By the Refurbished (and Slightly Radioactive) Coffee Machine

We spend all this time and research crafting a couple of sentences that the reader flies past, barely noticing.
But that’s the point, init?


I think you’re on to something there…

If you look at all the different versions of particular stories, or the similarity of stories from different cultures, I think the “basic template”-idea is at the core of what myths are.

==insert Jungian archetype babelogue here==


I can barely stand to go near YouTube… all I ever think after watching is “I could’ve demonstrated that 5 minute video in 30 seconds: less if I knew people would use slow-mo,pause,and replay…”

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Some videos are helpful. Like when I was trying to figure out how to piece together my raspberry pi, the video tutorials were a lot more helpful than ones trying to describe what to do in text. But since those were all visual based, I was able to fast forward to the part that I was confused on.

What I hate is when a video is just some dude talking at the camera with a few still images added for visuals because even the YouTuber knows that staring at their dumb face for 15 minutes is boring. That entire monologue could have been dumped in text with the images placed beside it and I could have skimmed the rant to the important parts. You can’t fast forward a meandering monologue to relevant information because you won’t know when it’ll happen.

You also can’t Google search dialogue within a YouTube video, so that actually makes them a lot less helpful than they intend to be.


Yeah, luckily YouTube has a skip-forward slider. I find myself enjoying reaction videos - like movie trailers - and I don’t always need to hear the 5-15 minutes of introducing the channel and the personalities, explaining the history of their experience with the movie and it’s sequels, etc.

It actually has gotten better now that YouTube allows creators to “chapter” the timeline and I appreciate when they mark “Intro/Content/Post Reaction” or similar. Some even mark beginning and end of the sponsored content they do which is awesome. IMHO, All YouTube how-tos should ideally have a quick overview and summary either at the beginning or the end, and then the narrative with all the detail, but I’m sure keeping the eyes on the video for longer per the algorithm is part of the game.

In a similar vein, I am always a bit miffed when I go to look up a recipe online and the upper 19/20ths of the page is “a historical view of pork” and a looooOOOoong editorial article about how successfully to utilize pork and a personal narrative of the author’s experiences, successes and failures with pork…then finally way down at the bottom is the actual recipe and details. It seems sometimes I have to scroll for days just to find out what temperature and time I need to cook my pork chop in a convection oven… Why not put this at the top? (Likely the answer is there’s a “time spent on page/how much did they scroll through ads and content” algorithm situation again for ad-revenue.)


Too bad I use an ad blocker. Looks like we both lose. :stuck_out_tongue:



That was seriously the premise of a parody game I started writing a long time ago. It’s late. You are very tired. You must brush your teeth before you can go to bed. Several contrived puzzles ensue. Finally, in the last “puzzle”, you must figure out how to get the parser to allow you to take your toothbrush when it has a “bug” that will always disambiguate in favor of something else. Climactic!

(Honestly the only thing I remember about the puzzles I came up with was you had to get a ladder at some point.)


This doesn’t deserve its own thread, but since we have a break room to chat in…

Which sounds better?

  • Press spacebar to continue
  • Press the spacebar to continue
  • Other?

0 voters

The answer seems pretty unanimous.


Surely the first. “Press the F Key to Pay Respects” sounds so much more awkward than that timeless gem, “Press F to Pay Respects”.

Personally, I think “spacebar” sounds awkward.

For example, there’s the enter key that sends the “enter” character, the A key that sends the “a” character, and the spacebar that sends the “space” character. So that’s all well and fine when we’re talking about physical keys. But the current vernacular tends to be “press control to crouch”, “press enter to confirm”, “press R to reload”, etc. We’ve switched to the input now, not the key. So then with “press spacebar to continue”, it sounds odd.

Should it be “press space to continue”? That kind of thing looks good in video games, but how does it look in a text game? It feels misleading. Like is this some sort of quantum physics puzzle where I have to compress space in order to proceed?

Maybe something more like “press [space] to continue”?


With or without the brackets, I’m sure I’ve seen this in text games, probably the ones I’ve played on the BBC Micro. This feels natural to me.


If continuing is the only thing to choose, I’d stick to “Press a key to continue”. If there’s some sort of a menu, then amidst “Press H for Help” and similar, I think “Press Space to Continue” would be fine (and wouldn’t create much risk of confusion with a quantum physics puzzle).

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So, uh, 'cuz I’m nervous about the process, when it says that September 1st is “The last date that authors can register their intent to enter.” having an entry in the “Manage your 2021 entries” page with only a title counts as an “intent to enter” right? It’s not some different thing that I have to also do?

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I’m not a Comp organizer or anything, but I’m pretty sure that yeah, you shouldn’t need to have a file uploaded or any of the fields filled out - if it’s showing your title and an entry ID on the “manage your entries” page I think that means your entry is registered!


I had exactly the same question!

Your file needn’t be uploaded until the submission deadline. As long as your intent is in, you’re good.

I highly recommend uploading a test version to the IFComp website and previewing it to make sure everything looks the way you want it.

You can delete and re-upload all the way up to the deadline. Once the deadline passes, that version is the “official” comp release that goes in the zip and you’ll have a couple days where you can’t make changes. If there is no game file uploaded by the deadline (and you haven’t made some sort of emergency arrangement with management - there have been occasional site uploading issues last minute in previous years) your entry will be auto-withdrawn from the comp.

Once the comp opens to voters and the games are released, you’re allowed to update the game file on the website, but Comp voters are not required to re-download any updates beyond what’s in the initial zip file.

Updating your game file after voting is open is intended for bug fixes - not adding to the game in a significant way or “finishing” it or changing it based on post release feedback. When you update post-release, the page will prompt you to enter a brief text “patch note” of why it was updated and this note is visible to voters and downloaders.


Okay, thanks! So, I should be good, so long as I don’t somehow forget to actually put up a game in the next month.

…only a month left now. Exciting.


And remember that the deadline is Tuesday, the 28th, not actually the end of the month. They need a couple days to get things ready to go so the judging can open on the first.