The 2015 Spring Thing Festival is now open!

I’m very pleased to announce that the 2015 Spring Thing Festival of Interactive Fiction is now open!

This year, there are nine games, spread across two categories. Authors chose whether to submit games to the Main Festival, where they are eligible for ribbon nominations and the prize pool, or the Back Garden, which opts out of ribbons and prizes but has looser entry requirements (including allowing excerpts from unfinished or commercial games).

In the Main Festival:

Toby’s Nose, by Chandler Groover (Glulx)
Ruiness, by Porpentine Charity Heartscape (Twine)
A Trial, by B Minus Seven (Twine)
Sunrise, by Lucky Sun Scribes (Ren’Py)
Mere Anarchy, by Bruno Dias (Undum)
Doggerland, by A. DeNiro (Twine)

In the Back Garden:

Dirk, by Andrew Schultz (Z)
Aspel, by Emily Short (Seltani)
Missing Since '77, by Andrew Watt (Twine)

You can play the games and find out everything you need to know about the festival at the official site.

Instructions for making ribbon nominations will go up in a couple of days. There are two ribbons this year: an Audience Choice ribbon, which anyone may nominate games for, and an Alumni’s Choice ribbon, with nominations made by any prior participant in the Thing. (If you’re an alumni and not on our notification list yet, please PM me here or contact aaron at

The festival will be open for ribbon nominations until 11:59 PM EDT, Monday, May 4, 2015.

To all the players, and all the entrants, have fun!

– Aaron


I’ll be posting reviews at this finely-crafted tag over on the blog.

For those who were wanting to check out one of the group plays of Emily’s Back Garden Seltani project, Aspel, the first tour starts at the top of the hour.

I reviewed the Back Garden game Aspel on my blog. (Since Emily linked to it in the IFMud, I guess there’s no point in hiding it from you guys.)

You would be amazed at how long things casually mentioned in ifMUD chatter can remain hidden from the broader IF world.

(Or, frankly, from people on ifMUD who happened to not be paying attention. Certain marriages were still provoking cries of amazement years after the event.)

Hey, sorry, I didn’t mean to share something that was meant to be private.

[spoiler]This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the king
who was in
the throneroom

and who
I probably
should have

Forgive me
he was delicious
like lightning

(Regarding Aspel.)

Heh, think nothing of it! I probably need to start promoting it more anyway.

It is ok to post mini-reviews here, for those of us without our own patch of digital turf?

I can’t imagine anyone will mind. You can also use the work’s IFDB page.

Speaking of IFDB, is there going to be a Spring Thing 2015 competition added there? I was going to create a page for my game, but I didn’t want to mess anything up if that would conflict with how those competition pages are made. I imagine it’s probably safe to do.

Aaron has apparently said that he’s not planning to make one himself; so anybody who wants to step up can create either the individual pages or the competition page.

In that case, I’ll go ahead and try making the competition page!

Reviews coming soon:

Update: Nominations are now open for the Spring Thing '15 “Audience Choice” ribbon. To nominate a game or games, please use the form at:

Nominations are open until 11:59 PM EST on May 4th, 2015.

Incidentally, CMG did make that competition page on IFDB.

Toby’s Nose had a few disambiguation issues that slipped through in the files I originally submitted. Since then I’ve submitted updates, but old versions might still be floating around if anyone downloaded the game earlier. Aaron has said that updates during the festival are okay, so if anyone finds other problems, please let me know and I’ll try to fix them as quickly as possible for the Play Online version. That’s available here (it’s the same link from the Spring Thing website): … index.html

I’ll send any updates to Aaron too, of course. Something I was just able to add were three more hint topics. The hints menu had previously crashed and given me a fatal memory error when it exceeded seven hints. I don’t know exactly why it was broken or how I fixed it, but it works now!

Is anyone interested in playing Aspel at a time other than one of the three official tour times? I don’t think I’ll be able to make those times, and it looks like Seltani is very sparsely inhabited most of the time. Is Aspel even playable solo? It’s certainly available for me to jump into, but I didn’t do more than take a quick peek because no one else was around. I’d be available during the week at 9 PM Eastern time, for instance.

I might be able to do it sometime (or maybe not; I have a heavy grading week ahead). Three seems like the ideal number of players to me. I dropped in before with one other person who had to leave, and after they left I got a fair way in; I’d say it’s playable solo but you might miss out on some content. Still, you should try it if you can’t get a group. (I could also give some hints, based on what I’d seen.)

Anyway, if anyone wants to organize a group of three to go I’ll see if I can make it.