Thursday, 11 June 2015

SNEEZE Comp Announcement

NOTE: Sorry, this was posted yesterday, but I accidentally screwed something up and I'm posting it again. Sorry if you lost a comment that you made!

To encourage development of more games, I've come up with a new comp, this one for CYOA games. After putting up a draft for commentary by the community, I'm ready to go ahead with this. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.


 Deadline: September 30th, email to [myscreenname]

The Name

Sneeze Comp is a play on words: Adult Choose Your Own Adventure

The Philosophy

SNEEZE Comp is a casual competition. The rules are designed so that people aren't killing themselves trying to win it. As such, the rules are loose, and we mostly do pinky swears and the honor system.

It's also supposed to be a fun competition. We encourage creativity, experimentation, and not taking things too seriously.


Small or medium games only, minimum 1,000 words of game text, maximum 25,000 words. Code doesn't count as game text.

Game should be complete. That is, you should be able to play from beginning to end, with no choices that are loose ends. UPDATE: By "loose ends", I mean unfinished choices, parts of the game that were obviously supposed to continue but didn't. If the game ends because the player puts it into a fail state (i.e. they die) then that's fine.

The game can be written for any interpreter, as long as it can be downloaded freely. That is, players shouldn't need to buy or sign up for anything to get an interpreter, so you couldn't write a Neverwinter Nights module for the comp.

The game must use a CYOA interface. That is:  a) All in-game actions should be controlled either by clicking or selecting a provided choice. So, no typing unless it is to select a choice.  b) The limitation does not apply to system commands (i.e. save, load, quit, undo, restart, options).

Entries must contain explicit sexual content with all characters depicted in sexual situations 18+. Games that have especially weird fetish content will probably not win, but are allowed.

(Optional) Game can follow the competition's theme. A broad theme for the competition will be provided, for example, possible themes might be "on a desert island", "damsel in distress", or "nurses". It isn't necessary to follow that theme, so if you don't like that theme you can still submit an entry, but voters are asked to take it into consideration when they rank the game.

Voting will be done by rankings. Each voter will be asked to rank the three best games, or in the case of less than five games, just the best game. Winners will be determined by an instant run-off vote.

If there are five or more games, any game that doesn't win first prize is viable to win an honorable mention. These include: Sexiest Game, Funniest Game, Best Writing, Best Implementation, Best Use of Theme, Most Original. Voters will be asked to give out the honorable mentions.

Some multimedia is allowed, but games are expected to be mostly text. You are responsible for providing attribution or obtaining licenses if the work is not your own. Absolutely no photographs of RL people! To give writers without access to expensive graphic suites a chance, please no images of sex. Yes, I like them too, but not all of us can sink a chunk of money into a good image program. UPDATE: Having an image of sex is discouraged but won't disqualify you. It is not in the spirit of the comp.

Game file should be 4 MB or less. Leeway can be if given the file-type is "naturally large" for a blank story file.

The game should be the original work of you and your co-authors. You are, of course, encouraged to recruit beta testers.

Whoever runs this competition can't submit their own entries.

By submitting an entry, you are stating you've read and understood all the above.

 This Competition's Theme

Out of the dozen and a half or so submissions for possible themes for the competition, I've used an RNG to pick from the eligible ones at random. If you want to submit a theme for a future competition, follow this link.

The theme that was randomly picked was:

Cyberpunk/Dystopian Future

Rogue AIs, virtual worlds, tyrannical governments, greedy mega-corps dominate public life. Some do what they will, the hackers, jammers and runners do what they must on the unforgiving streets. Think Blade Runner, The Matrix, Shadowrun, Neuromancer.

 SNEEZE Comp and Minicomp

This comp does not influence the Minicomp in any way, the Minicomp is still taking CYOA submissions as far as I know. The important thing is this isn't competing with the Minicomp. Not only that, I actively encourage people to participate in both, and if they have to pick one, they should pick the Minicomp.

In any case, if necessary, I'm willing to push deadlines so that people can participate in both the Minicomp and SNEEZE Comp. This is not a conspiracy to push CYOA out of Minicomp. This is, in fact, a conspiracy to make Adult CYOA more of a thing.

 Submissions and Deadlines

The deadline for the comp is September 30th. If the minicomp has a similar deadline, SNEEZE comp will be pushed back.

Submit your entry to [my screen name here] with the game file, any readmes, and optionally, a text file with all the game text.


Q: Is the Minicomp no longer accepting CYOA entries?/What happened to the minicomp?/You can't replace the minicomp!

