Post-Comp Releases

Understandable. But by releasing the game in its state, alongside Coloratura, Threediopolis, Captain Verdeterre’s Plunder et al… well, the IFComp just was no place for your game. Forget about strict interpretation of the rules and you’ll understand why, just take a look at the other games.

As others said, IntroComp would have been much more fitting. But I’m afraid even then you’d need a bigger hook to get people interested.

Your problem with the creative process is perfectly normal and natural, and there are dime-a-dozen pop remedies for it, and some might even work, it’s something you’ll have to work out for yourself - and I daresay it’s something every author in this forum has contended with at one time or another. You’ll have to find out how to get around it yourself, and I’m sure you will, because you obviously want to very badly.

Keep making games, keep trying, keep sketching out ideas. You might even concentrate on story and puzzles before you start doing all the 3d artwork so that when the blackout strikes you can clear your mind by drawing, and then you might find you start having ideas. Focus more on the game, because in this static environment you’d need spectacular graphics for them to make up for the lack of the rest.

And finally, it would be best for you not to expose yourself to criticism this way by entering the Comp until you have something a bit more solid. If you’d released this on its own it would have attracted less attention, but you’d have had much less grief, and less spiteful reviews.

I still say IntroComp would have been best. All the feedback, none of the pressure.

A speedcomp, like Ectocomp, would also be suitable if you have trouble sticking with an idea.

You mentioned that you don’t need beta testers because you fix your own mistakes. But a good beta tester isn’t just there to find bugs. They’ll also be able to tell you if your game feels rushed, or if certain areas need fleshing out. It’s a chance to find out the problems people might levy at your game before you release, so you can make the necessary improvements and get it at least right-ish first time.

You clearly care what people think of your games, and that’s a good thing. But not using beta testers suggests the opposite, that only the author’s opinion matters.

Let me stress this out: you CANNOT simply be your own betatester. Period. Everybody needs testers. There is NO WAY you can find all the bugs or typos by yourself, but even if you are that sort of genius, you can’t be able to judge your own work as a tester would do.

Now: although your posts here really do look like trolling, I want to believe you are not pulling our legs (sorry for being so straightforward). So:

  1. ifComp wants FINISHED games. Dead Hotel may have been, The Challenge is not. It’s not about run length, but about having a beginning and an end, with something in the middle.
  2. a long game usually draws more sentiment that a very short one. It’s hard to be rated high when competing with a 3mins games. That’s not about the semanthics of the ifcomp site, it’s about being honest. The Lord of the Rings will almost always win on a Peppa Pig short.
  3. the games usually entered in the ifcomp are coded, tested and produced in weeks, if not months. You can’t tell us that you used the larger part of the TWENTYFOUR HOURS you dedicated to this game and still stay serious (this is the part in which I started to believe you were trolling us).
  4. everybody has the writer’s block or a hard time finishing a work. We don’t usually enter our incipits into the most important indie game competition of the world.

Jacek Pudlo had attracted far more bile, but Gamlet was decently regarded.

To be clear: I did play Dead Hotel. I thought it was an incomplete intro, and I thought this (among other reasons) because of:

1) the Secrets section, which said “Secrets can be unlocked once zombies reach Lake Gardens in New York City.” Which never happened in-game.
2) the end, which included, “Somehow you got the feeling that this is just the beginning of a zombie apocalypse in New York City.”

This pretty explicitly says, “Hi, I’m not a full game!”

Lest you think I’m alone in holding this opinion:

“It’s an introduction rather than a complete game.” -
“My impression is that this is just part of a much larger unfinished project.” - … view=15682
“It’s more of a demo really. A demo with some interesting and i-f compatible combat mechanics.” - … ghway.html

Out of 35 authors, 34 submitted complete games to the competition. You are the only person who submitted an intro. There isn’t an “authors like you” group, or if there is, no one else in it submitted games to IFComp this year.

Short of disassembling the code, how could reviewers base the length of a game on the content? The only thing they have access to is what they experience when playing the game.

And that’s what this is all about - making a good experience for the person playing your game. You can complain about the judging and the standards, but you can’t argue someone into enjoying your game. If they don’t enjoy it, they don’t enjoy it - and they won’t enjoy your next entry more just because you told them they were wrong last year.

You don’t need a distributor. What you need is a higher quality bar.

Since you’re not working in strict text, it’s hard to find comparable games in the interactive fiction community. I suggested Steam Greenlight as a place where you can see other people working on graphical/text games and understand what the current bar for graphical/text game quality is like.

Did you play the other games this year? Honest question - I really am curious.

Honestly I do think that playing some room escape games is a very good idea. They seem to be what your ‘3D CYOA’ idea is, and many of them incorporate narrative intrigue, interesting puzzles, AND beautiful visuals – none of which the Challenge had.

You’re focusing a lot on people criticizing your games for being ‘short’, but the issue is not that they take little time, it’s that they have little content and what content there is just isn’t very interesting. Sorry [emote]:([/emote]

Inurashii, which room escape games would you recommend? I think it’s worth specifying, as there’s a ton of really crappy ones.

I posted a few in the other thread. They’re not for the faint of heart, but the Exmortis games are very well done in terms of structure, puzzle, and story IMO. Some good android mobile games like The Haunt and The Room are also good. It’s an oldie, but the ur-room escape game, the Crimson Room, is worth playing. The Submachine games were pretty good.

If you can get ahold of an NES emulator, the games The Uninvited, Deja Vu, and Shadowgate are good graphical IF classics too, which might be helpful too.

Added bonus, Shadowgate and Uninvited also exist in ZMachine form, having been ported.

Oh, and actually I want to push one other 3D Interactive Fiction game, though its production values are a little higher than is generally aimed at this community:

Gone Home.

It’s beautifully rendered, has a carefully designed critical path, and while it’s very low on puzzles, the emergent storytelling is absolutely amazing. You can complete the game in an hour or two if you decide to move quickly, but you can spend many more hours exploring the nooks and crannies of the house.

Strong strong recommend, especially to anyone who wants to explore the ways in which graphical IF can deliver things that text can’t.

Link would be nice, especially if you’re going to speak so glowingly about it.

Of course! Mind you, it’s not a free flash game.

For those wanting to know more about Gone Home, they can see it here:

But the fact that I didn’t notice this post until today is actually fortunate – it so happens that Gone Home is on sale in the Humble Store for ten bucks (half off) as of today.

If you don’t wanna buy it but you do want to see it and you’re in the Boston area, you should come visit and play my copy.

I spoke too soon. For the next 8 hours, Steam is selling it for 5 bucks.

Okay, fine, if I can blow twenty bucks on Skyrim, I can sure as hell drop five on this. Maybe I can persuade Jacq to do a snarkreview with me over Thanksgiving.