Man have you heard about this playfic.com thing? I think it’s amazing. I mean, there’s not a whole lot to it, but I feel like it’ll function/is functioning as a great introduction for total neophytes to Inform 7 and IF in general. Here, let me summarize in a good back-of-the-box quote:
They can go ahead and put that on the back of their box if they want. I mean if they end up packing their website in a box.
But I wonder, how are the XYZZY awards are going to handle this development? There are some Actual Games showing up on Playfic that deserve consideration, but what about the dozens of two-room games created to test out Inform? (I know sometimes these show up on IFDB, but I don’t think they do in such volume as they have on Playfic.) What does the word “published” really mean?
Anyway if you haven’t checked out playfic then go write something goofy on it and link me.
I’ve suggested the author provide cathegories to differentiate test games, example/troubleshooting code (because I can imagine it’d be an awesome application to provide quick tech demos or to trouleshoot someone’s code), proper games, etc. He seems to be interested in doing so.
There’s already a standard – mostly designed to be fair to Introcomp entries, which would otherwise miss out on nomination chances in their final version – that incomplete releases aren’t eligible, and one of the things I’d like to do is to clarify what exactly that means.
I don’t think that it matters much if a pile of two-room tester games show up on the XYZZY list, as long as nobody votes for 'em in significant numbers. The list is already huge, and making it more huge wouldn’t change much. It’d be more complicated if Playfic shifted IF authorship more in the direction of the kind of rolling open beta releases that are the norm in some parts of the indie world. (I think that this isn’t all that likely, mostly because very few IF games are designed for high replay value; but it could happen.)
No, it’s good that you brought this up; I think that this is a non-trivial concern.
Another issue is that Playfic doesn’t seem to have an index for all games, let alone an index by year. (Unless I’ve failed to find it on the site.) In an ideal world, it’d add those features, and also distinguish between testing games, beta versions and final releases; right at this second, I don’t see how we could compile a list of Playfic games, so it’d be simpler to assume they were all testing/beta versions unless they were released, linked and/or listed in some other context.
Specifically the issue of “how in the heck can I browse for games”:
Happily, he seems to have way underestimated the impact his neat app had on the community (or at least, the ammount of the community that was interested in it), since there’s now +50 games on the site (lots of which are, naturally, hardly “games” at all, but serious attempts are emerging). So I guess it’s just a matter of time.
You know, talking about it here, I just realized it would be really nice if I could link to a game somewhere like Playfic, and it would load in a Parchment window here on the forum (think embedded videos ala youtube.) [code] is nice and all, but sometimes the point is the behavior you want to convey, rather than how it was implemented. Tiny example games like what Playfic tends to encourage would be perfect for this.