IFComp 2020

I had been thinking of skipping IFComp this year, especially if it seemed too big to fit into my suddenly-busy schedule. I was contemplating playing the remaining text adventures on my Stack instead — Once and Future, Demoniak — as something more manageable but still seasonally IF-related. And when it was announced that the number of entries this year had broken three digits for the first time, well! That seemed to settle it. There’s no way I could get through that many games in six weeks and still be enjoying the experience by the end.

But the same announcement extends the deadline to eight weeks, and also pleads with us to participate in judging despite the intimidating size, to help keep the judge-to-entry ratio up. People enter the Comp to get their works noticed, but we’re getting to the point where it’s not good for that any more: works can get lost in the vast numbers of Comp entries. Judges aren’t required to play all the games, and indeed probably very few will this year. So it’ll take more judges to give every game adequate attention.

Why the increase in entries? It must be pointed out that this has been the trend for a number of years now. I’ve attributed it to the Comp’s embrace of Twine in the past. A colleague also suggests that Narrascope has increased participation by making the ELO more aware of what the IF community has been doing.

So what the heck, let’s give this a go. I’m probably not going to play all the entries. I’m definitely not going to post about them all. But we’ll see what happens.

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