IF Comp 2014 Predictions

[i]Amidst the night fog of the city lies a quiet, almost abandoned Shop of Curiosities. If a traveler ever stopped to enter it, they might find, among aged grimoires and odds and ends of all shapes and sizes, a fortune teller machine of the kind that is usually found at fairs and penny arcades. The fortune teller itself looks like a blue, blobby jellyfish with yellow tentacles and is wearing a jeweled turban for full Wizardly effect. On the machine hangs a sign:


If that same traveler should pull the lever, this is what they might hear:[/i]

  • Hope you folks are okay drinking from the firehose, 'cause this will be the first IF Comp since 2001 to have 50 or more games!
  • About 1/3 to half of those games will be written in Inform, with most of the rest being made in choice-based engines like Twine or Undum.
  • Speaking of choice-based engines, at least three games this year will be made in Choose Your Story.
  • And this year will have the first Ren’py game entered in the Comp.
  • Moving on, this year’s winning game will have a squid in it somewhere.
  • Looking for love? This year’s Comp will have at least two romance games.
  • The Golden Banana of Discord will go to a game about alien abductions.
  • Expect at least one Shuffle Comp run-off game. (I.E., a game that was written for Shuffle Comp but wasn’t finished in time.)
  • And, finally, someone will definitely enter a game with Batman in it. I will eat my hat if this is not so. I will eat my hat, and then make an autobiographical Twine game about it called Healy Eats a Hat!

Preamble taken from the last two threads. Sorry it’s late. Post your own IF Comp predictions in this thread!

I would call that a very safe prediction.

I figure one-third parser-based. I also figure that IFComp will never again see a year where the majority of entries are parser-based.

2+ games with eels, one of which will be an environmental sympathy piece.
One game with a running joke about a ladder.
4+ games with a Devil, but none will have beards, tails, or pitchforks.
3 Simulator games about raising an entity (city, animal, baby).
7+ games that are artistic pieces pushing the boundaries about what it really means to be called a “game”.
1 game too depressing for me and I tap out early.
5 games that specifically describe a character’s ears (with a feature or an action). None of these will support “Examine Ear(s)”.

  • At least five games will offer you a choice of gender. Two of them will reject this choice; one of them will not include ‘male’ and ‘female’ among the options; and one of them will let you change gender at any point in the game, as often as you want.
  • Of the games set on Earth where location can be sufficiently established, 80% will be set within the United States.
  • The coincidental themes of this year will be lumberjacks, dangerous fungi, spider-people, and Impi.
  • 10% of games will be written in homebrew or non-IF-specific platforms.
  • 20% of games will be fanfic. Of these, one-third will never specify their fandom and you’ll have to figure it out by Googling character names.
  • One game will be set in a near-future independent Scotland.
  • There will be at least four authors who contribute more than one game apiece.
  • There will be three games including the word ‘simulator’ in the title, in two of which ‘simulator’ just means ‘a game about’.
  • Two major authors will submit pseudonymous entries that they planned specifically for the 20th anniversary of the IFComp. One will win and the other will place surprisingly poorly.
  • An Inform 7 entry will win, but 2nd and 3rd will be Twine.
  • There will be 3 or less TADS games, none of which will be in the Top 10.
  • There will be two games fairly reminiscent of Coloratura.
  • Ryan Veeder and Porpentine will both have non-pseudonymous entries, and will both get in the Top 5.

I’m going big and bold:

There will be a real-time entry. It will be surprisingly good.



  • 3+ games will have “fixme” or “under construction” notices in the middle of seemingly-important rooms or scenes.
  • Porpentine will enter a highly metaphorical and controversial Twine game about a deep personal or social issue.
  • 1 game will feature surprisingly good graphics in a surprisingly half-baked point-and-click system.
  • There will be a cooking puzzle.
  • 4+ games will feature an excessive number of made-up fantasy words. 1 of these will be almost completely incomprehensible.
  • At least 1 game will feature cave exploration, in an unique way. At least 1 other game will feature castles and probably dragons, in a completely generic way.
  • You will never be able to play all the 100+ entries within 6 weeks;
  • 9/10 of the Twine and 2/3 of all authors will publish for the first time;
  • there will be at least three school projects of very low quality;
  • one game will refer to comp business;
  • at least one heavily persuasion based parser game will enter top 10;
  • for the first time, a choice based game will win the comp and cement the future;
  • a 3D shooter will be disqualified because the author forgot to shoot words.

Last minute IF Comp predictions!!!

  • Expect at least one game about one of the following: bears, art installations, gentlemen thieves, livestock, vampires, and the making of borscht.
  • Expect at least five games to contain all of the following: psychic powers, job interviews, and lasers.
  • Expect at least one dodgy paranormal romance game.
  • Expect at least one dodgy haunted house game.
  • Expect at least one game about the author trying to find their underwear in their messy room.
  • Finally, I’m still holding fast to my Batman prediction from earlier.

Let’s see how I did.

  1. Totally off, unless Andrew Schultz counts as a major author and he planned Ugly Oafs for the 20th anniversary of the IFComp. 0 points.
  2. An Inform 7 entry did win, but 2nd was Choicescript and 3rd was Quest. 0.33 points.
  3. I think. Wasn’t only Slasher Swamp TADS? 1 point.
  4. None to my knowledge. 0 points.
  5. Porpentine, yes. Veeder, no. 0.5 points.

1.83/5. I need a new crystal ball.

Two offer a choice, by my count (CSAW, Icepunk). Neither of them do anything fancy with it (or acknowledge the choice at any point thereafter, as far as I could tell.)

I make it about 53% US settings, but there are a lot of games I’m unsure about.

Alas, no. Serial killers, cyber-dystopias and time-travel.

Sigmund’s Quest, Milk Party Palace, AlethiCorp, Building the Right Stuff. 9.5% is close enough for me. (edit: crap, no, also Caroline. still think that 12% counts as a win.)

None whatsoever. Which makes plenty of sense in retrospect.

I think I deserve half a point for Raik.

Two. Bzzt.

None whatsoever.

You didn’t finish mine. You get a point for spider-people.

My personal definition is that it doesn’t count as a proper Giant Squid unless there are at least three games with that theme.

For the record–I didn’t plan it for the 20th anniversary. Though I was pleasantly surprised with the placing. The game felt a bit like leftovers as I planned it, and I didn’t really add all the info I could’ve, though there’s still a lot of post-comp stuff to be done. Though I’m flattered if you think my place was surprisingly poor [emote]:)[/emote].

I’m a little sad Harry Giles was the only high placer from previous competitions (Chinese Room) to come back for #20 after a break of a few years, though Raik was enjoyable. Well, there’s always next year!

Secret Vaults of Kas the Betrayer doesn’t count as fanfic?

Or HHH.exe?