@mathbrush made a post about Spring Thing not allowing off-site hosted games for this year because those can’t be archived, which I support!
Here’s that post: Anybody know how to upload an html game to itch.io for Spring Thing? - #4 by mathbrush
Everyone on here is right. Uploading stuff to itch is fine and a great way to host your game, but this year I’ll only be accepting games that can be archived completely or almost entirely. In the recent past years, a few authors have been submitting games to comps that are hosted only online, and then they disappear and are lost permanently from the internet. So to avoid that, Spring Thing is only accepting games that are capable of being downloaded and archived in some fashion. This is an old rule, I’m just enforcing it a bit more than before.
How do we feel about this? Should competitions aim to be fully archived? Should it be encouraged, but left for the author to ultimately decide? How many games would this disqualify (or discourage) from competitions if this was a blanket rule?
There was another thread about whether we could try to archive all of itch.io, which seems like a humongous endeavour. But we could at least control the archiving of our community-run competitions. If we wanted to!
We’ve seen more and more competition games hosted on personal sites or itch.io these past few years. I think I understand why people want to do this (driving traffic to their own pages, keeping control of their game are I assume big reasons?), and I don’t think those are bad reasons. I don’t see a problem allowing people to do that as the main link to play their game, as long as they also include the game file itself in their upload. But there are definitely IFComp games that aren’t playable anymore, and that makes me a bit sad. I like being able to just go and play say, whatever placed last in IFComp 2002, if I wanted to. (A Quest game! Shoutout to “Blade Sentinel.” Coincidentally enough I went with 2000 before this, but that entry has been removed from the archive, if you want to look it up)
The other thing to note is there are the competitions now that are hosted on itch.io (EctoComp, ParserComp?). The convenience is unmatched there, obviously, since itch.io has all the infrastructure for hosting and judging. Is there a way for itch.io competition organizers to easily download all the entrants or anything like that so they could be uploaded afterwards to the IF Archive, if they wanted to?
This could all also just be asking organizers to do a lot more work, I realize.