IF Competition 2000 Games

I didn't write reviews. Lots of other people are going to be writing reviews, and besides, I was an author, so presumably my objectivity is a little off. But as I was playing the games, I started to notice certain trends in what I enjoy in a game and what I don't enjoy. So I'm taking a different approach: I'm writing a series of essays on IF design, using Comp 2000 games as examples.

Everything I say here is intended as constructive criticism. Think of it as a really big, comp-wide version of SPAG Specifics.

Warning: these are spoilery. Games mentioned are listed, though, so if you want to avoid being spoiled, take note.


NPC Implementation: One of my favorite topics. Got ID?, Metamorphoses, Big Mama, Being Andrew Plotkin, 1-2-3, Kaged, Masquerade.

Prose Style: writing something we can stand to read. Comp00ter Game, Threading the Labyrinth, The Big Mama, Masque of the Last Faeries, The Trip.

Description: what goes into a good piece of descriptive prose. Masque of the Last Faeries, Kaged, Shade, End Means Escape.

PC Voice: conveying attitude. Punk Points, Dinner with Andre, Masquerade, Kaged, Enlisted, Rameses.

Pacing: managing the plot. Planet of the Infinite Minds, The Clock, Shade, Amnos.

In-jokes and the IF Community: the author's relationship to the audience. Being Andrew Plotkin, Shade.

More about Shade: my totally spoilerful take on what was going on in this game. Still not a review; more of an analysis. Also, partway through it starts to spoil Adam Cadre's novel Ready, Okay!. So be prepared.


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All text and images on these pages copyright Emily Short, 2000.
Contact me at emshort@mindspring.com with any questions or comments.