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November 16, 2008

IFComp08: The Results Are In

The voting ended yesterday, and the results have been tallied. The winner of this year's IFComp is Violet, by Jeremy Freese - an excellent piece which I thought was well-constructed, well-written, and entertaining. The top ten finishers in the Comp are as follows:


  1. Violet

  2. Nightfall

  3. Everybody Dies

  4. Afflicted

  5. Piracy 2.0

  6. Snack Time!

  7. Opening Night

  8. April in Paris

  9. A Date With Death

  10. Berrost's Challenge


Overall, I thought the competition had some good entries -- some really creative ones like Violet and Buried in Shoes, and some traditional ones with good puzzles and engaging writing like Nightfall, Piracy 2.0, and April in Paris. I also enjoyed some of the more lighthearted entries such as Recess At Last and Snack Time! I think there were a reasonable number of solid entries -- I would say somewhere around a quarter to a third of all entries, which is generally not bad for a Comp, I think.

In case anyone is interested, I thought I'd post some final results and thoughts about the Capture Scores I posted this year.

Here is the overall breakdown of this year's entries by score, where 1 is the best (a game I would definitely go on to play) and 4 is the worst (a game that did not seem to be worth the effort):


Note that 4 of the 35 games were Windows-only, and were not included in the tally. I was expecting that most games would be either a 2 or 3, but I wasn't expecting more games to score a 1 than a 2. In fact, more than half of the 31 games scored 2 or better. I did end up playing the nine top-scoring games, but only a handful of those that scored 2. Was it a worthwhile strategy? Interesting question.

Of the 9 games with a capture score of 1, 6 finished in the top 9 in the official scoring (Violet, Nightfall, Afflicted, Snack Time!, April in Paris, and A Date With Death). The other three finished 13th, 15th, and 17th.

There were 7 games with a capture score of 2, making a total of 16 games with a score of 1 or 2. Of those 16 games, 4 did not finish in the top 16 in official scoring. So a capture score of 1 or 2 essentially picked out 12 of the top 16 games, which I guess is not a bad system for quickly identifying some of the better games to focus on for the Comp, at least if you're like me and don't have enough time to play all of them.

My top five rankings in the competition were:


  1. Violet

  2. Nightfall

  3. April in Paris

  4. Piracy 2.0

  5. Buried in Shoes


...which are the games that finished 1st, 2nd, 8th, 5th, and 13th in the official scoring. Everybody Dies (3rd in the official scoring) was one of the games that I gave a capture score of 2, but which I never got around to playing again, so I'll probably go back and give that one some more attention.

A few other capture score notes: Opening Night (7th) and Berrost's Challenge (10th) finished in the top 10, but both had a capture score of 3, so I may go back and give those another try...I gave Dracula's Underground Crypt a capture score of 4 (not good) but it managed to finish a respectable 20th...there were four Windows-only games in the Comp that I did not play because of the platform restriction; needless to say, not much was missed, as the four games finished 26th, 28th, 29th, and 32nd.

Congratulations again to Jeremy Freese and Violet, and thanks to all of the authors who submitted entries this year.

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