The 2020 review spreadsheet

The 2020 version of the IFcomp review Google Spreadsheet is online (like in 2016, 2017 and 2019 as I found out looking at the similar topics that I get listed here while writing this post).
I copied and updated last year’s version which was made by @VictorGijsbers with script code by @aschultz to have a nice overview of the “latest reviews”.

The spreadsheet is open for everyone to edit. Please use one column per reviewer. IFcomp2020 participants can add their non puplic reviews to the count by writing “Authors’ forum” instead of a link into the table.


I haven’t looked into the doc for several days but someone changed the order of the game list from alphabetical to “nr of reviews”. I saw that done in one of the sheets from previous years before and it’s a good idea if you want to have a better overview over the less reviewed games.
BUT it makes finding a game harder when it’s not alphabetically and it breaks the latest review script (if the rows of the games change) and it breaks a few other small things.

So question to everyone is ordering by “nr of reviews” what people prefer?

I’m ok with people editing and improving this public document, it just would be nice if they don’t break half of the script magic. I don’t even know by which function the game list sorting is done. Was it really necessary to move the game list done by 5 rows? Because that’s the main reason why the other stuff broke.

I just restored an older version. We can put back the newest reviews, but it’s really hard to fix the scripting otherwise. Thanks for the heads up!

1 Like

Not to diminish what people have written or be ungrateful, especially cause just about everything people have said about mine has been positive but…is this it as far as people writing about the competition? Last time I entered I could have sworn there was more coverage outside of this forum and a couple of blogs — you’d think with 101 games in the 26th year of its existence, the comp would get some more outside attention, certainly? I guess games writing really is dead.

Again, not to knock any of the work anyone on this spreadsheet has done, of course.

Emily Short stopped reviewing the comp after people complained about negative reviews (and stopped writing for Rock Paper Shotgun), The Breakfast Reviews started getting overwhelmed with the number of entries, and Thomas Mack is an entrant this year. Sam Kabo Ashwell and Katherine Morayati (and healy) aren’t reviewing blurbs this year.

On the other hand, Verb Your enthusiasm and the Short Game podcasts are covering stuff, and there are several new reviewers doing great work. There’s even a food-based reviewer (Interactive Licktion).

Last year total there were 792 reviews, of which 599 were public.

This year, halfway through the comp, there are 755 reviews, of which 478 are public.

So it could just be that everyone you’re familiar with stopped reviewing and a new group has moved in.


Sad to hear there’s been more than a few reviewers who stopped because people were unhappy with their reviews :frowning:


Speaking of the review spreadsheet, it appears to have been wiped clean. :frowning_face:

I hope this is just something weird on my end. Is anyone else seeing that?

We can just restore it to the last version. I’m trying to but it’s taking a while to load.

I just restored a previous version.

1 Like

Looks like they did it again. We may have to have the owner make it private.

I think it would be good if people can use it without having to have a google account.

1 Like

No, that’s a great point. They seemed to have stopped for now, anyway.

1 Like

Yeah, it has been a few years and the scene has changed a lot. Subjectively, across the board I don’t think people are blogging as much as they used to; I just remember a lot more reviews of my own stuff on personal blogs and tumblrs, where this year it seems a lot more heavily weighted towards these forums.

(And, again, I want to stress this is out of curiosity and a vague sense to return to the Good Old Days [last time I entered IFComp Trump wasn’t president yet, there was hope back then] rather than an implication that anybody is doing anything other than a really great job, especially those of you who have said nice things to say about my game :wink: )

Incidentally, I think I might have conflated Breakfast Reviews with Ice Cream reviews because when I read the ice cream review I thought, “ah, the yearly food review, this is always a delight!” I’m glad someone’s keeping a tradition alive – but I vaguely remember they might have run concurrently at some point? Look, my memory is pudding.


Yeah, I would guess that this is more about long-form blogging being increasingly unpopular* than about declining interest in IF or IFComp.

(* To my eternal sorrow, because I’m not nearly pithy enough for Twitter, and even writing long tweet threads is a different skill set from writing blog entries.)

1 Like

There is often a lull mid-Comp voting. I think people often take a break after initial enthusiasm wanes, but anyone serious will pick back up. We still have a month!

1 Like

Twitter has never been a particularly healthy place for me and I finally got kicked out for saying mean things to the President, and it’s honestly been one of the best things for my psyche…but it does really feel like missing out on a lot because that is where most of the conversation seems to happen. But at the same time it also feels so ephemeral — there’s some great tweet threads out there but they do just kind of fade. The internet has a bad enough memory as it is :slight_smile: And they all have that particular tweet-based rhythm which works for Twitter but ends up feeling really homogenized after a while. But yeah I miss long-form blogging too. I try to keep mine updated but “keeping my blog up” doesn’t exactly feel like a rewarding activity these days. Man, remember the blogosphere? Remember when you could become friends with someone just because you both had blogs and you could comment on each others’ blogs???

But of course if we’re going to go that route, honestly I just want circa 1995 AOL back :slight_smile:


Bullshit. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

Twitter is toxic AF, and you should not fall for its hype. (Especially after it changed the algorithm.)

Most of the reviews on the review spreadsheet are showing up as published on this discussion forum, which has nothing to do with Twitter.

Almost nobody on Twitter is sending people to read threads on this forum.

The #IFcomp hashtag is woefully underused.

So, yeah, I’d like to see a more widespread community of people discussing interactive fiction, but I don’t think we’ll find the answer by looking to Twitter.