The Second Annual MetaFilter Interactive Contest: The Aftermath June 17, 2010 5:39 AM   Subscribe

The 2nd MetaFilter interactive fiction contest ended May 31st, but you can still join in and vote on your favorites.

Only three games were submitted this year, but we still need to figure out who wins the coveted Imaginary Gold, Imaginary Silver, and Imaginary Bronze medals. Once there are enough votes to pick a winner, I'll announce them both on the site and here in this thread. (So be sure to leave a comment here if you want to be updated in your Recent Activity).
posted by Deathalicious to MetaFilter-Related at 5:39 AM (29 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Thanks for the reminder. :)
posted by zarq at 7:22 AM on June 17, 2010


Aw, man, yeah, my two forays never really got past the initial framing. I'll try to get over there and play the submissions at some point.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:37 AM on June 17, 2010


Had a go at the Rent Adventure one, but got a bit stuck. I'm not sure if I was trying to do something that wasn't allowed, or if the action was possible and I just wasn't phrasing it correctly (if that makes sense). Might be handy to have a syntax guide somewhere to save having to try endless variations of "open door", "open north door", "open door to north", etc.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:40 AM on June 17, 2010


By the way, the submission form is totally open. I'm letting people upload games whenever, they just won't be eligible for the competition.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:55 AM on June 17, 2010


'How long could it take to implement a one-page dungeon?' I asked myself. This led to a wildly overambitious project, completed only due to an obsessive streak and a total lack of anything else to do in the small town in France I've been living in.

I'm wanting to improve the game, so if you find anything weird or buggy or have recommendations, drop me a memail and I'll try to get it done.
posted by kaibutsu at 8:29 AM on June 17, 2010


(And the new version of Inform 7 is finally out.)
posted by Zed at 9:32 AM on June 17, 2010


Hmm, I think I finished A Green Rain, but I can't be sure.

I had what I'm pretty sure is the same problem EndsOfAdventure had for the Rent Adventure, trying to go places that sound like I should be able to go but couldn't figure out how to.

I tried to play Time for Tea but holy crap is that game complex! I couldn't manage to do hardly anything with it but it looked fun.
posted by Night_owl at 9:37 AM on June 17, 2010


(And the new version of Inform 7 is finally out.)

Hey Zed, how difficult do you think it would be for someone who has never used any previous incarnation of Inform to code a relatively simple dungeon? I know that is a vague question by definition but I was a relentless consumer of interactive fiction as a kid and in my teens and then kinda walked away from it. This post has given me the itch to try my hand at creating one but I do not know if I would be in over my head.

Kindly disregard if this is too obtuse of a question, though I did just download Inform 7 and will try poking around with it later.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:00 AM on June 17, 2010


Well, I was one of the Mefi Interactive Fiction Contest no-shows, so I can't speak from experience. But I can tell you that a lot of people who don't consider themselves programmers or very technically inclined have been happy with Inform 7 and written successful games. Check my collection of Inform links, particularly the things on this page aimed at beginners, and give it a go.

But there are probably land mines lurking in the documentation in regard to the new release -- it's not clear to me if the official documentation is up-to-date with the recent changes, and it's certain that the unofficial documentation isn't, and might contain a few things that are now wrong, and recommend any number of other things that are now easier to do a different way.
posted by Zed at 10:21 AM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Got a bit further in the Rent Adventure, but got stuck as to what to do next. I did get to dig through some cat sick though, which was fun.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 10:27 AM on June 17, 2010


Dude...is this seriously your FOURTH (4th) MeTa post about your interactive fiction contest? Your fouth in THREE (3) months?

And you received 3 entries...

So for each thread...you get about .75 of an entry.

Shouldn't this be on Projects?
posted by hal_c_on at 2:31 PM on June 17, 2010


EndsOfInvention, but what to do w/ the cat sick?

I got the "Peppermint Patty" door to open, but not Swinton's..
posted by khedron at 2:43 PM on June 17, 2010


Dude...is this seriously your FOURTH (4th) MeTa post about your interactive fiction contest? Your fouth in THREE (3) months?

Yeah, I guess. I was torn on where to post it. It isn't a new project since it's the same website as last year. I suppose if I could have ditched any of the MeTa posts, it would have been the pre-end reminder thread, leaving me with just the "Is anyone up for it?", "Okay, it's on" and "The contest is over" threads.

And yeah, obviously had I known that there would only be three entries, I wouldn't have posted a single thread at all, which is why as far as I'm concerned this is also the final competition unless someone else wants to pick it up next year.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:55 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm glad another thread was posted because it has demonstrably brought a few more plays to the game I wrote. When it became clear that there were only three entries, I was kind of afraid that the contest would be essentially canceled and the game would go unplayed _and_ not be eligible for entry to other comps due to having been entered here.

I'm also glad the contest happened, as I probably would never have gotten around to writing anything significant in Inform otherwise. As it is, I have three or four ideas for the next project bouncing around, and will probably start writing one of them before too long...

So thanks, Deathalicious, for putting this on.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:43 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude...is this seriously your FOURTH (4th) MeTa post about your interactive fiction contest? Your fouth in THREE (3) months?

You have got to be fucking kidding me.
posted by chrismear at 4:00 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dude...is this seriously your FOURTH (4th) MeTa post about your interactive fiction contest? Your fouth in THREE (3) months?

hal_c_on, you've been kind of aggro in Metatalk lately, could you ease off a little? It's fine if you want to address something on the substance but maybe cut out the combative framing on stuff if that's the case.

