2016 Interactive Fiction Competition


Yeah, seconded. I’ve read Emily’s post a few times and can’t say I found anything offensive about it. Jumping on someone and bashing them for expressing a viewpoint we might disagree with? We don’t need that sort of thing here. (We’ve always got Int.fiction for that… :slight_smile: )


Emily has here plainly said I’m “sexist” for making remarks that plainly had no such subtext.

Emily has plainly said that “good people” such as herself and her associates should not visit this forum.


something interesting going on:

the author says he didn’t update anything…


I followed the links, but I didn’t see what you mean.


well, the IF community has clearly divided itself some years ago. Why to even try to make everyone right at home at both ends of the spectrum?

the whole parser-cyao, commies-capitalists dualisms will never go away just because we happen to enjoy and share some of the same toolsets and media…


he claimed to have not changed anything, but the Play Online link was working fine before, not now.

someone suggested before that all entries received updates so that 1-voters would vote 1 for them all… just saying…


I see now.

I agree, but the situation is still unfortunate.

I made a deliberate effort in this discussion to keep things focused on gaming, but we’ve seen repeatedly that folks in other venues find the very existence of any discussion not directly under their thumb most distressing. They have therefore launched repeated efforts to marginalize this discussion. As that ploy doesn’t seem to be working, now they will move on to their standard tactic of saying this discussion is morally defective, as are the participants.


I know there have been changes to the IFComp website. For one thing, the games are now in proper alphabetical order by title (instead of putting all the “The” games in the “T” section). It seems pretty likely that some change to the website itself has messed up the link.


ah, yes. That is worrisome. :blush:

poor little dictators


As a participant, I’ve found myself much happier working on a Python implementation of FreeCell, and also testing a Spring Thing 2017 game, than actually following the drama.

I’m pretty upset. I don’t know how to say it without handing out personal accusations. I’ve PM’d people with my impressions of some of the players involved, and unfortunately, it’s not a good look for the community.

I suppose it’s good I’m not worrying too much about reviews for my entry, but that’s not the way I wanted to go about not worrying too much.


Ouch. This is overboard, and I say this as someone who 1) FULLY sympathizes with Wes in the discussion, based on my previous experiences with both people, and 2) feels uncomfortable at Euphoria for a variety of reasons, despite liking most of the people there.


I regret losing my temper, but I do not apologize for anything I wrote. Emshort is an adult, she knew she was plainly trolling with that post, and I responded by not mincing words.

This discussion is not occurring in a vacuum. It’s well established at this point that certain parties enjoy pushing around certain other parties. I won’t be pushed around.


Right, I’m home.

This is going to be long, so I’m hiding it all inside a collapsible thingammy. Too much clutter in this thread as it is! We’re supposed to be talking about the games! :slight_smile: (yeah, yeah, I know, I didn’t really help)

[details=Detailed response][quote=“emshort”]
Asking someone about what they intended by what looks like a race/gender-motivated insult is arguably the most polite way of dealing with such a remark (…) I don’t see how it can be characterized as bullying. [/quote]

You will find that I agree. On the thread where I related that I also concluded by saying that I didn’t blame Lucea for that particularly. However, there was bullying. If the atmosphere in a place can be so loaded that such a polite remark…

(and was that remark in response to a race/gender-motivated insult? We will never know, will we? It’s gone, another reason I despise this let’s-erase-history culture. We can’t judge objectively anymore. We can’t even compare it to WesLesley’s other posts and figure out whether he was being insulting, or whether he was being himself and with honest intentions and someone else was over-sensitive)

…can lead to such a quick reaction, there’s a lot of subtext that is all about bullying. The Wikipedia definition is good enough:

Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate
others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential
prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an
imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict.

I certainly see a repeated and habitual behaviour here, in a social imbalance, where some people, points of view and attitudes are consistently intimidated and dominated. Again, in this case Lucea wasn’t bullying (but I’ll get back to that in a moment), but there was an atmosphere of bullying that I felt was sickening.

