IFComp features two kinds of prizes, both of which are donated by the IF community, and then shared among the authors of top-ranked entries after the competition ends.
Support IFComp and its authors through a charitable gift to The Colossal Fund, providing a cash prize pool for top IFComp entries! Learn more about it, and see who has contributed this year.
The fund drive ended with a total $10,380 raised! Thanks, everyone!
The following competition prizes have been generously donated by members of the interactive fiction community. See below to learn how the prize pool works, or how you can add to it.
An annotated Lets-Play playthrough of a game of the winner's choice, publicly posted on the IntFiction forums (see the link for a previous Lets Play by the donor; choice of game subject to donor agreement if it's significantly longer than typical IF Comp length.)
Donated by Mike Russo
Game music composition
Jim Aikin will compose and record up to five minutes of music to be embedded in your next game, in a post-comp release of your comp game this year, or as a soundtrack for a YouTube video that relates directly to your game(s). This can be one five-minute piece or as many as three shorter pieces. The music will be strictly synthesizers (no vocals or acoustic instruments, but there are good plugins that do piano, guitar, and drums). The style can be varied somewhat to suit your game, from ambient to jazz-oriented rock, but not hip-hop. For examples, visit midiguru.bandcamp.com. Jim Aikin must be credited for the music.
Donated by Jim Aikin
IFComp 2004 Hoodie
A souvenir from the 2004 comp. It was listed as a 'hoodie' in the comp merch listings, but it's more like a halfway blend between hoodie and t-shirt. It's got a hood, but no pockets, and is made of thicker t-shirt material rather than sweatshirt material. The color is light blue, and the size is 2XL.
Donated by Paul O'Brian
This is Graham's guide to improvising and storytelling in games. It's aimed at tabletop role-playing games, but worth reading for interactive fiction too.
Donated by Graham Walmsley
PDF edition of Cthulhu Dark, a tabletop roleplaying game of cosmic horror, in the style of H.P. Lovecraft.
Donated by Graham Walmsley
One-year games subscription to the New York Times Crossword
A one-year games subscription to the New York Times Crossword. It has to be for a new subscriber and cannot be used to renew or extend an existing subscription.
Donated by Nils Fagerburg
The Emerald Flame
A like-new copy of the narrative tabletop puzzle game The Emerald Flame. Shipped only within the US.
Donated by Sarah Willson
Zork Zero (Macintosh system 6 required!) in very good condition -- it has all the original feelies.
Donated by Matteo Vaccari
One-year voucher to articy:draft 3
(This prize can be selected by up to THREE winners.) A one year voucher for articy:draft 3 -- the interactive storytelling tool used in award-winning narrative games such as Disco Elysium, Suzerain, Gamedec and many more. Great for game writers and narrative designers to keep track of their storylines and manage narrative content in a visual and writer-friendly way.
Donated by Articy Software
A Man Named Baskerville
A copy of A Man Named Baskerville (Kindle or paperback)
Donated by Jim Nelson
A copy of Bridge Daughter (Kindle or paperback)
Donated by Jim Nelson
Unless otherwise specified, cash prizes are expressed in U.S. dollars and delivered by PayPal.
$50 Kiva Card gift card
$50 Kiva Card gift card -- can be used to make two microloans on kiva.org platform.
Donated by Edo
€200 (Euros) in ETH (Etherium)
200 Euros, transferred via Etherium.
Donated by Thomas Mack
Hadean Lands poster
A Hadean Lands poster; international shipping okay.
Donated by Jacqueline Ashwell
Subscription to Juiced.GS
A 2023 subscription to Juiced.GS, the last remaining print publication dedicated to the Apple II computer (value $20–28).
Donated by Ken Gagne
(This prize can be selected by up to TEN winners.) Author's choice of one of the following:
Stickers For All!
All authors will be offered a fun sheet of originally-designed stickers from Brad and Alleson Buchanan's 2022 IFComp game, Esther's.
Donated by Brad and Alleson Buchanan
To donate prizes to this year’s prize pool, please contact the IFComp prize coordinator with a description of what you’d like to put forward.
We’ll accept pretty much any suggestion; from simple tokens to useful things and objects of value, no prize is too humble or too grand. Feel free to browse past years’ prize lists for inspiration. You are free to donate as many prizes per year as you’d like; in all cases, these prizes stay with you until the competition ends.
One thing we can’t accept, much as we’d like to: gifts of Steam games. Due to Steam’s restrictions on purchasing games for other users, we can’t offer them as part of our prize pool. Exception: Creators or publishers of Steam games may donate redeemable codes (a.k.a. “Steam keys”) for their games as prizes.
Please note in your email whether your donation should go into the general prize pool, or whether it’s a special prize with extra conditions attached. (Most prizes go into the pool.) Note also whether you’d need to put any restrictions on who can receive it or where you can ship it. (This usually isn’t the case.)
To donate to the Colossal Fund, press that lovely blue PayPal button found above the fund's progress bar, up near the top of this page.
Donations to the Colossal Fund go to the Interactive Fiction Technology Foundation, a U.S.-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and are fully tax-deductible where allowed by law.
Since 1998, the Interactive Fiction Competition has every year distributed a variety of prizes to the authors of games that score well in the annual rankings. These prizes come from the IF community, and vary in shape from cash to books to food to professional services.
You can browse a list of the last few years’ prizes and donors here.
Donors hang onto their prizes until the competition ends, at which point they ship them to the authors who claim them. Most prizes each year gather into a pool, which ends up distributed among authors as described below – but donors have the option of creating special prizes with extra conditions attached.
Starting with the author of the first-place game, authors take turns choosing prizes from the pool. After the first-place winner picks a prize, then the second-place winner gets a chance to choose from the remaining list, followed by the third-place winner, and so on.
This continues until all prizes have been claimed. As authors claim prizes, donors receive notification to contact their prizes’ claimants and arrange shipment.
Most years, enough prizes float in the pool to allow more than half of all the comp’s participants to receive at least one prize.
Donors can declare that a prize should not go into the pool, but will instead automatically go to the author of a game that, once the competition is over, meets certain conditions. Examples of this in the past have included physical trophies for the top three games, cash awards for the three highest-ranking games that open-source their code, and a handmade “golden banana of discord” toy for the single game with the hightest standard deviation among its received scores.
Special prizes, when present, are the gravy on top of the normal prize pool. Authors whose work land them one or more special prizes will still get their pick from the pool according to the usual rules.
IFComp launched the Colossal Fund in 2017: a parallel, cash-only side-pool built up from charitable public donations. It's essentially a permanent "special prize" run by the competition itself.
This blog post explains the history and motivation behind the Colossal Fund, and details how it works.