After playing with the various web-based samples and working through my own experience with these new paradigms in IF technology, it occurs to me that there’s a sort of “sweet-spot” for small IF games.
Some might say it’s the “everything on one screen” paradigm, but in order to accomplish that, you need a fairly small set of locations to implement this well. So I’m thinking ten rooms is an unusually interesting number. With ten rooms, we can develop a single theme with several puzzles, a focused plot, multiple characters, and a reasonable number of objects. It might just be the “Sudoku” of IF design.
We may even be able to narrow the parameters down at some point (10 rooms, 3 characters, 7 portable objects, 3 puzzles), but for now I’m thinking ten rooms is the only real restriction for an interesting investigation.
So with that preamble, I’d like to announce a small competition. It’s still early in the year and I think there’s some in-between time to put together a smallish game with a very specific focus.
- Create a new and original Interactive Fiction game.
- The game must have exactly ten rooms.
- The map of all ten rooms must be visually accessible in 2D format or if you’re a snappy graphic artist, some sort of 3D imagery is acceptable. You must provide a graphical map.
- Use any tools you wish, but see #5.
- Game must be playable in a browser.
6. Hosting Requirement *** REMOVED ***. You can send your games to me to host on Linux or Windows Server 2008 (IIS), or you can host them yourself. I’d still like to authenticate players completing each game somehow, possibly through an AJAX call with a game-embedded password or something.
- Bug fixes will be allowed at all times after games are “released”.
February 1, 2012 - Sign up deadline. This gives you time to think about it, play around with some ideas, and decide if you want to proceed. See textfyre.com/tenrooms/ to enter.
March 15, 2012 - Beta submissions.
April 30, 2012 - Final submissions, voting begins.
May 15, 2012 - Voting Ends, winner announced.
Open web voting from people proven to have played through all of the games. Since all of the games need to be playable online, I’ll rig up an authentication system to allow voting once a user has completed all of the games.
I’m not sure what anyone will be interested in as a prize, so I’m open to suggestions. Textfyre can donate cash or an otherwise appropriate prize. Donations and suggestions welcome.