I’m stuck on a phone right now so can’t play a lot of this, but what I went through was nicely atmospheric. I noticed some wordchoice errors (for example, you nock an arrow instead of knock, and you take a breath, not a breathe) but these are very minor.
Stewart C Baker
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I enjoyed the writing and contemplative, somewhat sad atmosphere in this! Sometimes when entering a square with a message for the second time, I got the game text again in Spanish instead of English.
As ever, an excellent descent into terrifying terror and purple prose! I especially enjoyed the Twine overlay, although sometimes I found it allowed looping in a way I don’t think you intended (e.g. when examining the mauve room, you can select the questions about wallpaper, the bed, and the drawers indefinitely if you want to). I also noticed some weirdness in Chrome in particular when starting some of the embedded parser games (singing for me), which I think has to do with privacy settings—so heads up if you are playing this and notice that! It worked fine in Firefox. The individual games, as also as ever, were great, and I really enjoyed the variety of styles this time around.
This is impressive for a petite mort game! I think the beginning sections might have been a little creepier (for me, at least) without providing all the options for why the narrator/player ended up in the room in the first place. I also skipped the folders on my first playthrough and wasn’t sure if that affected my endgame or not. Those minor points aside, this was very well done!
I wrote a master’s thesis on Chaucer, so this is right up my alley! This was a fun one. Some of the endings were a bit abrupt, which I occasionally found frustrating, and I couldn’t get a handle on how the stats changed (other than the obvious one of drunkenness) or how they actually affected gameplay, but those were about my only nits to pick. :)
Third-party cookies, yikes! I have turned it on and can confirm it works to play this game in incognito mode, but would highly recommend turning those third-party cookies back off again after if anyone else takes this approach!
This was a fun start! I felt like I missed any clues as to whose blood it might be, and ended up just guessing. If you add more rounds, you might look into making it less of a guessing game (or maybe it’s really obvious to everyone else and it was just me who felt this way–wouldn’t be the first time!). Also, as you say–four hours is four hours. :)
On a more minor note, I almost missed the bolded link-reveal links because they were the same colour as the regular text. Adding something other than bolding to make it clear that they’re links might help other players.
It is an easy thing to forget! Chrome is giving me a “no valid storage adapters found” error when I try to open it in an incognito window but that could just be some weird issue with my browser.
ETA I am now almost certain it is a problem with my browser. It’s doing this for other things, too!
Strong emotional beats in this one. Nicely done, especially in under 4 hours.
I’m having trouble playing it a second time, as the itch page just loads it at the end and I can’t use an incognito window. Not sure if that is something you can fix or not.
Creepily weird and fun! I couldn’t figure out the third ending, but am pretty sure I’m just missing something obvious. The bright green on white bg is probably not legible to some folks, so you might consider changing to a darker color in the surface world for accessibility reasons. Otherwise, no complains from me!
It’s always good to see another chapter in Christine’s and St Mary’s story. And of course, timely as ever (living in the US as I do, the healthcare costs are all too real—and all too horrifying—already!). I especially appreciate the idea that even when it seems like you’re capitulating to the system you can find ways to work around it from within.
Your games are always great, and I love returning to Balderstone every year! They’re some of my favourite entries without fail.
I wanted to do at least one more tale, a parser game based on “Don’t dive into blood, kids,” but I ran out of time. Hope to add it in there after the jam, maybe. :)
This was fun. The ending was a bit predictable, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily a problem. I liked the way the scenario for each crew member changes slightly depending on when you visit them.
Nicely done in under 4 hours!
I have something started, but as dictated by ancient prophecy what was supposed to be a game for Le Petit Mort is definitely going to take me more than 4 hours.
The rest of my day is pretty busy, too, so I probably won’t be a game in this year.
Definitely looking forward to seeing everyone else’s entries, though. I always have a blast at Ectocomp.
After a brief panicked moment this morning when I thought it was already January 9th and I’d forgotten to do all the things, I’m happy to announce our judges’ choice winner on time and everything!
Last year and this year both it was difficult to pick our top choice. We found something to like in all the entries, but when the dust settled one game had edged ahead of our other selections by quite a bit.
That game, and our judges’ choice winner, is “Growing Pains” by George Lockett.
Congratulations, George! I’ve sent you an email so we can collect all the relevant information and get your game ready for publication in our February issue. (If you, uh, don’t see an email, you can contact me at email@example.com!)
Thanks to the sub-Q staff for reading and rating entries, and leaving comments for me to pass on, and once again to all of you who entered. It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to review all the unique takes on our themes both this year and last.
Over the next week or so, I’ll try to make time to post some of our judges’ constructive commentary on your work, so keep an eye out for that. :)
Congratulations to A.M. LeBlanc’s “The Coffin Maker,” which took the first place spot in our popular vote!
