Official announcement: The IFDB Awards to begin on Feb 1, 2023

The votes are in, and by a supermajority of votes (and with the approval of four IFDB admins), the name for the new Interactive Fiction awards is The IFDB Awards.

These awards will be a set of polls on IFDB that run from Feb 1 to Feb 17th, which is the first Friday after Feb 15th. Results will be announced either Feb 18th or Feb 19th, depending on how long it takes to verify everything.

Each category will have two polls, a public player’s poll and a private poll that only authors can vote in. Here are the categories:


-Outstanding Game of the Year (automatically included)
-Outstanding Debut
-Outstanding Game with a play time over 2 hours
-Outstanding Short Game
-Outstanding Underappreciated Game
-Most Sequel-Worthy Game
-Outstanding Feelies
-Trailblazer Award
-Outstanding Worldbuilding
-Outstanding Use of Interactivity
-Outstanding Retro game

Next are category-based polls. These are for categories with at least 5 released games this year. The polls will contain links to IFDB searches for games written with these systems.

Language categories:
-Oustanding German Game
-Outstanding French Game
-Outstanding Spanish Game

Genre categories:
-Outstanding Fantasy Game
-Outstanding Horror Game
-Outstanding Humor Game
-Outstanding Mystery Game
-Outstanding Science Fiction Game
-Outstanding Slice of Life Game
-Outstanding Surreal Game

System categories:
-Outstanding Inform 7 Game
-Outstanding Inform 6 Game
-Outstanding Adventuron Game
-Outstanding Twine Game
-Outstanding Choicescript Game
-Outstanding Adrift Game
-Outstanding Game in a Custom System
-Outstanding Game in an Uncommon System (for games not written in an above system)

If you want to make sure your game is eligible, make sure it appears in this search:
Games published in 2022

Additionally, genre, language and system polls are restricted to games that have the corresponding system, language or genre listed on their IFDB page.

To see all past discussion of the competition (all now closed), look here:

-Original announcement and discussion
-Thread for nominating ideas for the comp
-Poll about timing and vote privacy
-Poll about self-promotion and moderation
-Name poll and proposed ruleset

Finally, the complete rules are detailed below:



The IFDB Awards is an annual competition designed to award excellence in creating interactive fiction.

It is held from February 1st to the first weekend after February 15th each year on the Interactive Fiction Database, and take the form of polls.
-The Player’s Choice competition is a set of open polls that anyone can participate in.
-The Author’s Choice competition is a set of closed polls that only published authors can participate in.

Votes in the Player’s Choice competition are public. Votes in the Author’s Choice competition are public but anonymized.

Eligibility to vote in the Author’s Choice competition is determined by having a game linked to your IFDB profile (this can be found by editing a game page and use the ‘Link to Author’s Profile’ feature. Authors added incorrectly to a game will not be permitted to vote (for instance, if someone associates a random game they didn’t make to their account).

Rules for discussion and voting

-Voting must be in good faith and be based on personal experience with the games involved.
-Campaigning or organizing voting is not allowed if it breaks the above rule.
-Discussion of games on merit is allowed and encouraged.
-There is no hard limit on how many votes a person can cast in each poll for different games. A player voting for so many games that it makes voting difficult for others (such as voting for every game from the whole year) may have their votes removed, but only after warning.
-Author cannot vote for their own games. Such votes will be removed so that the running tallies are correct. Authors can post about their own games (for instance on intfiction) as long as doesn’t encourage people to break the rules (such as telling people to vote for your game even if they haven’t played it).

Code of conduct

-Voters must abide by the IFDB Code of Conduct. Harassment of other voters (including on other platforms) and creating multiple accounts for one person are prohibited.

-Votes that are cast incorrectly (for instance, voting for a Twine game in a Choicescript poll) or fraudulently (for instance, using sockpuppet accounts) may be removed.

-For most polls, games are eligible if they are listed on IFDB and have a publication date during 2022.
-For system- or genre-specific polls, games additionally must have the appropriate system or genre listed on their IFDB page under the specified field.
-Each poll will have a link to an IFDB search listing eligible games.
-Any IFDB user can edit game pages to confirm eligibility. However, malicious editing (such as adding every genre to a game or adding incorrect systems to a game) will be reverted or removed.
-Any game author can opt out of the competition. Adding a note to the game page during the competition may be helpful to let others know not to vote for it, but opting out should be officially done by messaging the organizer (me, for now).
-The organizer’s games are eligible for the player’s choice awards, but not the author’s choice awards.


-Results will be clearly visible throughout the poll. However, there will be a grace period of up to 3 days at the end to allow checking of votes before the official announcements, which will be made on Intfiction and IFDB.
-Polls with very low traffic will not have a winner awarded. This is left up to organizer discretion, but low traffic may include less than 5 votes for the winning game or less than ten votes total cast.

