IFComp 2015 is open for registration

If the comp has 15 must-play entries from well-regarded authors and 15 entries from new authors, this can indeed create a situation where the first 15 are played a lot more than the others. But this isn’t a typical situation. If a thousand people want to play and vote on Emily Short’s game, probably about five hundred of them will play your game.

One can also argue that the people who already have the most brand are exactly the ones who benefit least from publicising their work.

It’s worth noting at this point that Emily has repeatedly stated that she will not be entering the Comp again, for reasons including those mentioned above. (There are other big-name authors for whom the same points hold.)

I agree that there’s a risk of the Comp falling prey to the Best at Publicity dynamic, but it’s not a major concern - certainly less than it is for the XYZZYs.

That’s a good deal easier said than done. People who are publicising their games don’t put their publicity into little hidden boxes where you have to explicitly opt in in order to read it. They broadcast as widely as possible. I could ignore social media and Planet-IF and the forums for a few months in advance of the comp, I guess, but that would be a lot to expect of anyone.

(See also: 'I don’t want to read comp reviews until I’ve played and scored the games in question. I try this every year, but inevitably some information trickles through by about the halfway mark.)

True, but you can still not read posts about someone’s upcoming IFComp project. Is it too much of a “spoiler” to know that someone will be entering a game, and what it’s called?

Reviews are somewhat different: if someone tweets “Miserablist Sunrise, in the current IFComp, is amazing”, that predisposes you towards the game in a way that a tweet of “Here’s a screenshot of the BitBucket commits on my upcoming game, Miserablist Sunrise” doesn’t.

It could be argued either way, I think. In my opinion, I really like the not-knowing before the games are released. I like the attempt at confining chatter about WIPs and I like authors who don’t chat about WIPs because that way we all sort-of get the same experience of the games being released and discovered at release time. [emote]8-)[/emote]

The way the voting works…isn’t it better to have 8 of 10 people like your game than 500 of 1000 people like your game?

As a certain percentage of all intents to enter make it into the competition anyway, what’s the big deal about seeing the intents beforehand, then seeing that a big number didn’t enter anyway? Then, the day of release is more of a “letdown” than something to be excited about?

First teaser for my game:


Really excited to see if other game announcements start popping up soon! I can’t wait to see what everyone else is working on!

I felt resistance too. But now I’m more accepting. Knowledge is power. I can rate games more accurately if I know more about them. It’s easier to make constructive feedback.

Publicity e.g. on social media can bring more voters. It may be a little harder for an outsider to win ifcomp but quality will tell.

Agreed on the “Christmas morning” feel as a competitor or judge. For IFComp, Spring Thing, ParserComp, Shufflecomp, etc.

I don’t think this is strictly necessary. People have the ability to discuss their game. And I imagine there are authors like Hanon who want to have a placemaker in case an idea takes off, and people can maybe rip off your idea you want to delete later. Of course, the author should have the option to hide their game preview, but that’s one more thing to worry about.

Speaking as someone who kicked forward an entry from last year, I was glad to have it. But the administration both for the organizer and the competitors seems to add up to the possibility of a leak someone doesn’t like/want. I mean, if someone writes 2 games, and one is not likely to make it, each needs a checkbox for privacy–and that’s a lot of switches to flip.

So I think letting people make general posts is a big help. I’ve enjoyed doing so, whether or not my game makes it in. I’ve been able to share details in a private group.

It will be interesting to see what authors have to say after the comp, about being able to publicize beforehand. So it seems worthwhile for the organizer to have these questions in a postmortem for authors or possibly judges willing to answer a survey. As a potential author it would be worth my time.