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Annual IF Comp 2018

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Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:10 am

Is anybody, beside myself, contemplating on entering the Annual IF Comp. this year?
Although I highly disapprove of their rule about allowing authors to "update" their game during the evaluation period, I have decided to submit "Anno 1700" this year.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:35 am

I've been thinking about it. Like you, I'm not a fan of the updates rule and doubt I ever will be, but the IFComp is still the number one source for feedback. Even if you're not bothered about the comp side of things, it's still worth entering just to have people play your game.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:09 pm

Exactly my thoughts, David. I have no hope of winning the comp. One reason being that Adrift is far too frowned upon to give any game a decent chance of winning (my opinion), another, that there are so many other games present.
My reason for entering is to, hopefully, show people that decent games can be made using Adrift (whether that will happen remains to be seen :wink: ) and of course, it's always nice to get feedback on your work.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby Denk » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:44 pm

Sounds great that you are entering this year P/o. And I hope David will too. I don't think I will participate this year since I am lacking inspiration at the moment. But I will be happy to be a betatester, so that hopefully the Adrift games will be close to bug-free. I recommend to ask for betatesters on intfiction.org and don't forget to mention that it is an IFcomp entry. I did this last year and 4 people offered to betatest my game. My testers provided valuable feedback, so I can only recommend this.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Thu Mar 22, 2018 4:18 pm

Depends on what the criteria for entry are.
I think tingalan is too wedded to sound, and was done last year. The current thing I'm working on isn't possible to complete this year.
I guess I could whip something else up.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby Denk » Thu Mar 22, 2018 10:46 pm

The0didactus wrote:Depends on what the criteria for entry are.
The criteria can be found here: https://ifcomp.org/rules#authors
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby rotter » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:38 am

It is very important that we get more ADRIFT games and ADRIFT discussion out in the bigger IF world and the IF Comp is a good method. I was over at an IF get together in Nottingham recently (talking about Twine of all things) and the people there had not even heard of ADRIFT but knew Quest. Just wish we had a better runner, particular one that works reliably on-line. I've said before that I was surprised with my I7 entry last year just how many people play on-line (you have access to the transcripts in the author portal). So, we need some brilliant games for the comp this year.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:06 am

I couldn't agree with you more, Rotter. Which is the main reason I have decided to enter the IF Comp this year.
As for the runner, we will have to put our faith in Saabie's project.. Or with a minor alteration of Dowding's words during BoB when asked if their only hope was to pray to God and trust in radar. He replied, "At this stage I would rather pray for radar, and trust in God."
So I pray for Saabie and trust in Adrift. :wink:

So I can only strongly encourage people to enter the IF Comp this year.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:30 am

The0didactus wrote:Depends on what the criteria for entry are.
I think tingalan is too wedded to sound, and was done last year. The current thing I'm working on isn't possible to complete this year.
I guess I could whip something else up.


If I remember correctly the entry may not have been published (unfortunately)
But if you have the time I would absolutely encourage you to "whip" something up for the comp. :wink:
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:36 am

rotter wrote:It is very important that we get more ADRIFT games and ADRIFT discussion out in the bigger IF world and the IF Comp is a good method. I was over at an IF get together in Nottingham recently (talking about Twine of all things) and the people there had not even heard of ADRIFT but knew Quest. Just wish we had a better runner, particular one that works reliably on-line. I've said before that I was surprised with my I7 entry last year just how many people play on-line (you have access to the transcripts in the author portal). So, we need some brilliant games for the comp this year.


To be fair, it’s not that surprising that people hadn’t heard of ADRIFT. It’s been on the downward slide for years now and last year is the first since 2012 that anyone entered the IFComp. There's been a little more activity in recent months, but even so it’s hardly like we’re overwhelmed. We still have plenty of days when there are no posts at all and there aren't many games being written full stop. Some ADRIFT games doing well in the IFComp would certainly do wonders.

