Monday, 12 May 2014

AIF Minicomp 2014

AIF Minicomp 2014 is go!

Reposted from the Yahoo! aifarchive group:

Well, it seems like we might have some interest in the comp after all so let's go ahead and do it.  We'll make the deadline July 14th, which gives all would-be authors exactly 2 months to get their games ready.  The full rules for the comp are listed below.  You can also read them on the 2014 mini-comp page I just added to the newsletter website here.

Please remember that the point of the comp is not to push the following rules as far as they will go without breaking, but rather to produce a group of small, relatively simple games for the community to enjoy.  The rules are designed to limit the scope of the game so that new authors can compete on more even terms with established authors.  Staying within the spirit of the rules should allow almost anyone to be able to complete a game in the time allotted.

If you've been thinking about writing a game or even started one and are getting frustrated as the game seems to grow out of proportion seemingly by a will of its own then you are not alone.  Most new authors have had to deal with that and it can be one of the biggest hurdles to get over when trying to bang out that first game.  I urge you, not to throw out the idea, but to set it aside long enough to try your hand at one of these.  The smaller size imposed by the rules and the built in deadline will help you to do what you may find extremely difficult to do by yourself, finish a game.  And once you have that first game under your belt you'll be able to return to your first idea with some experience and self-confidence that will go a long way toward insuring that it too will see the light of day.

So come one, come all to the 2014 AIF Mini-comp.  Fire up your favorite authoring system, open your editor and get those creative juices flowing.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your imaginations.

2014 Mini-comp submission rules are as follows:
  • Your game must have five or fewer rooms. Closets do not count as rooms so long as they're just places to store things. If your player is required to spend more than a couple of turns in a closet, it counts as a room.
  • Your game may have no more than four characters, including the player-character(s). No more than two of those characters may participate interactively in sex scenes. This is an expansion on previous years' rules and allows the PC to be a non-participant or voyeur while the two non-player characters have sex, and also allows the game to switch the PC from one character to another.
  • The two sexually interactive characters allowed refers to all possible playthroughs of the game, not just those attainable in a single playthrough.  For instance, allowing the player to have sex with one of two different partners, whether chosen directly by the player, based on actions during the game, chosen randomly, etc., would not be allowed.  Even though only one possibility can happen in one playthrough the fact that both are fully implemented scenes that can be found in multiple plays of the game would make this a violation of the rules.
  • As an exception to the above rule, cut scenes will be allowed under certain circumstances.  In this case, I am defining a cut scene as a single block of text of any length triggered by a single command (or event, randomly, whatever).  For instance, you might "look through telescope" to spy on your neighbors having sex, or "watch dvd" to see some porn.  The participants in these scenes can be either one or more of the four characters that you are allowed or merely background characters.  In either case, each character can only be involved in a single sexually explicit cut scene (unless of course they are one of your two sexually active characters).
  • Another use for cut scenes might be to sketch in background information or develop the story or characterization.  A character can appear in any number of these types of cut scenes, provided there is no sexual content involved.  Although I am putting no limit on either of the above types of cut scenes I urge you to use discretion in adding them.  A few can add some very nice flavor to a game, but too many will not only increase the scope of the game beyond the spirit (if not the letter) of the rules, but can also become cumbersome for the player to weed through.
  • Multimedia (images and sounds) are permitted, but may not add more than 150KB to the native (unzipped) size of the game file.
  • No part of your game can have been released to the public before the deadline.
  • Your game must be winnable (or at least it must have an ending that the player can reach).
Mini-comp submission procedures are as follows:
  • The submission deadline is 9:00 a.m. CST Monday, July 14, 2014.
  • Beta-testing is strongly encouraged but not required.  If you are looking for a beta tester please consult the following link for a list of people who have agreed to test games.
  • I will collect the entries by e-mail and post them at the normal places after the deadline. Send your entry to aifsubmissions AT gmail DOT com (obscured to prevent spam).
  • Authors should send a walkthrough with their entry. The walkthrough will be used by comp organizers to verify the game can be won and to provide hints for players.
Voting procedures are as follows:
  • Everyone, including entrants, will be allowed to vote.
  • Voters will have approximately two weeks to play all the games and vote. The voting deadline will be announced when the games are released.
  • Voting method will be announced when the voting deadline is announced.
  • Discussion of the games during the voting period will be allowed. 
  • Authors will not be permitted to post updates of their games during the voting period.
Voters will be asked to judge all the games in the following categories:
  • Concept. Is it a good idea for a mini-comp game? Does it work well with the set limits? Does it feel complete or more like a game fragment?
  • Writing. How well-written is it? Do the settings have the atmosphere that the author seems to be after?
  • Characters. Do the characters 'come to life'? How sexy are they?
  • Sex. How hot are the sex scenes?
  • Technical. How many bugs are there? What neat tricks did the author invent?
  • Enjoyment. How much did you like the game?


  1. What counts as a "room" with CYOA style games, such as something written in Twine?

    1. Interesting question. I'm not running it so I can't give the answer, but I'd personally vote that in CYOA it doesn't really matter much about the rooms, since it doesn't really apply to the format.

    2. It seems like we have this conversation about what is and isn't allowed by the rules every year. I'd personally say that as long as your game doesn't have more than five distinct 'locations', you'll be fine.

  2. Hmm... I wish the date was pushed up a little. The new version of I7 was released just a few days ago, and updating the AIF Toolkit to be compatible with it is going to eat into the time I would spend working on the minicomp.

  3. Could someone explain exactly what this AIF toolkit is? I've been playing AIF for a while now, and have been thinking about trying my hand at writing, and this seems like a good place to start. Unfortunately I have no experience whatsoever writing, so will the toolkit help me significantly?

    1. The AIF Toolkit is a package of extensions authored by Another Wannabe that supplement Inform 7's core functionality by providing support for sexual acts, arousal tracking, layered clothing, and more. Basically, if you're thinking about writing AIF in Inform 7, you will probably want to take advantage of the convenience of an AIF-specific extension. That is unless you are already very well-versed in the Inform 7 system and feel like writing loads of extra code.

      I don't think the AIF Toolkit is compatible with the newest build of Inform 7 yet, however.

    2. If you're considering writing and have no programming experience you should also give ADRIFT 5 a try.