Whew, my ifcomp entry is uploaded. I'm "done". Are you?

After a week of staying up until 3am each night, fixing bugs, incorporating final feedback and adding polish, my entry is “done” (is it ever really done?).

Since I’m a terrible procrastinator I usually get the major bulk of my IF writing done in September with a mad rush at the end. I’m actually glad I can relax this weekend. I’m curious how other authors work. Are you all going to be putting in all-nighters right up to the deadline? Or are you coasting to the finish?


I’m also just about done – game is uploaded, thought might make a small tweak to the cover and blurb because somehow those are more anxiety-inducing than the game itself! I did most of my intensive work in July and August, since I’m a first time author and didn’t have a great sense of how long things would take. I’m sure now that I’ve had this experience, if I enter again I’ll have a false sense of complacency and be stuck right up against the deadline instead, though.

(And to avoid crowing while other folks are scrambling, feel free to PM me if you need a last bit of testing before Monday!)


I’ve been pretty much “done” and uploaded for a week. My current build was created Sep 18th. This is the first year I haven’t been sliding into home-plate like a crazy person. It feels good to not be scrambling but there’s always that “could I do more?” thing. I’m reluctant to mess with it further since my game involves a lot of media and distributing a full build can sometimes go wonky in the compression or upload process, but what’s up now seems to work just fine and I’m good standing on that, I think.


I managed to have a lighter load this year; I’ve been working on this game on and off for 2 years and it’s a lot smaller than my older games, so I was able to spend a lot of time testing. I guess the tradeoff is that as a pretty small game it probably won’t attract as much attention as the amazing longer games I’ve been testing for people!


I have one section – a diary entry that exists mostly for flavor – that I know exactly what it says and the narrative voice of it and what themes it conveys and all of that stuff. I’m essentially collapsed two inches before the finish line. I guess I’ll have to finish it today :slight_smile:

If you don’t count the fact that I’ve been kicking around this idea for about three years, this was actually one of the smoothest writing experiences I’ve ever had. Biggest problem was Twine not playing nicely with audio meaning I had to jettison the soundtrack.

Anyway good luck everyone!


Can’t… reply… must… tweak… one more detail…


In a year of pandemic stress, isolation and a mental illness crash that has tested my friendships, which has lasted subjectively anywhere from about a week to about ten years depending on how I look at it, I’m already considering it a victory to have got to the “oh heck, it’s two days away, mebbes I’ll finish mebbes no” stage without breaking down. Good luck everyone!


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I think I’m done! I thought I was done two days ago, but while I was testing the play online button on IFComp I noticed a couple of really annoying mistakes. Those are fixed, I’ve verified that the game can be played online and downloaded from IFComp, and now I refuse to touch it again


I finished MOST of the game last year, then missed the deadline because my brain is super annoying. So technically I had all year just to tweak it. I decided to add a couple of chapters, and in all that 12 months only one of those additional chapters is finished. The other one is… well… started.

If you are done, you deserve to feel righteous.

I am scrambling and panicking and vowing to never leave it so late again. I THINK I’m going to make it, but who knows?

I’m screaming in my heart. And also aloud.

Edited to add:
So I absent-mindedly posted the link publicly, both here and in two other places, so I cunningly managed to disqualify myself from the IF Comp. Sad but true.

It’s not really a big deal, as I’ll publish it as a Hosted Game soon enough. I’m very sorry to all my betas though—and still grateful to have a MUCH better game.


Oh no! So sorry to hear that. Is that a hard rule? Please do post the link or enter a different competition that isn’t as strict.

re: righteousness. Certainly don’t feel that way. Hence the “done”. It’s more like I’m surprise I managed to get it to what I have decided is “done enough” earlier than 5 minutes before the deadline.

Yes it’s a hard rule—and goodness knows the IF Comp has abundantly clear and simple rules. I just forgot. Luckily I chose to use ChoiceScript instead of the other engine I was thinking about—selling a ChoiceScript game is extremely easy.

Anyone who finished with more than 5 minutes to spare deserves congratulations, for their restraint on last-minute tinkering if nothing else.


Earlier this year, I thought for sure I was going to be entering this contest. Well, I had no idea what a quantum maze you could fall into trying to develop a sizeable text-adventure game that you feel is “well done”. So, put it that I might still be rushing to finish this game by next year’s IFComp :slight_smile:


I managed to somehow foresee when my muse was abandoning me. So I’d frontload instead, and plan way ahead. It worked, thanks to ADHD!


Oh yeah. Text adventures are bigger on the inside than they are on the outside.


Sorry to hear about that – I was gonna post mine to my Facebook and am glad I decided not to! – but at least you can maybe make a couple bucks about it, and you don’t have as much time pressure or something.

I’m at the point where just looking at the title of mine makes me puke, so I know it’s done. I gotta do one more “just in case” pass, I’ll make sure to have a bucket handy.


I honestly thought I was going to submit something this year, but returning to work and all of the chaos that followed put it on the back burner… is what I tell myself, but honestly my impostor syndrome did 90% of the creative blocking.

I did get most of the concept and story ideas plotted out, so hopefully it’ll be next year. Maybe that’ll give me time to expand it to the depth that I was hoping it would be instead of trimming it down to fit time constraints.


You need a better narrative.

IFcomp participants are always concerned about getting more judges and having more people write reviews. That’s why I abstained from entering this year as part of a principled, conscious effort to be the change I wanted to see in the world.

(Now you can talk about this year’s games in public, is what I’m saying.)


Its all my wife’s fault. :wink: I was moving right along with my I6 based story and hit a coding snag. It was nothing that I can’t solve but it required some effort. I was well motivated and brought up to Debbie. She was teaching virtual summer school at the time and snapped, “I don’t care about your silly game!” That took the steam out of me and I’m sticking to that story. :wink:

I actually have three games in the works. I am pretty sure I am going to move them all to TADS 3 / adv3. Adv3 is so rich that I believe I can get what I hope to achieve out of it.

Next year!


I’ve figured out I need at least a year to write a good-sized game like I’ve been doing (I’m one of those pesky “longer than two hours” people). I used to start my IFComp games mid-year, but the last two I started on immediately after the previous comp, and had time to spare in both cases. It also helps that both games had been thought about for long periods of time and were already fairly-developed ideas (or made of fairly-developed pieces of ideas…)

Using a choice-engine instead of parser makes it easier also since I don’t have to troubleshoot all kinds of things like players trying to use that random ironing-board and all the bread twist-ties they’ve collected to dam a river they need to cross instead of following the perfectly logical method I’ve planned - feeding several kitchen chairs to the friendly beaver to convince it to build a bridge for you!