Of course, ADRIFT games doing well in the IFComp is a bit of a pipe dream right now. As a general rule, we don't tend to do that well full stop (I think we've only ever had three games placed in the top ten, which isn’t good considering how long ADRIFT has been around). Then again, a Quest game came third a few years back which is something I never expected to happen considering Quest has generally had a much worse reputation than ADRIFT, so if that can happen, I guess anything can. Who knows? Maybe we’ll win this year.

Also, Rotter, when was this IF meet up in Nottingham? I live in Derbyshire, which is right next door, and I never knew about it. If it took place at the weekend, I could have popped over and had a look around.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:45 am

David Whyld wrote:To be fair, it’s not that surprising that people hadn’t heard of ADRIFT. It’s been on the downward slide for years now and last year is the first since 2012 that anyone entered the IFComp. There's been a little more activity in recent months, but even so it’s hardly like we’re overwhelmed. We still have plenty of days when there are no posts at all and there aren't many games being written full stop. Some ADRIFT games doing well in the IFComp would certainly do wonders.

Of course, ADRIFT games doing well in the IFComp is a bit of a pipe dream right now. As a general rule, we don't tend to do that well full stop (I think we've only ever had three games placed in the top ten, which isn’t good considering how long ADRIFT has been around). Then again, a Quest game came third a few years back which is something I never expected to happen considering Quest has generally had a much worse reputation than ADRIFT, so if that can happen, I guess anything can. Who knows? Maybe we’ll win this year.


I'm a little puzzled as to why Adrift games hasn't done well in the IF Comp over the years.
I refuse to believe that our authors are worse than the ones using I7, Tads etc. With the risk of being accused of brown-nosing, :roll: I can mention: David, Lumin, Lazzah, Rotter and Denk. Just to mention some.
Is it because the numerous lousy games that has been released during the years has made Adrift games = garbage?
Or maybe something completely different?
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:54 pm

I'll say that the main reason I used ADRIFT for my last game is that
1) It was the first system I learned and I always wanted to make a "big" game in it
2) I REALLY wanted something that people could play through a browser.

category 2 turned out to be a huge mistake because I misunderstood the difficulties involved in doing this. Now,the fact that ADRIFT is difficult to Run in MAC and looks like a big scary virus to windows machines makes it difficult to share my game outside the general IF community. Not that I mind too much because you guys are awesome.

I do want ADRIFT to get more recognition, so I think I may try to make something.

In fact, yes, I just realized there is only one possibility (Footnote: As Tingalan should show, I figured out how to do all the things that troubled me there)
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Fri Mar 23, 2018 4:54 pm

P/o Prune wrote:I'm a little puzzled as to why Adrift games hasn't done well in the IF Comp over the years.
I refuse to believe that our authors are worse than the ones using I7, Tads etc. With the risk of being accused of brown-nosing, :roll: I can mention: David, Lumin, Lazzah, Rotter and Denk. Just to mention some.
Is it because the numerous lousy games that has been released during the years has made Adrift games = garbage?
Or maybe something completely different?


That's something I've wondered as well. The impression I've always had from the rest of the IF community is that ADRIFT is the kind of system you use when you're learning IF, not what you use if you're serious about things. Indeed, I think Campbell has often referred to it as a beginner language himself. That impression hasn’t been helped by the fact that, for a great many years, ADRIFT’s output was pretty poor; a few decent games here and there, but nothing special and certainly well below the standard you'd expect from the better TADS or Inform games. In fact, I don't think it was until The PK Girl way back in 2002 (my god, has it really been that long?) that anyone outside of here actually took ADRIFT seriously.

I think a lot of the problem may stem from the fact that ADRIFT’s ease of use attracts people who don't have the patience or the skill to learn a programming language in order to use the other systems. That barrier – having to be a semi-proficient programmer before you can even start to write your game – discourages a lot of people from using the other systems, so the ones that persevere tend to be more dedicated than the ones who give up. That barrier probably also serves to weed out the first games that people write that no one really wants to play (you know the type: the ones set in people’s houses).

