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The goal of the IF Beginners Competition (organised by David Fisher) was to write a game that was suitable for beginning IF players. This comp was inspired by the Interactive Short Fiction Competition, and was run in parallel with it. The same game could be submitted to both contests if the requirements were met.

The winner of the competition was Mrs. Pepper's Nasty Secret by Jim Aikin and Eric Eve.

For the full results, see IFBeginnersComp Votes.

The games can be downloaded in a single archive: Download or view contents of IFBeginnersComp2008.zip, at the IF Archive.


  • February 15, 2008: deadline for games to be submitted and start of public judging period.
  • March 15, 2008: end of public judging period.


1. Entries may be in any language, but preferably in English.

2. Entries are not restricted to any particular IF language or platform.

3. The intended audience is beginning IF players. This implies that:

    (a) The (initial) goal should be clear from the start of the game, or within the first few turns;

    (b) The puzzles should be as fair as possible, and be well clued;

    (c) Things that put off beginners should be minimised (missing synonyms, shallow implementation, etc.);

    (d) Help / hints should be available in some form.

4. The game should not be able to be put into an "unwinnable" state, with the exception of "end of game" conditions (eg. dying) that can be immediately recovered from using Undo.

5. The game must have at least one puzzle. Puzzles should fit in naturally with the story / setting.

6. Games may be any length, but as a general guideline, beginning IF players should have a good chance of completing the game in one or two hours.

7. There is no particular audience age range; games are simply for "beginners".

8. Deadline: February 15th, 2008. No "intent to enter" is required.

9. Assuming more than one entry is submitted, there will be a public voting period lasting one month. As an experiment, public discussion of games during the voting period will be permitted.

10. Judges should aim to play as many games as possible for at least one hour each. If a judge votes on less than half of the games by the end of the judging period, the votes will not be counted.

    Rule 10 may be modified if there are a large number of entries.

11. Votes will be publicly displayed on the IF Wiki during the judging period. If judges do not want to edit the IF Wiki themselves, or wish to remain anonymous, votes may be sent directly to the organiser, who will then update the voting page.

    Some trust is needed here, but I think this would work ... feel free to bring up any issues on RAIF -- DF

12. Games must not have been previously released (but are permitted to be entered in the Interactive Short Fiction Competition at the same time as this contest).

13. The organiser (David Fisher) reserves the right to enter the competition as well; if any prizes are donated, he will not be eligible for them.

14. Submissions may be sent to davidfisher@australiaonline.net.au (compressed if possible, please!).

15. Multiple entries from the same author are permitted.

16. Games may not be based on works currently under copyright without permission from the copyright holder.


Games were released February 16th, 2008. See IFBeginnersComp Votes for additional details on the results.

  1. Mrs. Pepper's Nasty Secret (Jim Aikin and Eric Eve; TADS 3).
  2. The Sleeping Princess (Molly, Alex, and Mark Engelberg; TADS 3).
  3. Connect (James Hudson; Z-code).
  4. Limelight (Justin Lowmaster; Z-code).
  5. Germania (Vicente Munoz; TADS 3).

Note: All the above games, except The Sleeping Princess, were also entries in the Interactive Short Fiction Competition run by Mark Engelberg.