The 2023 IFDB Awards now open!

The IFDB Awards are now open!

Here are the rules:

Full Text of Rules

The IFDB Awards is an annual competition designed to award excellence in creating interactive fiction.It is held from February 1st to the first weekend after February 15th each year on the Interactive Fiction Database, and take the form of polls.

Votes are public but anonymized. Every IFDB member is eligible to vote, except for one special poll, the Author’s Choice Poll. Eligibility to vote in the Author’s Choice competition is determined by having a game linked to your IFDB profile (this can be found by editing a game page and use the ‘Link to Author’s Profile’ feature. Authors added incorrectly to a game will not be permitted to vote (for instance, if someone associates a random game they didn’t make to their account).

Rules for discussion and voting
-Voting must be in good faith and be based on personal experience with the games involved.
-Campaigning or organizing voting for games is not allowed if it breaks the above rule.
-Discussion of games on merit is allowed and encouraged.
-There is no hard limit on how many votes a person can cast in each poll for different games. A player voting for so many games that it makes voting difficult for others (such as voting for every game from the whole year) may have their votes removed, but only after warning.
-Author cannot vote for their own games. Such votes will be removed so that the running tallies are correct. Authors can post about their own games (for instance on intfiction) as long as doesn’t encourage people to break the rules (such as telling people to vote for your game even if they haven’t played it).

Code of conduct

-Voters must abide by the IFDB Code of Conduct. Harassment of other voters (including on other platforms) and creating multiple accounts for one person are prohibited.

-Votes that are cast incorrectly (for instance, voting for a Twine game in a Choicescript poll) or fraudulently (for instance, using sockpuppet accounts) may be removed.

-For most polls, games are eligible if they are listed on IFDB and have a publication date during 2023.
-For system-specific polls, games additionally must have the appropriate system on their IFDB page under the specified field.
-Each poll will have a link to an IFDB search listing suggested games. Outside of system-based polls, users can vote for any game they feel fits the criteria.
-Any IFDB user can edit game pages to confirm eligibility. However, malicious editing (such as adding every genre to a game or adding incorrect systems to a game) will be reverted or removed.
-Any game author can opt out of the competition. Adding a note to the game page during the competition may be helpful to let others know not to vote for it, but opting out should be officially done by messaging the organizer (me, for now).

-Results will be clearly visible throughout the poll. However, there will be a grace period of up to 3 days at the end to allow checking of votes before the official announcements, which will be made on Intfiction and IFDB.
-Polls with very low traffic will not have a winner awarded. This is left up to organizer discretion, but low traffic may include less than 5 votes for the winning game or less than ten votes total cast.

Future of Awards
One of the main purposes of these new awards is to be community-owned and regular. They need to keep working even if I don’t keep working.

The awards begin on February 1st of each year. If Feb 1st passes without the current organizer having created the polls, anyone can create the polls themselves.

The community can propose new changes to awards or new organizers via public discussion. A public yes/no poll on intfiction with more than 50% voting yes can be used to add new organizers. Current organizers can also add in other organizers or successors, subject to a public veto.

Answers to FAQ’s:
-You can vote for as many games as you like in one poll, as long as its not disruptive
-You do not have to vote in every poll. It is fine if some polls don’t get enough traffic.
-You cannot campaign for specific games, but you can campaign for people to vote in specific polls (i.e. trying to get people to play games from a specific category).
-You are free to publish what you voted for and why, as long as it doesn’t break any other rule.
-Anyone can vote in any poll except the Author’s Choice poll, whose eligibility is described above
–A good rule of thumb for voting for people coming from other communities is that you should probably recognize at least some games on the linked IFDB searches for the poll you are interested in. If you don’t recognize very many, you should likely play some that you see to get a feel for the category.

