I was excited about ST, but I really don't want to give them seven dollars to prove that I'm serious about the competition. It's an ongoing debate in my mind, but do I really need that much attention, to have read and reviewed? Shouldn't the fact that you spent the time making an over 2 hour beast be enough to show that you're serious?
I can see the reluctance to pay a $7 entry fee under the old rule system, back when the only prizes were the entry fees themselves. Thus in 2003, as I understand, the prizes were:
1st place: $14.00
2nd place: $7.00
3rd place: $3.50
4th place: $3.50
But the prizes were substantially different during the last two years, and I personally wouldn't find the $7 a deterrent anymore.
I could get rid of the entry fee, but that would defeat one of the purposes that Adam Cadre had when he started the Spring Thing, namely to provide a better playing experience for judges, and avoid the following scenario:
"The 2001 comp featured 52 games, many of them half-baked at best; discussion was limited, with a brief flurry of reviews and then not much conversation about the games, possibly because most judges only had time to play a small fraction of them." -- Adam Cadre, in describing the reasons he started the Spring Thing
Judging from what people have written on rgif, I gather that some players like the fact that the Spring Thing is a smaller competition without very many of the kind of bad games that dominate the bottom half of the IF Comp every year.
Anyway, this just adds to the diversity of stuff available for the IF community. I think we'd be losing something if I made it so that the ST was just like the IF Comp except that it's in the spring, and there's no two-hour rule.
I've probably rambled on long enough -- I hope that's a good enough answer.