IFComp New Authors, Introduce Yourself, 2023 edition

Last year, @AmandaB had created this thread to review games from first time entrants:

Having been a new author last year, I thought this had been a super neat idea!
(not feeling alone in having submitted something for the first time can help relieve the pressure a bit…)

Since we’re a bit in a limbo waiting state, between the passed submission deadline and before bring able to dive into the games, I kinda wanted to know who’s new to the comp, or even new to the IF scene!

So, new authors, make yourself and your entry known :stuck_out_tongue:
Tell us a little bit about you, a little bit about your entry, and a neat fact about what you learned while creating your game (doesn’t have to be related to your entry).

If you are not a new author, come take a seat too! Shake hands with your neighbour. The more the merrier :slight_smile:


I’ve been around the IF scene for a good while now, but this is my first time submitting to IFComp! I’ve entered IntroComp twice and ECTOCOMP once, but now I’m finally going for the big leagues, so to speak. (I’ve written a lot more extensions and code snippets than I have actual works.)

I specifically wanted to write a closed circle murder mystery (a mystery where the circumstances prevent anyone from entering or leaving, so you know exactly who the suspects are and there’s no way for someone to escape), since that’s a genre of fiction that lends itself well to the sorts of parser puzzles I’m best at. And dialogue systems are a classic weakness of parser games—the number of possible sentences to say is enormous compared to the number of possible ways to manipulate medium-sized dry goods, so the illusion of “you can do anything” tends to fall apart when conversation starts. So I wanted to avoid that too.

Those two things ended up being the seed of the story. Death on the Stormrider is a murder mystery about being unable to speak. You and your brother were trying to get home on a shoestring budget, and made a deal with a dangerously understaffed freight airship that needed to take off asap. Now, while the ship is still in the air, the one person who spoke your language is dead, and your brother was blamed for it. How can you prove his innocence when nobody on the ship understands you?

As far as things I learned—a whole lot of things about ships! This forum’s been incredibly helpful for research questions, and I tried to incorporate as much as I could into the game. (Also I used it as a reason to brush up on my Old Babylonian. Because I don’t need an excuse to incorporate ancient dead languages into a game.)


That cover art is amazing. I can’t wait to play it. I love me a good murder mystery. Good luck in the comp.


I found this forum four years ago, shortly after having started to learn TADS, and beginning to program the game which is only just now about to be released. I have legitimately thought that I was going to participate in IFComp for every year from '19 till the present, because my initial assumptions about the time required to realize ideas were so off base.
I’ve said this in a number of threads already, but I never set out to make a huge, the-mother-of-all-games game. I was just that naive about the level of implementation required to put the puzzle chain in my head into effect.
Granted, I did intend to write a game that a player is willing to get lost in for quite some time. No apologies there. I wrote the kind of game that I would like to play, regardless of how large the audience for it would be. As a matter of fact, when I started (before getting forum exposure, and having had experience with only a few 80s-90s text adventures myself), I didn’t even know there was such a thing as snack-sized IF! I didn’t even really know that choice games were a thing. All I knew was THE TEXT ADVENTURE, and it was always a marathon challenge.
Learning that “the big IF competition” forced scoring after only two hours of was initially a pretty big disappointment for me! Okay, it still might be, to a degree.
After enough time on the forum, I gradually got clued in on some things about the modern IF scene.
For those that fly in terror at large parser games, I will say that I (after the cluing in) created my game with what should be an approximately 2-hour, standalone, warmup/intro game. It’s designed to be like a learning ground for parser novices, and is composed of what are hopefully easy puzzles, many of which are purposely cliche to give those novices a taste of some of the old staples. But it also serves the purpose to give potential comp judges the feeling of being able to “complete” a game within two hours. The main characters are introduced, the story is set, and plots are just starting to thicken as the first “act” closes.
I’ll be frank, I wish the game could be scored on the much larger, meatier, more challenging, (funnier, I think) “real game”, but I hope the warmup scenes will at least whet some people’s appetites.


:wave: Hi! First timer here also.

I played through IFComp once or twice as a youth, but I’ve only gotten back into the community in the last couple years. (And by a slightly odd route – I was writing a handwriting recognizer, and I needed an interesting project to use it in; an interpreter seemed like a nice fit; testing that got me playing through a bunch of the classics again; figuring out Z-machine esoterica got me back on the forums; started picking up bits and pieces of Inform 7 from there… and down the rabbit hole we go.) This is also the first fiction I’ve written since I was single-digit years old — and I was not any good at it then either — so, lots to learn!

I’m not sure about fun facts, but I can recommend books: The Raven Tower and The Design Book were probably the two that influenced the game most directly.


Oh, interesting to see! New authors, but not new to IF :eyes:
Congrats on finish your entries, btw!

@johnnywz00 @bkirwi
Would you want to share the name of your entry?


