Surprises in the IFComp 2013 results?

Now that the official results are in,, what are people’s reactions?

For me, the final ranking corresponded well with my own. I had hoped Robin & Orchid would win, but Coloratura was also an excellent game, and a worthy winner. (I will be terribly disappointed if Robin & Orchid doesn’t get the XYZZY award for best implementation, though!)

But one surprise was Mazredugin, which finished 28th place. Sure, the game had its share of implementation problems, and the (N)PCs were (intentionally?) stereotypes, but it wasn’t a bad game. It had an interesting idea, working puzzles and no (?) serious bugs. So why the very low score (3.65)?

Captain Verdeterre’s Plunder: Seems surprisingly high up. I would have guessed it would end up in the 8-12 range.

Tex Bonaventure: I encountered a big bug that I thought would knock it into the middle, but I guess it was fixed early enough that few judges encountered it.

Solarium: Thought it would be second, in-between Coloratura and Robin & Orchid.

Threediopolis: Didn’t think it had wide enough appeal to get in 7th.

Their Angelical Understanding: Although I didn’t really understand this one I heard a lot of people really liked it, so I thought it would be in the top 5.

Concerning general trends rather than specific games, I’m surprised the top tier Twine games didn’t do that well. All the Top 5 were Inform 7.

Yes, Captain Verdeterre’s Plunder high score also surprised me. I liked the game, but was surprised that other people did too. [emote]:)[/emote] I at least expected it to have a large standard deviation (it has the fourth lowest standard deviation, the three others being the lowest-scoring games).

I would be massively insulted by this sentiment, except I had guessed basically the same thing.

Yeah, in general I was shocked by how low the non-parser games placed. Solarium in particular should have placed in the top 5 at least.

I expected Coloratura to rank highly. I also expected “Dad Vs. Unicorn” to fare better, but that’s because I got the vibe somehow that people had liked it quite a bit (I didn’t). I find it strange that Dream Pieces ranked so low, especially given the state of Quest games today. I suppose you have to know what Quest users have been churning out in order to appreciate Dream Pieces fully.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I voted it down because of serious bugs preventing progress with the first of the characters I tried, and misleading descriptions putting me off the second.

I also had two separate playthroughs scuppered by bugs, and some very guess-the-verby action before that. Also, the writing felt as though the author didn’t really want to be writing.

I don’t know about this; even the most favorable reviews of Dad Vs. Unicorn seemed to be trying to appreciate it for what it was trying to do. (That was kind of an awkward sentence.) For my part I found the game to be an incredibly nasty experience, which was probably intended, and it also put me in a rather self-loathing mood, which probably wasn’t. I couldn’t explain why it put me in self-hate mode, except that it’s probably related to a mental condition that I’d prefer not to discuss in detail here.