Wrapping Up the Comp & Surveys…

We’re all getting ready for the end of the Comp.  I’ve had my first author inquiry about his survey data, and I regret that I had to tell him that he had only three people respond for his game.

C’mon, people!  I mean, I know we’re all busy.  I myself had Life get in the way and I haven’t been reviewing nearly as many games as I wanted to.  But three people? (more…)

Published in: on November 11, 2010 at 9:14 am  Comments (3)  
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IF Comp ’10 begins! – (surveys)

Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen, I am delighted to begin the IF Comp 2010!  I have beta-tested one Comp game this year, and my rule from last year is that I get to be a jerk about the number of Comp games I’ve beta-tested, minus one. (more…)

Published in: on October 2, 2010 at 3:02 pm  Comments (3)  
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Help Prep for the Comp ’10 Surveys!

If you’re an author, you’ll be interested to know that your game will have its own survey. Help me make that survey by getting me the game’s title and authorship info now — I’ll make your game’s survey early and not be overwhelmed at Comp Open.

If you’re a judge, you can tell me if the survey is short enough. If the survey’s not short enough and filling it out’s a thing, I need to know about it now. Once we’re collecting Real Comp Data, we’re collecting Real Comp Data, and we’re launched.

If you run a website, I can easily make you a custom set of links to the surveys. Then we’ll know how many respondents we’re getting through you. And that’s good, because someone is going to have the idea that a different kind of player is coming in through intfiction than through newsgroups, and they’ll want to look through the data for patterned differences in responses. –Ah, and in fact, I can even get you embed code that allows people to stay on your site while answering the survey. Also available: Facebook code.

Want changes to the survey? Speak up–! Post a comment or email me: conradcook[a]gmail

Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 1:55 am  Comments (2)  
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Facts of IF: Design Points

A while ago, I was going over the data I pulled from the Comp 09 scores and survey results.  I was interrupted in that — I moved, and then a lot of stuff happened — and I’m not sure when I’ll get back to it.

However, I will be creating a Comp 10 survey, which ought to close the holes in this one, and which I’ll have open from the beginning of the Comp.  It will be broken down by game, so judges can give targeted feedback on games as they play the Comp, if they want to.

Meantime, here are the overall conclusions I have so far drawn from the data: (more…)

Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 6:34 pm  Comments (3)  
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Facts of IF: What is Agency?

Agency is generally considered to refer to the degree of control the player has over the story:  the ending, the plot, and what happens generally.  However, when we measure agency, by asking players how much control they had over the story and the endings, we find that what people experience as agency isn’t what we defined as agency.

In other words, agency isn’t what we thought it was.


Published in: on November 21, 2009 at 11:54 am  Comments (4)  
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Facts of IF: More Puzzle Games – Ascot, Gleaming, and Grand Quest


I’m marking _The Ascot_ down as a puzzle game because, although it had a story, the story was mainly in service to the puzzle, which was of an (unusually clever) get-the-right-ending type.  Its reviews suffered because, people believed, it wasn’t “proper” IF, allowing only “yes” or “no” as commands or “the parser would explode,” ending the game; and presumably its scores suffered too.



Published in: on November 20, 2009 at 12:03 am  Comments (3)  
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Facts of IF: Why did Astounding Castle Do So Well?

If you’ve been following the theorizing here on OneWetSneaker, you’ve heard me hammering away at the fact that Comp scores tend overwhelmingly to follow immersiveness ratings.  But that’s not always true:  sometimes a game completely pigs out when it comes to immersiveness, but scores much better.

Yon Astounding Castle of some sort, for example, was rated at 3.75 for immersiveness; but it scored an astounding 5.34 — which *is* astounding for a game with such a low immersiveness rating.  How did YAC do it? (more…)

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 8:36 pm  Comments Off on Facts of IF: Why did Astounding Castle Do So Well?  
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Facts of IF: Why Did Byzantine Perspective Do So Poorly?

In general, I don’t much like puzzle IF.  Nevertheless, I am a big fan of this game.  This puzzle is so nifty, so creative, and so cool that I was really looking forward to it placing well in the Comp.  Also I appreciated the author for implementing ‘nab.’  Instead, it got a 5.76, putting it in ninth place out of 24:  not even in the top third.

Partly that’s because we had a very good Comp this year.  Even so:  as an end product, it was a better work of IF than the higher-scoring _Earl Grey_, and as an inspired work it was much better than _Snow Quest_ — all due respect to those authors.

Really, it should have done better.  Why didn’t it? (more…)

Published in: on November 18, 2009 at 6:34 am  Comments (11)  
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The Facts of IF – A Model of IF Comp Scoring

I’ve come up with a predictive model for Comp scores.  It’s accurate to well within my margin of error, except for two games, and these I can account for.

It’s based on three variables, namely Immersion, Puzzle Design, and Playability.  The coefficients for these, respectively, are:  .6, .2, and .2.  If you’re good at linear algebra and you want to out-face me on the variable coefficients (or indeed on variable selection), email me and I’ll send you the data set.

The model is:

 60% (Immersion) + 20% (Puzzle Design) + 20% (Playability)
= Comp Score


Published in: on November 17, 2009 at 1:01 pm  Comments (9)  
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