It's on! The annual interactive fiction competition is back. You can download games and everything you need (interpreters and such) here. Strangely, the links don't work at the moment. Never mind that though, most of the games are available to play in an online browser mode. You can do it here. Or if you still want to download - you are free to do so at ifarchive
Happy text adventuring!
Say what? Someone other than me is interested in these at last?
Please note, any games that can be played online can be documented here as browser games!
Also pls note, due to bandwidth constraints, you may have to try a few times at off-peak hours to get some of the games.
Also: mobygames question for pros -- if each year all of the participating competition games are released in one big archive, including the interpreters needed to run all of the games, would that make them a compilation eligible for documentation here?
I think not. Except when there would be an .exe file combining the interpreter and a game. Don't you love our policy?
(Edited by Pseudo_Intellectual (42294), Oct 06, 2011)Re: IF Comp 2011
Pseudo_Intellectual (42294), Oct 06, 2011
Hang on, let me get this straight:
one archive, containing an interpreter and a game == good
one archive, containing several interpreters and several games == bad?
When else would this have come up for policy to be set about it?
Edit: no, you must mean the archive must have interpreters set up specifically to play individual games, as in instead of everygame.exe you must have game1.exe, game2.exe, game3.exe?
As long as the games run on the intended platform, it doesn't matter how the technical set up is. You could have one or you could have a billion interpretors, as long as it works.
Then whether such compilations are actually worth documenting is another question.
Never mind, I've been talking out of my posterior (at least for this year); in 2011 the games and interpreters are distributed in two separate files. I think in previous years they were bundled -- I'll get back to you on that.
It's looking like I've been speaking from a very nostalgic position -- the most recent year I can find where games were distributed with interpreters was 1999, and you can judge how tenable they are as a compilation by trying out the (Windows) link at http://ifarchive.org/if-archive/games/competition99/IFComp1999.exe
And as best as I can tell, that's also the only year they were bundled. Hardly worth having this whole sub-thread about!
You would just need to have an .exe file. If it was allgames.exe, which would show a menu where a game can be chosen, it would be a compilation entry.
I'm interested too, but was afraid to actually add any games because of the restrictions. It seems the games are playable online for a limited amount of time only. Last year's games are no longer available. They were when I started collecting information about them (and some of the games of 2009 were playable on the ifcomp site, too, but not anymore). Unless someone from higher up can confirm that it's okay to add them even when they are no longer directly playable, I am not going to (perhaps I will do the browsergames that link to the developers site, if nobody beats me to it).
But aren't these still running through a interpretor, just one that happens to be made for a browser?
(Edited by Patrick Bregger (85460), Oct 05, 2011)Re: IF Comp 2011
Patrick Bregger (85460), Oct 05, 2011
Well, we also file games as Battlefield Heroes as Browser games even if they require Windows, i.e. are Windows games at heart which run through a browser. Don't see the difference here.
Flash games are just games written for Flash that happen to be embedded in a web browser. Why is Flash a tech spec when Parchment isn't? Clearly a case of bigotry among the administration here 8) Essentially NONE of these are "Browser" games, but increasingly, browsers are the context through which they're largely played.
Alright then, you're right about that. It should be ok if the games are officially released by the creator (or with permission).
I'd really like to add all the interpretors as platforms, but that's for the future.
It should be ok if the games are officially released by the creator (or with permission).
Let me unpack this a little to see if you're saying something other than rules that always apply to all submissions here:
a) no leaked alphas or prototypes unauthorized for distribution, as always b) no web fan-conversions of earlier games unless the proper licensing channels are followed? c) Document games that have been specifically presented in an in-browser setting, ready to play, and not just ones that could hypothetically be plugged in to be played that way?
I'd really like to add all the interpretors as platforms, but that's for the future.
Before we had the browser platform, we had a lively group of "executable Flash games" just waiting to influence the status quo 8)
It seems the games are playable online for a limited amount of time only.
We document all sorts of games no longer sold and online games no longer available for play; how would these be different?
Unless someone from higher up can confirm that it's okay to add them even when they are no longer directly playable
Sciere was the one who gave me the tip that the Parchment interpreter meant all z-code games were now fair game as browser games, but that was outside the context of their online availability expiring.