A: I don't run the minicomp, and I don't want to detract from that venerable institution.

Q: What do you mean by "mostly text"?

A: Pictures, music and sfx should support the text, text should not support the multimedia. You shouldn't be clicking pictures, you should be selecting from a menu of textual choices.

Q: It's difficult to obtain word counts on my interpreter. How will you obtain the word counts for the game?

A: The 25,000 word limit is informal, and there's no need to send exact word counts unless serious questions are raised about the length of the game. It would be nice to send a file with all the game text, but not necessary.

Q: Will not following the theme seriously hurt my chance at winning?

A: It depends. An exceptionally good game that doesn't follow the competition's theme should be allowed to win, but the theme shouldn't be meaningless, either. Voters are asked to consider the use of theme when voting, so it depends on what they think.\

Q: What are my options for interpreters?

A: Some of the common interpreters are twine, choice script. You can also use traditional engines like TADS, Inform 7 and ADRIFT with the proper extensions.


  1. You need to update the link in aif reddit.


  2. Game should be complete. That is, you should be able to play from beginning to end, with no choices that are loose ends.

    I'm not sure what this means. Are you saying that a game cannot have choices that don't go anywhere (the game is incomplete) or that everything has to end up at the same place (no multiple ending possibilities)?

    1. I'd interpret that as the first option - you can't have choices that just don't go anywhere.

    2. Yeah, first one. Basically, there should be no loose ends where the player can't continue when they obviously should be able to. So if the player does something stupid and dies at the midpoint, that's fine, but if the player selects a dialogue choice and the author never wrote a way to get back to the main branch, that's not ok.

      Sorry, the rule is a little vague.

    3. If someone submits a game with a loose end, will you kick the game out of the contest? If not, remove the rule.

      You should avoid too many rules. I find contest rules written from the perspective of readers to be offputting. Rules from a reader's perspective sounds entitled to me. Like someone dictating how I should write. As if I should feel grateful that a reader would spend five minutes playing a game that I put in weeks crafting for their benefit. The rules should be written to be inviting and inspirational to authors.

    4. "You should avoid too many rules"

      There are 5 rules in total and one of them (theme) is stated as being entirely optional. Creating AIF game that isn't broken and contains sex should be common sense so basically all a game has to do/be to comply is a CYOA game with 1000 - 25000 words.

    5. @Trout

      Correct me if I am wrong AW, but this means you can't leave UNFINISHED hooks of the story. It doesn't mean you can't have questions in your story, branches, or freedom to write what you want.

      From what I gather, here is an example:
      You make a story. It has two options early on...
      1) Shoot the man and run
      2) Flee the scene

      You can have option 2 ending the game early because he shoots you in the back. You can have option 2 leading to another direction based on this choice. You CANNOT have option 2 simply hang the game up.

      In other words, if I picked to flee the scene, you can't have it neither end nor continue the story --- it can't just stop suddenly (ie "Ok, you flee the scene" without any other options or ending the game appropriately).

      Now I could be way off, but all it seems to mean is that each choice has to do something, not force the player to go back and pick something else because it was an unfinished option.

    6. @Spike

      That's exactly right. "Unfinished hooks" is actually a better word to use, and I'll update accordingly.

      Just some context to why I made this rule, when I made my CYOA game, I found that often I'd forget to link one passage to another, and so the game would randomly end at certain points. Such a rule just ensures that the games are actually playable, and that the authors do a minimal amount of playtesting to make sure everything links right.

      So it's OK to have a game finish on an end-state, like you die or have irreparably ruined your date or the player just decides to walk off into the sunset. It's not OK for the game to just suddenly hang up because the author forgot to link something.

    7. @LT

      If someone sent me such an entry, if there's such an issue I'd probably send it back and give them time to fix it. If not, yes, it would be disqualified. I don't think that's unreasonable.

      Also, I'm a writer and a consumer of AIF and fiction in general, and that's the perspective I take. If you find any of the rules especially demanding, or if you sense I'm "talking down" to writers, please let me know. Actually, the rules are designed so that many writers leave the comp with recognition -- 1st, 2nd or 3rd place, and six honorable mentions that 1st place can't win.

      ALSO, I submitted drafts of the contest rules to the entire community so they could comment on it before I went ahead with the comp.

  3. You seem to have done the exact opposite of what you said you would do. The minicomp always happens in late spring and summer. You've scheduled your comp to take place over the summer, so the two comps overlap.

    If you think the minicomp has died and you want to replace it with this, then just say that.

