Merk's IFComp Predictions

It’s a little known fact that I’m highly psychic.

Not really.

In past years, somebody would post IFComp predictions to the newsgroups. Luc French, I think. Here are my own silly predictions, for this year’s IFComp, just for fun. I’m beta-testing one IFComp game at the moment, but none of these predictions are based on that knowledge. Well, maybe one. We’ll see.

At least 60% of all entries will be Zcode. At least 60% of these will be written in Inform 7.
This latter number will include the next incarnation in the PTBAD series.

Paul Panks will enter a record 3 games in the competition, but one will be anonymous.

Two of the games this year will easily be classified as CYOA.

Exactly 7 Adrift games will be entered this year.

Despite renewed excitement, there will be fewer than 36 entries this year.

Only one author from a prior top-10 will appear this year.
However, several will surface as psuedonyms, at the end.

Three games will feature an animal as the protagonist.
One of these will be very, very good.

Two games will be sequels to prior games.

One game will be disqualified due to possible copyright issues.

Each of the top five games this year will score higher than each of last year’s top five.

Each of the bottom five games will score lower than each of last year’s bottom five.

Two games will feature real mazes, of at least 10x10 in size.

Puzzle-less games are on the rise. Four will have no “puzzles” whatsoever.
One of these will require the player to just press enter until the end, more or less.

This year’s “Golden Banana” winner will rank higher than any prior winner of that award.
(I believe this would have to be higher than 9, which was Gamlet – anybody know?)

One entry will prominently feature ASCII art.

Only one entry this year will have graphic illustrations, beyond mere titles or icons.

A different entry will have music and/or sound effects, but no graphics.

One game will involve a hubcap, a magician’s cap, and a talking duck.
Each of these elements will also appear in other individual games.

A whopping seventeen games will have colors or numbers in the title.

One game will involve rescuing a celebrity from the evil clutches of another celebrity.

Two games will be very community in-jokey, and I won’t “get” any of it. [emote]Sad[/emote]

One game will involve fingerprint scanning technology and retinal scanning.

This year’s 10th-place entry will have a title like “[verb]-ing the [adjective] [noun]”.

This year’s 20th-place entry will have a title like “[noun] and [noun]”

This year’s 30th-place entry will be a one-word title. The word is a verb.

Two games by different authors will feature very similar plots.
So similar, that it almost seems one person wrote the same game twice.
Surprisingly, the titles will be nothing alike.

The protagonist in one game will be a postal worker.

The protagonist in another will be a magician.

Yet another protagonist will be a clown, fighting against a magician.

In another game, a postal worker will meet a clown and a magician.

Three games will feature NPCs who are computer programmers.

The plot of one game will be finding a set of lost car keys.

One game will be told in the past tense, in third person.

One game will feature a particularly tricky puzzle involving wire, a thimble, a window, and a clock.

Two serious games will be unintentionally funny.
Two funny games will be unintentionally serious.

The winning game will share several key plot points with the 15th placer.

Well, some (most?) of the predictions are pretty outrageous. It’ll make me seem all the more psychic if they’re right!

I can’t help thinking this might be inspired by David’s CreatureComp. More likely one of them might not make it to the deadline, so the author decided to enter it into the annual comp instead.

But that’s just my 2 cents. [emote];)[/emote]

Hmmm… maybe. The prediction just came to me, without any specific inspiration. But that would make sense.

Still, the author would only have one more week to finish, and if they haven’t already signed up for the IFComp, it’s too late now.

I’m already off on at least 2 predictions. 44 games (not less than last year) and 5 Adrift games (not 7).

You were half right about Panks. He has entered three games but they’re all anonymous (although as he uses the same fake name as he does every year you have to wonder why he bothered).

I see over half the Comp games are written with Inform. Haven’t played any yet (still downloading) but I wonder how many are proper finished games and how many are peoples’ experiments with learning Inform 7.

Good luck to everyone who entered!

It looks like no game’s title meets the template I predicted for the 10th placer, so that’s out. I’ll have to go over it with more scrutiny after the results, and after I’ve played them all.

Is it possible he read Merk’s post from before and decided to rush one other game into the IFComp? [emote];)[/emote]

I might be right on a few others, at a glance. I’ll know more after November 15th.

So, Mike, what’s your assessment of your predictions? My girlfriend and I got together (she played more games than I did) and came to a few conclusions.


Yes, looks like it. There’s Xen: The Hunt, and Manalive II.

Yes, I think so, if you mean this year’s 1st place scored higher than last year’s 1st place, etc.

Yes, I think so… Labyrinth and Wumpus Run.


First sentence is true, of course. Second sentence is only true if “one” means “at least one.”

Nope, only 50% are zcode. Of those, 55% are I7.

Nope, 5.

The first sentence is wrong – Emily Short, Eric Eve, and Sara Dee were both previous top-10ers, and didn’t use pseudonyms. But the second sentence is true.

Uh… I dunno, you tell me.

Uh… Floatpoint and The Elysium Enigma? Not quite, but sort of.

Polendina and Game Producer do. But my girlfriend says that she doesn’t count three such games.

Debatable, I suppose.

Did I miss anything?


I had actually thought about coming back to this post and trying to figure it out. The hard part for me is that I didn’t play them all, so it’s a little tough. At a glance, I think Labyrinth doesn’t qualify for the maze prediction, since it’s only 2x2x2 (8 rooms) instead of 10x10 (100 rooms). But, Star City might qualify. The city isn’t so much a maze as it is a grid of like rooms, though. I’ll read the rest and reply again.

Well, my private prediction that Panks would have the lowest ranking game in the IFComp for the third year in a year was wrong (42nd out of 43 entries), but he managed 3 of the lowest 6 games. A remarkable achievement even by his standards.