My friends: IF Comp 2016 is now open. If you're new to interactive fiction, you may not be familiar with the IF community calendar, so let me quickly explain why you've arrived at the best time of year.
4 years ago
Earlier this year, the interactive fiction community held its annual XYZZY awards to celebrate the best interactive fiction pieces (and a few types of technical work) from 2015. The XYZZYs are one of the longest-running awards in gaming, celebrated every year since 1997, when they honored the best IF games of 1996. This year one game dominated the awards, with good reason: Birdland.
I was at the swimming pool this week and an old lady asked me what I did for a living. I told her I write about free videogames on the internet. "Oh," she said, "Like SpillTender, Trills, Monster Streaking, Morse and Maddening Relapse 2?" I stared at her. "You know, you should write about Birdland too." "Shut up," I said. "You're fictional. This whole damn…