Inventure 2011

Inventure 2011 : The 1st interactive fiction mini-competition on inverting / subverting IF puzzles and tropes

Puzzles have always been a staple of interactive fiction. You must
have learned to recognise the standard patterns by now, some of them
reviled (such as find the item in the maze), some of them simply
boring (such as unlock the door with the key), which do crop up in one
form or the other in plenty of cases.

A side-effect of the existence of such patterns is that they guide the
player towards very specific, easily detectable goals, that usually
take the form of some obstacle. What is a closed door, but an
invitation to open it? On the other hand, if the puzzle requires to
lock the door, this may be something that is not immediately
apparent to the player. Does this hold more generally for other item +
action combinations?

Submission guidelines and judging criteria

The aim of this mini-comp is to break some new ground in puzzle
construction. This entails subverting or inverting normative
interactive fiction themes as follows:

  1. Take a classic puzzle theme.
  2. Change it so that the puzzle solution entails performing the
    opposite (or just a completely different) action.
  3. Make a stand-alone mini-game so that the puzzle makes sense within the
    context of the game.

Entries will be judged on three main criteria:

  1. How recognisable the original puzzle / trope is.
  2. The quality and originality the new variant is.
  3. How great the game is as a whole

Essential Information

  • Submission deadline: 21 January 2011
  • Submission method: send an email to with the subject INVENTURE-2011.
  • Voting Period: 22 January - 21 February 2011
  • Winner Announcement: 28 February 2011.

Christos Dimitrakakis

Sweet. There are some games that do this already – Enlightenment is one that springs to mind, and maybe the Tower of Hanoi in the Bryant Collection.