Deciding on what content should go in an IF book

Thanks for explaining.

Learning from the Best of Text

A lot of the material seems to be an anthology of IFComp rather than “learning” per se. So perhaps, as suggested, there is more than one book here.

Alternatively, the IFcomp essays could be reworked to be more oriented toward learning from what worked and what didn’t from entries. Which feels similar but slightly different from reviews.

Anyhow, it sounds good.


Thank you, this is very insightful and helpful!

I wonder if it would feel a little more cohesive if the extra essays were first, and then the year by year ones. That way you could see how Brian’s schemas work themselves out over the history of these comps.

1 Like

If you wanted to get real fancy, to maximise usefulness, you could have an index of games mentioned and an index of authors mentioned.


Of the additional essays, I find the Best Puzzle / Big Games / Design Decisions sections really interesting, as well as the Conversational Systems and Opening subsections of the existing Sherlock Holmes section.


this would be interesting. I’ve seen many essay collections organized chronologically so you can see the progress of an essayist’s framework over time!


Thanks for everyone’s feedback! I’ve decided to keep the ‘extra’ essays and put the conclusions about xyzzy and ifcomp first before their respective sections.

I’ve finished going through and ‘polishing’ about 60% of the book (all of the XYZZY and IFComp essays that were there in 2017). I just need to finish Spring Thing (short) and the remaining essays. Once that’s done, I’ll add in my most recent ifcomp essays and add citations. Then, new essays on each XYZZY winner since Birdland and the last couple IFComps. So you’ll probably see those in the coming weeks. I’m trying to finish before the 24th of July if possible, and if not then then by August 14th, so they may come at inconvenient times.

Thanks for the input!


Do you plan to update the book in like, 5 years, with the new winners? Just a random thought.

1 Like

Probably. I’m updating it now after 7 years.

Maybe I should time it to coincide with Victor Gijsber’s Interactive Fiction top 50, when possible.