2016 Interactive Fiction Competition


Actually, you know who I REALLY love? In most roles including this one? Scotto.

Check out her Senza mamma o bimbo… it never fails to make me cry. Sometimes copiously.

To be honest, I don’t much care for Donizetti, and Lucia least of all. I enjoy it - Corelli made a surprising lead role there! - but I don’t really go listen to it. Classic, yes, and romatic and post-romantic, yes. Belcanto is a bit of a blind spot for me, just like everything that comes after Wagner. Even Norma I can take or leave.

Having said that, I do enjoy listening to that sort of thing occasionally. And Sumi Jo’s rendition of the aria from La Sonnambula is… well. :slight_smile:

The beginning is beautiful, but if you want agility and razor-sharp coloratura you might as well skip ahead to the caballeta.

The aria starts at 1.30. The caballeta at 6.43. The caballeta repetition, with more agility, at about 8.10


I’ve always considered Corman and Carpenter to be the master of B movies in their way. :slight_smile: As far as good actors in strange roles, I have a strange penchant for Guy Rolfe in The Doll House and in the Puppet Master series. Go figure. His presence gives nobility and elevates films which are enjoyable in their way but would otherwise probably be unremarkable.

I’m sorry for consistently not saying anything about any games. Since I won’t play them until after the comp is over and they’re all updated, I’m avoiding spoilers or even getting influenced by opinions and/or discussions. I want to enjoy the games properly when the time comes.


I guess no amount of updates can really save yet another cave/dungeon crawler from mediocrity

it’s open to anyone, even newcomers. That shouldn’t take away anything from more serious entries, the ones that rightfully end up in top positions anyway…


In terms of respected actors in garish spectacles, I don’t think anything can top Peter O’ Toole, Helen Mirren, and Malcolm McDowell in the 70s porn flick “Caligula.”

The most frustrating part of “You are Standing in a Cave”:

Initially I thought I was just having guess the verb problems. The entry doesn’t include a walkthrough, so I did a quick internet search in the hope maybe someone else was having a similar problem and I could thus get a tip.

I found instead that the author has previously developed this game as some sort of strange live-action kitchen table game. The idea and mechanics are developed in good detail, so I can only imagine that really no playtesting at all was done on this Inform version to reveal such simple problems.


well, fockit. everyone’s reviewing, I’m throwing my usual minimalist 2 cents too over at ifdb…


Huh. I know this is pissy nitpicking, but how does that fare considering,

All entries must be previously unreleased at the opening of
judging. By “unreleased”, we generally mean that a qualifying
entry has never been widely distributed, sold, or made available for
public play or download prior to the competition.

? You could sort of argue both ways, couldn’t you? I’m not arguing for it to be disqualified, I’m just wondering aloud, as an exercise if you will.


I don’t know what the precedents are, but as I understood what was happening in that link, there’s no reason to think the game has ever been previously formalized or codified into an electronic format. Since the author is the same (i.e. didn’t take someone else’s idea), I think the author could well argue that the previous instances were little more than design documents submitted to public critique. I don’t see much smoke here, so I doubt there’s any fire kindling.

This isn’t much different than if one were to make an IF version of Blackjack or soccer.


Tangent: I saw matt w’s comment on that game updating thread:

It kind of looks like a lot of people are posting opinions and arguments about updates that are exactly the same as the opinions and arguments that we’ve posted before. Is this productive? If we want to explain our positions to newcomers, maybe we would do a more effective job of that just by linking to our previous posts instead of going round and round the merry-go-round again?

and it reminded me of this:

“I’m sorry, Jeanette, but it’s far too late for this kind of sentiment.”

You tried, matt w. You tried.


Hah, beautiful link! (for not very nice reasons, but still!)

I also wish it had worked. :stuck_out_tongue: Everyone’s been going around in circles since the thread began. No one has managed to say anything new, but emotions started running and people have the need to respond to the present arguments, even though they’re pretty much the same as the old ones.

It seems to be dying down, thankfully.

Maybe you should post there what you just posted here. Might be a bucket of cold water.

Then again, maybe not. Best not to feed anything. Meh. Their loss of a great link.


That’s funny stuff, blue_green. This is why try to stay in the mountains, never far from my bunker. This civilization is doomed, it’s only matter of time. :wink:

But really, the IF community is pretty staid. These debates are like quaint brunches at a retirement home compared to what goes on in other communities. For example, there have probably been several murders as a result of the now years-long vehement feuding between “Fallout by Interplay” and “Fallout 3/4 by Bethesda” rival internet gangs.

It’s nothing new. Factions of the Hippodrome.


[quote=“PeterPiers, post:50, topic:300, full:true”]
Hah, beautiful link! (for not very nice reasons, but still!)[/quote]

I wasn’t trying to draw an exact parallel between the two conversations, or insult anyone–but I did think that line was really funny in the original article and matt w’s comment did remind me of it. I figured it’d me more likely to get people upset than to lighten the mood, though, if I posted it over there.


For what it’s worth, I found it funny.


By all means, post a link here if you want so we can easily find your reviews, unless you’re going to make your own thread about them.

