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PostPosted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 8:35 pm 
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Billy Mays wrote:
I may still adjust some of the other scores some more, they will probably get raised, but I am confident that none will get raised to a 10, and none of my 10s will get lowered.

While all worthy of the 10 I awarded them, here is how I rank them against each other:


Billy Mays' Top Fourteen Of The IFComp 2016

1. Ventilator - Many authors came out swinging hard in this competition, but I have to go with my gut, and my gut is telling me Ventilator stole the show. If I was the UNSG, I would launch a copy
of this game deep into outer space so that any intelligent life out there would understand humanity's greatest achievement.
2. Night House - I really enjoyed this game as it flawlessly transitioned across multiple genres.
3. Snake's Game - This was some of my favorite writing in the competition, and I am still completely enamored with the really slick trick the author used.
4. Color the Truth - There's no mystery here, this game's color is green.
5. Black Rock City - 64 endings, and every one of them a win.
6. Pogoman GO! - I still don't get the monsters.
7. Letters -
8. Inside the Facility -
9. Ash -
10. To The Wolves -
11. A Time of Tungsten -
12. Ariadne in Aeaea -
13. Cactus Blue Motel -
14. The Game of Worlds TOURNAMENT! -


Third place in your opinion! Yay! The Snake is pleased indeed. No, really, it doesn't want to leave. Help!


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:30 am 
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Sobol wrote:
matt w wrote:
I thought it was set in our world, at the Burning Man festival. (Gathering? Event? Whatever you call it.)

I doubt there are flying carpets at the real-world Burning Man.


There are indeed flying carpet at Burning Man, and while I haven't personally seen the unicycle made of shoes, I am going to guess that is real as well as everything else mentioned in the game.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 12:54 am 
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Billy Mays wrote:
Billy Mays' Top Fourteen Of The IFComp 2016

1. Ventilator - Many authors came out swinging hard in this competition, but I have to go with my gut, and my gut is telling me Ventilator stole the show. If I was the UNSG, I would launch a copy of this game deep into outer space so that any intelligent life out there would understand humanity's greatest achievement.


Although I literally have the polar opposite opinion as you on every single game you reviewed, and never issue 10s unless they are as good as HHGTTG, I cannot help but devour your reviews and the mixed metaphors they contain like a pack of flock of ravenous gulls at a clam bake. I rated Ventilator very low because I just did not 'get' it but this review alone has caused me to love it solely because it elicited this response from a human being. In fact it may be now my favorite game I never played to completion for this very reason. If you ever wished to go into detail about why you love Ventilator I would eagerly buy multiple copies of any book you chose to write on the subject and liberally distribute them to relatives at family gatherings in order to sweeten the pot for return presents from said relatives at holidays and birthdays.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 8:28 am 
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andr01d wrote:
Although I literally have the polar opposite opinion as you on every single game you reviewed, and never issue 10s unless they are as good as HHGTTG, I cannot help but devour your reviews and the mixed metaphors they contain like a pack of flock of ravenous gulls at a clam bake. I rated Ventilator very low because I just did not 'get' it but this review alone has caused me to love it solely because it elicited this response from a human being. In fact it may be now my favorite game I never played to completion for this very reason. If you ever wished to go into detail about why you love Ventilator I would eagerly buy multiple copies of any book you chose to write on the subject and liberally distribute them to relatives at family gatherings in order to sweeten the pot for return presents from said relatives at holidays and birthdays.


First, I need to premise everything I am about to write by stating that I follow all comp rules to their extremes without question and all of my scores have been in good faith. Second, I stand behind Ventilator as my number one pick of the competition without any doubt, the other 13 games on that list I may shuffle the order around, but I am adamant in my belief they are all 10's.

This Ventilator question has been brought up to me on several occasions, and it is a fair one to ask in which I have been meaning to address for some time now. I decided to do it here because I enjoyed your absurd review of my absurd review of an absurd game, I was hoping more people would have caught on to that, but I take full responsibility for any ambivalence. The other important point I need to make is that I also believe that Ventilator is something much more than just an absurd game, while you can easily enjoy it for its base comedy alone, its wit will cut you deep if you attempt to explore it further unprepared.

I believe comedy is the hardest genre to write for. Something can be kind of scary or pretty thought provoking or reasonably entertaining and it will all hold some degree of value. When you say that something is kind of funny or pretty funny or reasonably funny, that is just a polite way of saying something wasn't funny at all. Something is either funny or it isn't, there is no middle ground, and there is no doubt when something is funny.

