Matthew Warner

“Tombs & Mummies”: 78th place in IFComp2020

My first text adventure game, “Tombs & Mummies,” placed 78th out of 103 entries in the Interactive Fiction Competition 2020, sponsored by the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation. (Full results here.)

This was a fun and well-run competition. In addition to donated cash prizes, there’s a large pool of non-monetary prizes the winners will choose from, including a 30-minute audiobook production from me. At every turn, I was pleasantly surprised at how mutually supportive and positive the I.F. community remained, and that makes me want to program a better game for next year.

I learned many things about programming interactive fiction along the way, mainly from the people who were kind enough to post reviews of my game. For example, I learned there’s a much higher tolerance for difficult puzzles than I expected. The audience for these games doesn’t mind spending hours researching, hunting for clues, unlocking ciphers, and the like. I think they would really get a kick out of Staunton’s Traipse/WQSV 106.3 Treasure Hunt — and in fact, I discovered that one of the Traipse creators is a huge interactive fiction fan and served as an IFComp volunteer judge.

If you’d like to play the free game “Tombs & Mummies,” please click on the picture below. I advise you to create an account at the Text Adventures website, install the Quest 5.8 interpreter locally, and download the game to play it that way. Many of my reviewers were frustrated with the online experience. (I have the same advice about “Omelet Miner,” which really depends on speed. The online experience of that frequently hangs and locks up.)

Tombs & Mummies