Conversely, characterizing people in another group as e.g. buffoons and attention whores is aggressive, personal, and the kind of phrase that carries a lot more sting for women than for men. It is also not the setup for a rational conversation.

I agree. I would personally not use those words. But, in this place we encourage free speech, and if we disagree we talk it over. For instance, endosphere’s response to you has had very little support from most people who have chimed in subsequently. Still, his conduct is his own, as is the conduct of all of us.

Having said that, although I would not use his words, I can’t disagree with his sentiment, and who am I to dictate what words others should use? That is fine for other places; not here. People are encouraged to talk as they will. If someone gets hurt, they are expected to talk it over responsibly. People are free to chime in, as they have here, and express their dislike over someone’s words - without questioning whether those words should have been said at all.

In this way, despite appearances, a rational conversation arises. One where feelings are acknowledged, talked over, resolved.

I know that intfic was made to allow for people to avoid following intfiction’s code of conduct.

Vaporware is the one who can say why Intfic was made. Personally, I do not believe your statement is true at all. I came here because I disagreed with details of the CoC; with its very existence and supremacy; and with the atmosphere that dictated it be created at all. I eventually totally left IntFiction (in active terms) for two or three other reasons. IntFic was created as an alternative to IntFiction, where things are done differently; that is all. Honestly, all things considered, I think we’re lucky - I think the people who participate here, on the whole, are very eloquent, clear thinking, rational and slow to take personal offence.

We’re also all a bit freer to say what we really mean, and pick it up from there. Feels good.

in a previous conversation some people expressed confusion about why I don’t find this board welcoming and why I feel that I should not be

Any discussion or forum that you participate in is made more valuable by your contribution. I have you standards and opinions in high esteem. Your absence here does make the place a bit poorer.

Having said that, if you don’t find this board welcoming and feel you shouldn’t be here, then you are feeling what a number of us felt at IntFiction. I am sorry that you don’t feel good here; but I am very much not sorry that you are feeling, in the flesh, what a number of us felt over there.

Obviously, the rules here are what the participants make them, and equally obviously I’m free not to participate, and I expect to return to that practice shortly. However, I’m here at the moment because I’ve had multiple questions from multiple people about this board, the IF community, this thread specifically, and why I promote the IF community in light of this kind of interaction.

Before we get into the meat of it all, I will point out that these interactions were taking place in a corner of the world which seems blacklisted by lots of people (which I think is stupid, but everyone’s free to do what they like). They were taking place among people who spoke freely and of the same language. This shitstorm started again because someone, external to this place and to its philosophy, wilfully misunderstood a couple of posts and made a big deal in a place where those posts would NEVER have been made, because we knew the response we would get.

In fact, while the storm was raging over there, for a long time this thread was quite peaceful. I’m rather proud of that.

that I disagree with the language used here

It is in your right. Just as it is in your right to jump in and say that out of the blue. A bit strange, but why not.

that I do not think the things said here are representative of the IF community as a whole

I don’t think anyone thinks that. I’m not even sure there IS an IF community as a whole. You’re not talking about IntFiction, are you? Because if so, you should say IntFiction, not IF community. We’re all part of the community. We haven’t been ostracised. Or have we and no one’s made it official yet?

that I don’t think anyone is in fact voting all 1s to updated games;

Good. No one ever thought that except Lucea and the people she convinced. Maybe we can let that matter drop?

that Lucea is not a bully;

Ah, you are free to think so. I am free to think she is. My reasoning: she read the thread here, where people were speaking freely; as I said before, things were said here which would not have been said elsewhere because we knew they’d be mis-interpreted. Lucea took the sentiment she perceived - not even our actual words! Just her interpretation -, donned her battle armour, and started the whole shitstorm, calling it the “elephant in the room”. Later I tried to make it clear, here, that what she had suggested would not happen; she mocked it, over there, again with no consideration for the actual words. Lucea may not be a bully, generally, and she didn’t bully WesLesley, but in this case? She was a bully and a troll.

that I don’t think Wes meant any malice either;

That’s a relief.

that many of us aren’t calling any other groups idiots, fools, lazy, buffoons or attention whores;

I will agree there is room for improvement. But, it seems to be a characteristic of this board that people can use that language, if it feels natural for them, and still be able to communicate.

