IFDB questions

Today is the first day I thought of looking at IFDB, and realized my game is already uploaded there. Curious:
Is the game file there kept in sync with my most recent upload? Or is it the file that I first submitted to the Comp? I really hope the former…
Also, can I disable the Play Online button for IFDB? I really designed the game around QTads, and I’d hate for some unsightly formatting etc. to throw people off…


Anyone can edit an IFDB page. You just need to make an account. As for which version they pulled, there’s no way to know without checking. With that said, if it’s hotlinked to the IFArchive, you can send them an updated version of the game and they’ll fix it for you.


You can confirm the version linked by downloading the ZIP. IF Archive can crack open a zip to launch a playable file. IFDB doesn’t actually contain any files, just links to them (as in this case). Usually files reside at the IF Archive.

Anyone can edit pages, I think, including disabling the play online feature. At least, that’s usually how it goes.


Thanks… sorry to be dense, but I didn’t see any way to remove the Play Online button from the Edit This Page link. Also, it appears that the IFArchive game file is the comp-opening version. How do I get the IF Archive file updated? Do I have to contact someone at IFDB to remove the Play Online button?

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there’s a checkbox to clear in the “edit link” interface.


I believe the Play Online button is automatically activated whenever the top link in the files section either is a playable game file, or is a zip that contains such a file (maybe as its first-listed file?). So you could deactivate it by uploading the feelies to the Archive and moving them up to the top slot, for example. Instead/also, you might want to edit the blurb to tell people that the online experience is much inferior to playing with QTADS.

As for updating the file in the Archive, the way the Comp organizers do things is to submit the initial version of a game, then whatever the final version is at the time the Comp closes. You can just wait for that, or if you want to get an updated release up there sooner, just manually upload it via the IF Archive submission form (NB some of the approvals need to happen manually, so this process can take a few days).

EDIT: ninja’d by Drew with better information!


I’d recommend that, during the competition, you replace all the links with a link to the ifcomp page for you game. That would remove play online and would always give the current version.

This is the link:

After the comp, you can replace that link with the page containing your most current version.

You can just delete the current link, and add something similar back after the comp.


Thanks, guys! I don’t know that I got the “file type” right, but at least IFDB redirects to the comp page for now.


I’d like to gently discourage you from this. By all means state clearly the best way to play it, but if you make a .t3 file available people will play it in other interpreters than you expect. Parchment doesn’t support all the formatting, but does that make it unsightly? Will it prevent the game from being played successfully?

If it’s actually the case that interpreters other than QTads will have major issues with your game, then you probably should put a disclaimer at the beginning of the game itself, rather than just hiding the play online button. That way people playing it in Gargoyle, Spatterlight etc will also be informed.


This is a good point, and it’s also good to point out that IFDB page isn’t an author-curated store page, it’s more of a community-centered organization of links and reviews. So while an author is free to add things that improve the game for others, players are also free to do so, even in situations where it (reasonably) goes against the author’s wishes. Conflict hasn’t come up very often, but if there were a situation where the author wanted something very different from the community, and it didn’t violate the code of conduct, we’d likely side with the community.


Well, there is a notice in-game. But it just seems human nature that if the button is there, people will push it rather than download it, and they’re likely to breeze by the notice even if it’s there.

Also, to the best of my knowledge, Gargoyle does create havoc with the inventory window. There is an option to turn the inventory window off, but if someone opens the game and sees a messed-up looking window, they might not stick around long enough to read the instructions and learn that. Plus, even in the main window Gargoyle seems to create far more space between lines where I’ve used the \b character in TADS source (which is everywhere), and I don’t know how to get around that. All in all, I really only want people to experience the game through QTads (or any fully supportive interpreter) unless they require a screen reader.
Removing the Play Online is just one motion I can make towards that goal…


I would agree that path of least resistance is modus operandi for sure.


For the record, and I strongly feel that it’s important to some provide context if this is the conclusion you’re taking from all of this.

It’s not a matter of “unsightly”.

Table-based arrangement requires HTML functionality.

Clickable buttons to make important actions more intuitive and streamlined require HTML functionality.

In-line icons require HTML functionality.

A lot of elements that could completely make or break a game rely on HTML functionality. There are some game designs that simply would not work without extreme effort on the player’s side, if HTML functionality is missing.

And yes, Parchment is open source, and yes, the task of adding this functionality has been placed upon TADS devs, but these are not over-night fixes.

This is not a matter of “unsightly”; it is a matter of “might not function as a game”, and if a player carries enough assumptions with them and flies through all the disclaimers (“oh, it can’t be that bad”), they are going to be met with a broken game and some of these players might not understand why and rate/review it abysmally in response. The recent survey that I did seems to suggest some rather uncomfortable truths for TADS authors in this direction.


Those are valid concerns, but they may or may not be what John was thinking of. Not all TADS games use those particular things :slight_smile:

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This is what it looks like currently if played in parchment:

It seems like only half of the screen is getting used.

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