On October 1, 2016, the games were released for the 22nd annual Interactive Fiction Competition.
On October 1, 2016, I also went into labor.
So… I didn’t play a single comp game last year, let alone blog about them. I was a bit busy. (I did do a heck of a lot of crosswords in the last year, though. You can solve crosswords on your phone while holding a sleeping baby with the other arm!) I haven’t even played the comp winner, Detectiveland, even though the author is one of my favorites – his Hamlet – The Text Adventure was the very first IF I ever ever played, something like 15 years ago.
For that matter, I’m still a bit busy. Wonderfully, joyfully, hectically, stressfully busy. Being a mom is fantastic and also take up pretty much all previously-free time. But I miss IF, so I’m going to give this a go. I’m rather glad that there are 80 (wowza!) games in the competition this year, because that means that even if I was still childless I wouldn’t have a hope of playing all of them in the judging period – so I don’t need to feel bad about not getting through all of them.
I’m also not going to try for extensive, deep-dive reviews of the games I do play. But I plan to put something here. It’s nice to feel like I can be both a mom and all the things I was before.
So… see you soon?
A brief aside…
Rule 4 for authors in the competition states:
4. Authors of a competition entry may not discuss any of the entries in a public forum, blog, or social network before the end of the voting period… Beyond the allowed level of announcement, you may not engage in public discussion about any of the games — including your own — until the competition’s voting period is over.
This rule does not disallow private correspondence about the competition. Furthermore, authors may use the authors-only discussion forums on intfiction.org without restriction.
I’m taking my cue from Emily Short in interpreting this as prohibiting authors from commenting on blogs about games until the competition is done. If you’re an author and do comment before November 15, I’ll delete your comment so you don’t run afoul of those rules.
I’ve added contact information (elizabethifblog at a popular email domain owned by Google), and authors (or anyone else) should feel free to contact me there. I keep transcripts of my playthroughs for parser-based games, which, though I’m saving them primarily for my own reference, I’m happy to share.
If you are not an author in this competition, I would love your comments on any of these reviews – I’m always curious if other people saw a game the same way I did. Comments are moderated by default, but I’ll almost certainly approve anything that’s a) not from an author and b) not spam or hate speech.
Now back to regular reviews. I have no idea how some folks have gotten through so many games already – I admire you!