not specifically an IF competition...

… but a more generalized “computer art” competition. This Saturday afternoon, I present a one-off revival of a contest series from my teenaged years, the Blender, where computer artists of all disciplines demonstrate their ability to improvise cool work in their medium of choice inspired by three impromptu prompts.

Full(er) details at … the time limit will not be enforced as strictly as that site suggests, which makes it perhaps suitable for SpeedIF.

This contest, in its original run back in 1997, was responsible for my creating my first stumbling text adventure, “Mad Cow Man And Beef Fat Boy” (in response to the prompts “Superhero” / “Robbery” / “England”) in the old AGT, in memory of which I’m sharing the exciting offer with you folks here as well. (If I’d had access to better tools such as Twine back then, my entry would have been at least twice as playable!)


I appreciate that for lack of prizes, there’s not much draw to participate in this particular event if you happen to be lacking my specific nostalgia, but nonetheless I have to give kudos to the half-dozen of you who checked out the page! Maybe I’ll be seeing you this weekend on that musty old IRC…

I think you should probably give people more than ten and a half hours to look at your page before concluding people aren’t going to participate. Especially since those 10 hours were 11 PM - 9:30 AM Eastern. [emote];)[/emote]

With that said - I’m one of your half-dozen hits, but when I looked at the site, I decided that I didn’t want to be involved. It’s partially because of my schedule, and partially because it’s IRC based, but also partially because of the line “finally something other to draw than breasts =)”, which let me know that I probably wasn’t going to be comfortable in this group.

Fair enough! I updated a few elements from the original 1997 infofile but obviously my overhaul should have been a little more thorough. The ‘90s ANSI art scene was a pretty intensely dudely place but I’m hoping that those kids’ sensibilities have matured a little bit in the 16 years since the original Blender series wrapped 8)

After further consideration, I have redacted the reference to “breasts”, altering the reference to point to an even more popular subject of '90s ANSI representation: Image Comics’ iconoclastic anti-hero The Maxx. I don’t think that it will change much, but the thing that it changes is important and worth changing.

Hm, that link didn’t work the way it was supposed to.

Hey, thank you! I really appreciate that you made that change.

Hey, when you agree that someone is right about something, you have two choices: change to reflect the revelation, or persist in your folly. Now, there are many aspects of my life in which I persist in folly, but it doesn’t have to swing that way /every/ time 8)

“The rest of the story”; though we garnered a staggering 30 views (!) from this forum, overwhelmingly our greatest source of interest, in the end none of our 5 competitors submitted works in an IF medium. What we came up with can be enjoyed at

the reason I bring up this ancient history: I have persisted in my folly in a different regard. Last year my “digital underground artgroup” of the '90s, “MiSTiGRiS”, nominally revived to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first “artpack” release, and since then I have kept the brand busy by putting to rest some small collections of unfinished business we left lying around when our community suffered its final stroke of terminal obsolescence circa 1998. I’ve almost dealt with all the remaining to-dos, and it’s by now nearly our 21st anniversary, so I’m taking the opportunity to issue a call for submissions for “computer art” (a term which, while describing something very particular in 1994, is virtually meaningless today) for another artpack (exhibition, collection, anthology if you prefer) to be released in late October of this year.

I’ve got the word out to as many of my old colleagues as I have been able to find, but to make this more than a nostalgia echo chamber I’m also actively looking to rustle up participation from fellow travelers and outright outsiders. This community is one I know filled with creative polymaths who are no strangers to producing creative works and releasing them to the public. We cast a wide net; in addition to works of IF, a couple of which we squeezed out under our imprimatur back in the day, we’re looking for all kinds of creative works – visual, musical, literary of the non-interactive variety, or even non-“game” programs which do interesting things. I know we have more than our share of artists, musicians and writers lurking in the eaves here, and it is to them I’d like to extend the invitation to participate. This would be a good opportunity to distribute excerpts of larger works to publicise them and drum up interest.

Further details (seemingly endlessly) at , or I would be only too happy to answer questions here if there are any interested parties.


My artpack call for submissions was of less interest to folks here than the Blender competition invitation, but since a few of you did silently check it out, I’ve returned to “bump” the thread and remind you that there are still a few weeks to get something in (doesn’t have to be a game, could just be an “asset” – a picture, poem or song). Please don’t hesitate to inquire further if you have any questions getting in the way of your making a submission. You may not think you’ve got what I want but my suspecting that you do is the whole reason I’m asking here!

Thanks! I’ll be keeping future posts more on-topic to the IF theme, fear not 8)

… after this one.

I’ve just vented my final collection of unreleased computer art from the late '90s, gathered in the hopes of using for an artpack or music disk or … something back at the turn of the century, never used, and never shared (rather… privately enjoyed for 15 years.) As you’ve seen here in this thread, this year was the year I got back in touch with my underground artscene roots, and part of that involved making good on old promises and releasing enormous amounts of lost and never-released creative work from that period. I’ve put together a massive final collection of the stuff, but to drum up interest in it, I’ve made it difficult to access, putting it at the end of a chain of puzzles requiring a certain mastery of underground computer art lore from the MS-DOS / BBS period.

Who else do I know who enjoy puzzles? In fact, if I’d planned better, I might have even submitted this treasure hunt as a very poorly-performing entrant into the ifcomp.

If anyone here would enjoy taking a momentary break from the buffet before you of problems-with-stories and trying their hand at a couple of narrativeless gently devious old-technology problems (easier than configuring your Telegard setup to talk to its Fossil Driver, harder than optimising your CONFIG.SYS to play X-Wing), please consider visiting


And the end of the story (no, I won’t spoil the puzzle treasure hunt here for you, notably as it didn’t appear to be of any interest to anyone) – my call for submissions didn’t end up snagging anything from any members of the IF community (fair enough, it was worth a try), but I did end up with over 200 megs of a wide variety of music and visual artwork from both traditional (textmode, amiga) and nontraditional (paintings, sculptures, photography, textile) computer art media… as well as an excerpt from the newly pay-what-you-like version of IF author Jim Munroe’s 2002 dystopian novel Everyone In Silico.

If you have any interest in seeing what we came up with, you can check out a YouTube teaser reel at ; most (but not all – the digital video is left out in the cold) of the artpack’s contents can be enjoyed through your web browser at, or if you like the power user approach you can download the entire 200+ meg package from

With one final attempt to tie my artscene work in with the IF world – this represents the culmination of 21 years, on and off, of our digital creative activity, which has left us with a massive back catalogue of music and artwork that might be suitable for re-use as multimedia assets in games (or at least as part of their cover artwork). If you have any interest, please look us up!