IFDB awards question

Hello everyone! I’m a newbie here, and a lurker on cog forums. A few days ago, I happened to click on a thread under the “Latest” category, with Eternal on its title. A few users there recommended IFs from chooseyourstory (never knew it existed until that point) including Eternal itself, so i decided to give Eternal a try at first, which proved to be for the best (have not been able to put it down until now. way too many epilogues to reach). But that’s beside the point.

Thanks to @manonamora’s relentless reblogs on her Tumblr blog, I also participated as a voter in IFDB’s 2023 awards and only now do I realize that there weren’t any interactive fiction works from that site nor a category for them. Why is that? Isn’t IFDB supposed to include interactive fiction from every part of the internet, regardless of engine/programming language used to create them?


This might have been due to the first eligibility rule:

-For most polls, games are eligible if they are listed on IFDB and have a publication date during 2023.

from The 2023 IFDB Awards now open!

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I used ifdb searches to create the award categories. Each category needed 5 games in order to get a vote on games in that category. There are only 2 games listed on ifdb published in chooseyourstory for 2023.

Edit: had to change search link to work right.

It’s possible there were more published, but none were listed at the time I made the awards other than these 2.


Yeah, it definitely wasn’t personal. TADS itself, the original other half of the first IFCOMP was nearly bumped out at only 4 games. It was only the last minute find of a fifth TADS game written during 2023 that saved the category and even with that, TADS advocates had to ask for an exception because the listing hadn’t existed when Brian first searched for it, but they were able to use other pre-existing posts and digital proof that the game had been conditionally finished in 2023 to show it’s omission was a simple error. Despite that, Brian still put that exception up to a public vote to allow it.

I’m assuming if Brian had just made an executive decision, we wouldn’t have had a TADS category either. He’s a bit of a stickler for the rules like that, but then it’s probably a good thing he is; herding cats and all. With no one consistently adding CYS games or advocating for their inclusion when the database search fell short, the category was bumped to the “all other engines” group. This almost happened to Adventuron and PunyInform the year before (seriously, there were last minute scrambles to both find and list enough games to be separated out). Each IF engine’s community has had to step up their game writing and IFDB listing game to ensure they’re included in the Awards. I would imagine a similar effort would be needed to make sure CYS games have a voting category for the 2024 IFDB Awards.

Regardless, welcome to the forum. :wave:


Urgh… For some reason, of the parser-based entries, Inform is by far the most popular medium, TADS (distant) second, and others like Quest and Adrift (which I plan to use) have fallen by the wayside. Adventuron is still developing its user base. I think Alan and Hugo were hardly mentioned at all last year.

For choice-based, Twine is by far the most popular. Choicescript has a very vocal community, but is somewhere in the middle alongside Ink. (Alas, not all CoG stuff and CYS stuff have an entry on IFDB!) Smaller still are stuff like Texture. Renpy is used mainly by the visual novel community. The IFwiki has one whole list of authoring mediums by parser/choice/hybrid, but it includes stuff that are no longer supported, and so it probably needs to be updated with a list of what each medium can or cannot do for easy reference.

Anyway,welcome to the forum!

I like it when the connections between both forums are healthy.


Honestly, for non-programmers, the natural language interface of Inform 7/10 is the least intimidating, which manages to lure a whole additional demographic to the Engine compared to the other parser engines. Ironically, most Inform users find themselves waist deep into Inform before they realize, nope, wait, I’m probably gonna have to learn some programming anyway, and by that point you have the sunk cost fallacy keeping folks from flipping to something else. Surely it must be easier to finish mastering Inform than flipping to something new altogether! Some might uncharitably call this a bait and switch, but honestly I think Graham and others did the best they could. English is… well, imperfect.

I actually suspect most folks who are comfortable with some programming actually bounce off Inform 7/10 pretty hard due to the lack of clarity when you try mold English into a programming language; the language has far more exceptions than rules. Those folks, plus those that take one look at the natural language interface and shudder without even trying it, probably make up the demographic feeding the other parser engines. The thing is, this gives Inform 7/10 an advantage and ultimately this is a numbers game. The same sort of thing you see with Inform vs. Choice Based IF Engines. The votes are likely to reflect the relative size of the player bases. In fact, that’s part of the reason the IFDB Awards exist. This way, engines with smaller, yet demonstrably active, communities like PunyInform or Adventuron or TADS get separately celebrated by their respective communities instead of swept under the rug. It’s one of the many things that make the IFDB Awards very different from the XYZZYs and not a replacement in any way, and also why I advocate for both continuing full ahead.


If we’re talking about the number of eligible games for the IFDB 2023 Awards, the top list would be:

  • Inform 7, 70 games
  • PunyInform, 28 games
  • Adventuron, 13 games
  • ADRIFT, 6 games
  • TADS, 5 games
  • Inform 6, 2 games (plus 17 PunyInform games)

Maybe my math isn’t mathing properly, but shouldn’t these two numbers match?

Regardless, hats off to the PunyInform community for pouring on the kerosene! Y’all went from 5 eligible games in 2022 to dozens the following year! Well done!

ETA: Oh, wait, nvm. The Venn Diagram just clicked in my head. Sorry.


They should. Inconsistencies in tagging is the problem here.


That wiki page (Authoring systems for parser-based IF - IFWiki) only lists authoring systems whose status is listed as being “Stable”. In a sense that’s not quite the same as disagreeing with the assertion that something is “no longer supported”, but the options are No answer/unknown, Stable, Beta, Unmaintained, Unavailable, and Other, and anyone can update any wiki page.