XYZZY Awards 2013 Eligibility

I’m reposting this, with permission, from the intfiction forum. I did not write this announcement; it is by Sam Kabo Ashwell. But it is about how the XYZZY Awards are changing to attempt to incorporate works that weren’t promoted to or didn’t originate inside the traditional IF community, and to avoid imposing unnecessary formal barriers to people who might be interested in having their work considered.

If that’s something you’re interested in, read on.

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Frotz in the iPhone App store

After all the various discussion of whether Apple would or would not allow it: it’s there. Craig Smith has a free-download version of Frotz available, which comes preloaded with a bunch of games (9:05, An Act of Murder, All Roads, Anchorhead, Balances, Being Andrew Plotkin, Bronze, A Change in the Weather, Child’s Play, Christminster, Curses!, Dreamhold, For a Change, Heroes, Jigsaw, Lost Pig, The Meteor, the Stone, and A Long Glass of Sherbet, The Act of Misdirection, Photopia, Slouching Towards Bedlam, Spider and Web, Varicella, Vespers, The Weapon, and Zork (MIT version)).

It also has a button that taps straight into IFDB, and downloading a new game adds it and its cover art to your game collection.

Plays a little slowly with Bronze, but faster than the reports I’ve heard of the game on other PDAs (and Bronze does whacking lots of pathfinding all the time). Older I6 games are faster.

IF cover art looks really nice on the iPhone screen, too.

Money and Ambition

Victor Gijsbers recently posted about the peculiar comments “The Baron” has received: viz., that an independently designed, morally thoughtful game isn’t “feasible” in the present market conditions — even though “The Baron” exists and therefore has passed the feasibility test in the only meaningful sense.

For a long time I, like Victor, have been annoyed by the “market forces tell all” mentality that says that projects are only successful when they earn money and that artists prove their artistic credentials by selling their material widely. This tends to be contrasted with the “critical success” method of determining the value of material: something is good if it elicits the praise and admiration of a small cadre of those whose opinions matter. Bonus points if cat-fights arise between competing groups of critics.

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A meta-post

There are various good ways to announce projects and cool stuff to the IF community, such as:

  • Posting to rec.arts.int-fiction or rec.games.int-fiction — these get a lot of posts daily and are the main point of contact in the community. If you’re not an IF regular but you want to get the word out about a contest, program, or event to people who are, your best bet is to post there.
  • Sending an announcement to SPAG (which comes out every few months and includes community news) or Brass Lantern (which runs an RSS feed updated much more frequently but with briefer content)
  • Having your own blog which you arrange to have picked up by Planet IF
  • Listing events, tools, or projects at ifwiki
  • Listing new games at IFDB

I mention this because I kinda want to discourage the trend of people asking me to mention/promote things on this blog.

I hope this doesn’t seem curmudgeonly, but there are already places to keep track of IF news. I’d prefer to keep this space for (a) stuff I’m working on myself or (b) stuff I have an opinion about and think is worth sharing. I’m not going to post announcements without looking at what they’re announcements for, but I don’t always have enough time to immediately check out everything that winds up in my inbox. And of course sometimes I look at something and don’t think it’s that interesting. (Bad judgment on my part, I’m sure.)

So… yeah. If you want to email me about something you think is cool, that’s terrific, but you should realize there’s a fair chance that I won’t have time to look it over right away, or that I won’t be moved to talk about it here.

Cover Art Drive — Deadline Approacheth!

We are nearing the end of April, and thus the end of the IF Cover Art Drive. At the moment, we have some 79 entries on the Flickr site. (For a while I thought we might even hit a hundred, but that seems less likely now. Still, if you’d like to make a last minute push, I promise to… uh… be very impressed. Oh, I’d be hopeless in a Telethon, wouldn’t I?)

[Edit: The list of requested covers is complete! Thanks so much to everyone who made this possible. The drive doesn’t close until Wednesday, though, so if there’s still something from IFDB that doesn’t have a cover and that you’d like to contribute for, go ahead and send it my way!]

A Clarification

…re. the cover art drive, since a couple of people have now expressed concern to me about this.

I am not uploading to IFDB any contributed art for any game by any author unless that author has explicitly accepted the art.

I tried to make this clear in the original rules, but perhaps I didn’t do it loudly enough up front.

So no, there’s no “if you don’t speak up, I’ll modify your work (or the context in which your work is presented) without your consent!” thing going on. I would not be cool with that myself. Really don’t want to do it to other people. Submitted art goes on the Flickr site, and should be regarded as just some fan art until it’s officially adopted; and the Flickr site is only up for the two months of the art drive, after which it will go away again.

I did put some material on IFDB before the drive, but this was either (a) art already included in the game file or displayed on the author’s website as cover art; or (b) added with the author’s consent. In cases where (a) seemed marginal (i.e., there was some art on the author’s website, but I wasn’t sure whether the author intended it to be officially tied to the game) I contacted the author first.