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Annual IF Comp 2018

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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Sat May 04, 2019 8:41 pm

How should they decide this one?
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Sat May 04, 2019 8:43 pm

Beats me. I'm not an IFComp mod.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Sat May 04, 2019 8:47 pm

You are the one who is insisting these are different categories. You are proposing the split as a solution to some problem. You should be able to tell me how a (frankly, fairly common) edge case should be resolved.

I don't see how it's unreasonable to ask about this one.

It's also worth noting that there's at least one IFCOMP 2018 game (I won't say which one) where the whole TWIST is that the game "looks like" one of these categories but then "turns out to be" the other at the end of the game. Where should THAT game go?
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Sat May 04, 2019 8:51 pm

I'm not insisting anything. I just feel that parser and CYOA are different things and should be judged differently.

As for your other point: beats me.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Sun May 05, 2019 12:28 am

I think my confusion is that you keep saying stuff like this generally

David Whyld wrote:I'm not insisting anything. I just feel that parser and CYOA are different things and should be judged differently.


but then stuff like this specifically

David Whyld wrote: Beats me. I'm not an IFComp mod.


Keep in mind that the current position of an IFComp mod is probably "shrug what do I care, they're all more or less the same thing"...this attitude seems to be precisely the sort of thing you're objecting to...so on some level, you must care about what criteria the IFComp mods apply, and you must believe they are capable of applying these criteria wrongly.

What I am curious about here are what "calls" could be wrong when the distinction between these two categories does not seem to be as clear to me as it is to you.

So, we redo IFComp 2018 with the games split into categories:

A: Alias the Magpie is a bog-standard parser based IF where you run around a mansion and steal stuff, all the commands are text
B: Lux is a game that has a map you move around in, an inventory, and puzzles based on the inventory, but all the commands are clicks
C: Bogeyman is a game where you click on various choices and the game resolves differently because of the clicks
D: Basilica de Sangre is a game where you move around a monastery and solve puzzles, the commands are text or clicks at the players option
E:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Re: Dragon
is ostensibly a choice based game but at the end of the game you end up playing a parser game with input text commands

Question 1 Now, You obviously would disagree with a mod that said the categories should be like this
category 1: ABCDE
category 2: nothing
Right?

Question 2: Would you disagree with a mod that said the categories should be like this?
category 1: ADE
category 2: BC
(Here, the distinction is "games where you can type" versus "games where you can't"...keep in mind with E, only players who got to the end of the game would even know there is a text-based portion)

Question 3: What if the mod did this?
category 1: AE
category 2: BCD
(here the distinction is "games where you must type to win" versus "games where you can win without typing"...e's complication still applies)

Question 4: what if the mod did this?
category 1: ABDE
category 2: C
(here the distinction is "games where you freely explore a world, have an inventory, and solve puzzles in at least some portion of the game" versus "games where you choose options from a list at all times" )

I submit that if the question were up to me, I'd subdivide them into the categories of question 4. This would put Lux ("a clicker") in the same category as Alias the Magpie ("a typer"). Lux is actually, I'd argue, more like a standard IF than Six Silver bullets and a more reasonable "competitor" to Alias the Magpie. I think you probably disagree, but I don't know.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Sun May 05, 2019 6:49 am

Dunno.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby Duncan_B » Sun May 05, 2019 6:49 pm

Keep in mind that the current position of an IFComp mod is probably "shrug what do I care, they're all more or less the same thing"
There is a specific mission statement at work. It is designed to be inclusive. The following links provide a mission statement from The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation.
https://iftechfoundation.org/
https://iftechfoundation.org/committees/ifcomp/

Let's not browbeat anybody over their feelings.
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby Denk » Sun May 05, 2019 8:05 pm

Another interesting fact: It looks like the people behind IFcomp see three main categories:
One tends to find three main varieties of this interaction among IFComp entries (and, indeed, IF in general): parser IF, CYOA, and hypertext.
(https://ifcomp.org/about/if)
So if the competition was to be split into categories, it would probably be split into three categories: parser IF, CYOA, and hypertext
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Re: Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Sun May 05, 2019 8:26 pm

A three-way split makes sense, though one on level you could argue that CYOA and hypertext are similar enough not to need their own category.
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Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby P/o Prune » Mon May 06, 2019 11:57 am

This post was originally started in the WIP forum.
I have moved it here to Competitions because these posts belong her rather than over at the WIP.


