The Short Games Showcase - last day to vote!

EJ and @Encorm are announcing a new IF event, the Short Games Showcase!

The Short Games Showcase is an opportunity to show off shorter IF works made in the past year (Jan 1, 2023 to Dec 31, 2023). This will be a competition; similar to SeedComp, it will have voting in various categories (TBD) rather than having an IFComp or EctoComp style overall ranking. If some people wish to submit their games to get more eyes on them but exempt them from the voting, we’re open to that.

The big difference between this and most of the other IF comps out there is that we do accept, and indeed encourage, games that have been released previously, even if there haven’t been any major changes (or any changes at all) since the initial release. Short games tend to get less love than longer games in general-purpose, non-speed-IF comps, while if released outside of a comp or jam, they may not get eyes on them at all. We want to give shorter works their moment in the spotlight in a comp where they’ll be compared only to each other, and bring some more attention to the many excellent short games that get released every year.

The intent isn’t really for people to make new games specifically for the SGS, but given how the whole setup works, preventing people from doing so would be hard (and nigh-impossible if we run this again next year—though no promises there), so if you really feel moved to, go ahead.


How short is short?

A person who reads at an average speed should be able to complete a playthrough in 30 minutes or less. We know this can be hard to pinpoint exactly, so we will not be policing this unless someone submits something that is clearly way over the line.

What if the game is meant to be played through multiple times?

A player should be able to have a relatively complete experience in 30 minutes or under. A game like One Does Not Simply Fry from this year’s IFComp, which runs 30 minutes for a single playthrough but encourages multiple playthroughs, would not be a good fit for the SGS.

How many games can I submit?

You can submit up to three games.

Where will the SGS be run?

It will be run as an Itch jam, but due to the category-based voting, voting will be handled through a Google form. We don’t have a website. If we run this again we may think about creating one, but for this year it’s kind of experimental and we’re trying to keep it low-key.

When will the SGS be run?

The Itch page should be up in a few days. Game submissions will then be open through December 31.

We’re not sure yet when voting will take place. It should be easy to get the Google form up and running within a few days of closing submissions, but we’re worried about overlapping too heavily with Shufflecomp, so we may hold off until mid-January, or even maybe until February, if people would prefer overlap with the IFDB Awards (which doesn’t necessarily require playing any new games) to overlap with another standard comp? We would love to hear people’s opinions/preferences on this.

Are there prizes?

No, just bragging rights. We’ve talked about maybe making custom prize-ribbon images for winners, but this is a tough time of year for our health issues, so we’ll see if we’re up to it.

Another thread will go up shortly soliciting suggestions for voting categories for the SGS, although it will ultimately be up to our discretion which categories we use.


Yay it’s happening!!

looks at all the short games made for jams this year…
This is going to be hard to choose!


Ah, this is a nice idea. I sometimes feel like we’re always rushing to the next thing, and some good works get lost in the process


Fantastic idea! Most of my games are short. I’ve got short entries from SpringThing and IFcomp this year that i could use. But here’s the thing;

I could develop them both a bit more. Actually making them longer! But importantly I could address faults identified in reviews. It would be nice to improve on that.

Ideally, the games would work out better than their original comp releases - which would be cool indeed!


This is such a lovely idea. With all of the jams this year, hopefully there are lots of entries! I have a few of mine in mind…


Can I nominate games that other authors have written? I’ve played some remarkable short IF this year that I think might benefit from more eyeballs. (Here’s looking at you, Lid Astray!)


Given that we’re running this through Itch it’ll require the author to submit the games themselves. You’re welcome to encourage them to, though!


This is very cool and seems to be more about showcasing those games that tend to fall through the cracks rather than the competition for its own sake. Excited to see this come to fruition! :grin:

ETA: Hopefully we’ll hear more about it… shortly?



Previously here.


Excited for this! I love short games and I’m glad you’re giving them a spotlight here.


Love this idea so much! Short games rarely get the love they need and I’ve read some really great ones over the years :grinning:


Are parser-based games elligible? Judging by the organisers and the language used, I’d say probably not. For example, you “play” a parser game, you don’t “read” it. And a 30-minute parser game would be very short indeed. I can’t remember playing a 30-minute parser game for a long, long time.

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Just out of curiosity, how would you judge the play time of Aisle by Sam Barlow?

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That’s an extreme example. Probably a couple of minutes, but it does encourage replays.

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Agreed, it is an extreme example. I guess I’m just suggesting that the form might encourage a different sort of parser, that’s all.

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Can you think of any parser-based games released this year that can be played from scratch in under 30 minutes? I’m sure there are some, but nothing springs to mind.

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Maybe some of the ECTOCOMP games?


Not without digging, no. That’s sorta the point I’m making, though. It’s like the Neo-Interactive Jams that create artificial restrictions. You’ll get some novel results.

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But, this…

…not to write new games.

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I’m assuming they don’t plan to close up shop after this single Comp, right? If it’s annual, some people will begin writing with it in mind.

ETA: Besides, trying out “Microparsers” sounds like an interesting challenge. (Heh. Funny thought. Microparsers written in PunyInform. Poetic.)