The 2nd Interactive Fiction Spring Thing

(or Fall Fooferall, for our Southern Hemisphere friends)

Status (last updated 07 April 2003)

This year we have four games:


Ballots should be submitted to by noon EDT on 21 April 2003. Each ballot should include an integer score of 1 to 10 for each of the four games, 10 being best. You must vote on all four games for your ballot to be counted.


2002 winner: Chip Hayes, Tinseltown Blues


1. To enter the 2nd Spring IF Competition, the would-be entrant must first submit an intent to enter. Intents will be accepted beginning at noon EDT on 30 September 2002. Intents will not be accepted after noon EST on 15 March 2003. A maximum of twenty intents will be accepted, [1] and that acceptance will not become official until the would-be entrant submits US$7 to the prize pool. This will not be refunded, even if the entrant decides not to submit a game. The number of intents accepted will be listed on this page and updated frequently; make sure that your intent is one of the first twenty submitted before sending money. This intent must include the working title and a brief precis of the game to be entered. The idea here is that you should have a specific game in mind that you're planning to work on between now and the deadline; no fair claiming one of the twenty spots thinking, "Yeah, I might want to enter something, if I come up with an idea and get around to doing it." After the twenty intent slots have been filled, other would-be entrants can get on a wait list if they submit a precis and US$7 like a regular entrant, and if someone whose intent was accepted drops out, that slot will be filled from the top of the wait list. (Those who do not make it from the wait list to the actual competition will have their $7 returned. [2]) Those who do successfully claim one of the twenty spots or a place on the wait list may find that their idea evolves as they implement it; this is okay, so long as the organizer is alerted ahead of time. Otherwise, if a game does not resemble its precis, it will be disqualified.

2. Would-be entrants may only submit one intent to enter, and one game.

3. Games must be submitted to the organizer by noon EST, 31 March 2003. Every game must be finishable by and comprehensible to the organizer. Authors must supply walkthroughs to their games such that the organizer can evaluate if the game is finishable; these walkthroughs need not be released along with the games, however, and authors should indicate whether their walkthroughs are for general release or for the organizer only. Games must not hang, crash, or generate errors of the [** Programming error **] or [TADS-1234: description of error] variety; the organizer will disqualify games which do not meet this requirement if the problem cannot be fixed by the deadline. [3] Thus, entrants who submit a game on the 15th of March would have over two weeks to fix any bugs; those who submit buggy games on the 31st are out of luck. Games must be playable on at least Windows and MacOS.

4. After the games have been checked out by the organizer, they'll be released for judging. The judging period will be announced when the games are released, but will likely require judges to play about three games per week. Anyone who is not an entrant or the organizer may judge. Judges may play games for however long they like, and may score the game whenever they like, whether they have finished or not. Entrants should keep in mind that the judging deadline will be fairly tight and that most judges will devote no more than an evening or two to evaluating each game, and set the sizes of their games accordingly. Games are to be scored from 1 to 10, 10 being best. Judges must play and vote on all games in order for their ballots to be counted.

5. Judges ARE allowed to discuss the games during the judging period, but are requested to clearly mark posts which discuss the games, for the benefit of those who want to avoid spoilers and having their scores influenced. Authors may NOT discuss the games during the judging period, neither their own nor their competitors'; if they see a need to correct a misstatement of fact in some thread or another, they should contact the organizer, who will relay the message. And in the interest of making sure that all games are thoroughly tested, beta-testers will not be barred from discussing or voting on the games they test.

6. Games must not be based upon works currently under copyright unless permission is obtained from the copyright holder. All entries must be freeware or public domain. All entries must be previously unreleased at the opening of voting. Authors may enter anonymously or using a pseudonym, but the names they normally use in the IF community will be revealed at the end of the judging period.

7. Monetary prizes will be awarded to the top four finishers, out of the pool of entry fees, according to the following ratio: 4:2:1:1.

8. The organizer will have final say on all judgment calls, but may consult others in making decisions (and, for the record, extensively consulted others in formulating the initial version of these rules.)


[1] Ideally, I would like to see somewhere from six to twelve games in the competition; more than twenty would be way too unwieldy. So far, this has not been a problem, to say the least. Still, though, please don't submit an intent to enter unless you're really, truly planning to enter, have a specific idea that you've given serious thought to, and think your game will be really good.

[2] Note: money will only be returned to those who are prepared to enter the contest but don't make it off the wait list. Entrants who make it from the wait list to the comp but don't have a game ready forfeit their entry fee. Entrants who voluntarily drop from the wait list forfeit their entry fee. But again, the first time around this was the least of anyone's worries.

[3] Due to time constraints, these games will obviously not all be subjected to a thorough beta-testing by the organizer: arranging such is the author's job. Basically, the organizer will beat on them a while, mostly following the walkthrough but deviating from it from time to time, and if these egregious errors crop up, the game will be disqualified (if the culprit turns out to be the game and not a freak OS glitch or some such.)