Shaped, was finding the
basement. Didn't make sense somehow that it'd be through the Museum.
>_>)

Another satisfying entry would be Madam Spider's Web. In terms of
story, the game is fairly nonsensical: Madam Spider is played up as a
vaguely threatening presence, replete with threats that you may be next
on her menu, but by the end she's positively warm and fuzzy. The
connections the puzzles have to the real story are tenuous at best
(although it is interesting to note in retrospect how the
piano/figurines puzzle works into things), but the game itself is a
well-done little adventure, by far one of the more polished entries in
the competition. While the main puzzles are mostly of the get-X-use-X
variety, there are a couple of objects that are worked into multiple
puzzles.

Rather funny to realize I've been playing (and fumbling on and off with
writing) IF for several years now, but this is the first time I've
bothered to look into the actual IFComp. For that matter, this is the
first time I've bothered to install any of the other interpreters,
Glulx included. Old habits die hard. ^_^;

crow...@gmail.com

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Nov 9, 2006, 9:25:36 PM11/9/06
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