+1 Bonus Point to the certain entry where the protagonist passes through an area and randomly overhears an npc in the background say:

“And I told Michael, sure you can take a job there, I mean, you’re a Verlac, but a fishing town is so depressing.”


guess that would be:

haha, I haven’t yet played that one with the anchorhead reference…

To be honest, I think this is the first time I witness the IF Comp - almost always I get back into IF too late - and even with the cyoa/parser divide, I’m enjoying it very much. have you guys played Colins-Sussman and Welch parody of Pokemon Go yet? so many quirky, fun entries… so, ok, we may have toned down on literate IF for a while, but this is not necessarily bad. Even that Scott Adams homage from Robin Johnson got me hooked…

I also played a few “getting this thing off my chest” purely hypertext entries and they are not always terribly lame. I think IF is large enough for all. This could be a tamer, older me being a bit nicer. Or perhaps its just the spirit in the cup… whatever, it’s a great time to be alive. :slight_smile:


Unless there’s a large infusion of new voters this year, I don’t think Pogoman will do very well (it won’t be at the bottom, just solidly in the middle somewhere). It has a lot of aspects some of the Famous Reviewers hate-- random results, combat action, level grinding. I happen to rather enjoy these things not in themselves but because of the overall experience games incorporating them tend to produce, but it’s been made pretty clear to me over the years that my opinion on these particular matters is heretical and should not even be expressed in certain venues.

There’s another entry I won’t name that has similar features. I like it overall despite a few minor bugs, but I know it’s going to get blasted pretty hard by others precisely for the reasons I’m enjoying it.


I do find the updates hoopla strange - does any player even care about it? But I don’t like authors who abandon their work. Updates after the comp? Doesn’t ring true.
New voters? If half the authors attract 10 fan votes there could be 1500 more votes (vs 20k votes by judges).


I do. The first Andromeda game appeared in the first year of updates being allowed, and the alphabet being what it is, it was one of the first games I played. I didn’t much care for it.

Later, the author release two or three updates which seemed substantial, and everyone seemed to be really into it. My choice was, do I go back and replay a game that I didn’t really much care for so I can see what people are gushing over, or do I leave it and miss out on what might be good and what turned out to be what the author intended? And I whenever a new update came out, I had to choose again. And if I had replayed it once I certainly wouldn’t be leaning towards replaying it a second time…

I guess that bit about “what the author intended” is the worst. I am all for playing what the author intended, but mid-competition? It’s like I’m having a slice of cake and the author goes, Ah, you’re still eating that? I have a much better batch now, you know. The one you’re having, which granted is the one I gave you first, is clearly inferior. Just so you know.

As a player, that’s how I feel. And people like Jeron, who are proud of being able to add loads of extra content mid-comp, don’t make me feel better. Also, does anyone remember The Elf Maiden / A Comedy of Errors? The game changed so much it changed names in-comp. That was supposed to have been a one-off.

It always has, it’s always worked in previous comps. And it gave the authors time to release a single post-comp version instead of loads of small ones at odd times. Also, post-comp versions did have a certain flair to them - “HERE is the definitive version of that game, you guys, I took on board everything that you said.” This is different from “HERE is a slightly better version of that game, you guys. No, wait, HERE’s a better one. Aha, I made it even better NOW!”

You asked “as a player”. As a player, I’ll wait until the foolishness is over so I can play a version that’s not as volatile.

Very simply, the status quo has changed, the paradigm has shifted. What seems strange to you was the way it had always been done before, and it worked very well at the time.

Having said that, I also find the hoopla strange… because all of this was copiously discussed before. 9 pages, and no one has managed to say anything new, because the people who didn’t read the previous thread are rehashing old arguments without knowing it, and forcing others to respond to it (I just did it myself - I haven’t said anything now that I haven’t said before). That supposed “elephant in the room thread” shouldn’t have been created at all.

EDIT - Fun fact: Lucea’s own game, “Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory”, had a long gestation period and a seriously rehauld post-comp version was promised.

I found out right now, entirely by accident, that that post-comp version has been released on the 15th of September this year (or at least compiled on that date). The release number is the same on that version (4) as it was on the previous version, compiled on 2015. No announcement of the 2016 version was made anywhere. No NEWS item on IFDB.

If you do such a shitty job of informing people a post-comp release exists, of COURSE no one is going to care. OF COURSE post comp releases like this are going to fail spectacularly.

EDIT 2 - For all their rethoric about games and players, these people - the ones arguing the loudest and most vehemently - seem to be uninterested in ACTUALLY making solid releases players can enjoy and announcing them properly. Updating games mid-comp seems to be more important to them. Meh, is all I can say.


I do. If I know a game is going to be updated during the comp, I have little incentive to play it. I figure I might as well wait till it’s gone through X amount of updates before playing it. Why butt my head against a puzzle which might well be removed because enough people complain about it?


If you played the first version you could have your own opinion on the puzzle. Updates aren’t necessarily for the better. I liked the first quirky release of The Elf Maiden flawed as it was. The update made that game middle of the road.

I respect that it’s important to you. In my original post, a friend of mine is one of the authors and it’s frustrating that they aren’t doing an update.


But then why play the game now if I know it’s likely to be updated many times over the next few weeks? I downloaded all the IFComp games a few years back, but didn’t play any of them. I knew most would be updated so it seemed a waste of time playing them during the voting period. I played a few after the comp was over, but by that time it was too late to vote (even assuming I was interested in voting).