IFComp Dilemma

Hey All-
So I’m bopping all the little bugs on the head in preparation for submitting my game to IFcomp, and I’ve run into a dilemma.

I did a poor job with one of my unique verbs when I wrote the game (so many “instead ofs”). Now that I have been using Inform 7 for all of 5 months and am so much wiser, I can see a much better and cleaner way to implement it.

It’s unlikely that it will cause a problem, and if it does cause a problem, it will be because someone does something totally unexpected that no testers have done. And it might cause a very minor spoiler if someone monkeys with it enough.

It’s a little over 2 weeks until the Comp deadline, and I’m toying with the idea of fixing this. But of course, I know that every time I fix something, I create more problems. And I’ve already had 2 rounds of beta testers and don’t want to ask for more just to find any problems I create if I fix this now.

Bottom line: the game works. It’s unlikely that my poor decisions will cause problems, but it’s possible, especially if I get a mischievous judge.

Is it the worst idea ever to try and rework this now?

It’s a pretty poor idea, yes.


Thought so. Sigh.

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Recognizing and avoiding bad ideas is commendable!


If you’re working on a big, long project for a long time, it can be worthwhile to refactor and improve sections of code. A big time expenditure up front will produce savings in the long run, as well as letting you write cleaner, more legible code, which will help you expand and maintain it over time.

But in this case, you don’t have an indefinite time period; you have an upcoming and imminent hard deadline. So, you’re better off making notes of ways to improve it, and rolling that into your next project, where you can start clean from scratch the “right” way.

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Do it!

Plan B: You can always hand in the code as it is.

Thanks for talking me off the ledge, y’all. I just get really sick of seeing wobbly, byzantine code that I cobbled together with spit and tape back when I was in Inform kindergarten.
Now that I’m in first grade, I want to rebuild it right, but it’s a terrible time to do that.


Knowing your limitations is good. If it’s too much, it’s too much. There’s always another Comp opportunity.

That said, I literally broke Fair the day before the submission date. I considered giving up and withdrawing, but I stayed up till 4am (on a work-monday) picking through the code and taering out a system that that affected everything.

I don’t know if I could do that again, where I am now.

This is apparently my history…

The week before I submitted Final Girl (the original version of which involved a randomly-determined mystery very similar to Clue) I realized the card system could totally get this wrong and cheat the player and even worse could decide there was no murderer and I had to invent a way to prevent this from happening in the last week before the deadline.

Sometimes you can figure out how to hack it together last minute. I’m sure there are hundreds of these types of stories.

I also remember once chatting with an author friend who decided to withdraw on the date intents were due and that made me go “hm, perhaps I should write something and enter…” I’m recklessly stupid though!


Late to the party, but chiming in anyway!

Yes, regression errors are a real thing, and can totally undermine your efforts to fix the original bug. I think you need to keep your fingers crossed and just hope no mischievous judges get a hold of your work. You can always fix the issue in a subsequent release.


Keep a backup of your current version and then go for it. If all the extra cooking spoils the new recipe, you still have the original meal.