Regardless of which, Deathalicious asked nicely about the posts and we gave him the go ahead. It's a bummer that more folks weren't able to get finished entries in, but that's hardly a reason to give him shit personally for using metatalk for something he's been told he can use metatalk for.

And yeah, obviously had I known that there would only be three entries, I wouldn't have posted a single thread at all, which is why as far as I'm concerned this is also the final competition unless someone else wants to pick it up next year.

It might be a good idea to just try and pursue more of a general on-going "mefites doing interactive fiction" thing, yeah. Something like a yearly reminder/intro thing and a permanent home for whatever folks are making available might even be a better structure to get stuff made given folks wildly varying schedules for when they can sit down and put a month into learning a language, and let folks feel better about tooling away at a game over a series of months in bits and pieces instead of feeling like it's a deadline-driven Do Or Die thing (and in a lot of cases choosing Die so they can stop stressing).
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:47 PM on June 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cortex, that's a great suggestion. I'll rewrite the page and uncompetition it. That way people can submit whenever and it's more like a Mefite showcase. I think your read of people's reactions is dead on.
posted by Deathalicious at 5:27 PM on June 17, 2010


I'm really grateful the submission form is still open. I wrote my map, placed my objects...and then had guests from Germany show up for a week and totally throw me off my pace. I am eager to finish and it's cool to have a Mefi showcase where I can check out new games.
posted by annathea at 12:54 AM on June 18, 2010


My ideas for this just sucked, and then I—okay I was lazy. Good on the finishers and free cookies for Deathalicious.
posted by fleacircus at 1:45 AM on June 18, 2010


And yeah, obviously had I known that there would only be three entries, I wouldn't have posted a single thread at all, which is why as far as I'm concerned this is also the final competition unless someone else wants to pick it up next year.

Dude, that sucks. Sorry to hear that.
posted by hal_c_on at 2:55 AM on June 18, 2010


cortex,

1. I read and responded to deathalicious response to mine, and actually felt bad for the poor guy setting this up and not getting the response he wanted...so yeah...that sucks, dude.

Then I read your response:
2.could you ease off a little?

Sure. Next time you have a legit request, it might be better for you to contact me privately...otherwise, I'll just think its someone who wants to call me out for not using the words they would use.
posted by hal_c_on at 3:11 AM on June 18, 2010


You are in a COMMUNITY WEBLOG. It is BLUE. There is a link to the LOGIN PAGE here.

To the WEST is ASK METAFILTER. To the NORTH is METATALK.

Your inventory contains:
1 username
1 password

>_

posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:34 AM on June 18, 2010


> forget password

Done.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:53 AM on June 18, 2010


annathea, I am looking forward to your submission!

My offer -- of participation certificates to everyone who submits a game -- still stands. They just won't include an award.

My folks are visiting this weekend, I will make changes to the site when I can. The form submission is, and will remain, totally open, so users can submit whenever they'd like.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:12 AM on June 18, 2010


Next time you have a legit request, it might be better for you to contact me privately...otherwise, I'll just think its someone who wants to call me out for not using the words they would use.

Unfortunately, dealing with this stuff is part of my job and sometimes the most obvious way to deal with that is a public request, particularly when the thing going down is itself public behavior by someone. I made an effort to be gentle up there; if you're going to elect to interpret that as personally-motivated public shaming over aesthetics or something I don't know how to meet you in the middle on this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:30 AM on June 18, 2010


Had a go at the Rent Adventure one, but got a bit stuck. I'm not sure if I was trying to do something that wasn't allowed, or if the action was possible and I just wasn't phrasing it correctly (if that makes sense). Might be handy to have a syntax guide somewhere to save having to try endless variations of "open door", "open north door", "open door to north", etc.

Yeah, that one was mine. It was my first time doing one of these. I thought I included enough different ways of saying the same thing, but now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I only started doing that like 60% of the way through writing the thing. Apologies if it is sort of a mess.

On the other hand, it is about someone who waited until rent day to scrape together any money, so maybe it being a mess is thematically appropriate.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 6:20 PM on June 18, 2010


I'm stuck on the Rent Adventure trying to get some paper out of a hole in the wall... 'paper' doesn't seem to register as a visible object, and none of the intuitive commands I've tried have done anything. I think it's good practice to try to make sure every object-noun used in the descriptions does _something_. So if I try "get paper" then there should be some kind of response. Ditto 'x street' when I go out the front door.

This tends to lead to either a) severely limiting the number of object referred to, to avoid extra writing for things that don't really matter, or b) a lot of extra writing, potentially enriching the setting.

A small trick for multiple doors in the same place: if you paint them different colors or otherwise distinguish them they're easier to interact with. So if I have (in the source code) a 'red door leading to Swinton's room' and a 'blue door leading to Peppermint's room' then 'open red' or 'open blue' should work fine without any extra writing.

For what it's worth, you can still edit the adventure, if you want to implement some more synonyms.
posted by kaibutsu at 3:56 AM on June 19, 2010


My entry turned out to be completely terrible so I trashed it instead of submitting it. I thought I had this awesome and hilarious idea that would make for a great IF and it just did not turn out, I'm afraid. It was really bad. I mean, not submit-it-anyways-for-laughs bad, just embarrassingly, horrifically bad.

Kudos to anyone who succeeded where I spectacularly failed, I look forward to playing through the entries.
posted by threetoed at 10:40 PM on June 19, 2010


Okay, so according to the ranking page, these are the results:
  1. Time for Tea
  2. The Great Rent Money Adventure
  3. A Green Rain
Congrats the the participants/winners. Certificates will be on their way shortly.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:06 PM on July 9, 2010


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