Spring Thing 2018 Authors Discussion

A discussion topic for authors in Spring Thing 2018.

I’m Robin and my Spring Thing game is “Zeppelin Adventure”. It was a joy to make it, as it is to be part of the Thing for the second time.

While the Thing is on, I’m going to limit my comments on other people’s games to the short and positive. (This doesn’t mean that if I don’t mention your game I don’t like it - as usual I’ll probably play far fewer of them than I want to before the festival closes.)

I’ve not made much of a start yet, but I have finished Arthur diBianco’s “Best Gopher Ever”, which is a charming pick-up-and-deliver puzzler with a reduced verbset in Arthur’s strong style. Like his other games, it fits a surprising amount of characterisation into very terse descriptions and dialogue. I’m not sure what the trick is here but I suspect it involves knowing which bits to trust to the player’s imagination, and which little word choices will send their imagination in the right direction. If the game tells you there’s an anthropomorphic fox who is an auto mechanic, you’re don’t need to go on about his tufty ears and oil-stained overalls because the player’s already picturing that. Almost all the puzzles are “bring the right object to the right NPC” and yet there’s still variety in the feel and deviousness of them. On the technical side, there’s also a nifty ASCII auto-mapping feature.

Is the general public supposed to be able to see this?

This topic was created by a user in the Competitions - General board, so it is publicly accessible.

Hello fellow authors,

I see some of our Spring Thing games are already getting entries at IFDB, which is great. You may want to check if your game is there and maybe do things like provide cover art if it’s missing and so on.

Best of luck in the competition to everyone. I’m still busy experimenting with everything so no comments from me yet on the entries other than to say there looks to be a lot of neat things in there.

I’m taking the playing slow for now, giving myself more time to have fun. I played through Guttersnipe, and found it a fun puzzle game. I’ve played through most of Zeppelin Adventure, and have enjoyed not using hints. I tested the Gopher game, and it’s actually what got me over my burnout from IFComp; it restored my faith that I could find a fun new game.

I look forward to trying the others!

Hi, all,

Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I should set this up as a public or private thread, but as long as we follow the rules for authors, I don’t see why we can’t keep this publicly. If someone wants to make a private one, please do.

My kids and I have entered Spring Thing for the first time as a family. We’ve done two IFComp’s in the past.

Looking forward to playing all of your games (by myself) and where appropriate have them play as well.

Congrats to all of you for entering!

I finished playing through Life in a Northern Town. 3 very long twine stories, an inklewriter game, 28 short Instagram albums, and 3 blog posts.

It was all high quality, and was like binge-watching a drama on Netflix. Left me unsettled. I wrote a review of it for after the competition.

I am Karona, and I am grateful to Aaron Reed and everyone who contributed to Spring Thing 2018 because you have given me the push I needed to finally complete an IF work. (I wrote House.)

But enough about me! Best Gopher Ever was one of the first games I tried, and I just had the pleasure of watching some people play it to completion in Club Floyd on ifMUD. (You all do know about Club Floyd, right?) I am inclined to agree with what Robin writes here:

I think it (more or less) comes down to the clever deployment of verbs. If the game tells you that there is a hare hobbling along on a cane, your brain does the work of anthropomorphizing the animal for you. (There are in fact no hares or canes in the game; I will not rob the reader of the pleasure of reading what the author actually wrote.)

I am off to play some more. Good luck, fellow authors!

Greetings fellow authors!

Drumsticks is my new game in the Spring Thing. I’m on holiday next week so will have time then to play through your games. I’ve already seen quite a bit of Robin’s as a beta tester, and it is excellent as always. Particularly looking forward to playing Sherlock Indomitable, already had a quick look and the use of the ‘think’ verb looks intriguing!

Good luck to you all!


Hello! I entered Guttersnipe: The Baleful Backwash in Spring Thing. I’ve been able to play a few games so far, and it seems like a really good crop this year! As an author, I suppose I shouldn’t say anything more until after the contest is over, but all the games I’ve seen so far have been pretty fun. Hope I’ll get a chance to finish the rest too. Good luck to all! :slight_smile:

(I’ve decided I have to write some of my comments BEFORE I finish reading these works in their entirety to get them posted during the comp. Apologies if that leads me to say things that don’t apply to the work as a whole!)

I have been reading Confessions of an NPC and am finding it to be a thought-provoking meditation on characters in the margins. Reminded me of Wide Sargasso Sea in fleshing out other perspectives. It also reminds me of some retakes on fairy tales (like Sexing the Cherry). I also enjoyed that the stories drew from a variety of genres of tales. Gives the whole piece a feeling of breadth.

Even when the link is just a “next,” you made it a line of the story in a way that made me feel like I was taking an action. That’s a strong technique (that might be common in Twine, but it struck me here as well-suited to the tale.

Also, I’m very much enjoying Sherlock Indomitable, though I am really only just beginning. IF like this seems to sail or fail on the basis of its verbs, and the Thoughts and Link mechanic of the game is surely winning and not something I’ve seen before. Really wonderful work bringing us into the mind of this Bakerstreet Boffin, immersing us in these familiar tales in a fresh way.