Written fiction is awesome. No doubt about that. For the longest time, it has enabled authors to create characters, scenarios, sometimes even entire universes, unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. But while reading a made up tale is often great fun, there’s no denying the depth added by a bit of interactivity. Time to kick off the Interactive Fiction Competition’s 20th consecutive year!
Twenty years. That’s quite a track record, even if the competition hasn’t had the same organizer since day one. Not that it really matters, so long as he/she knows what he’s doing, which seems to be the case with Jason McIntosh. Aspiring writers have until September 1st to enter (submission deadline is September 28th); but before ya run off to dust off ye ole typewriter, let’s go over what’s what, eh?
Even though the rules are simple and to the point, people do have a tendency to skim over such things. Kinda odd, as they’re meant to help, not hinder. I mean, it’d be a shame to get (unintentionally) disqualified or have a submission invalidated for breaking them, ya know? So just in case, here’s a sampler: entries need to be 100% free, mustn’t have been previously released (widely distributed or otherwise made publicly available) and while using pre-existing works for inspiration is accepted, copying entire paragraphs or similar… isn’t. Don’t do it.
Unless I missed something, there’s no restriction on theme or choice of tools/engine, so feel free to flex those creative muscles with Twine (my current favorite), Inform, TADS, Alan IF or something else entirely. Just remember that while you’re allowed to submit three games, I’d recommend making one great, and not three lesser. Now get to writing!