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2003 IFComp Award Winners Announced 11

An anonymous reader writes "The 9th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition has now announced its winners - the start of the judging was previously covered on Slashdot." There are a number of sites with reviews of the competing text adventures, which are all freely downloadable, and winner 'Slouching Towards Bedlam' ("a game of multiple paths... set in a steampunk universe with Lovecraftian overtones"), and runner-up 'Risorgimento Represso' ("on a par with most Infocom games, and exceeds them at many points", but paradoxically too long to be played through within the 2-hour judging period), both get plenty of kudos from judges.
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2003 IFComp Award Winners Announced

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  • no time limit (Score:5, Informative)

    by LeninZhiv ( 464864 ) * on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @01:28PM (#7503213)
    although paradoxically too long to be played within the 2-hour judging period

    It's not actually a requirement that the game be playable within two hours; the rule is that the judges only will play the game for two hours before scoring it, whether they've completed it or not. (And now that the comp's over, it's so much the better to have two such high-quality games that go above and beyond in terms of length.)

    Congrats to the winners.
    • Re:no time limit (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DrEldarion ( 114072 )
      I'd even tend to think that it would be in the creator's best interest (with respect to the competition) to make it go over the 2hr length.

      I (and a lot of other people I've talked to) usually get "final boss apathy" when playing games. Once I get towards the end of the game, and I know it, I just don't really care anymore and end up not even finishing the game. If I do finish games, it ends up being almost disappointing because, well, it's over...

      Compare that "It's over..." disappointment to the "Man, I
  • I'm not surprised that the games are Z-Code and the next 10 are all either TADS or Z-Code. I don't understand why anyone would enter a Windows-only (or other proprietary formatted) game. If the home judges can't play the game, they're not going to rate it (highly or otherwise).
    • by lightspawn ( 155347 ) on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @02:40PM (#7503885) Homepage
      I don't understand why anyone would enter a Windows-only (or other proprietary formatted) game.

      Because some authors are familiar with a certain programming environment, and lack the time / skill to learn a new one?

      As an extreme example, a couple of games over the years were submitted in HTML (+Javascript).

      I'm not saying it's the best way to go about it, just offering a motive.

      Besides, it's enough if only half the judges (or less) play your game, since the results are based on average scores, not popularity.

      And in fact, some judges may enjoy trying out new engines. Yes, so far none of them even came close to Inform or TADS, but one day they may face competition.
      • > Because some authors are familiar with a certain programming environment,
        > and lack the time / skill to learn a new one?

        This is a FAQ. The short answer is, it would take more than 50 times as long
        (that's a conservative estimate) to write a moderatley decent parser (in *any*
        language, even Perl) as it would take to learn e.g. Inform, which is quite
        easy and has the additional benefit of coming with a more than merely
        moderately decent parser. (The Inform standard library parser is the best
        natural lan
  • by Thinkit3 ( 671998 ) * on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @02:45PM (#7503928)
    It can be parsed like any computer language! Ah, English..."Get in the right lane". "The correct lane?". "NO! The right lane". CRASH.
  • by vsync64 ( 155958 ) <> on Tuesday November 18, 2003 @03:33PM (#7504347) Homepage
    I started playing "Slouching Towards Bedlam" yesterday evening and I'm quite impressed. The way it handles computer interfaces is quite innovative although it might fall a tiny bit short of realistic.

    So far I'm intrigued enough by the concept to try to beat the puzzle(s); other works of IF often seem far too contrived. My only annoyance is that some idiot posted a spoiler of what I'm guessing will be a major plot point on r.g.i-f with no warning. I've declared a personal moratorium on reading anything related to games I haven't played to my satisfaction yet.

  • Slouching Towards Bedlam, by Star Foster and Daniel Ravipinto
    Risorgimento Represso, by Michael Coyne
    Scavenger, by Quintin Stone
    The Erudition Chamber, by Daniel Freas
    Gourmet, by Aaron A. Reed
    Shadows On The Mirror, by Chrysoula Tzavelas
    The Recruit, by Mike Sousa
    Baluthar, by Chris Molloy Wischer
    Cerulean Stowaway, by Roger Descheneaux
    The Atomic Heart, by Stefan Blixt
    Episode in the Life of an Artist, Peter Eastman
    A Paper Moon, by Andrew Krywaniuk
    Sardoria, by Anssi Raisanen
    CaffeiNation, by Michael Loegering
  • If you're a lazy windows user like me that's never played one of these before and don't know exactly what to download but you'd like to just play the winning entry, download and install WinFrotz [] and then grab the winning entry. [] Run the program, open the slouch.z5 file and you're on your way.

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!