I felt the author here came out with the ferocity of a prize fighter from the first to the last word of each ending. There was no lull in the writing, it was just unmitigated savagery without concern for anyone or anything, even their own personal well being. It was just a blood crazed flurry of teeth and nails. The author showed no mercy, no quarter, no compassion, no forgiveness. Even after the ref put a stop to the fight, even after the ref tried to tackle the author off of a now extremely brutalized and very obviously deceased former professional athlete, even after the Las Vegas Police Department stormed the ring to viciously club and mace and taser the author in a vain attempt to put an end to the carnage, the author still kept tearing out handfuls of flesh, headbutting the solar plexus, and delivering devastating knees to the chin until the the stain on the mat representing somebody at sometime once was neatly separated into plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. This was all a metaphor for what the author did to their keyboard of course, I don't actually think the author is a violent psychopath.

I may try to do an in depth analysis of it in a future post, but right now I am thoroughly enjoying Ectocomp, and I still have a few IfComp reviews that need to be fleshed out significantly.


I see a lot of different explanations people have for how they judge a game, I have nothing to say on this because that is between them and the officials. I personally always judge a game based on the context of what category it resides in. If a verified comp official instructed me to score the games based on how they hold up to a must own game that easily resides among the greatest works of Interactive Fiction of all time such as "Hadean Lands" for example,

http://zarfhome.com/

then I would first contact the comp directly to verify that the individual who contacted me is indeed a comp official, confirm that I understood the instructions correctly, and then change all of my comp scores to 1's and 2's, but that wouldn't be fair to the authors of this comp, so I judge the games against each other.


*****Update: After rereading my post here, I am concerned over the wording of my final point. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the comp entries to various degrees up to and including elated, and I would score them on the IFDB proportionate to how I scored them here, rounding up or rounding down to be determined on individual merits. The games all hold a tremendous amount of merit on their own as well as in comparison to the overall body of IF. The point I was trying to make is that I believe it would be unfair to base your score of a comp game based on how it stacks up to a game that has reached the bleeding edge of perfection through decades of an author building up skills through hard work and determination. Or to the commercial Infocom games where they had an actual business location and a team of talent to work on projects as their full time job instead of making games as a passion and trying to fit that around careers and family. Sorry if this came across the wrong way.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:14 pm 
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Billy Mays wrote:
I see a lot of different explanations people have for how they judge a game, I have nothing to say on this because that is between them and the officials. I personally always judge a game based on the context of what category it resides in. If a verified comp official instructed me to score the games based on how they hold up to a must own game that easily resides among the greatest works of Interactive Fiction of all time such as "Hadean Lands" for example,

http://zarfhome.com/

then I would first contact the comp directly to verify that the individual who contacted me is indeed a comp official, confirm that I understood the instructions correctly, and then change all of my comp scores to 1's and 2's, but that wouldn't be fair to the authors of this comp, so I judge the games against each other.


*****Update: After rereading my post here, I am concerned over the wording of my final point. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the comp entries to various degrees up to and including elated, and I would score them on the IFDB proportionate to how I scored them here, rounding up or rounding down to be determined on individual merits. The games all hold a tremendous amount of merit on their own as well as in comparison to the overall body of IF. The point I was trying to make is that I believe it would be unfair to base your score of a comp game based on how it stacks up to a game that has reached the bleeding edge of perfection through decades of an author building up skills through hard work and determination. Or to the commercial Infocom games where they had an actual business location and a team of talent to work on projects as their full time job instead of making games as a passion and trying to fit that around careers and family. Sorry if this came across the wrong way.


I appreciate that you're trying to identify the best IF works of all time, but there are a couple of ways in which it isn't fair to compare those works to IF comp entries.

The works you mentioned are commercial products. Every IF comp entry is an amateur work.

The works you celebrate as the best in interactive fiction, are considerably longer than 2 hour plays. Only an exceptional individual such as you could imagine that a first time player could finish Hadean Lands in just two hours. As for the Infocom classics, few voters today would put up with mazes or unfair puzzle fests. Tastes change.

We should ask: What are the best IF Comp games of the modern era? In my opinion, games like With Those We Love Alive or Coloratura.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:10 pm 
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heartless zombie wrote:
Only an exceptional individual such as you could imagine that a first time player could finish Hadean Lands in just two hours.


...