For what it’s worth, @Draconis , I(/my wife) may not get far past the 5-game judging min, but your game’s going to be one of them :slightly_smiling_face:


Thank you! Here’s the title card -


How Prince Quisborne the Feckless Shook His Title


Hi, I’m Max Fog (as you probably know), and I joined recently. Like, a year ago. Ever since, I’ve been reading posts and topics, writing some of my own, and in my free time (which I have a lot of, for those who know me may know) coding my game!

It’s been a delight working here and I plan to stay. Although I did go for probably the most undocumented language with a section here (ZIL), I really, really wanted to write using the original Infocom language; and I really, really appreciate the help.

Considering I coded this game in just under a year (I had to restart the coding of my game in November/ish, so that wasn’t helpful), I am shocked I got it done. Anyway, here it is (it’s no surprise):


Good job getting it done, Max!


Wow, I love all the game concepts that have been shared! It’ll be a treat to get to play them!

I adore all forms of IF and for about a decade now I’ve toyed with the idea of making my own, experimenting with various parser-based and choice-based models. A few years ago I suddenly got an idea for a story that I really really wanted to tell and I started developing it in Twine… but then life got in the way, and it languished in my files for a long time!

This year, I was finally able to come back to it and finish it up :blush: I usually get extremely perfectionistic and demotivated when faced with a creative project of nontrivial size, so just having completed something and being able to put it out there, however modest or imperfect, feels truly liberating.

The game’s title is Dysfluent and it’s about communication – specifically, a side (and downside) of communication that the average person has never had an opportunity to experience.

I can’t seem to think of any neat facts related to my game, but I recently found out about the American woodcock and its unique way of walking, which has brought me much joy!

Good job to everyone who submitted something, and I’m really looking forward to enjoying this comp alongside you all!


I suspect you’ll fit in just fine around here.

Congrats on conquering your first game. May this be the first of many.


----cracks knuckles----

Lemme at it!



So this is my first entry into IFComp, but my second piece of IF. I actually entered my first game into Spring Thing this year and it was a slightly odd (and over-ambitious) game entirely created in Google Forms (which also included visuals for every location, clue, item etc.). So the major thing I learned there was, don’t use Google Forms! :laughing:

After discovering that something called ‘Twine’ was the way to go for choice-based games (you may have heard of it?), I set out to learn how to use it. I’m not really a coder, and I found the whole interface quite off-putting at first. But after watching a few YouTube tutorials I began to get the hang of the basics. This was around the end of August. I set myself a project - to create a fun, relatively short, single-location puzzle game. In order to force myself to get it finished, I decided to enter into IFcomp!

As my day job involves using tools like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, the visuals are important to me. And hopefully, that will be one of the things that sets this game apart. My game is set in Victorian London and starts with a fairly well-worn trope: a detective trapped in a room, attempting to escape whilst also piecing together clues that may lead to the identity of a killer on the loose. At its most basic, the game is a variation on an escape room - where finding clues and items that enable you to solve combination codes form the main puzzles. I’m hoping that the visuals, the puzzles and the short but ‘tightly woven’ story will be enough to set this game apart and justify people’s time!

It’s been great getting some testing feedback from people on this site (including @Draconis above who took time out from his own entry to help with mine) and really highlights that if you do use visuals as part of the story, then they have to be right – in just the same way that spelling mistakes can put off so many players.

Anyway, this has been a really interesting learning experience and at the very least, now I know a little bit about CSS! I still find that my brain hurts when I get lost in nested IF statements though…

The game is called ‘LUNIUM’ (and quite what that word means, is part of the mystery…)


I was hoping you’d take a look! Warning, there’s no Play Online window shopping button…


My usual plan of attack for IFComp means that I tackle the big parsers first. So your game will be one of the first I get my hands on. Not only that, when I like what I see in those first two judging hours, I’ll cast my vote and happily return to play for another four to six to … hours until the finish.


albeit I’m an old-timers from the days of r.a.i.f. my work is the very first actual submission, after four failed attemps and an hiatus from the IF scene of ~5-10 years.

My personal challenge was twofold: forcing myself to a much faster story dev pace, and introducing narrative elements of a major IF work, developed with one of the most current and sophisticate IF language & library, using an incomplete, but usable, IF language rooted in one of the earliest IF language, of 1980s vintage, influenced by 1980s-early 90s standards (in the end, was a resounding success: barring serious bugs IS a merciful game !)

The only apology I can give for now is that the title is misleading, but in the end, a critical review of the thread about recipes here led me to assess as too high the risk of the golden banana being booted toward the Boot, so I scrapped it, but in exchange, I hope to have managed to convey to the player the sense of wonder from the setting, whose is the same of a major WIP I’m currently working, and a little taste of my “collecting knowledge & lore as treasures” story paradigm.

oh, and coherently with my OS ideology the game is released with full source code, in said incomplete but indeed workable language, whose is the very first complete, worked, source code for said language.

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.


Maybe I shouldn’t fill that blank for you so I don’t scare you off :joy: I don’t know what the answer is anyway…


Oh lovely!
Already some interesting premises, I’m intrigued… :eyes:
And some cool looking covers too!