All competition deadlines specifically mean 11:59 PM, Eastern time, on the given dates.
July 1: The competition website is open for authors to declare their intent to enter this year’s competition.
September 1: The last date that authors can register their intent to enter.
September 28: The last date that authors can upload their games to the competition site. Everyone starts counting down the hours, eager to explore all the new IFfy goodness.
October 1: The games are released to the public, and the judging period begins.
November 15: All votes must be submitted by the end of the day. The competition results are announced shortly afterwards. Prize choosing and distribution begins.
Tags have been created: ifcomp2020 for general discussion, and ifcomp2020-game for discussion of specific games and reviews.
There will be a private discussion category restricted to 2020 author entrants only which will open when the games are released or slightly before. If you provide your Forum Username to the organizers they can add you to the group when the Comp opens, or you will be able to make a specific request to join once the competition gets going from the “Groups” section under the forum hamburger menu.
Just a bump as a reminder: If you intend to enter IFComp 2020, September 1st is the deadline to declare your intent to enter. Your game needn’t be finished and uploaded until September 28, but you must have an intent registered for that game by September 1st on ifcomp.org for your game to be eligible.
Remember intents are a soft commitment: You can withdraw an intent at any time if you change your mind, and any intents without a game uploaded by Sep 28 will be automatically withdrawn. Get your intent in as a placeholder ASAP even if you’re on the fence.
The IFComp site is also great in that you can test upload your game or a test build so you can see how it will appear and operate with all the entry information:
Download is always available, and will simply let the player download a copy of the game file you uploaded to ifcomp.org. (If the game is a single HTML file, then it’ll open in the player’s browser instead.)
Walkthrough appears if you’ve added a separate walkthrough file to your entry via the entry form. It’s a simple link to whatever that file is.
The Play Online button appears if any one of the following is true about your uploaded entry file:
It’s a single HTML file (as is typically the case with Twine games, for example).
It’s a Zip archive containing a file named “index.html” at its top level. (This includes website directories output by Inform while using the “Release along with an interpreter” option.)
It’s a single z-code or Glulx file as output by Inform.
Just be sure if you do a test upload and then change your mind about entering that you withdraw your intent, or remove the playable game file. It has happened in the past that someone entered a not-quite-complete game by accident when they had a test build uploaded and forgot it would go live on the deadline.
You can look at the results page of past comps to see how many votes each game received. The winning game last year, Zozzled received 64 total votes. There were 80+ games entered, so fewer people reviewed the winning game than there were entrants.
Entrants cannot vote in the main judging. People have groused before that if “everybody enters the Comp, there’s nobody left to vote!”
No, I’m sorry; I should have said something to indicate that that wasn’t serious. I’ve seen a small amount of concern, and I gather that last year there was some serious discussion about how to raise the visibility of the comp in order to have more judges. But it always amuses me that there’s any concern about the size when I’d consider it to be relatively tiny.