Here, let me bring up the case of namekusejin. His posts are very characteristic. He says what he thinks, in a manner which lots of people found offensive and overbearing. IntFiction reacted to that by dismissing him, putting him down, ignoring him, attacking him, and eventually banning him.

(sidenote: I’m probably the reason you were banned, namekusejin! At a certain point I was so tired of people telling you off I said something like, “Look guys, namekusejin is like that and he’s not going to change and we all know it. There’s no point in you getting mad over him, just deal with him. Ban him or get used to him.” I was actually shocked when I saw that you’d been banned on the very next post!)

He came here, and he’s still the same person. Over here he’s been addressed, not dismissed. His style is not to everyone’s taste. But he has managed to start a conversation about the nature of the inline prompt in modern-day IF, which started bumpy due to his particular phrasing but became interesting and potentially productive. In this thread he is, for the first time, visibly enjoying an IF event, and is even praising aspects of non-parser games.

This, I believe, is why IntFic exists. Not so that people can call each other names; so that people can act the way they think is best, in the knowledge that they’ll be addressed; corrected, if necessary; chided, if applicable; praised and supported, when at their best. And not have to worry about hidden subtexts or things that are going on elsewhere. I believe this will bring out the best in people. See namekusejin, for an example. See what Lucea did to the whole thing as a counter-example. Meh, see what Porpentine did way back when (yes, I’m bringing THAT up again. Why not. Let’s have a free-for-all. Ok, let’s not, but my point stands).

and that failing to make an IFDB news item about your game does not inherently characterize you, your authoring, or your promotion skills as “shitty.” (…) lots of people do other things to promote their games, such as e.g. submit them to festivals, which I know is the case with Synfac.

Your promotion skills, yes. And not just the IFDB news items. Here, let me show you the list of sites I check daily looking for new IF releases and news:








Plus the feeds for IFArchive, IFDB and IFICTION-FR.

That’s quite a lot. I am quite unwilling for start following individual blog posts, random jams or festivals. If, following all of this, I still miss an announcement, then the announcement was shitty. (Incidently, if I’m missing a site, do let me know)

As to the RELEVANCE of this, it’s true I brought Lucea in to illustrate an argument she hasn’t personally made. The argument was, if we update after the comp, no one is going to bother about it. Well, my counter-argument is, taking her as a handy example, that if you fail to properly anounce the update, then yes, no one is going to bother; no one is going to even know.

(Most people probably don’t even know how that feature works;

Most people should probably learn. It’s not hidden away. Most people should learn a lot of things about IFDB, like how it’s not the place for WIP or trailers, but that’s a tangent…

It’s easy for what is said most loudly to be heard most clearly, on every side, but that doesn’t make it the majority view.

Clearly. Because the majority is all over and IntFiction. You think we’re being loud here?

Again, apologies for entering this space; I did so only because I felt it was necessary to put some context here for people I know are reading. If you have things you’d like to discuss with me about these issues, please feel free to email and I’m happy to discuss further.

You need not apologise; that’s one of the important things about this space. Everyone is welcome (IMO, especially you and others who like you have done so much for IF and continue doing so much - but I respect you not liking it here because, again, most of us here know exactly what that’s like).

Food for thought - for an ostracised bunch, people at the white-hat side of the corral seem to take a lot of interest in what we’re doing and saying amongst ourselves.

EDIT: I have to acknowledge Jeron’s latest post, a public apology. I’m plasantly surprised by it. This is to illustrate I do not think this place is better than IntFiction or vice-versa - each place is better for different sorts of people. Maybe if we embrace this things will start working out. That also applies to us. Maybe if I stop posting about “the latest ‘bullying’ in IntFiction” I will be helping towards this. We shall see what the future brings.


I applaud you. I knew you would come to regret your words, yet still stand by your original feeling. Because that’s the sort of space we have here. People come to rethink their own actions in their own time, if there’s any need to. I am sure that if you are called upon to continue upon that thread you will be clear, straightforward and not offensive - but stand by your feelings and principles, without dwarfing others and without letting others dwarf you.

