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Annual IF Comp 2018

The home for all discussion of competitions for ADRIFT and multiformat IF

Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:29 pm

All these issues people are running into with the ADRIFT games really isn't showing the system in a good light. From looking at Int.Fiction, it seems the only problems so far are with ADRIFT games, which is definitely not what the system needs in light of its other issues. In a competition with as many games as this one (77), any which cause problems are likely to get pushed to one side in favour of others.

A lot of this could have been avoided if any of the ADRIFT games were playable online. Why is this disabled? I might not like online play myself, but it's essential in a competition like this where people who've probably never used ADRIFT before are going to be playing the games. Until such time as an interpreter comes out that can flawlessly play every IF game out there, online play is a must. On the IFComp website, 72 games are playable online without the need to install the correct interpreter or any other software; of the five that have to be downloaded, three are ADRIFT.

What's the issue with online play? Is the WebRunner playing up again or is there some other reason why it's not working for these games?
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:48 pm

Absolutely a problem.

I had to make the gut-wrenching choice of submitting my game as both a .blorb and .exe (and making everyone think i was some kind of malicious hacker) or just submitting a .blorb (and alienating a large audience that couldn't figure out how to run it). Ultimately I did the former, but after two responses from judges in the first hour or so of the competition, I switched to the latter.

I can tell you that with my last game, I definitely lost out on a sizable audience (definitely at least a dozen people with no connection to IF) simply because they did not want to download stuff onto their computers, or figure out how to get the game to work on Linux or Mac. It is onerous.

It's especially difficult for me because I'm about to start a rather ambitious project for NEXT years IF, but I can't decide whether to pursue it in ADRIFT (which I know better) or something else (Which will make the game have a larger audience).
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Tue Oct 02, 2018 4:38 pm

David Whyld wrote:Doesn't v5 have an option to download everything in an exe file to save the hassle of installing an interpreter?

Yes.. But when I use the export as .exe file, my computer insists on telling me that the file is a virus.... (Saabieeeeeee Where's your runner???)
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby saabie » Wed Oct 03, 2018 1:32 am

The biggest problem was the guide page on the IfComp site "A player's guide to IFComp file formats".
It had detailed information on how to run Glux, Z-code, web and TADS games with links to the interpreters and instalation information.
Even Quest had a link to the correct download page.
ADRIFT had one sentence with a link to the front page of the website. No link to the actual download page and no link to the install instructions on the wiki.
There was absolutely no mention of Fabularium at all.
We really need to include a readme file with our games that have full installation instructions and maybe even include the ADRIFT setup file or at least a direct link to it. We probably should also write "Requires ADRIFT 5 or Fabularium for android" in the actual game description, as many people did not even realize what the word "ADRIFT" meant on the summary line, or assumed it would run with the Gargoyle ADRIFT 4 interpreter.

The second problem is that there is no runner installer for v5, you have to install the entire developer package.
Hence players kept installing the v4 runner by mistake.

Thirdly, the Web Runner is indeed down again. Campbell did say he would give a copy to anybody that has a web site that can host it, but nobody has yet.

@P/o Prune: I will get back to my runner as soon as I have completed my IfComp judging duty :)
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby Lumin » Wed Oct 03, 2018 7:19 am

So not to bring up the old v4 vs v5 debate again, but with the current state of things at least it really seems like writing a game in v4 would give you the best odds of getting the most players without issue in something like the IFComp.

The guide on the IFComp page really should be updated too, although I suppose it's not surprising they opted to half ass ADRIFT's section.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:16 am

Not surprising, but disappointing. There were two ADRIFT games entered in last year's comp so you think they'd have figured it was reasonable to assume there'd be at least one this year.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:51 am

David Whyld wrote:Not surprising, but disappointing. There were two ADRIFT games entered in last year's comp so you think they'd have figured it was reasonable to assume there'd be at least one this year.

Yeah! and this year there's three games....
I'll write them and suggest that they update the guidelines for Adrift games, and I'll ask Campbell to, at least, make it possible to download the runner separately.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:57 am

Can you change the main site yourself? You're an admin now, after all. Or does that only apply to the forum?
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:20 am

David Whyld wrote:Can you change the main site yourself? You're an admin now, after all. Or does that only apply to the forum?

I must admit that I haven't tried...
I was fortunate to catch Campbell on the Facebook Messenger and mentioned the problem to him. Hopefully he will fix it asap.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby ralphmerridew » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:54 am

P/o Prune wrote:I'll write them and suggest that they update the guidelines for Adrift games, and I'll ask Campbell to, at least, make it possible to download the runner separately.


Rather than just suggesting that they update the guidelines, why don't you also write up some updated guidelines and include that with your email?
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Oct 04, 2018 4:19 am

ralphmerridew wrote:
P/o Prune wrote:I'll write them and suggest that they update the guidelines for Adrift games, and I'll ask Campbell to, at least, make it possible to download the runner separately.


Rather than just suggesting that they update the guidelines, why don't you also write up some updated guidelines and include that with your email?

Not a bad idea. :Thanks:
I will do that.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Tue Oct 09, 2018 7:08 am

Just curious…
Have any of you received reviews of your games in the comp?
I've been checking in every now and then and it seems like people are "avoiding" Adrfit games (or is it just me?)
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:56 am

I've not seen any yet and I've been keeping an eye out. I guess the issues people were having to begin with, together with the lack of online play, is discouraging people from trying them.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby Denk » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:10 pm

Last year the situation was the same. The two ADRIFT games ended up with 8 reviews each and the average number of reviews per game was 9.5 (see https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1OXBkz5kuXZoe4Ab6LKpNWzHX5tzinCTQqQ7rGLbridc/edit#gid=0 ). On intfiction only half the number of games has been discussed yet, so it is still early.

Since a lot of people do not have windows, I suppose we should expect fewer reviews than average though.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:43 pm

That's why it's more important than ever to get reliable online play sorted out.

All the other systems:

> Click a button to play.

ADRIFT:

> Download the game.
> Head to the ADRIFT website to download the interpreter needed to play it. Assuming you can find the right one. There are ten separate downloads. You can cross a few off right away but that still leaves you with a good few to choose from. With no indication of which version the games are written with, it's pretty hit and miss whether you'll get the right one or not.
> Download and install the interpreter. Assuming your anti-virus software lets you and doesn't just assume it's a virus or malware.
> After all that... got the wrong interpreter? Go back to the previous step and rinse and repeat. Got the right one? Keep going.
> Maybe download some other software, depending on whether you have it on your system or not.
> Play the game. Phew. Assuming, that is, you're using a Windows computer that can even run ADRIFT. If you're not, you're well and truly screwed.
> In future, maybe err on the side of caution and just play the other games instead.
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