Dear IFComp voter:

Thank you very much for helping to judge the 2015 IFComp! I have discovered a problem with the software behind the ballot, and I’d like your help in confirming that your votes look like you expect.

Thanks to the observant efforts of two judges (who I won’t name here, since ratings are publicly anonymous), I’ve discovered that the ballot has been quietly ignoring ratings of “1″ (and only “1”) since late October. Today, to the best of my knowledge, I have isolated and repaired this problem.

So: If you have given a rating of “1” to any of this year’s games, please revisit the ballot page to confirm that these ratings are present. If they are not, please re-cast them. If you wish, you may then reload the page to confirm that they “stick”.

The ballot page will remain open for your examination until 11:59 PM Eastern time on Sunday, November 15, per the usual competition schedule. Naturally, all judges may feel free to visit the ballot page and double-check the numbers there no matter what ratings they have cast so far.

I apologize for this inconvenience. I very much appreciate your helping to rate the competition entries this year, and I thank you for your further help in making sure that your registered votes match your expectations.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions about this, or any other aspect of the comp.

Jason McIntosh


My top 10 Interactive Fiction Competition entries so far, in alphabetical order. There are a couple of weeks until the judging deadline so you still have time to try the games and vote if you haven’t done so already.

Autumn’s Daughter, by Devolution Games
Captain Verdeterre’s Plunder, by Ryan Veeder
Coloratura, by Lynnea Glasser
Dad vs. Unicorn, by PaperBlurt
Further, by Will Hines
Ollie Ollie Oxen Free, by Carolyn VanEseltine
The Paper Bag Princess, by Adri
Saving John, by Josephine Tsay
Vulse, by Rob Parker
The Wizard’s Apprentice, by Alex Freeman

I still have five works to try, so there could be changes.

Bell Park, Youth Detective, by Brendan Patrick Hennessy
Blood on the Heather, by T. Orisney
The Challenge, by ViRALiTY
Robin & Orchid, by Ryan Veeder & Emily Boegheim
Threediopolis, by Andrew Schultz

The Inform Interactive Fiction 2013 competition has begun! Interactive fiction is typically a story where (instead of pressing “next page”) you make choices to advance the story. You might type instructions to the protagonist “GIVE RING TO JULIET” or choose an option from a menu. After you make a choice the story tells you what happens next. There might be a good ending or a bad ending depending on your choices.


There are thirty five games available to play now. After you played a game you can vote for it (give it a rating out of 10 where 10 is the best) – the votes are added up and after the judging period the games are ranked. You’re supposed to play at least five before voting. In the past, I scoffed at people who couldn’t find the time to play all (or most) of the entries but now all my free time is full so I understand.

Last year I wrote reviews on IFDB hoping to promote the competition but there weren’t any more voters.

4seven, the channel showcasing the best Channel 4 programming from the last seven days.

4seven is a new public UK television channel.

According to the Freeview digital program schedule, 4seven broadcasts programs 24-hours per day (5 AM – 9:15 AM is used for advertising promotions). You may need to retune your Freeview receiver to access it. Presumably, like Channel 4, program broadcasts are periodically interrupted for commercial advertisements.

The following scheduled programs matched search terms for new content in the next week:

19:00 4th July
Supersize vs Superskinny

Dr Christian Jessen’s feeding clinic opens its doors for a new series of the show where a Supersize and Superskinny swap places and diets.

22:00 4th July, (and two repeats later in the week)
Undercover Boss

In the first of the new series, Fouad Haghighat goes undercover in his dad’s pizza delivery company to discover shocking health and safety breaches, but also some inspirational workers.

Four other scheduled programs match for Channel 4 (notably 2nd July Coming Up:New Cross, and 7th July T4:Summer Daze). It will be interesting to see if they appear on 4seven.

Channel 4 often broadcasts short experimental programs late at night, which are not available online. There weren’t any matches on 4seven for program titles 4thought, music on 4, random acts, school disco, lucky escape. River Cottage Bites was the only 15-minute (or briefer) program in the schedule.

I went to sign-up for a gmail account. I already have a Google account. This should be straightforward, I thought. But no! Like the Secret Police, Google demands a “security verification”: contacting you by mobile phone. They already spammed my Google Reader (rss) account with several mobie demands. I tried to think “What if Google is going down the pan? Wouldn’t you miss it?” but this is just ridiculous. Todo-list: move RSS feeds to Yahoo.