    1. I think that simply aw had this idea now, maybe it would have been better to do this for example in February, but it's difficult to wait so many months and maybe the interest will be less after months.
      For the minicomp the problem is that for now there isn't an organizer.

    2. Lost Trout, you're being totally irrational. I already stated -->clearly<-- that I'd be willing to push any deadlines so that people can do both, DIRECTLY addressing your concerns. It's like no matter what I say, you just WANT to distrust me. When or if the Minicomp is announced, I'll adjust the deadline accordingly so people can easily do both.

      Please, the AIF community is very civil as internet communities go. Please don't be needlessly belligerent. If you have any legit beef with me, then I'll do my best to address those concerns.

    3. I apologize for sounding belligerent. I speak bluntly. I think your idea for the Sneeze comp is a great idea. I want it to be successful. I will even enter it if I can find the time. But I very much enjoy participating in the minicomp, and I am frustrated by your insistence on holding your comp right now despite my repeated warnings that doing so undermines the minicomp.

      It was clear from the beginning that you wanted to hold your comp at the same time as the minicomp. I told you that doing so would be bad for the minicomp. You said not to worry because you would hold yours six months after the minicomp. I was happy with that. Then you immediately turned around afterwards and scheduled your comp at the same time as the minicomp anyway.

      The unintended consequences of that is that there will be no minicomp. The minicomp isn't organized by a faceless corporation. There are literally a handful of people with the stature needed to organize the minicomp. You know all of them. You are one of them. All of you are really nice people. It doesn't matter how many times you say that you're willing to move your comp for the minicomp. Everyone can see how eager you are to hold your Sneeze comp and wants it to be a success. Now that you've scheduled your Sneeze comp, none of those people will cockblock your comp by organizing the minicomp at the same time. I certainly couldn't organize the minicomp now without looking like a dick.

      It's too late now though. We've both poisoned the well so much that even if you move your Sneeze comp, no one can organize the minicomp for the summer without looking like an asshole. Unless you're willing to organize the minicomp too, the Sneeze comp is this year's AIF comp. That's fine with me. The Sneeze comp will be a good comp.

    4. "at the same time as the minicomp"

      One thing that should be pointed out is that the Minicomp doesn't have a 'time'. It's typically been held some time in June or July, but it's been all over the map (the below list shows the end of the voting period for each year):

      2006 - April 21
      2007 - May 11
      2008 - June 16
      2009 - June 23
      2010 - June 25
      2011 - June 3
      2012 - July 31
      2013 - July 10
      2014 - July 31

      That said, if the Minicomp was going to be held this year at its 'usual' time it should already have been announced.

      I take two conclusions from that. The first is that there's no guarantee that the Minicomp would have even been held this year, even without competition. The second is that there's no reason that the Minicomp can't be held at some other time of the year.

    5. @LT

      I think I understand better where you are coming from. Yes, I know I did say six months after the minicomp. I guess what I meant to say was that I'd make sure the time didn't overlap so that it conflicted with the minicomp. It was simply difficult for me to wait until December to announce it, when it would be long out of my memory and I'd out of enthusiasm, and I didn't (and I still don't) see the issue with simply pushing the deadline back when the minicomp is announced.

      The truth is I wasn't actively conscious of when the minicomp is held each year, so it's not so much me wanting to have the comp while the minicomp was on, but rather wanting to get the comp done while the idea was fresh. The organizers of the minicomp being too polite to interrupt my comp was something I honestly hadn't considered at all. If the minicomp was cancelled for my benefit, I would feel fucking awful. So I hope they'll continue to announce it when it's best for them.

      Also, on a side note, I'd still be willing to organize the minicomp, but I don't want to jump the gun because an announcement may yet be coming.

  4. Great idea, thx to wannabe for organizing. I like the idea of minicomp in summer and SNEEZE in winter rather than overlapping.

  5. True! If it goes well there's no reason it can't be re-run to oppose minicomp with a new theme. Choice-games are a whole lot less of a time commitment so perhaps this will entice a steady flow. And since no adult comp offers prizes of any tangible kind, what does it matter which one your game wins?

  6. Regardless of when either comps are help I would be happy to make game for both even if they are both run at the same time.

  7. Could I make a suggestion? Put the deadline date up the top of the post, in large text - also, keep reminding people about the comp, and the deadline. Post reminders on forums and stuff. I've promoted these comps before and that's pretty important.

    1. Oh, if you want anything sent out as a special notice on the AIF Archive send it to me and I'll do it for you (you have to be a moderator to do that).