Spring Thing 2012 is underway

This is not actually true; while you need a browser for Undum, you can download games and play them locally and offline. (Indeed, if you’re submitting a game to a comp it’s much more polite to allow for this. Everybody is not online 24/7.)

I’d be surprised if Alex were to suggest that people should stop use Quest. He’s the creator of Quest. [emote];)[/emote]

(You should put that information in your sig or something, Alex. It’s useful for people to know.)

This strengthens the feeling I must have misunderstood his post completely.

Ok I have updated my profile a bit, now with signature. (I’ll try not to attach it all the time as I do find signatures on forums to be a bit annoying, to be honest)

The Spring Thing rules don’t allow me to discuss the games during the competition, but I don’t think I’m forbidden to weigh in on this topic. Greg consulted with all of the game authors before making a decision. I supported allowing online play, because I can see that in the future we may well be seeing online-only games. Nonetheless, the requirement that games not be updated during the competition is very sensible, and Greg has the responsibility for making the final determination as to how best to do that.

In light of this controversy, perhaps for next year’s ST (or even for the IFComp this year) a dedicated server could be provided for online-only games, with no upload access to the author(s) during the comp. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mike Roberts were able to help with this.

What I don’t know, not being a Quest developer, is whether online Quest games can be hosted on other servers, or whether the textadventures.uk server is required. If the latter is the case, perhaps this would be a good time to look at updating that system as well.

Well, that won’t be necessary if the IFComp allows updates again.

Jim Aikin> The Quest web player can be hosted on other servers. According to the textadventures.co.uk website:

And also, I concur with Jim about the reason for online play not being allowed as things stand. Relying on an honor system for people not to invisibly update their game behind the scenes is definitely not the best idea, even though I’m sure the majority of us are honest people.

That being said, as I mentioned in a previous post, a workaround exists for Quest games, as Alex has written a Quest-to-JavaScript converter. It would likely be a fairly simple process to take the resulting JS code and wrap it as an Adobe AIR application, making it downloadable and cross-platform. Although, you’d lose the UI present in the web player, I think. I imagine something similar could be done with z-code games and parchment, although my brief experiments with turning the parchment source into an AIR app were less than successful. I’m definitely not sure about other systems. HTMLTads sounds like something along these lines could be used for it as well, but a stand-alone server would probably be the best solution overall.

I’ve read the discussion here. In the future I’d be willing to consider a change in the rules for games hosted online, although as I’ve said, I’m done considering that change for this year.

In future years, I suppose it would be possible to allow ST entrants to change their games during the middle of the competition. But if I allowed that for games hosted on web pages, then I would also have to change the files hosted at ST.net and ifarchive.org, or else those hosted files would become irrelevant. And changing those files on demand would be a non-trivial hassle. So for me, that is the sticking point in changing this particular rule.

I’d need to think about it more. I wouldn’t change it unless I thought of a way to do it that both satisfied the entrants and also kept it easy for me to run the competition.


Could you collaborate with the IF Comp team and use their infrastructure? They must have figured out a lot of the hassles with in-comp updates.

Stephen Granade updated the games on a weekly basis rather than on demand, to minimise the amount of updates needed. Also, there is a small majority consensus here in favour of updating games in the competition.

Several months after the Comp’s over, I can add something to that early discussion (too early, imho).
Hannes said that “no-one plays the updated games after the Comp”, more or less with those words. People reacted that “it is not true”. Well, it was true, in a matter of substance.
I don’t have any real statistic about my Final Cut version (IFDB gives and can give none apart from the user-directed ones) but I have a serious (and dramatic) statistic about the Comp release of Andromeda.
More that 300 people played AA from IFComp site in the last 3 months.The 98% of those are still stuck in the station trying to get a ticket. So, people do play games after the Comp… but it doesn’t look like it is the updated version.

I had a major revision of my game, added material, new locations, trivia etc… and a few know about it. But a lot know about the beginner’s mistakes I made in the Comp release, 'cause peeps just go to the IFComp site, not the IFDB or the if-archive. Had I not upgraded my game DURING the Comp (that much that I could do back then) you still have had the “kidney’s height shot” and some of that funny shit.

I’m not saying I’m in favor of letting the authors update games in SpringThing, but it surely helped me a lot in IFComp. I can’t tell, now, how this will work in the long term… will report here in one year to let you know.

The walkthrough to The Egg and the Newbie has been released. To download it, please visit: