Wishlist for Comp 2011

I remember when Merk used to post his predictions about what sorts of games would be entered into the competition. I can’t find the more recent prediction threads that I remember by skimming through the forum, but searching it did turn up Merk’s predictions from 2006. Even though I never made any predictions before, it’s a fun community thing, so I thought I’d start a similar thread.

Except… I don’t feel sufficiently psychic to offer my own predictions, and I don’t want to stand in Merk’s shoes if he (or anyone else) still might show up here and post predictions before the judging begins. So, I’ll do something a little different – I’ll post a list of games that I would like to see in the competition this year. I’m going to stick to reasonable possibilities; otherwise, I might wish for Andrew Plotkin, Eric Eve, and Emily Short each to enter three games, but that’s unlikely. [emote];)[/emote]

  • I wish for the total number of entries to number between 35 and 40.
  • I’d like a good 10 games or so to written with a system other than Inform (a long shot, I know).
  • It’s not reasonable to wish for no bad or broken games (and I’m not sure that I would anyways), but I do wish for no “troll games”, where the author just wants to offend the IF community.
  • I wish for one sincere but shoddily-programed Inform (preferably Z-code) game written by a teenager, which will make me smile fondly for my own bad little game I entered in 2005 when I was 14.
  • I want one standalone Windows game with a DOS-console look and feel to be entered, but I want this game to be so amazingly awesome in its implementation and execution that the IF community freezes in shock.
  • I would like to see at least 4 ADRIFT games, and least one of those has to be written with the new ADRIFT 5.
  • I want one entry to be written with the new Quest 5, and I want it to be good enough that everybody reconsiders the Quest system for the better.
  • I’m hoping for about 3 simulation-heavy, detail-oriented TADS 3 games.
  • Out of all of the very under-represented systems (ALAN, JACL, Hugo, and maybe the new Curveship), I want to see at least 2 games. (Not two for each – that would be unreasonable – for instance, one ALAN and one Hugo would count.) I would have helped fulfill this myself with my own Hugo game, but I failed epically. [emote]:)[/emote]
  • I want there to be one crazily surrealist game that is nonetheless very well implemented and makes everyone wonder whether or not there’s supposed to be a Point.
  • …And I want there to be a few crazily surrealist games that is horribly implemented but that actually has an intriguing atmosphere for those who can understand them.
  • I badly want to see one really good high fantasy game, with a map that allows for exploration of a well-constructed secondary world with corresponding imaginary mythology.
  • I also want to see one really good space opera game featuring galactic politics and (again) deep worldbuilding and imaginary histories.
  • Let’s have one really really good detective/mystery game. Like the space opera above, it’s a staple, almost so much so that we need a good one in the competition for the competition itself to be good!
  • There should be a handful of mediocre but (probably) lovable B-level science fiction stories. Where would we be without them? [emote];-)[/emote]
  • I would like to find a game with Christian symbolism or themes.
  • One or two games of the rare historical fiction genre would be nice.
  • Even though I don’t like arguing politics, I would be interested in seeing one to two games that are written to criticize modern society or take a stance on current events.

That’s about all I can think of for now. Maybe I’ll post more later. Anyone else?

Here’s to your wishes coming true! If not this year, then next year!

According to this thread, we should expect 3 ADRIFT games, one in ADRIFT 5.

I can’t believe I forgot one of my primary wishes that I had thought up this morning…

At least one game should feature a full-screen title page consisting of ASCII art, instead of having a graphical cover image (blorb or otherwise).

And a less important one:
I want to see several Inform Z-code games that use the old box-quote feature.

These are both matters of nostolgia to me. [emote]:)[/emote]


Great! But there could be more – you never know if there’s a secret ADRIFT user who doesn’t post on the forum. I never joined the ADRIFT forum, but I did use both ADRIFT 3 and 4 in my teenage years for some of my little projects. If I had ever finished one of my more serious ADRIFT attempts, I may well have entered it.

My one wish, as always:

I wish for at least one game that just rocks, so I can hear about it months later and play it and enjoy it. And feel very slightly guilty that I didn’t pay enough attention at the time to have voted for it.

I hope for at least one game that demonstrates some sort of innovation, perhaps a new mechanic like in Earl Grey or Delightful Wallpaper, a wordplay game like Nord & Bert, or something on that order.

I also would like to see an ADRIFT game place in the Top 10, though I’m sure there will be plenty of competition for those spots this year and I would prefer to form my expectations around quality rather than platform.

I’d like to see a well-done slice-of-life story told through IF.

A piece that will store some of my earlier command input and spit it back at me later. Bonus points if it manages to make that input plot significant, especially if it horrifies me in doing so.

And one short-short piece that will never have a chance at placing in the Top 10, but will make me think, “Yes. That was an excellent use for 5-10 minutes of my time.”

Oh, right, almost forgot. I hope all the authors get along tremendously this year, and that the author’s forum will spark amazing, memorable discussions on interactive fiction. Bonus points for strong involvement from newcomers.