After the voting of the 2018 IF Comp was over and I ran through the reviews of my game. It became quite clear, to me, that large and complex games stood little chance of being evaluated fairly. Maybe this is not so surprising considering that the evaluators had a lot of games to play through.
Still I think that it is unfair to the large games considering that the IF Comp is practically the only place authors can have their games evaluated and reviewed.
Using my own entry as example there was a huge difference between the comments given to me by the beta testers (that was "forced" to play through the whole game) and the evaluators.
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Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby rotter » Mon May 06, 2019 4:38 pm

You are so right, for the IF Comp I think shorter and snappier is always better. I like the sound of the idea of your game, it is something I would play. 20-30 locations is probably okay for the IF Comp, my better entries have been around that mark.
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Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Mon May 06, 2019 6:07 pm

As much as I like really big, epic games, I agree they're not the best idea for the IFComp. With so many games to be played through in a limited period of time, something short that will keep people occupied for half an hour is much more likely to go down better than something that will take hours to play through.
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Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby Denk » Mon May 06, 2019 9:28 pm

The last seven years, it seems that the IFcomp winner games took about 2 hours to play through (I base this on an IFDB reviewer who categorizes his review by playing time). If a game is too short or too long reviewers complain, so I think the optimal playing time is just about 2 hours. According to the rules, the judges must judge the game after playing two hours maximum, so if the game is longer the judge doesn't get to see the ending before they judge the game. So this could explain why longer games don't do that well. And short games, e.g. a one hour game, will probably get lower ratings than a 2 hour game of equal quality - after all it has the double content. So I think the ideal playing time is 2 hours.
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Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby The0didactus » Tue May 07, 2019 12:00 am

It might have just been my playstyle/Intelligence level but it took me way longer than two hours to beat the winning game last year. The top 10 had, I think, a good mix of "short" games and "long" ones...but yeah, there is definitely a preference for games that exactly meet the 2-hour window, no more no less.

Naturally I largely view IFCOMP as a way to incentivize the production of good games, so I never really cared about the time limit (6SB takes...a lot longer than 2 hours to win). My design philosophy for Skybreak has been that some builds can let you "win" the game in less than 2 hours, but some take a lot longer, and the manual will tell players what builds will create the shortest and longest games.
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Annual IF Comp 2018

Postby David Whyld » Tue May 07, 2019 8:48 am

Denk wrote:The last seven years, it seems that the IFcomp winner games took about 2 hours to play through (I base this on an IFDB reviewer who categorizes his review by playing time). If a game is too short or too long reviewers complain, so I think the optimal playing time is just about 2 hours. According to the rules, the judges must judge the game after playing two hours maximum, so if the game is longer the judge doesn't get to see the ending before they judge the game. So this could explain why longer games don't do that well. And short games, e.g. a one hour game, will probably get lower ratings than a 2 hour game of equal quality - after all it has the double content. So I think the ideal playing time is 2 hours.


I think a lot of it's down to when you actually play the game during the comp. If it's one of the early ones, you're likely to give it a good go because you're fresh and all excited for the comp and ready to get cracking, whereas if it's the 40th game you've played in a row you're probably so jaded with the whole thing you'll struggle to find enthusiasm for even the great games.

At least that's how I've felt in the past. All raring to go to begin with, playing every game as well as I can, keeping careful notes so I can write a detailed review later on, then by the end of the comp I'm playing games for two minutes, muttering "nah, this is cr*p, mumble, mumble" and quitting the first time I come across something I don't like. A big game early in the comp is no problem to me; a big game later on is like someone is asking for a punch in the teeth.
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