Spring Thing 2007

It is fairly early given the IF Comp is still just around the corner. Maybe when people miss the deadline for the IF Comp then the Spring Thing will come into view as an alternative.

I announce the Spring Thing early on purpose. If there’s any author who has his heart set on entering a comp, but no longer has time before the IF Comp to make his game good, then it’s good to let him know he has other alternatives.


If you don’t mind me asking, what was the motivation behind the $7 entry fee? I’m guessing as a means of weeding out the people who are serious about entering the comp from the ones who, if there was no fee, would enter the comp purely for a laugh with a joke entry. Or was there some other reason?

You’re right, it is useful to plan ahead, so I have posted the details of the InsideADRIFT Summer Competition 2007 for the middle of next year.

That certainly is planning ahead considering the last Summer Comp only finished recently. [emote]Smile[/emote]

Still, at least this way people can’t use the excuse that they didn’t have enough time to get their game done.

This is something I myself didn’t even know at one point. Remember, the $7 entry fee was started by Adam Cadre. At one point, back when I was just thinking about re-starting the ST, it struck me that if the only purpose of the entry fee was to generate prize funds, then I could easily get rid of the entry fee, as I figured it would be easier to get prize funds elsewhere. But then it struck me that maybe, as you say, the point of the entry fee was more to weed out the people who weren’t so serious about entering. Then, during a discussion with Adam Cadre, I found out that this was correct.

So, the entry fee has stayed, and I do think it’s a good way for the ST to differentiate itself from the IF Comp.


I would love to enter a game into the Spring Thing. The problem I have is time. I’m struggling to get my IFComp ready at the moment, so the thought of creating a much longer/bigger game is a really scary thought.

The games don’t have to be longer, it’s just that they can be. The winner of this year’s Spring Thing, The Baron, wasn’t really a long game. I think I finished it in about 45 minutes so it was less than half the length of some of the IFComp entries I’ve played.

Sometimes I think that people get sucked in to the idea of comp = big game and get worried by it. I think that most people judging would love to play a small and beautifully finished game rather than a massive sprawling effort. You could produce a great game in very few rooms, but with a large amount of interaction, and could beat a good bigger game.

The gameplay is the thing and size really doesn’t matter [emote]Laughing[/emote]

Do you know I played this years games and hadn’t spotted that some of them could be played through fairly quickly. Hmmm, might consider having a go in that case. Although, I’m not going to commit at the moment. I’ve got my Adrift End of Year and Summer Comp entries to think about, so I’m not sure I can fit in another game.

The Spring Thing now accepts intents to enter: Google Groups or springthing.net

I was excited about ST, but I really don’t want to give them seven dollars to prove that I’m serious about the competition. It’s an ongoing debate in my mind, but do I really need that much attention, to have read and reviewed? Shouldn’t the fact that you spent the time making an over 2 hour beast be enough to show that you’re serious?

Is $7 really worth debating over? I spent more on my bus fare to work today and I’ll probably spend about the same on my dinner.

The $7 is supposed to discourage joke games, so that better, more serious games are submitted. The fee could be a lot higher, and I’d still enter – but I never seem to have time.

The game doesn’t have to be big, it could be a very, very small game. I’m sure if you paid the entry fee and submitted a game that could be finished in 10 minutes, you’d still qualify.

I think that’s the real reason right there. Writing a long game says you’re serious, but joke games wouldn’t have to be long. $7 seems like a tiny, trivial amount to me. It requires a little effort on the part of the participant, but it’s not unreasonable. For the 2005 competition, I paid the fee but ended up not submitting a game after all.

I think the comp was originally intended to promote longer games (since the annual competition still promotes shorter ones) with the hopes of becoming equally important to the community. It just hasn’t seemed to work out that way. It seems to get little more attention – maybe less – than some of the mini-comps. I think people must see it as just another mini-comp, but I’ve always thought it was intended to be something more – an equal to the fall competition.

This could spawn a whole new topic, but these days, expectations are just higher. It takes as long today to write a good two-hour game as it probably used to require for a ten-hour game, because we’re no longer satisfied with sparse implementation, lots of “that’s not important” responses, the lack of many alternate noun (and especially verb) phrasings, poor puzzle design, etc. I wouldn’t want to enter a two-hour game in the Spring Thing, but I wouldn’t want to enter a poorly-implemented ten-hour game, either. As a result, I haven’t entered anything. Lack of time and motivation is also why I’ve never written anything “epic” like that at all. It would take a couple years to write a long game that’s of the same quality as a great IFComp entry.

Normally I would be put off by an entry fee as well, but I think originally the comp organizer played all the entries (with a transcript that is) and he didn’t want to waste his time slogging through a 2+ hour game that wasn’t finished. Quantity is not always quality, or even passable, though it may be serious.

Wow, over three dollars one-way for bus fare? Is that in the UK?

‘I have an intent’ to enter the comp, but we’ll see if I complete a game. I think I’ll wait until February to submit the intent. I have a few ideas but nothing even half-way done.

I would like to collaborate on a long game, but at this point it may not be the best idea for me.

My bus fare works out at £29 per 13 trips, so roughly £2.20 per trip which works out at £4.40 a day, so roughly $7 - $8 per day on bus fare. Just think, I could take a week off work and save up enough money to enter the Spring Thing five times. [emote]Smile[/emote]

I can see the reluctance to pay a $7 entry fee under the old rule system, back when the only prizes were the entry fees themselves. Thus in 2003, as I understand, the prizes were:

1st place: $14.00
2nd place: $7.00
3rd place: $3.50
4th place: $3.50

But the prizes were substantially different during the last two years, and I personally wouldn’t find the $7 a deterrent anymore.

I could get rid of the entry fee, but that would defeat one of the purposes that Adam Cadre had when he started the Spring Thing, namely to provide a better playing experience for judges, and avoid the following scenario:

“The 2001 comp featured 52 games, many of them half-baked at best; discussion was limited, with a brief flurry of reviews and then not much conversation about the games, possibly because most judges only had time to play a small fraction of them.” – Adam Cadre, in describing the reasons he started the Spring Thing

Judging from what people have written on rgif, I gather that some players like the fact that the Spring Thing is a smaller competition without very many of the kind of bad games that dominate the bottom half of the IF Comp every year.

Anyway, this just adds to the diversity of stuff available for the IF community. I think we’d be losing something if I made it so that the ST was just like the IF Comp except that it’s in the spring, and there’s no two-hour rule.

I’ve probably rambled on long enough – I hope that’s a good enough answer.


It’s time to retire, man! If taking a week off work is a money-making strategy, why work?

Probably a bad joke. Oh well.