When's the Comp?

I built my first game last year, and depending on timing might like to try my hand at the comp. When is it?

The deadline is usually the last or second to last day of September. Judging starts October 1st and runs through November 15th. The ifcomp site isn’t updated with the new year’s info yet, but that usually happens in the spring with an official announcement or something.


Yes – but don’t forget that authors also must submit their intents to enter one month before (usually before September 1st).

And, although it may seem obvious (but it’s apparently not obvious for everybody…), don’t forget to take enough time for beta-testing before you submit your game. Here’s an anecdote: for the IFWiki, I added the names of the beta-testers for every game of one or two years of the IF Comp. It was funny to see, with few exceptions, the number of beta-testers per game getting smaller and smaller as I was going down the list from winner to last place, until there were no beta-testers at all near the bottom of the list…

Good to know, Eriorg.

Does one usually find beta testers among one’s friends, or by advertising here on the forum?

I’d guess that beta testers on the forum might be hard to find since everyone’s looking at once?

In past comps I don’t think everyone does look ‘publicaly’ at once – at most a handful of people will publicaly look for testers I think. There is a beta testing group you can join – plover.net/~textfire/beta.html – or look up the names of beta testers from the past comp games and contact them directly (perhaps saying you liked the game they tested ;D ). Emily Short has good articles on testing at her site if you do a search of the archives.

[color=red](EDIT: I hadn’t seen George’s post when I wrote this, so some of my answers are similar.)

Well, it’s better if your beta-testers, or at least most of them, already know well enough how to play IF. So, friends are rarely the best choice, unless you’re lucky enough to have many (in real life, not web) friends who are IF fans!

There are several ways to find beta-testers on the Internet:

And please don’t forget to credit your beta-testers somewhere in your game (in the answer to ABOUT or CREDITS, for instance). It’s polite and – more importantly [emote]:)[/emote] – some IF comp judges might have a better first impression of your game if they know it’s been beta-tested.

Depending on who your (RL or web) friends are, I think it can be a good idea to start testing with them, and then cast your net wider. Your friends might have more of an idea what it is you’re trying to do and how well you’ve succeeded. But catching bugs and rough patches often just involves getting a number of different people (with different playing styles, different levels of familiarity with IF etc.) to play your game.

Well… Nobody’s looking now. There’s no harm in starting early.

(Moved from IFComp 2009 game discussion to general competition discussion.)

Well, I kinda need to write a game first. [emote]:D[/emote]

Actually I have written one, but I was hoping to use that one as a learning experience, and try to do something better.

Thanks to all for the advice on beta testers!