Yes you did; don’t think we haven’t noticed. I applaud that too. I tried to limit my posts when I realised I kept going off-topic and you were struggling to keep things at their best. You felt provoked beyond the point of no return, and lashed out with passion and sincerity. I don’t think you can be blamed, especially given your most recent post.


Now: it’d be great if Emily were to reply again, but I doubt that’ll happen. So - shall we get things back on track? :slight_smile: There’s still games for you all to play, and for me to wait until the end of the Comp to get around to. I don’t mind; antecipation is awesome!

EDIT - Sheeeeeesh. Re-reading the whole thread again… I did NOT help towards a peaceful resolution! I kept bringing the matter up! I have to learn from this,


you bastard!

kiddin, no big deal


[quote=“PeterPiers, post:94, topic:300, full:true”]This is going to be long, so I’m hiding it all inside a collapsible thingammy.

There are various things you’ve said here that I disagree with. But that’s not why I’m replying–I don’t really want to prolong community drama or dissect the motivations of people not present.

Mostly I want to ask if you are using a feed reader. Literally checking that many sites for updates every day sounds exhausting.


No worries. You’re always very diplomatic, so we know that’s your intention and it’s no problem if it doesn’t quite work out in practice every time. On the other hand if I see someone coming at me, I retaliate immediately and it doesn’t matter much to me if I ever find out what the conflict was really about. I belong to a number of forums on other topics filled entirely with those like myself and almost none like you, and I’ll be honest-- not much progress is ever made. People are still at each other’s throats over ancient beefs from fifteen years ago.

With that in mind, I was earlier in the process of posting that I quite enjoyed Detectiveland, but that in many respects it’s indistinguishable from the old NES-era graphic adventure Deja Vu.

From an audience perspective, having a fun game to play is certainly no problem. But is this a problem for the identity of the IF Comp? Are there certain aspects of Detectiveland that make it a suitable entry, or would it be fine with most people if next year there was an entry like Halo or Frogger? What are your reasons for taking whichever position you espouse?

On a different subject, I don’t have many entries left to examine. I’m starting to feel concerned, because I have only a few items scored above 6 and have not seen any entries yet that overwhelmed me as first place material compared to what I considered “first place greatness” in past years. I earlier said the average quality of entries is this year’s competition is noticeably higher than in 2015 or 2014, and I stand by that assessment. On the other hand, perhaps the peak quality will turn out to be lower than in previous years. Anyone have similar feelings? Can we have a memorable year without any “great” entries?

I think I found an easter egg in “Mirror and Queen”

Speak about: eliza

There is not a sage in the kingdom whose speech imbues each syllable with greater truth. A demon’s silver tongue, loosened with blood, can never lie. Ask what you would and answers will seep through your mind. Sop them until your thoughts are soaked scarlet. O Queen, you will drip when this evening ends.


Moderation notice:

Two posts in this thread were flagged for moderator attention. After consulting the Intfic Metaphesto and finding no clear guidance, I opted to defer judgment in the hope that the objections could be addressed through ordinary discussion, and I think that has turned out to be the case.


IMO it’s best to do that sort of thing in a private message. People are often less argumentative, stubborn, defensive, etc. when there’s no audience. And especially for ambiguous comments, it seems like pointedly asking about each one would contribute to a tense atmosphere.

No need to apologize to us; you’re welcome to post as much or little as you like here. This environment might not appeal to everyone, but it’s open to anyone.

That’s not how I read it. I hope using words like “plainly” (and quote blocks, and quotation marks) when describing one’s interpretation of another’s words doesn’t become a new trend like “literally”.

I don’t think I’ve actually seen anyone, anywhere, tell others they shouldn’t visit this forum. Maybe it’s just a matter of time, but who knows.

Back on topic… I meant to donate some special prizes this year, but procrastinated too long. D’oh!

I do, however, plan to review more than 5 games this year. I have some long flights coming up in a couple weeks, so it’ll be nice to have something to kill time.