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Last edited by Billy Mays on Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:55 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:31 pm 
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When new people bring new ideas it's interesting reading. I shouldn't get so excited about it! (I want the forum to be a friendly forum. I'm trying to be a nicer heartless zombie.)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 3:54 am 
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In the spirit of fairness, since many of my posts haven't been the most pleasant things to read either, I have decided to remove you from my ignore list.


heartless zombie wrote:
I appreciate that you're trying to identify the best IF works of all time,


Identifying the best game or games was not the intended purpose of the post you are referring to. Also, I feel "appreciate" is a loaded word here since it is being used to describe a reaction to my subjective opinion which holds very little value in regards to the topic of IF.


heartless zombie wrote:
but there are a couple of ways in which it isn't fair to compare those works to IF comp entries.
The works you mentioned are commercial products. Every IF comp entry is an amateur work.
The works you celebrate as the best in interactive fiction, are considerably longer than 2 hour plays.


This ironically enough was largely the crux of my argument, and much of what you wrote here is merely a recap of the part of my post that you had quoted. Where I disagree is with your choice of the word "amateur" work as there were many veteran/professional authors that entered as well as the first time or less experienced authors, "noncommercial" work would have been a more accurate and appropriate word for you to use.


heartless zombie wrote:
Only an exceptional individual such as you could imagine that a first time player could finish Hadean Lands in just two hours.


Here you are being overtly facetious, and clearly trying to work an angle.


Also, as far as my insertion of Hadean Lands, I did that because I believe it is a prime example of a greatest game of all time, not the only one, but one without a doubt. But you don't have to take my word for it:

http://ifdb.tads.org/viewgame?id=u58d0mlbfwcorfi


And before the accusations of me trying to kiss up to zarf (not entirely without merit I fear) are made (have been made?), I can assure everyone here that this blatant plug was purely selfish on my part. I love his games, am less concerned about what he thinks about me personally, and if it ends up moving some copies then that is more resources he can use to make me more completely excellent games in the future.

http://zarfhome.com/


heartless zombie wrote:
As for the Infocom classics, few voters today would put up with mazes or unfair puzzle fests.


Where are you pulling this information from? There is a clear distinction between difficult and unfair that you have obviously missed. If the original Infocom team decided to enter the IFComp, was able to capture their original magic, and entered games in the classical Infocom style, that would be the most epic, face melting, earth shattering comp of all time...


heartless zombie wrote:
Tastes change.


No they don't, more flavors are just created.


heartless zombie wrote:
We should ask: What are the best IF Comp games of the modern era? In my opinion, games like With Those We Love Alive


Porpentine is an extremely talented author, just not one who has reached the pinnacle of authors or her potential yet in my opinion.


heartless zombie wrote:


No arguments here, this game would easily make my greatest of all time list.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:09 am 
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Billy Mays wrote:
16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds

Spoiler: show
I am pretty sure she brought nothing with her specifically designed to hunt vampires. While I appreciate the MacGyver aspect of this game, the end result is that the protagonist seems weak and ill prepared. Even if she was not expecting any conflict at the McDonalds, as a hunter of the supernatural, she should always have some sort of contingency plan.

Spoiler: show
She is a member of a vampire-killing team, and until now had only encountered vampires while with the team-- in particular, her role on the team is to be the passive bait to lure the vampire so her teammates can kill him. So I think it's an intentional part of the story that she is unprepared, and has to learn how to improvise and to be an active vampire killer. (She can also call her team members for help, though she still has to do some maneuvering to get the vampire to a place where they can help her.) Moreover, I think this plays into the story's metaphorical theme of self-empowerment, and learning to stick up for victims to defend them from predators.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 3:21 am 
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Billy Mays wrote:
The Mouse

Spoiler: show
Nothing happened in this game, I was waiting for something to happen, nothing happened, and then it mercifully ended. You play the role of Evelyn, you go to a class, you hang out with your elderly friend, swing by your dorm, Carrie offers you a drink, you have some drinks, then your elderly friend picks you up, and you make a big deal about how Carrie hurt you, and then it ended. I didn't see anything wrong here, it looked like Carrie was just trying to be friendly,

Spoiler: show
I felt this way on my first playthrough as well, but this game turns out to have a lot more branching than I thought at first, and other branches reveal a lot more about their relationship (as well as the relationship with Miss Dexter). Even after discovering a branch where there is explicit abuse, I still wondered whether Evelyn might be an unreliable narrator, but eventually the truth comes out definitively. I thought this contrast between playthroughs was an effective demonstration of gaslighting and the self-doubt/denial that can persist in the mind of a chronic abuse victim.


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