(My question about the archive bundled with interpreters still stands.)
Excellent. I have a bunch of other stuff to finish first, so in a few weeks time I'll start with the previously online playable games for if comp 2008 and 2009 (don't think there were any earlier than that).
While none went "live" with the compo beforehand, LOTS of older games have been retroactively browserfied as at http://parchment.toolness.com/
... helpfully, we have no real indication when these were thrown in the website, but snapshots from the waybackmachine may help to approximate.
(... but does this violate the "with creator's knowledge and permission" clause above?)
Ok. I've played two games so far.
The first one is The Myothian Falcon. As you can guess from the title you play as a Phillip Marlow wannabe. But! It takes place in the 32nd century, so I guess you're more like Rick Deckard. Anyway, it's a short and rather straightforwad murder detective mystery with a bit of story branching. It was alright, nothing special, the story wasn't that interesting but it was concisely written and nicely presented. However, it's got lots of bugs. Probably because it was developed with Quest, not exactly the most popular platform for IF enthusiasts. "No programming required." it says on the download page. Based on the number of game-breaking bugs I encountered it probably should require just a little bit.
I voted 5.
The second one is Kerkerkruip. Now this one is very interesting. It's an IF/rogue-like hybrid. It has a nice charming sense of humour as well. The rooms are arranged in a random order every time you start a new game. No saving, permadeath - the usual stuff for roguelikes is implied. Battles are turn-based but sometimes you can take two turns if your concentration is high. Battles are fast and enjoyable. Enemies are always unique and well-written. Interface is comfortable and works as it should. Take a look at some instructional videos the author created. They will give a good idea what Kerkerkruip is all about.
Introduction to Kerkerkruip
Exploring the Dungeon
I voted 8 for this one.
While we can now discuss the games, I think that actually discussing the voting is still frowned upon until the competition is over. Due to years of working around Mobygames wrongheadedness, I always start with the games developed for platforms we cover here -- Windows executables and web games. The Windows homebrew games tend to be disappointing and this is no exception, but I found all three web games to be very interesting, though certainly some were more fun than others.
The surprise with the Myothian Falcon is how good it was -- the Quest designer is trying hard to make a good environment to make good games in, but the language's catalogue of games doesn't do it any favours. Working through z-code games currently, including plenty of them which are surprisingly short.
Ehh, it may more directly influence those who have not yet voted?
That seems silly to me. But I'll comply in favour of these impressionable individuals.
Hi guys -- being one of the authors, I cannot talk about the games, but I think I might be able to set something straight about Parchment and the availability of games.
A running version of Parchment is hosted at http://iplayif.com. To run a game, all you need to is to go to http://iplayif.com/?story=***, and in place of the *** you put the URL of the game. Basically all freely available IF games, including the competition games, are permanently hosted at the IF Archive: http://www.ifarchive.org/. So a permanent link to online play for many IF games can be constructed by putting the IF Archive URL for a game file in place of the ***.
For example, the permanent link to online play for last year's The Warbler's Nest is here. Or, for a Glulx (rather than a Z-code) example: Gigantomania.
I don't know the Moby Games policies, of course, but the transience of the competition website certainly doesn't have to be an impediment.
(By the way, I do not think there is a rule against posting scores. I have seen more reviewers do this.)
Thanks for the technical clarification. Because we don't generally document virtual machines (or "software platforms") as platforms here (generally preferring to categorize things under which "hardware platform" they're associated with) most modern IF has been slipping between cracks. Now that games are browser-playable that's an excellent ... loophole of sorts, but the admins still demand that the game "release" have been packaged (physically or otherwise presented) by the author (and not just any old digital archaeologist) and presented to the world on that platform on a specific date. When a new game is released, announced on RAIF and the author provides a Parchment link, that's easy; for games that pre-date Parchment and whose authors never took advantage of the new technology to embed their IF portfolio in a web-playable form, it's much harder to fill in all the necessary boxes to submit something here.
That said, you're invited to try! 8) People who give two figs about IF are in the vast minority here and hence there are huge stark weeping gaps in the canon here.