Results of the 2012 Interactive Fiction Competition

The 18th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition has ended. Congratulations to Marco Innocenti, whose “Andromeda Apocalypse” took first place! The top three games were:

Andromeda Apocalypse, by Marco Innocenti
Eurydice, by Anonymous
Guilded Youth, by Jim Munroe

The winners of the Miss Congeniality contest were:

Guilded Youth, by Jim Munroe
Escape From Summerland, by Joey Jones and Melvin Rangasamy (writing as Jenny Roomy and Jasmine Lavages)
Sunday Afternoon, by Christopher Huang (writing as Virgil Hilts)

Full results list:

  1. Andromeda Apocalypse, by Marco Innocenti
  2. Eurydice, by Anonymous
  3. Guilded Youth, by Jim Munroe
  4. Changes, by David Given
  5. Sunday Afternoon, by Christopher Huang (writing as Virgil Hilts)
  6. Spiral, by Justin Morgan
  7. Shuffling Around, by Andrew Schultz (writing as Ned Yompus)
  8. A Killer Headache, by Mike Ciul
    (tie) Body Bargain, by Amanda Lange
  9. In a Manor of Speaking, by Hulk Handsome
  10. howling dogs, by Porpentine
  11. Fish Bowl, by Ethan Rupp
  12. Escape From Summerland, by Joey Jones and Melvin Rangasamy (writing as Jenny Roomy and Jasmine Lavages)
  13. Lunar Base 1, by Michael Phipps
  14. Murphy’s Law, by Scott Hammack
  15. J’dal, by Ryan Kinsman
  16. Living Will, by Mark Marino
  17. Irvine Quik & the Search for the Fish of Traglea, by Duncan Bowsman
  18. The Test is Now READY, by Jim Warrenfeltz
  19. Kicker, by Pippin Barr
  20. Last Minute, by Ruderbager Doppelganger
  21. The Sealed Room, by Robert DeFord
  22. Castle Adventure, by Ben Chenoweth
  23. Transit, by Shaye
  24. The Island, by Andrew Brown (writing as Old Andy)
  25. Signos, by Mauricio (writing as M4u)
  26. Valkyrie, by Emily Forand
  27. The Lift, by Colin Capurso

But wither the Golden Banana of Discord?

Congrats to everyone! Especially to my wordplay rival, Andrew, who did deserve to place higher than me.

I’m chuffed as chips that I broke into the top ten and had a fun time with the competition, despite it occasionally being very tense reading reviews. Thanks to everyone involved with organising the competition and to the other authors for being a cool bunch.

Also, I guess I can reveal here that I’m Ruderbager Doppelganger, so actually had two games in the competition this year.

Yay! Congrats, author folk!

The banana goes to howling dogs, by the looks of things. You go, howling dogs!

Man! I was closer to the Banana than I thought I would be. I wasn’t exactly angling for it, but now I was somewhat close, it’s suddenly a (silly/trivial/fun) disappointment. But it’s probably best I didn’t win the Banana, because I’d probably wind up misplacing it.

Before entering, I figured the contest would be a success if I enjoyed all the games that placed above me. And I did! My testers helped me avoid some pitfalls (and if I’d listened, they’d helped me avoid others) and in fact thanks in general to people who took the time to test any game. You all help authors so we switch less between creative mode and putting out fires, and that can’t be quantified.

I’ll give a special shout out back to the other wordplay author in this competition, too. Testing his game showed me it was possible to have fun, intuitive puzzles that kept the good jokes rolling.

There were lots of authors I was glad to meet in the authors’ forum, and lots I hope have further writing projects, gaming/interactive or not.

And thanks to the reviewers who got >10 done, whether or not the forces of randomization gave them time to review my game, and whether or not they liked it. Giving a game an honest appraisal is tough work. I hope to be one of these reviewers next year, unless inspiration strikes.

And finally, thanks to the folks at who got these results out a mere 30 minutes after the final votes! And for them adding bells and whistles to the website to 1) allow authors to update over our silly mistakes and 2) make it easier this year than last.

Nice job all!

(Edit: dang it. I posted with the wrong account. But this comp is the first time I ever wanted to use a pseudonym, and probably the last, and it was fun to have the excuse.)

Or transforming it into an Abandon Angel. [emote];)[/emote]

I’ve been wondering what “Ned Yompus” means for a long time, and I guess now might be okay to ask? I figure it has to be an anagram of something.

Congratulations, everyone. All three of the games I tested for ended up in the top ten! As a judge, I could tell that it was very competitive this year.

I think I should say something, but the words (which, you know, come out pouring in other occasions–especially when I should keep 'em down) simply aren’t there.

I’m in confusion atm. I hope I will find what to say later on.

Chirst. The IFComp.
Wow, man.

