The 2015 Spring Thing Festival featured nine stories submitted by authors working across the spectrum of text games. Authors chose whether to place their games in the Main Festival, where they were up for ribbons and prizes, or the Back Garden, with looser entry requirements and no prizes.
All downloadable games in one archive (99MB zip):
[Download from itch.io] - [Download from springthing.net]
Six games were entered in the 2015 Main Festival, and three in the Back Garden. The exhibition opened on April 4, 2015, and closed to ribbon nominations on May 4. Congratulations to Toby's Nose by Chandler Groover, which was awarded both the Audience Choice and Alumni's Choice ribbons.
The 2015 games are still available to play and will be archived here indefinitely.
Spring Thing has been redesigned this year to make it a space where people working on all kinds of text games can come together to celebrate making, releasing, and playing new stuff.
Formerly a "competition" for interactive fiction, the rebranding as a "festival" indicates a new focus on showcasing and promoting new games in a friendly, less competitive environment.
What's changed from prior years?
No entry fee, although authors must still submit an intent to enter in advance.
No numerical ranking of entered games. Instead, Main Festival games can be nominated for "ribbons," state fair style. For the 2015 festival, the two ribbons are:
- An "Audience Choice" ribbon, with nominations made by the public, and
- An "Alumni's Choice" ribbon, with nominations made by entrants from any prior year.
"Back Garden" games don't participate in voting and prizes, but have looser restrictions on entry, giving authors an alternative to the Main Festival.
Non-cash prizes go into a general pool that any entrant has a chance to win, and cash prizes are no longer awarded.
What's unchanged? The Thing is still for new, finished, and freely available works of interactive fiction. Longer games are still welcomed, but not required. Authors must still submit an intent to enter in advance, and the festival will still be "open" for long enough to give people time to play and review the games.
Looking for another event to enter text games in? The Interactive Fiction Competition is the oldest regular event for IF games. Have just the start of a game? Try IntroComp.
Looking for tools to make text games? There are plenty. For parser-style games, try Inform 7, TADS, or Quest. For node-based hyperfiction projects, consider Twine. Want a choice-based structure like classic gamebooks? Check out ChoiceScript, ChooseYourStory.com, or inklewriter. The visual novel engine Ren'Py can help tell stories about characters and conversation. Finally, interested in more unconventional systems? Look into StoryNexus or Seltani.
Need a community? Check out IntFiction for forums, or the Interactive Fiction Database and IF Wiki to find games to play and learn about craft. Planet IF aggregates blog posts about text games, and chat with like-minded folks at ifMUD. Many of the tools listed above have their own forums and networks, too: click through to find out more.
The Spring Thing would like to thank the following people:
- Adam Cadre, for starting it;
- Greg Boettcher, for organizing and running it from 2004 to 2013;
- the interactive fiction community, for advice, support, and incredible games, and;
- the prize donors, for their generosity.