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April 8, 2008

Spring Thing 2008 Is On

Just a quick notice that "Spring Thing 2008" is now underway.

Spring Thing is an annual interactive fiction competition which began in 2002. It is different from the other well-known IF competitions (IFComp and XYZZY's) in that it promotes medium-sized to long works of IF, and it also has an entry fee. According to the organizer, Greg Boettcher, this is "to encourage excellence in game authorship and discourage shoddiness." Given the wide range of quality we typically see at comps like IFComp, this is probably a Good Thing.

There are three entrants this year: Pascal's Wager (by Doug Egan), Without a Clue (by David Whyld), and Blue Lacuna: Sneak Preview (by Aaron A. Reed). The games can be downloaded individually or as one archive at the Spring Thing 2008 web site.

The judging period will end at midnight on the evening of April 28th. Cash prizes (or, interestingly, indie RPG games) will be awarded.

Whyld has been writing IF for some time now and has authored many games, so I'm interested to see what he came up with this time. I'm really looking forward to Reed's work as well. Aaron has written some excellent IF in the past, including Gourmet (which placed 5th at the 2003 IFComp) and Whom The Telling Changed (a finalist at the 2006 Slamdance Games Festival).

According to his e-mail, this is a preview version of Blue Lacuna, which is "a literary-minded interactive fiction story with strong doses of adventure and fantasy." He says that "many of the final features related to pacing, character development, and of course the resolution of the story are not yet present. But it provides an early look at what I've been up to."

Should be an interesting competition, I look forward to checking these out.

Instructions for downloading the games, and interpreters if you need them, are on the Spring Thing web page.

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