As far as big names in the ADRIFT community are concerned, we’re all fairly small fish in the wider IF world. No one here has ever won the IFComp and an ADRIFT game has never come first place in any other competition either. When people think of the big IF names, you can bet they're not thinking of us. Which isn’t to say that we don't produce good games here, or that we don't have good writers here, but we don't tend to make much of a splash anywhere else. The only time I've ever won a competition outside of ADRIFT was the IntroComp, and that was with an Inform game. What that means I don't know. Was that game head and shoulders better than anything else I've written and won for that reason alone? Or did people regard it more favourably simply because it was written with Inform and not ADRIFT? Would I have won if I’d written it with ADRIFT instead? There's no way of knowing for sure but something tells me I wouldn't have.

No matter how you look at it, there's always been a negative impression of ADRIFT from the rest of the IF community. Some of it I can understand – ADRIFT’s parser has never been great, the Runner is very dated, the WebRunner is an eyesore, the website itself looks more and more dated with every passing year – but it still seems we get unfairly judged sometimes. If identical games written with ADRIFT and Inform were entered into the IFComp, you can bet the Inform one would be much better received.

All that said, as I mentioned before a Quest game came third in the IFComp a few years back. That's the first time a Quest game has even made the top ten in all the years Quest has been around, which is an encouraging sign if nothing else. It proves that even systems generally held in low regard by the rest of the IF community can produce well received games if they're good enough. It seems unlikely an ADRIFT game will place that high in the IFComp this year, but if someone enters a good enough one, it’s possible.

Edit: And another point, as The0didactus mentions above, is that ADRIFT only runs on Windows machines, or through the very dated WebRunner via a browser on other systems. For whatever reason, a good number of the IF community are using Macs or Linux and so they can't write ADRIFT games full stop, which is likely a big turn off for them straight off the bat. Now I don't like playing IF games via a browser so it's not something which affects me directly, but it's a big deal for a lot of people. ADRIFT's WebRunner needs a serious upgrade to make it more welcoming. At the very least, it needs options to customise it so you can change the default look. As little fondness as I have for it, the future of IF is far more likely to be via browsers than run natively on a computer and in this area ADRIFT is miles behind the competition.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby rotter » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:07 pm

David Whyld wrote:Also, Rotter, when was this IF meet up in Nottingham? I live in Derbyshire, which is right next door, and I never knew about it. If it took place at the weekend, I could have popped over and had a look around.
Only been to one Hello Words. It is not a large group and not really parser based, but interesting conversation. I spotted it on a Facebook post somewhere. Bit closer than London or Oxford, where the others are held.

I agree with David that part of the problem is the platform ADRIFT will run on or rather the ones it doesn't run on. I'm met a few of the people from the wider IF world, like Emily Short, and they all seem to be non-Windows people.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:17 pm

rotter wrote:
David Whyld wrote:Also, Rotter, when was this IF meet up in Nottingham? I live in Derbyshire, which is right next door, and I never knew about it. If it took place at the weekend, I could have popped over and had a look around.
Only been to one Hello Words. It is not a large group and not really parser based, but interesting conversation. I spotted it on a Facebook post somewhere. Bit closer than London or Oxford, where the others are held.

I agree with David that part of the problem is the platform ADRIFT will run on or rather the ones it doesn't run on. I'm met a few of the people from the wider IF world, like Emily Short, and they all seem to be non-Windows people.



The prevalence of mac really mystifies me in general, but it definitely limits players. I learned about ADRIFT because a friend sent me an ADRIFT game (don't remember which one), I sent a bunch of people my game, when I finished it, but I get a lot of people that are like "oh yeah, but it won't work on macs so I'll get around to it sometime"...and then they never do.
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