There will be a series of six overlapping minicomps in 2009. There are no prizes at the moment, but there is a panel of 10+ judges for each competition who will write reviews of the games (including our very own Merk!)
The competitions and their deadlines are:
(Feb 1st) RoFLComp (Edit: now SimComp) - physical simulation (RoFL = rope/fire/liquid)
(Mar 15th) EnvComp - set in an unusual environment
(May 1st) AbilityComp - PC has a special ability (invisibility, X ray vision, etc.)
(Jun 15th) NPCComp - games with convincing/believable NPCs
(Aug 1st) SenseComp - PC’s primary sense is not sight
(Sep 15th) GamePlayComp - non-traditional gameplay
Each of them will last three months (overlapping by 1.5 months). The first one (SimComp) starts more or less now.
I’m pretty excited about this competition series. I tend not to play much IF during the rest of the year, and this’ll make sure that I have to (at least on the three occassions where I’m judging). I’m also combing through my long list of ideas to see if any are a perfect fit for EnvComp or AbilityComp.
I do have some questions/suggestions (again) though.
Rule #6 allows for public discussion. Does this mean the games will be released to the public at the same time they’re released to judges? I initially thought the games wouldn’t be released publicly until after the results, but that’s not right, is it?
Reviews and scores aren’t supposed to be posted or discussed prior to the results. Does this extend to all public discussions about the games by the judges? (I would probably refrain from the discussing the games during judging anyway, but I’m just curious.)
It’s interesting that you’ll permit updated versions during the competition. Would it be a good idea to maybe put limits on it though, such as games would have to be updated in the first two (or three?) days, and maybe limited to one update only? It’s probably not a big deal, either day.
Are you planning to come up with an umbrella name for the competition series, and maybe put up a website for them? Of course, the pages at the IFWiki probably work just as well.
Since the “prizes” in these minicomps are really the reviews themselves, it’s better if judges don’t post about the games they are judging, but you can use your own discretion. If you make a small comment about a game (or answer a help request), I’m sure no one will mind …
I’d rather not put an official limit on it; this is one we can probably work out the details of at the time, if it comes up at all.
(The reason for this rule was: if you were an author and there was a major bug that stopped people from playing your game, you’d want to be able to do a quick fix and re-release it straight away; if you were another author and you’d done a lot of work to make the deadline, and another author gets more time, that might feel unfair; so allow people to re-release games with a potential score penalty).
Err … “the 2009 minicomp series”? (I certainly don’t want it named after me!)
Yes, I’m working something out … I need somewhere to put the reviews and enable people to upload and download the games, and the IFWiki probably isn’t suitable for that.
I was thinking of possible names to suggest for the series, and nothing obvious presents itself. Well, I thought of one thing. It’s a series of mini-comps, and there are many of them, so maybe it could be the ManyComp Series. Or maybe it doesn’t need a name, especially if it’s just a one-year thing.