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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:16 pm 
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I know, I regret posting all of the stuff I did. Ade/mike is a very good author; map is one of my favorite games.

If you'd like an honest discussion about Worldsmith, unrelated to the voting discussion, I find it high quality, but problematic. I would easily give it 5 stars, maybe 6 stars, if it existed, based on quality alone.

But sometimes it's just too much. The visual UI has so much of everything crammed into it that it's hard to keep track of; I feel like modern design sensibilities lean much more toward streamlined interfaces, like iPhone icons compared to old desktops or Google's homepage compared to AOLs.

The backstory is complex, and as rich as a novel, but it relies too much on neologisms. Its a known thing that new authors need to avoid; classic fantasy and sci do books tend to take a much more gentle approach, starting off in areas similar to earth in our time, before introducing the crazy stuff. Like the hobbit, Lord of the rings, enders game, etc.

I like the puzzles. The game itself is hard, but enjoyable. The later puzzles are good, especially creating the drone. But I feel like the exciting parts get contracted and the boring parts get stretched out. The part of the game I remember most is waiting for the lowest level to rotate, over and over again.

These are nitpicks; most games never even get close to this level of polish, so the focus on those games revolves around lower level things like bugs or major typos. I would still give this game 5 stars. But I think Anchorhead or Hadean Lands are more successful at introducing players slowly to a new world, and at cutting out much of the boring parts of the game.

This is separate from the voting issue, which I've realized I was wrong about anyway.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 8:32 pm 
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sallyc wrote:
And it does ask the question. Where are the votes from the IF Community? I'm honestly curious - this feels like one of the most important releases since Hadean Lands and there's not very much there.

I think this is because the old-school IF audience is used to getting games for free. Choice-based IF has proven beyond a doubt that it can be monetized, but on the parser front, only Hadean Lands has really succeeded. And it succeeded because zarf was a long-established author by the time he wrote that game. Interactive Fables is a brand-new group. Even though its head, Ade McT, has released several acclaimed games in the last few years, that seems not to have been enough.

Now that Worldsmith is free, however, its downloads have reportedly spiked. It's building momentum slowly, but it does feel like momentum is building as more people finally try it out.

To my great shame, I still haven't gotten to the end. I beta-tested it before it had an ending. When the complete version was finished, I was too busy on other projects to play it again right away. But it is amazing. The opening world-building sequence alone could stand as its own game. That should definitely be nominated for Best Individual Puzzle at the XYZZYs, and it should probably win.


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PostPosted: Fri May 19, 2017 10:02 pm 
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HanonO wrote:
I don't know who maintains IFDB...

That would be Mike Roberts: http://ifdb.tads.org/contact. I've reported minor bugs to him and he's fixed them within a week or two, but otherwise I don't think he's actively working on it.

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I just noticed it has "Games you've rated but haven't reviewed". I don't want to review every game I play and click stars for, but I'd like "Games you've downloaded or played online but not scored."

If you check the "I've played it" box on all games you've played, you can see the games you've played but not rated via the "Your Played Games" page:

http://ifdb.tads.org/playlist?sortby=lo ... zc5z&type=

That will sort by "Your Lowest Rating First", which will put all your non-rated games at the top.


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 1:10 am 
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lister wrote:
I know, I regret posting all of the stuff I did. Ade/mike is a very good author; map is one of my favorite games.



Wait! What?! I did not know this! How did I not know this!?! Ade Mct and Worldsmith author are the same person?!? I've been playing through some of the high placing IFcomp games of the last few years and Map is an AMAZING game. It is the only game ever to make me cry. And that decision about Yvonne!!! I had to walk away from the keyboard. I almost couldn't bear to make it!

lister wrote:
The part of the game I remember most is waiting for the lowest level to rotate, over and over again.


It's a funny thing taste. I thought this was a really cool puzzle once you...
Spoiler: show
realize you don't need to wait for the walls to rotate, but that gravity will pull you in whichever direction they are facing.


thank you for the discussion!

sallyc


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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 2:25 pm 
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CMG wrote:
sallyc wrote:
And it does ask the question. Where are the votes from the IF Community? I'm honestly curious - this feels like one of the most important releases since Hadean Lands and there's not very much there.

I think this is because the old-school IF audience is used to getting games for free. Choice-based IF has proven beyond a doubt that it can be monetized, but on the parser front, only Hadean Lands has really succeeded. And it succeeded because zarf was a long-established author by the time he wrote that game. Interactive Fables is a brand-new group. Even though its head, Ade McT, has released several acclaimed games in the last few years, that seems not to have been enough.

Worldsmith has been released for free, but on itch.io there's a plug to donate something if you like the game. I think this is a feasible compromise. I've considered hosting some of my stuff on there both for this, and more specifically so I could see download counts. I doubt we'd ever see this on IFDB, but it would be neat if we could provide a PayPal "tip the creator" link for authors that people would like to support without fiddling with Patreon. I don't think a shareware-type "Please contribute if you like this game a lot and want to see more like it!" type thing would violate any sort of competition rules about commercial games.

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 5:41 pm 
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HanonO wrote:
I don't think a shareware-type "Please contribute if you like this game a lot and want to see more like it!" type thing would violate any sort of competition rules about commercial games.


From IFComp's Rule 2: "No shareware, donorware, commercial products, etc. may be entered." Doesn't 'Donorware' cover this?

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 7:01 pm 
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robinjohnson wrote:
HanonO wrote:
I don't think a shareware-type "Please contribute if you like this game a lot and want to see more like it!" type thing would violate any sort of competition rules about commercial games.


From IFComp's Rule 2: "No shareware, donorware, commercial products, etc. may be entered." Doesn't 'Donorware' cover this?


You are totally right. I actually was thinking for post-comp release, though I didn't make that clear. (why can't everyone read my mind??? :lol: ) I wouldn't think it violates the part specifying that the comp version of the game should remain available for free in perpetuity if there was a voluntary "donate" link alongside the game post comp on a website like itch.io. But I could be wrong. I usually am.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016 XYZZY Awards
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 8:26 pm 
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A post-comp release can be commercial in any way. But ifcomp.org and ifarchive.org will continue hosting the free comp release.


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 Post subject: Re: 2016 XYZZY Awards
PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 9:15 pm 
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The vague phrasing of the "commercial" rule drives me crazy. What could be more vague than "etc.?" Spring Thing changed the rule to "must be freely available both during the festival and in perpetuity afterwards on the IF Archive" and I think that's a much better policy.

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 Post subject: Re: 2016 XYZZY Awards
PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 11:12 am 
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I passed the request for clarification along to the IFComp committee.

The first two sentences of the rule seem straightforward (and include what Spring Thing says). It's just the last line which needs work. 90s terminology, not at all clear how it fits in the era of Patreon.


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