- September 28, 2017: Site for 2018 Thing launches; intents to enter now open.
- March 1, 2018: Deadline for authors' intents to enter.
- April 1, 2018: Deadline for games to be submitted.
- April 5, 2018: Festival opens and entries available to play.
* or Fall Fooferal, for our Southern Hemisphere Friends
Spring Thing is an annual online festival celebrating new interactive fiction from all kinds of people. Everyone is welcome!
Held annually since 2002, Spring Thing is a smaller, more informal counterweight to the busier fall Interactive Fiction Competition. Over the years, games have often debuted here that went on to become influential in the interactive story world or successul at wider gaming venues.
Originally a ranked competition for parser IF, the Thing today puts the focus more on bringing authors together to celebrate new text games in many different formats: choice-based stories, gamebooks, hypertext fictions, visual novels, text adventures, narrative roguelikes, and wild new experiments.
Spring Thing especially welcomes diverse voices and populations traditionally underrepresented in gaming, including women, people of color, queer folks, and blind, neuro-diverse, or disabled creators. People from all walks of life should feel encouraged to participate as players, authors, or reviewers.
Games in the Main Festival can be nominated for two “ribbons”: an Audience Choice ribbon, which anyone can nominate a game for, and an Alumni's Choice ribbon given by past participants. Prize donors also gift fun, unique prizes, which every entrant has a chance to receive.
So far this year, no rule changes! Check out the details of the 2015 change from competition to festival, or see the current requirements for entry.
Looking for tools to make text games? There are plenty. For parser-style games, try Inform 7, TADS, or Quest. For node-based hyperfiction projects, consider Twine, Squiffy, or Raconteur. Want a choice-based structure like classic gamebooks? Check out ChoiceScript, ChooseYourStory.com, or ink. The visual novel engines Ren'Py or NLBB can help tell stories about characters and conversation. Try weirder experiments with Seltani (multi-player worlds), DINE (free-form input), or Texture (draggable words), or plug procedural text tools like Tracery into a story to make more dynamic output. Finally, some newer tools include ADLENGINE (Adliberum), INSTEAD 3, and Salet.
Need a community? Check out IntFiction for forums, or the Interactive Fiction Database and IF Wiki to find games to play and learn about craft. Planet IF aggregates posts about text games, and you can chat with like-minded folks at ifMUD or the Euphoria IF Group. Many of the tools listed above have their own forums and networks, too: click through to find out more.
Interactive fiction games can be enjoyed by blind players with a little care from authors. Check out audiogames.net for forums and a resources page, or Includification for more tips on making games more accessible generally; the accessibility for blind players IFWiki page also has some good links to more info.
The Spring Thing would like to thank the following people: