There’s still time to check out this year’s Spring Thing games and nominate your favorites for ribbons!
What Is a Spring Thing?
The Spring Thing Festival of Interactive Fiction is an annual event that features new IF games by both new and established authors. Many of its fans appreciate the more laid back atmosphere of Spring Thing. Unlike its larger cousin, the annual Interactive Fiction Competition, games are not ranked numerically. Instead, up to two “best of show” ribbons are awarded. Additionally, players can nominate games for ribbons that they have devised themselves. A game could be nominated for, say, “best use of orange,” “best dishwashing simulator,” or, more conventionally, “best art.”
Additionally, there is a “back garden” category of games that may be incomplete, highly experimental, or otherwise not a good fit for the main festival. These garden games are showcased even though they may not be competition ready, and they contribute to Spring Thing’s reputation as a friendly place for unconventional IF that might not receive as much attention in larger competitions.
The “so what” is that nominations for ribbons in this year’s Spring Thing close next Saturday. If you’d like to play new games by community members, why not head over and give some a try? If you enjoy them, consider nominating them for ribbons. On the “play” page, note that every game is identified not only by title, but also by length and design system. If you are interested in parser games, the Adventuron, Inform, and TADS 3 systems will likely be for you. Note that there are good games of every type, so read the descriptions and by all means mix things up. Even though Gold Machine focuses on parser games, I enjoy many different forms of IF. If you’re crazy about a game, tell your friends! These authors will welcome the exposure and goodwill, I am sure.
If you would like to see examples of player-nominated ribbons, you can scroll through last year’s entrants here. You have to play two games at minimum to nominate.
Spring Thing is my favorite IF community event of the year. It has less of a competition focus and welcome games that are experimental. Unlike The Interactive Fiction Competition, there is no play time limit, where judges are expected to evaluate after playing a maximum of two hours. If you’ve got some time between now and next Saturday, come see us at the ‘Thing.