Congratulations as well to all of you, for making our second game jam a success. There were a lot of games, ranging in tone from meditative pieces to tense thrillers, and all of them were fantastic–especially given how hard it is to write a finished piece of anything in 1000 words.
Give yourselves a pat on the back!
We are still poring over the games for the judges’ choice results, which will be announced next Tuesday, January 7th. I also plan to stop by on each game page and leave some feedback from our judges, so keep an eye out for that.
After that, we’ll publish both winning games alongside those written by our invited authors Ken Liu and Monica Valentinelli in our February issue.
Thank you all again for participating, and wishing you all the best in 2020!
Any game is eligible so long as it was “published and available to the public” during 2019.
That is the site for the Nebula awards, but I think you’re misunderstanding. What you are registering for on that site is for the annual Nebula conference, essentially a 3-day writing conference attended mostly by SFWA members. You don’t have to attend the conference for your game to be eligible.
As I said in my initial post, the Nebulas work a little differently from other game awards. You don’t have to apply or register in order for your game to be eligible. This means there is no way to “submit” or “nominate” your own game.
However, because this is only the second year that game writing has been a category, and not many SFWA members keep tabs on new game releases, I have been contacting game writers and publishers and asking them for information about their game, as well as electronic review copies or download keys. I am posting this information to our secured member forum, which only SFWA members can access.
If you would like me to share information about your game, or if you would like to provide keys, you can email me or the Nebula Award Commissioner with the relevant information and one of us will post it to the forum.
Still 2 days left to get those votes in. I know it’s a busy time of year, but your fellow authors will welcome your feedback. :)
We have been digging into the games for the judges’ choice award, and will be announcing that probably around January 7th.
You can email me the game description and any keys you’d like to provide to firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Nebula Awards Commissioner, Jim Hosek, at email@example.com
From there, one of us will post it to the secure forum.
Since the Nebulas are voted on by everybody in SFWA, and Steam keys can only be used once, the easiest way to provide Steam keys is probably to provide contact information for SFWA members who are interested in playing the game. That way, you only need to create a Steam key for each member who contacts you, rather than a bunch at once.
Or, if you prefer, you could provide a set number and only the first few people to use them get to try the game.
It’s up to you. :)
The award is only for completed games, unfortunately.
On the other hand, it’s an annual award, so I hope you’ll keep it in mind when Vincent is ready for final release. It looks pretty fantastic!
Hello itch.io community!
I’m reaching out as assistant to the commissioner of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Association (SFWA) Nebula Awards to ask if any of you would be interested in providing a list of your games released in 2019, and/or electronic review copies of the same.
The Nebulas are a bit different than other industry awards, because they aren’t selected by a jury. Instead, current SFWA members–roughly 1,900 professional authors and game writers–are the ones who identify work they think is notable and vote on the final ballot.
Members nominate fiction and games between November 15 and February 15, and the works with the highest number of nominations make it into the final ballot, which is sent to all SFWA members in March. One winner is selected in each category based on member votes, and winners are announced at the annual Nebula ceremony in April.
Starting with last year’s awards, SFWA has added a game writing category to the Nebulas, and if you’re a game designer or author yourself I would love to be able to share any work you released in 2019 with SFWA members.
Any type of game writing is eligible, so long as it:
- Is “an interactive or playable story-driven work which conveys narrative, character, or story background”
- Has at least one credited author
- Was broadly released for the first time in 2019 (so if your work was only on a limited release this year, it isn’t yet eligible, but if you had a limited release of a game in 2018 or earlier and it officially released in 2019, it is eligible)
- Is a finished work, and not a demo, beta release, or other kind of early release
New editions of games are also eligible, so long as they represent “substantive changes” from earlier editions.
If you would like to provide an electronic review copy or purchase code (or just a description) of something you released in 2019, I can post it to SFWA’s secure forums, which are restricted to registered SFWA members.
If you have any questions, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the Nebula Awards Commissioner, Jim Hosek, at email@example.com
Of course, you can also just respond to this thread!
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Stewart C Baker
We ended up with thirty entries–woo!
Some of you have already started voting, so thanks for that. If you haven’t, and you’re not sure how to get started, head on over to the “submissions” page and click a game to read and rate it. Itch.io also has a handy “games in need of ratings” tool, which you can use to spread the voting love. The voting period ends January 1st, 2020, at 23:59 PST.
In addition to voting, it’s great if you can leave a comment to let the author know what you thought of their game. But remember that they, like you!, poured a lot of work into their entry–please be constructive if you have any critiques to share. You can leave comments on either the game page or the rating page.
On the sub-Q side of things, our editorial staff is digging in. We’ll announce the winner of the judges’ choice award hopefully around the same time as the voting period ends, or as soon as we can after. I’ll post here again when the voting period ends with the winners and what’s coming next.
Thank you all for taking part in our second annual jam!