Personal Taste and the Process of Selecting IF - an IFDB Pollby juliaofbath
I would like to determine how IFDB members select new IF games to play/texts to read. Is your taste informed by lists, polls, or the algorithm based on user ratings that recommends further material? Please let me know! This is an unconventional poll, so if you have the time and would like to give a response, please comment below or send me an email (my email address is avaible on my profile), I will be so thankful if you do!
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Mostly I try and play games by people I know (i.e. who's games I've played before, or people I've met online or in person), and play other games in any competition I enter. I also try and play canonical games that people refer to so I can be a part of conversation and improve my own craft.
Deterrents: unintentional poor spelling, grammatical errors, inadvertently tacky, excessive description, plot-heavy with cheesy writing, cliche without any saving graces.
Compelling: sparse/minimalist with clear style, intentional design, and clean graphic in the description, or none at all. well crafted reviews by more than one gamer, no exclamation points or sense of "selling" in the description, instead, something that hints at a surreal experience I can claim as my own, even if many others have played. unique. recommended.
Social media. Someone mentions a game so I come to check it out.
sometimes reading new additions here on front page, others reading suggestions and yet others randomly browsing like:
I tend to go by reviews or game descriptions, on this site or IF-related blogs. Doesn't have to be a positive review, as long as something about the game seems interesting.
I search by author. I'll start following an author's projects if I become a fan of their work. I found this to be the most reliable method of selecting games since a talented author is able to craft an experience for the player that transcends genre.
For anybody new to interactive fiction, the IFDB Top 100 list is a great place to discover about 100 authors that you'll probably love.
The two main ways that I discover authors is either through them entering into a competition or because an author whom I respect wrote a positive review of their work somewhere.
I like to poke around in the IFDB tag cloud, looking for tags that interest me. I find a lot of tags that I never would have thought to search for on my own.
I use genre a lot. As a prime example, I like horror games. So there are a few ways I can search up a list of them:
1. Typing 'genre:horror' in search will find games whose genre field is 'horror'.
2. Typing 'tag:horror' in search will find games which have been tagged by IFDB users with the keyword 'horror'.
3. Just typing 'horror' in search finds games with the word 'horror' in their title.
There's an overlap between 1 and 2, but it pays to do both for any genre you're interested in. For instance, if players have tagged something as horror even though the author didn't call it horror (by setting its genre to horror), 2 will find it.
Then with the results, I can sort in various ways to bring some sense of order, but what I do is scan the blurbs and reviews for info clueing me that I might be interested in a particular game. My interest may be divorced from the game's star rating, number of reviews or nature of reviews.
I check up on Pegbiter's list from time to time to make sure I'm not missing anything wonderful. http://ifdb.tads.org/viewlist?id=k7rrytlz3wihmx2o
I sort the games by most ratings. Sometimes I look at one year and then pick the games with the most ratings.
The IFDB top 100 is good, too, but there are so many really big games near the top that it can get exhausting.