Why is it a long shot that anyone would write a good game using another system than Iform?
Is the IF Comp about games, or about the developer used to create the game? [emote];)[/emote]

While I agree that Inform is a pretty powerful tool, I believe that whether a game is “good” or not depends on the author.
I’ve played games created using both systems and I have found many Adrift games which, entertainment wise, was just as good as any games made with Inform.

Well, considering that last year only 4 non Z-code/Glulx games were entered into the Comp, I’d say it’s a long shot that 10 games of any sort are entered that aren’t Z-code or Glulx (although it’s certainly possible, give the known Adrift stuff happening, plus the recent Choicescript activity from IntroComp).


Finn, in (American?) English “a good 10 games” usually doesn’t mean “10 good games”; it means something like “ten games would be a lot.” For instance, I saw something where someone says “He has a good dozen sock-puppets for occasions such as these”; that person isn’t saying that the sock-puppets are good (sock-puppets, as fake internet personae, are generally considered to be bad); they’re saying that they have a lot of sock-puppets.

So I don’t think Bainespal meant to be disparaging the quality of non-Inform games, just saying that ten games would be a lot for one comp and he doesn’t expect that many to be entered.

I stand corrected… [emote]:oops:[/emote]
It would be so much easier if everything was in Danish [emote]:lol:[/emote]
For instance, In Deamark we use the term General Secretary, whereas I was, politely informed that the correct term is Secretary General …

Not for me. [emote];)[/emote] I’m constantly impressed at how well the non-native-English-speaking members of the IF community deal with English language discussions, when I grew up speaking the language and can’t even figure out how to say “non-native-English-speaking” with fewer than three dashes.

I don’t think this phenomenon is limited to the IF community. Historically, the inbred (OK, more likely learned) chauvinism of the English-speaking peoples of the world is such that we’ve expected everybody else to learn our language, and have never thought it necessary to take the trouble to learn anybody else’s. (I don’t except myself from this observation; I speak and understand only English.) Of course, that may be forced to change as patterns of world wealth and power change; it may well be that a few decades from now conversations like this will be in Chinese.

Robert Rothman

Thanks for clarifying that. Finn, I’m sorry that I accidentally provoked you.

I wouldn’t have thought to wish for one of those, but they definitely do help to keep things interesting!

[emote]:shock:[/emote] Awesome! That’s the best wish this thread has produced so far, I think.

Me too, except that I wouldn’t limit my version of this wish to a short-short piece. When you play a Comp game that you absolutely love but are almost certain has no serious chance to place in the top ranks, you get a very profound feeling.

Only one thing can be said in reply to this wish: Amen.

As the official schedule on IfComp.org says, impatient waiting has set in. [emote]:)[/emote]

Thanks for clarifying that. Finn, I’m sorry that I accidentally provoked you.

No need to be sorry. I’t was entirely my fault.

(A friend of mine in the US once told me that the reason the Americans didn’t speak/learn a second language was because everybody speaks English. So why bother?
With that in mind I was geniually surprised when my wife and I drove to LA and got lost. I went into a gas station to ask for directions… The reply?
“No habla Englese” Damned, for a minute I thought we’d crosed the border in the dark. [emote]:lol:[/emote]

I once actually met a taxi driver who spoke English. It was in Zurich. (And I live in New York!)

Robert Rothman

Well… I got two of my wishes were granted straight off! I’m thrilled that to see that the number of games falls into the range that I wished for! I thought that was about the maximum number that was reasonable to hope for, and we made it! Also, I’ll say that twelve non-Inform games counts as “a good ten or so”! [emote];)[/emote]

Thanks to all the authors who entered! You’ve made some of my wishes come true. And to us who dropped out… let’s wish to make the our full visions for our games come to life and to make them even better than they would have been!

I’ve got your B level Sci Fi covered, but I hope it’s better than mediocre! Try Death of Schlig!

Might I ask about the Authors Forum? Is it on the site here somewhere?

It is, though private. I’ve added you to it, and any other authors who are on here who want to be added are free to PM me.

Well, I get to check off two of my wishes tonight… tentatively in one case. A pretty good judging day, all things considered. [emote]:)[/emote]

Cursed fits my definition of high fantasy. It tends toward the classic Arthurian-esque model with the setting looking very much like a magical version of medieval Europe/England, but since it’s not actually set in a magical version of the past, I consider it an example of mythopeoeia (however that word is supposed to be spelled) – artificially constructed myths that draw from real ones. I’m thrilled to see a completely serious and sincere representation of my favorite genre, but I’m also a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to explore the worldbuilding very much before I ran into the two-hour cutoff due to frustrating and (in my opinion) seemingly irrelevant puzzles.

Cana Acording to Micah is not symbolic, and it does not necessarily follow that it makes serious use of Christian themes just because it’s based on a setting out of the New Testament. However, the end of the game clarifies any doubt that it does indeed use Christian themes in a serious way, connecting them to the player’s actions. It’s a sincerely religious work that does not deserve to be labeled “preachy” in any way, at least in my opinion. It’s a work of art, not propaganda. No need to worry about the likes of Jarod’s Journey here.