Playing the Games
The 2017 Spring Thing Festival of Interactive Fiction featured twenty-two new stories submitted by authors working across the spectrum of text games. Authors chose whether to place their games in the Main Festival, where they are up for ribbons and prizes, or the Back Garden, with looser entry requirements allowing for more experimental or work-in-progress entries.
- Back Then, by Janelynn Camingue -
- Bobby and Bonnie, by Xavid -
- Audience Choice Ribbon recipient (Tie)
- The Bony King of Nowhere, by Luke A. Jones -
- brevity quest, by Chris Longhurst -
- The First Quest, by Matthew Mayr (with some help from Mike Bryant) -
- A Fly On The Wall, by Peregrine Wade -
- Get Seen Tonight, by Hannah Powell-Smith -
- GNOEM, by Joyce Lin & Matthew Reed -
- Guttersnipe: Carnival of Regrets, by Bitter Karella -
- Alumni's Choice Ribbon recipient
- Happy Pony Valley Riding School, by Lynda Clark -
- If You're Here, by Serene Sherman -
- Ishmael, by Jordan Magnuson -
- Niney, by Daniel Spitz -
- Audience Choice Ribbon recipient (Tie)
- Refugee, by Mark C. Marino -
- Ted Strikes Back, by Anssi Raisanen -
(Almost) all entries in one archive (86 MB zip): [Download from itch.io]
Not Quite A Sunset (138 MB zip): [Download from itch.io]
Festival Readme and Changelog of updated games
Anyone is welcome to submit a game to Spring Thing. The organizer reserves the right to not show a game they feel is inappropriate for the festival, but entries are not otherwise vetted, and their contents and opinions reflect the views of the original author, not the Thing as a whole.
How to Play Parser IF
Spring Thing features all kinds of text games, but two of the major divisions are between what are sometimes called choiced-based games (where you interact by clicking links) and parser-based games (where you interact by typing commands).
To those unfamiliar with the parser, it can seem confusing or intimidating. Here are some resources for getting started:
To play some parser IF offline, the downloaded story file needs to be opened with a program called an interpreter, much like a .doc file needs Microsoft Word to open. Clicking on the story format (next to the download link) will take you to instructions for finding the right interpreter to play a particular game.
In the Main Festival
Back Then: A Story Driven By Memories
Memories can be precious or terrible things to have. They can awaken at any moment, whether in a dream or staring out the window in solitude.
Download (95.7 KB Twine)
A short RPG where almost everyone is a playable character.
The First Quest
A young child who desperately wants to be a hero is given a magical artifact allowing them to be anyone they want to be, literally. They use this power to try and make a name for them self as they embark on a whimsical journey.
Download (69.8 KB Twine)
You are a college student trying to study for finals when a gnome with big dreams recruits you to solve his problems, whisking you away to a magical place with eccentric characters.
Download (44.6 KB Twine)
If You're Here
When a romance starts to blacken, is it your place to intervene? Lindy navigates her tense relationship with her stepbrother and her strong friendship with her teammate as she watches their relationship grow more and more messy.
Download (435 KB Twine)
You have made it off the shore into the water, onto this tiny boat. This raft is not big enough for all the passengers, nor, you fear, strong enough to make the journey. The waters are inviting and seductively deadly. You are lowest of the low in the age of nation states but citizen number one of the globe: a refugee.
Nine refugees embark on an odyssey aboard a raft, exchanging tales of jealous gods and proxy wars while trying to reach safety.
Download (55.3 KB Ink)
In the Back Garden
Back Garden games do not take part in ribbons or prize nominations, and can be more experimental or excerpts from unreleased games (which are highlighted in yellow).
Share the story of 15-year-old Tansy, who is on the verge of becoming an adult and a witch. In an isolated community where magic is an everyday occurrence and otherworldly beings walk the woods, you face challenges and learn to cope with your newly-awakened visionary senses.
Download (111 KB Twine)
Play GlulxPlay Squiffy
A Fly On The Wall, or An Appositional Eye
The Harrison Mansion is closing after 45 years of delighting its visitors with collections of the weird and recreations of the macabre. The night before, the Fortean Society of New England gathers in the haunt to celebrate its history and investigate its reputation as a real house of horrors. You volunteer to take a shift in the Fly eye, a room with five monitors that watch the most haunted corners within the house. You can't watch all five simultaneously, though, so what exactly will you see?
The author has provided two versions of this game: the Glulx parser-based version, and the Squiffy link-based one.
Download Glulx (5 MB Glulx)
Download Squiffy (10 MB Squiffy)
Not Quite a Sunset -
a hypertext opera
On an orbital space station in a distant star system, Dr. Sara Reyes leads a small team tasked with surveying a planet for potential settlement. A science-fiction story set to an original musical score.
Download (145 MB Twine)
If a game does not have a "play online" link, or if you'd prefer to download and play offline, here are instructions for each kind of story format.
ALAN 3: You can download precompiled binaries for Mac or Windows from the links in the game description. If you prefer, you can open the .a3c story file in an interpreter that supports it. ALAN interpreters for various platforms can be downloaded here. [format details]
HTML: Open the .html file in any modern web browser.†
Inform (Glulx): You'll need to download the story files for these games at the links above, and you'll also need a interpreter for Glulx. Lectrote is a good cross-platform interpreter. [format details]
Inform (Z): You'll need to download the story files for these games at the links above, and you'll also need a interpreter for z-code. Lectrote is a good cross-platform interpreter. [format details]
Ink: Open the .html file in any modern web browser.† [format details]
Quest: You can play these stories online, or if you have a Windows PC, run them locally by downloading Quest for Windows. [format details]
Squiffy: Open the .html file in any modern web browser.† [format details]
Texture: Open the .html file in any modern web browser.† [format details]
Twine: Open the .html file in any modern web browser.† [format details]
† For offline play of browser-based formats, note that the Chrome browser's default security settings may prevent these games from running correctly: use a different browser for these, such as Firefox or Safari.
Main Festival games in the 2017 Thing could be nominated for two prize ribbons: an Audience Choice ribbon, and an Alumni's Choice ribbon voted on by prior participants.
The ribbons for the 2017 Thing were awarded to: