IFTF manages a range of programs in service to our mission.
The Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (IFComp) is a yearly festival that invites the world to share, play, and judge new works from independent IF creators. IFComp has been running since 1995, which makes it the world’s oldest continuously operational exposition for noncommercial video games. It is free, open to the public, and held entirely online. Its website showcases past entries and winners, allowing visitors to experience the history of IF first-hand.
Jason McIntosh has been the competition’s organizer since 2014. IFComp has operated since 2016 under the stewardship of IFTF, by way of its IFComp standing committee. The software, servers, and other resources that keep the competition running smoothly are paid by IFTF’s general fund, built in turn from community generosity.
Twine is a free tool which lets creators of all skill levels make hypertext-based interactive fiction. Invented by IFTF co-founder Chris Klimas in 2009, it has grown rapidly in popularity and importance. Twine’s diverse userbase includes Hollywood studios, schools, and disadvantaged creative communities.
In 2016, IFTF will explore ways to provide legal and financial support to both the Twine project and its community infrastructure. We will aim to ensure Twine’s continued high quality and free availability, without affecting any of the licenses or practices which have allowed Twine development to thrive.
Interactive fiction has always been an accessible medium. IF stories are primarily text-based and tend to unfold at a pace set by the player. Therefore, IF presents significantly fewer barriers for players with disabilities than most other kinds of video games. However, as IF creation and play technologies advance in new directions, accessibility doesn’t always receive the attention that it deserves.
IFTF intends to create a program during the coming year that will help identify ways to bring popular IF platforms up to modern accessibility standards. We will assist projects in implementing these improvements, and create permanent accessibility guidelines for future IF work.