made a few changes to the 2006 rules as compared to the 2005 rules. The
changes are in blue.
the most part, the rule changes made things a bit easier for authors,
except that entrants had to submit their intent to enter in by March 1
instead of March 15.
Spring Thing is a competition for interactive fiction. If you have any
doubts as to whether your game qualifies as interactive fiction, please
contact the organizer before entering the competition.
- To enter the competition,
you must first submit an initial intent to enter, no sooner than noon
EDT on September 30, 2005, and no later than noon
EST on March 1, 2006, to the organizer at the email address at
the bottom of this page. It must include your real name (and pseudonym,
if so desired), a brief description of your game, a working title, and
the country you live in (so I can give you appropriate payment instructions;
- There is no limit
to how many authors will be accepted, as long as they follow all the
rules. (I think most judges would most like to see fewer than twenty
games, and I agree. But for me the administrative headache of enforcing
both the "20 slots" rule and the $7 rule [see next rule] was
more than I wanted to deal with. And anyway, I predict the $7 entry
fee will naturally limit the number or entrants. If I'm wrong, I'll
consider reinstating the "20 slots" rule in the future.)
- Your intent to
enter will not be complete until you have submitted a non-refundable
entry fee of $7 US to the prize pool. After your initial email stating
your intent to enter, wait for a reply from the organizer, who will
tell you where to send your entry fee. This fee will not be refunded,
even if you withdraw from the competition or are disqualified.
- If you are submitting
your entry fee electronically (such as by PayPal), then your entry fee
must be received by noon EST, March 15, 2006. If you are submitting
your entry fee by any other means (such as by mail), then your entry
fee must be postmarked no later than March 15, 2006, and received by
March 31, 2006. (There will be ABSOLUTELY NO exceptions to this. If
I receive your payment envelope in the mail on April 1 or later, your
game will be disqualified, and I will either refund your entry fee or
contribute it to the prize pool, at my discretion. I am drawing a hard
line here, because the rules are already a lot easier for authors than
they were before, and there will be no further backsliding. If you are
concerned about the slowness of your local postal service, you are advised
to pay by PayPal before March 15, or else send your money by mail with
lots and lots of time to spare, or else find a sponsor [perhaps on rec.arts.int-fiction,
- You may submit
only one intent to enter, and one game.
- Entrants may submit
their games to the organizer no sooner than noon EST, March 1, 2006,
and no later than the final deadline: noon EST, March 31, 2006.
- All games must
be finishable by the organizer. Therefore, you must submit a walkthrough
with your completed game, so that the organizer may ensure it is finishable.
If you want the organizer to withhold the walkthrough from the judges
and/or the public, just say so.
- You may enter the
competition anonymously or under a pseudonym, but your real name will
be revealed at the end of the judging period.
- Games may not be
based on works currently under copyright without permission from the
- No shareware, commercial
software, etc. may be entered. All entries must be playable for free,
both by judges and by the general public. While you retain the copyright
to any games you enter, by entering you grant the competition and the
Interactive Fiction Archive the non-exclusive right to distribute your
game for free, forever.
- All entries must
be previously unreleased at the time of votingthat is, they must
never have been publicly downloadable or otherwise publicly available.
Obviously, this does not prevent you from having your game beta-tested,
which is very much encouraged.
have gotten rid of the previous non-bugginess rule ("games may
not hang, crash, or generate errors of the [** Programming error **]
or [TADS-1234: description of error] variety"). (I have gotten
rid of this rule because I just don't have the time to enforce it. Checking
games for finishability takes enough time as it is.)
have gotten rid of the previous multi-platform rule ("games must
be playable on at least Windows and MacOS"). (In spring 2005 this
rule turned out to be more problematic than I thought, and besides,
it doesn't seem necessary to me. If future Spring Things are swamped
with substandard BASIC games, and if all the judges seem to really hate
this, then I could consider maybe reinstating the multi-platform rule.)
- Also bear in mind
the rules of judging: judges are encouraged to spend as long on your
game as they want, and are encouraged to try to finish it, but are not
required to, especially if your game requires more than one or two evenings
- If your game is
in the competition, then you may not publicly discuss either it or any
competitors' games during the judging period. If you need to correct
a public misstatement of fact about your game, please contact the organizer,
who will relay the message.
The deadline for voting
is 11:59 PM, EDT, April 23, 2006.
- The judging period
will be announced when the games are released. It will likely require
judges to play about two to three games per week.
- Judges are encouraged
to spend as long as they want on each game, and are encouraged to try
to finish each one. In the end, however, they are not required to finish
before voting (especially if the game takes more than an evening or
two to complete). Nor, for that matter, is there any particular minimum
time length that must be spent on each game.
- Judges must vote
on at least seven of the games for their votes to be counted (or as
many as they can, depending on how many games there are, and perhaps
depending on their computer's compatibility).
- Anyone who is
not an entrant or the organizer may judge.
- Judges should
score each game on a scale from 1 to 10, 10 being best.
- Judges are
allowed to discuss the games during the judging period, but are requested
to clearly mark posts which discuss the games, for the benefit of those
who want to avoid spoilers and having their scores influenced.
ARE allowed to vote on the entries they beta-tested. (I'm making this
change in the interests of increasing the number of votes on each game.
Adam Cadre thought it was a good idea, and why not.)
- There will be several
prizes, including the cash taken from the pool of entry fees, but also
including donations. The first-place winner will have first pick of
any one prize, the second-place winner will have the next pick, and
so on. For more information, including the current list of prizes, see
the prize page. You may also donate a prize.
- Note that cash
prizes are handled differently from other prizes, as explained on the
- If a rule is breached
once, the organizer reserves the right to decide whether to warn the
person or kick them out of the competition. If a rule is breached twice,
the organizer will very likely kick the person out of the competition.
- The organizer will
have final say on all judgment calls, but may consult others in making
decisions. (And, for the record, just as Adam consulted others extensively
in formulating the initial version of these rules, the present organizer
did the same with these slightly modified rules.)
[Note: On this page
I have stolen plenty of phrases from Adam Cadre's original rules, plus
one or two phrases from the IF Comp's rulese.g., as involves copyrightwithout
necessarily using quotes, which would have been awkward. Since this is
all in the service of Adam's original idea and the IF community, I hoped
nobody would mind. If this does bother anybody, please write to me.]