Interactive Fiction Competition Announces New Cash Prizes

Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1 July 2016—The Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation (IFTF) is excited to announce the Colossal Fund, a new pool of cash prizes for the prestigious Interactive Fiction Competition (IFComp). The prizes will be distributed among the top two-thirds of competition entries, and will be funded through community donations.

IFComp was founded in 1995 by Kevin Wilson and has taken place annually ever since — this is its 23rd year. It is the world’s oldest continuously operating annual open-entry game design competition, and games entered run the gamut of interactive fiction, from parser games to hypertext works to experimental multimedia experiences. Historically, IFComp prizes have been donated by the community, resulting in a mixture of cash and other prizes both physical and digital, as well as a few special awards (such as the Golden Banana of Discord, a small trophy won by the game with the highest standard deviation among its earned ratings).

This year, however, IFTF is raising money to establish the Colossal Fund, which will provide cash prizes ranging from a few hundred dollars down to ten dollars. It is modeled after a similar, very successful fund that IFComp supporter Etienne Vouga single-handedly set up for the 2015 competition. “IFComp entrants include aspiring professional game designers, and advisors have told us how even small cash prizes can significantly help people early in their careers,” IFComp organizer Jason McIntosh says. “The Colossal Fund therefore adds a permanent cash component to prizegiving.” It’s important to note that Colossal Fund adds to, rather than replaces, IFComp’s traditional prize pool. IFTF continues to accept community pledges of books, games, professional services, and other creative prizes, which IFComp finishers will receive in addition to their cash prizes.

IFTF’s fundraising goal is $6000, of which 80% will go into the Colossal Fund. The remaining 20% will support Comp costs, such as overhead. Donations can be made by check or Paypal, and as IFTF is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, they are tax-deductible where allowed by law. Cash prizes will be distributed in a similar manner. To learn more, visit IFComp’s website (http://www.ifcomp.org) and IFTF’s website (http://www.iftechfoundation.org/).

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For further information or to set up an interview, please contact Flourish Klink: press@iftechfoundation.org; 503-360-7705. Photographs and a fact sheet are also available on request.