Updating at if archive questions

I’m interested in uploading a mid-comp or post-comp update to my game at the if-archive. I found my way to an if-archive update form through IFDB, but have some concerns about how all this works.

Does the uploaded update file replace the game that is already there, or merely add another file with the same name?

Under “game file format” there is no option for TWINE, so I presume I choose HTML?

Under “name of gamefile in zip” I presume that is “info” rather than the name of the folder (which is the name of the game “Paintball Wizard”)

Is it better to wait until after the competition is over, or can I do this now? (I’ve already posted a fixed version to the comp page, but this doesn’t appear to have the same host as the version over at the IFDB site, which someone else must have archived on my behalf.).

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If you choose the same directory as the original archived files (/games/competition2023/Games), it will replace it. If you choose another directory (like /games/twine), it will be a new file added into the archive.

Yup. Twine outputs are HTML

It should be the file that opens the game, like index.html for example.

It depends on whether you think you’ll need to edit the game at all or not. Some peeps don’t ever update the archive version, even after updating their games post comps, some update them every time (note: the updated file won’t appear automatically, takes a few days usually).


Question: will updating the game mid-comp on the website change the IF Archive version?

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I’d need to check, but they might update the IFArchive with the last version at end of the IFComp, but there is no update during the voting period.


I believe, apart from uploading the whole thing as a blob at the beginning, any further archiving business is left to the authors.


Right. If I understand correctly, the IFComp opening day zip is frozen as what it is and you don’t ever update that. Anyone who downloads that will get the games as they were submitted on day one.

If you upload an update to the IFComp site, that will replace the singular “download file” or “play online” link with the update on the IFComp website only - which is likely where judges will download it. When the Comp ends, the IFComp listing page will change to refer people to the IFDB page for your game since they only host the games during the Comp period.

If your IFDB entry has a “Play Online” button that you didn’t update, that’s likely also linking to the original day one version from IFArchive.

If you send an update to IFArchive, it will likely be re-categorized as an individual game in a new folder instead of Index: if-archive/games/competition2023 - usually by game type and title. I think you can make suggestions how it’s categorized with notes, but they will usually decide where it goes as they run the library. The original big IFComp release zip stays under the if-archive/games/competition2023 folder location.

Once your updated release is accepted by IFArchive, You’d need to edit the IFDB page and update the main game link so it points to the update for “Play Online” and then possibly add a new download entry for the incremental release, which should be able to co-exist with the original comp version link to download.


@Doug_Egan and anyone else in this thread: this is useful general information that doesn’t have any secret author info about specific games. Would anyone object to me moving this topic public to either IFComp or IF Community Resources ?


Hanon, AFAIK, the post-comp entries are categorised in the games// and/or games/source/ with a link to the original IFComp entry, e.g.:

Across the Stars, a Science Fiction Adventure, by Infodarkness Productions. Release 4 / Serial number 100329 (the original competition entry is in games/competition2007/zcode/across/across.z8, and source code is in games/source/inform/acrossthestars.zip)

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

Thanks for the thread, these are great questions!

I was in a similar situation and managed to make a mid-comp update to my game’s IFDB page by linking directly to the IFComp entry!

But now I’m wondering: is that link going to become broken in a few days as the IFComp site stops hosting the games?

I’d like to avoid any broken or missing links on IFDB, but I don’t want to be spamming the folks at IFArchive with multiple versions either (this isn’t the final iteration of the game, as I intend to make post-comp improvements)…

I’ve tried looking for other ways to host my game (like Dropbox, or itch.io), but I haven’t found anything that works yet!

What is the recommended course of action for authors in this situation?

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According to what I have learned in this thread, those links to the IFComp site probably will be severed in the near future. ifarchive.org is a more secure place to archive games. But since I’m fairly new to this, it took me a good hour of fiddling around to figure out how to upload my post-comp release, and my upload is still pending, so not sure when or whether it will link successfully to IFDB. (It won’t take you an hour, but I stepped away from the computer and came back, I had been auto-logged off, so I had to restart my form from scratch.)


OK, follow up question. My post comp release zip has successfully appeared at IFDB. But two issues

->When I download the zip, and play the game directly out of the folder where it sits in my downloads directory, it plays fine, but the images aren’t displayed correctly. If I move the folder to the top directory (the desktop), the images will display. I assume I haven’t used correct relative image addressing in my twine code, but is there a way to fix this without changing the code, and starting again with another upload? (I also wonder how many of my players during the competition were affected by this)

->When I press IFDB “play online” I get this error: IF Archive Unboxing Service


NotFoundError: Unknown file: https://ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/twine/Paintball_Wizard.zip

Did you double-check that you extracted the zip file beforehand? Windows Explorer makes it easy to look through the contents of a zip file as if it was uncompressed, but if you open a file such as info.html from that Explorer preview of the zip, then Windows will only open that file in a temporary directory (you can check that in the address bar in the browser after opening the HTML file; it would say “file:///C:/Users/<yourusername>/AppData/Local/Temp/…”). Since the other contents of the zip file, such as the images, will not have been extracted at that point, the browser can’t find them adjacent to the info.html file.

I downloaded the post-comp version and extracted the contents of the zip file, and the images show up correctly when playing, so the relative addressing is okay.

Regarding this other issue, I’m not sure, but I think the problem might be that the Archive’s Unboxing Service, which provides access to the contents of the zip file, stumbles over the space (although or maybe because (?) it’s URL-encoded) in the “Paintball Wizard” directory name within the zip: &open=Paintball%20Wizard/info.html.

One workaround seems to be to provide just the info.html filename instead of the complete within-zip path in the “open” parameter.

In other words, change IFDB’s “Play Online” link from this:


to this:


(While leaving the actual internal structure of the zip file as it is.)

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Sweet! The play on-line button works now. Just in time for the competition 2023 awards ceremony. Thank you so much.


The place to report problems like this is here: GitHub - iftechfoundation/ifarchive-unbox: IF Archive Unboxing service

I’ve added this as Failure if path in the zip to be opened contains a space · Issue #49 · iftechfoundation/ifarchive-unbox · GitHub