Congratulations to all, and thanks.

It seems that quite a few people have seen through my pseudonym. All in good fun, and I don’t regret it; I’d do it again. Next year, though, I might try a little harder to hide…

And my Breakfast Reviews are up:

Congratulations to all, and especially to Marco!

I think I can sum up my reaction so far thusly:


Thanks and congratulations (as appropriate) go to everyone who wrote, played, judged, donated to and organised the competition. It was a blast, although very scary (I could only muster the courage to read two reviews of my game!); the game did way better than I thought it was going to, and I am thoroughly chuffed that it was received as well as it was. I’d particularly like to thank my beta testers, without whom the game would have been truly awful.

Incidentally, I have released the source code for Changes, which is available (with full revision history) here: Now you can see precisely how bad it was before my beta testers tore it apart!

Congratulations, James! You deserve it!

I’ve been thinking about releasing the source code to A Killer Headache, but I’m kind of embarrassed about the state of it. Although I probably always will be, I want to do two things before I release it:

  • Learn a little more about Git (I plan to release it on the Friends of I7 Github repository).

  • Release one more update, including, at the very least, better parsing and hinting for certain puzzles and elimination of several unwinnable states, and at best, a total overhaul of the hint system. I’d love to add more conversation too but I don’t think I have it in me.

Well, I think a pseudonym has the potential to be a neat puzzle that might be too hard or unfair for the game itself if the author wants it to be.

In my case, I left a hint in my credits, where I mentioned another game in the comp. So that means previous knowledge, so I must be one of the testers. This hint was involuntary, but in hindsight, I liked the loophole as a meta-puzzle.

Between that and, possibly, noting a couple other of my testers who’d helped me before, you could see who I was.

As for what Ned Yompus means?

It’s an anagram of pseduonym.

That’s a bit of a groaner, but at least one other smart person didn’t see it, either. I was also thinking of

Spud Money, Ed Spumony, Dumpy Nose (!) or maybe Don Muspey but those all seemed too silly, except for the last, which seemed a little blah though the most realistic of the bunch.

I got a bit of my own medicine when I finally googled “Ema Nymton” whom I’d seen in more than one place and was horribly confused to find a guy with that screen name. Was she some obscure anime heroine? Or some unusually artsy English actress?

The Ms. Congeniality thing means a lot to me, you guys. It’s all about connecting with my peers for me, so thanks a ton for looking on our flawed game so sympathetically!

On that subject, Guilded Youth is now less flawed:
…It’s still charmingly low resolution, but with more of a resolution! Use “skipthru” as your first command to jump to the (old final) dining room scene.

Thanks especially to folks who wrote reviews, the feedback is super-useful and the responsiveness is what makes this community exciting to be part of.

It’s been a blast! Congrats go of course to Marco for his win. I thought more people would have figured out out our anagrammatic pseudonyms, especially given the monumentally unlikely surnames ‘Lavages’ and ‘Roomy’, but there we go. I have a confession: I have been enormously susceptible to soft-deadlines and though I long had the intention of making Escape From Summerland, the fact that I could update it mid-comp made it very tempting to enter an unpolished version of the game in order to update mid-comp. Obviously, this is not a winning strategy and it’s not something I’d like to repeat, but I felt that I’d much rather get the game out there and work on something fresh as soon as possible.

Those of you that did play an early version of EFS and liked the concept, if not the execution, might find a replay rewarding. As ever, we intend to bring out a post-comp version, maybe with a few more rooms and puzzles, fleshing out more of the fairy-themed stuff.

Hey Jim! I just realized why nobody else was talking about the ending I got.

Congrats to everyone!

Joey, I can see where “Joey” and “Melvin” are in those names, but what are the rest of the letters doing?

Congratulations, all!

I suppose that now I have to actually play Andromeda Apocalypse, as opposed to staring fixedly at its sentences and mumbling idiomatic phrases to myself. (Summerland and Guilded Youth go on the replay list also.)

Heh, and to think that the whole time, I was pretty sure Ned would turn out to be Ryan Veeder. I was wrong. Nice work, Andrew!

Thanks for that, Jim! I really liked the new endings.

The last time I checked, we both have surnames… The string “joeyjonesandmelvinrangasamy” can be rearranged to “jennyroomyandjasminelavages”.

Ah, I was trying to anagram the names individually.

Unfortunately, the double-Js limit my name’s anagrammatic potential (though the alliteration works well for establishing a solid counterpart to my superhero alter-ego, in the pattern of Bruce Banner, Clark Kent, Peter Parker et alia).

Oh, I should say, I’m pretty chuffed at getting a Miss Congeniality, congrats to Jim and Christopher, they’re games were pretty ace, and I especially look forward to replaying the very charming Guilded Youth.