Results of the 2012 Interactive Fiction Competition

I knew it was an anagram of something! Why didn’t I think of that?

Wouldn’t it have been better to have held back a year until the game was fully completed?

For the sake of comp placings, maybe. But I’m interested in the game Now. I’ll be interested in something else completely in a year’s time. Felt better to get it out and done with while it still seems like a fun idea.

In other news, looks like there’s more browser based games every year, though The Play performed better last year. Could one ever win the comp? It’d have to be damned good to overwhelm the prevailing taste towards parser games.

But does your co writer share the same view?

Well, one person has to win the competition every year.

You mean CYOA, right?

Congratulations to Marco and to all the other authors. I enjoyed experiencing this comp from the outside for the first time this year, though I did get some vicarious thrills by being involved behind the scenes with Andromeda Apocalypse and Shuffling Around.

  • Wade

Yeah, I guess. I forgot Guilded Youth is played online and that did very well. Playing games online can be a bit of a nuisance when you lose your progress due to clicking away or server time out etc, but the likelihood of that happening depends on what the underlying software is.

With, I think, the highest standard deviation since 2007’s Deadline Enchanter.

I see that Apocalypse won with the lowest score in ages. [emote]:)[/emote]

The standard deviation of overall scores seems lower this year. so a higher winning score is probably not expected. Maybe someone could pull the numeral statistics and check, but it seems like there weren’t many out-and-out near-1’s.

This is meaningless. I would assume that quite a few judges (me included) only rate each year’s games against each other, not on an absolute scale of all games in existence.

What’s much more worrying is that the low number of overall votes already seen last year has repeated itself.

It’s not meaningless, per se, but I don’t know that it has a single straightforward, clear-cut interpretation.

Lower overall number of votes for the past four years, really. 2010 was a bump upward, 2011 a bump downward. Whether there’s a continuing trend is hard to say.

Apocalypse won with an unusually high std dev, which is a little more meaningful, but I agree with maga. (Over the past several years of winners, Violet had the highest score and the highest std dev. Go figure that in.)

OK, what I meant wasn’t so much the total number of voters, but the number of votes received by the top games. From 1999 to 2010, it stood fairly solidly around 100. 2011, it dropped significantly. At 66 votes for Andromeda Apocalypse, it’s almost as if one could individually name all those people just from reading this forum.

Forget the votes, I’m interested in seeing how much activity we saw from downloads and browser-plays of this comp’s games. Surely someone has tracked those stats!

(If only there could be some special incentive to vote, beyond influencing the contest outcome… like unlocking an exclusive game for play 8)

Andromeda Apocalypse’s win convinces me of a theory I had a while back, which is that direct sequels to games previously released in the Comp do well enough to win the Comp. (Of course, the only other data points I can point to are the Earth and Sky sequels. Maybe one day I’ll test the hypothesis by entering Taco Fiction 2: Crime Harder, or maybe On Optimism 2: I told U I Wuz Hardcore.)

Anyway, congratulations to the Comp winner, and everyone else who entered! A very special congratulations to the Golden Banana winner Porpentine, since the Golden Banana is my favorite prize of the IF Comp (or any competition, really).

The results page says that there were 120 unique voters, which would imply that each one played about half the games.

I also notice with interest that the game scores are grouped into clusters: there’s the top three, then Changes to Shuffling Around, then Body Bargain to In a Manor of Speaking… I’d be interested to see someone who actually knew about statistics to do some analysis of the results.

Hey James, I see that Wikipedia says you’re an Olympic athlete! Is that true?

No! Wikipedia is sometimes so funny. I heard of people not being able to correct their own bio, but then anyone can write fake things in you.

I’m just an olympic level smoker [emote]:)[/emote]

Here’s some Guilded Youth numbers. (I posted this in the Authors section, but no one’s added their data, so I thought I’d cut and paste it here.)

Number of people who clicked through to the game in the past month: 6527

Based on my server logs, 300 came from, 600 from Venus Patrol, 1500 from Boing Boing. The rest from a variety of places, my gut says that Twitter accounts for a big chunk. The non-IFC traffic started with Brandon’s VP post – Brandon is an advocate for my work and has become a pal. To me it feels like more a case of shared sensibilities than nepotism, but it’s something I like to be transparent about!

Number of people who played a single move: 4125

This was pretty shocking drop – nearly one in three people left. To improve the retention rate in 2.0, I decided to give people a clear “type LOGIN” direction to get people interacting quickly with the parser. (However, Jon Blask pointed out that he opened the game in Firefox and switched browsers when he saw “Sound enabled in Chrome”. So this may account for why so many people left.)

Number of people who finished the game: 842

So one in five of the people who played it, finished it – and note that this game is pretty much puzzle-less.

This is only possible through Juhana’s amazing transcript recording tools & his mysql help (he’s also been doing his own IF number crunching reports

Is this unique users, or just individual play sessions? (Jon Blask’s bit sounds like it’s the latter.)