Future of Awards

One of the main purposes of these new awards is to be community-owned and regular. They need to keep working even if I don’t keep working.

The awards begin on February 1st of each year. If Feb 1st passes without the current organizer having created the polls, anyone can create the polls themselves.

The community can propose new changes to awards or new organizers via public discussion. A public yes/no poll on intfiction with more than 50% voting yes can be used to add new organizers. Current organizers can also add in other organizers or successors, subject to a public veto.


Sounds fantastic. Thanks for putting all of this together!


Wow, just to get this far represents a ton of work, with plenty more work ahead. Congratulations and thank you!

Nitpick: The Rules section still lists the competition as “The Interactive Fiction Player’s Choice and Author’s Choice Awards.”


Thanks! I fixed at least one instance of the wrong name, may be more.


Looking great!
Thanks for all your work. :+1:


After some soul-searching, the PunyInform community has five games published in 2022 on IFDB:

Does that meet expectations?


Yes, it does. Remind me if I forget to post its poll.


Do we know how to do this on IFDB, and if not, will Author’s Choice be public too?


@dfabulich is currently planning on adding an option to anonymize vote data on polls. If it’s not available in time, then I’ll run the polls in the worst way possible (putting comments on my profile for each Competition on my user profile and having people make private comments that I tally up every couple of days and update).


Is using something similar to Strawpoll out of the question? I think that’s the one we used in class to vote on movie selections, but there’s got to be anonymous polling options that don’t require the nightmarish private comments tallying?


I think we can get it in time. The code is public here:

The only line where the username ($voteUserName) is printed is here:

                echo "<span id=\"voteQ$i\">$qq "
                    . "<span class=details>["
                    . "<a title=\"Click to see more details\" href=\"needjs\" "
                    . "onclick=\"javascript:expandVote('$i');return false;\">"
                    . "+</a>]</span></span>"
                    . "<span id=\"voteF$i\" style=\"display:none;\">"
                    . "$expQ $rv <i>--<a href=\"showuser?id=$voteUserID\">"
                    . "$voteUserName</a></i></span>... ";

So we just need to create an optional flag (preferably set in the poll creation dialogue on the same page) that keeps this from being printed. I’m 100% confident Dan can get it in, but anyone can submit a pull request (I think is the term?) with a solution, that couldn’t hurt. I’ll even do it myself if I were desperate (running the apps that are needed to test IFDB code takes 30 minutes to load on my potato computer so I avoid it as much as possible).


First, sorry if I might appear a bit pessimistic, that is something I’m working on😄 Feel free to ignore this post if I am interfering with something you already cleared with Dan.

I am not very familiar with programming except for a lot of scripting of engineering applications. I also know that this new IFDB Awards is an important step for the IF community.

I also know that Dan is a professional so I can only speak for myself but doing programming under time pressure should be avoided whenever possible. I’m a bit worried as you proposed “anyone” to do a pull request and used the word “desperate” :grin:

EDIT: Just want to add that If IFDB polls are not ready for Author’s Choice I don’t think anyone will complain if Author’s Choice is postponed one year.


To ameliorate your concerns, I have started redownloading the IFDB development environment and started working on a solution. It would add a new column to each poll with a flag on whether it is anonymous or not, not display the vote names for anonymous polls, and add a checkbox when creating a poll that makes it anonymous. I expect it will take around 10 hrs to make. I full expect others to find a solution before me, but if not I’ll work on it myself as a backup.

In case I also fail, I realized that instead of a ton of private comments on my account, one for each poll, it would be easier for each author to simply send me one private comment containing all their votes.


Yeah, you could use the format used for the never ending “if you don’t copy and paste this and then share to everyone you’ve ever known you’ll turn into a Grue!” model that I suspect alien archeologists will be deciphering in our fossil signal broadcasts millennia after our extinction.


I just want to say that I appreciate what you’re doing, Brian.


I’m proud to say that I started working on this and after a scant 4.5 hours of work, two laptops, hundreds of page lookups and many tears, I have successfully…

Gotten the dev environment to open up. I’ll start working on the actual problem now.


Thank you, @mathbrush . We do appreciate you.


“Tears” as in crying from frustrated desperation?
Or “tears” as in breaking up the very fabric of space and time allowing untold horrors to seep through from the nether regions of reality?

In both cases, the sacrifice of copious amounts of blood might be in order.


Both actually. I later found a solution and wanted to send it as a pull request but ended up committing to main on git, which felt like space tearing and gibberish demons pulling me in lol


Configuring dev environments is the bane of my existence.