List of Polls

Overall Categories

Outstanding Game of the Year 2023

Author’s Choice for Best Game of 2023

Outstanding Debut 2023

Outstanding Game over 2 hours in 2023

Outstanding Short Game of 2023

Outstanding Underappreciated Game of 2023

Most Sequel-worthy game of 2023

Trailblazer Award of 2023

Outstanding Worldbuilding of 2023

Outstanding Use of Interactivity in 2023

Outstanding Retro Game of 2023

Language Categories

Outstanding German Game of 2023

Outstanding Spanish Game of 2023

Outstanding French Game of 2023

Genre Categories

Outstanding Children’s Game of 2023

Outstanding Fantasy Game of 2023

Outstanding Educational Game of 2023

Outstanding Historical Game of 2023

Outstanding Horror Game of 2023

Outstanding Humor Game of 2023

Outstanding Mystery Game of 2023

Outstanding RPG of 2023

Outstanding Romance Game of 2023

Outstanding Science Fiction Game of 2023

Outstanding Slice of Life Game of 2023

Outstanding Surreal Game of 2023

System Categories

Outstanding Inform 7 Game of 2023

Outstanding Twine Game of 2023

Outstanding Ink Game of 2023

Outstanding Choicescript Game of 2023

Outstanding Inform 6 Game of 2023

Outstanding PunyInform Game of 2023

Outstanding Game in a Custom System of 2023

Outstanding Moiki Game of 2023

Outstanding Ren’py Game of 2023

Outstanding Adventuron Game of 2023

Outstanding Unity Game of 2023

Outstanding Bitsy Game of 2023

Outstanding Texture Game of 2023

Outstanding Gruescript Game of 2023

Outstanding TADS Game of 2023

Outstanding ADRIFT Game of 2023

Outstanding Decker Game of 2023

Outstanding Game in an Uncommon System of 2023


There were so many good games in 2023!
(over 700 published ones according to the IFDB)

So hard to choose and vote :sob:


Excellent! Looking forward to digging into my IFDB history and trying to remember all the 2023 releases I’ve played once I have the time.

In the meantime, here’s a link that might be helpful for the “outstanding short game” category.

Edit: That is, an IFDB link to a tag search for “short” limited to games published in 2023. Didn’t mean to be cryptic, I’m just a little distracted.


Would it be helpful to make an IFDB tag for debut games? I’d gladly help tag the ones I know of.


I think that would be helpful! If enough get tagged I’ll switch the poll to that tag.


For those who use IFDB’s “I’ve played this game” feature, adding played:yes to a search can also be useful. Or played:no if you’re hoping to check out a few more candidates.

(Some of the poll descriptions currently say This poll is part of the 2022 IFDB Awards, just FYI.)


This is awesome! I will have some spare time to vote this weekend.


I fixed one, if you see any more just let me know in this thread or DM!

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The existing tag for that is “first effort”, so it would probably be good to stick with using that one, but I think it’s missing from quite a lot of debut games.


I have voted by now, but I will revise again next weekend.

By the way, there are several games under “Oustanding debut” which I thing don’t correspond with any new authors.


Voting has already popped off in just a few hours.

I was browsing through current results and wow, Outstanding Debut has some really fantastic entries. Some tough competition there!

Edit: Jade, just saw your comment. I was only looking at top games, I’ll check the others. Thanks!


Hey all, I was trying to do a search by system and release date (newest) as sometimes I forget when games were published (this year or last). Is it not working properly? I tried doing a system:choicescript search and it pulled up 3 only games from 2023.

I checked others I know were published this year and although they have the correct system they’re not showing up in the results? Probably not a big deal given people probably already know who they want to vote for and it doesn’t appear to be preventing them from being entered into that category but thought I’d let you know?

Edit: I just realised the search given uses the published: 2023 tag like and this seems to bypass any issues :slight_smile:

Also can I please ask what consitutes an “underappreciated game”? Is it one that hasn’t placed, lower rating, just not discussed much?


I tried using this search and got 14:

I did system:choicescript published:2023

It is case sensitive, if that matters.

As for the underappreciated category, people voted this year to ‘relax’ the categories so the interpretation of that is basically up to you.


Cool thanks @mathbrush . I just realised when I used the link you have there is seems to work better so maybe it is a case sensitive thing. I didn’t realise that the searches were :slight_smile:


I was just coming here to ask about the “trailblazer” category, but I suppose I’ll just have to decide for myself! :smile:


It’s just me… (jk)


By the way, I think combining categories has helped a lot. We already have over 40 votes just in half a day for the Best Game vote. Last year we had 88 after two weeks!


Just a note that there were 4 votes for Summers with the Sea King which were removed, as it was released in 2024 (even though it’s labelled Shufflecomp 2023; that event lasted into 2024, and the game was released in early January).


I’m still very confused. If Trailblazer is up to your imagination, then isn’t it really like Outstanding Game?

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We could vote to eliminate some categories next year!

In the meantime, you could come up with some way in your head of deciding what trailblazing means to you and how it might be different from Outstanding. People can post about what they voted for and why; maybe a few posts like that would clear things up for others.