Spring Thing 2022

This year marks the 20th year of the Spring Thing, a sister event to the annual IF Comp. It was conceived as a way of relaxing the hold that the Comp had over the IF community, relieving the dry spell after the Comp, giving people a place to release games that don’t fit into its strictures, and with less of an emphasis on competition — these days, it’s styled as a “festival” rather than a Comp. I haven’t paid a lot of attention to the Spring Thing event in the past, even though it’s been the venue for really good stuff. Let’s end that now!

But also, I don’t want to make a large commitment of this. Although the Spring Thing has always been smaller than the Comp, both have ballooned to unwieldy proportions over time — and that’s actually more of a problem for the Spring Thing, because the Comp’s rules encourage short games, and the Spring Thing’s rejection of that was one of the reasons for its founding. The current Spring Thing, which has been underway for two weeks already, has 47 entries, 12 of them identified by their authors as “full-length”. Fortunately, we can narrow things down with the event’s divisions. 41 of these works were placed by their authors in the “Main Festival” division, and six in the “Back Garden”, which is intended for more experimental works. Since the experimental works are the ones I tend to find most interesting, my current intention is to only cover just the Back Garden here.

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