The Emily Short Anniversary Contest (Concluded)

You’ve played Being Andrew Plotkin. You’ve played Foo Foo. But have you played an Emily Short tribute game?

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of Short’s first big game, Galatea. That conversational game with dozens of endings was entered in the 2000 IF Art Competition from March 24th to April 2nd.

So, to honor the enormous amount of high quality games, criticism, resources and support that Short has given the community over the last two decades, we’re running a tribute competition.

You have from now until March 24th of 2020 to create an IF work that is in some way a tribute to Emily Short’s work.

-There are no restrictions on format, except that it must be something you personally consider Interactive Fiction.
-It must be Emily Short-related.
-The work must have at least one credited beta tester.
-There are no prizes, but the top three games will be ranked.

The current plan is for the games to be judged by a small panel between March 24th and April 2nd, but if the response is large enough, it will be opened up to the public for voting over an extended period.

You can direct any questions to me via DMs or to my email,

Good luck!


“Memorial” is probably a word to avoid in this context. :)


Gahh! I kept doing that on accident and deleting it. One got through… thanks, lol

Great, now with the rumors going around, we are going to have to create a status web page for Emily like they did for Abe Vigoda :thinking:.

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Winner will be the author of Counterfeit Bronze, in which the protagonist returns to the castle with a letter remover.

(With the I7 sources available, this is a possible project… but perhaps not in the time frame!)


Should Beauty break the curse by turning the Beast into the Best? Or create a new exit by turning him into the East?


Or manage to escape from him because he’s too beat.


Just to check, is Emily ok with this?


There is a puff of mauve smoke, and the Beast turns into a bearded hepcat in a turtle-necked sweater. “Follow your inner moonlight, daddy-o,” he says, his eyes burning like fabulous yellow Roman candles, “and don’t hide the madness!”


I asked her permission ahead of time, and she said that I could run the competition. I’m also going to shelve any entries that are derogatory or mean-spirited.


Now that IFComp and Ectocomp are done, I’d like to put out a reminder about this contest running next year. Unlike other Tribute Contests for IF Luminaries which are Running Next Spring, it does not come with cute stuffed dinosaurs, but if anyone wants to donate a statuette to the winner, I’d be more than happy.

Is anyone here definitely thinking about participating?

I am always up for more contests, but I’m a bit of an outsider to the IF-mythos, so I’m frantically educating myself about Emily Short. If I learn enough by the deadline, maybe I’ll enter something.

Here’s a brief overview:

Best Works:
Counterfeit Monkey (#1 on Interactive Fiction Top 50 of All Time 2019, XYZZY Best Game, #1 on IFDB Top 100, etc.)
Galatea (NPC conversation game, breakout piece)
Savoir Faire (big period piece puzzler, her first XYZZY Best Game winner)
Bronze (a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, one of the first Inform 7 games)
Alabaster (conversational collaborative Snow White game)
First Draft of the Revolution (an html game that helped inspire Twine features)

Wrote Inform 7 with Graham Nelson (including doing all of the dozens of examples in the documentation, I believe)
Wrote 38 of the 132 Inform extensions listed at

Community Interaction
Wrote many, many reviews, first on Usenet, then IFDB and intfiction and her blog.
Gives talks, answers mailbag questions, etc.

Common themes in her work include conversation, fairy tales, complex mechanics and simulation, and experimental forms of IF.


I have an idea for a game, but no idea whether I’ll have the time and energy to make it.

Me too! In fact I’m almost sure I won’t have the time and energy to fulfill my idea.

Hmm, I just thought of an idea that would combine my brand as Best of Three liker and one of my previous works:

You play as the waiter who has to make Grant’s ridiculous tea order.

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That’s interesting feedback to hear from the two of you. My main idea for the comp was for people to make pieces honoring her work, since I thought someone should do it and I also didn’t have time for it (I have to finish last year’s IFComp prize as well as a CMG tribute game I’m making). So if either of you eventually made your games, I think that would be a win!

I hope that some people will be able to make it in time, though. The Parser Comp and the first Veeder Comp both had similar time frames and ended up with incredible winning games, so we’ll see!

That day I will be in CET time zone. Deadline when?

That sentence piqued my curiosity in the same way a nuke lights a cigarette. Is there another contest going on?

The Second Quadrennial Ryan Veeder Exposition for Good Interactive Fiction was recently announced, with a note to “the set” that:

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The games will be due at Midnight EST.

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I’d really like to participate. I am not good with committing to things so I don’t know whether that will turn into an entry.

EDITED TO ADD: Actually, I just had an idea for this that appeals to me. So that makes it a little more likely.