The Russian counterpart of IFcomp, KRIL, went online yesterday with 25 original games, two translated games (one of them mine), and two exhibition games that will not be included in voting. KRIL has been an annual event since 2006, but since I was not involved in previous years, this is my first look at it. I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast a bit with IFcomp. I should add the disclaimer that my Russian is pretty rusty and that all the heavy lifting on my entry was done by Valentin Kopeltsev, so if I get any of the details below wrong, just leave a comment.
First of all, KRIL has its own website, and this year’s games are listed in a familiar graphic / blurb format at http://kril.ifiction.ru/games2018. As with IFComp, there is the option to list games alphabetically or according to a personal shuffle. There is also an option for a completely random shuffle (the personal shuffle is always the same order when you return to the website, whereas the truly random option shuffles each time). In addition to the graphic and blurb, the author’s name, the system used for authoring and outbound links are provided.
The rules for KRIL are provided on the website in Russian as well as an overview in English. The English version is aimed at non-Russian authors who might be approached by translators interested to port their games to Russian to enter in the “translated game” category.
This year’s organizer, Oreolek, has aligned many KRIL’s rules with those of IFcomp, for instance, judges are required to vote on at least five games. Also similar to IFcomp’s Colossal Fund, there is a central fund for the competition. One clever feature on the website is a calculator widget, which allows users to explore prize award amounts as a function of the total amount in the fund. In addition to monetary prizes for the top games in each category, there are some monetary prizes for games that meet certain criteria, according to theme or platform. In principle, physical items can be donated as prizes, but I don’t think there are any this year, or at least none announced yet. As far as I can tell, there is no equivalent to IFcomp’s Miss Congeniality Award or Golden Banana of Discord.
The Russian counterpart of the intfiction.org forum is forum.ifiction.ru, and KRIL has it’s own general discussion. In addition, the forum itself is used for voting. Games are listed in a grid, providing the name of the game, the blurb text, author and game system information, and comments on the game by other forum users. When you click a title, some additional information is presented along with a the game’s graphic and links for documentation, walkthrough, download, etc. Most important, though, at the top of the page is a box filled with ten stars. The user clicks the number of star to rate the game. The forum is moderated and requires a password, so this assures that each person has one vote per game.
A look through the listings points up some major differences in authorship tools between IFcomp and KRIL. In recent IFcomps, Twine and Inform have dominated, with about twice as many Twine as Inform. Other systems in common use include Quest, Texture, ChoiceScript, and depending on the year, Adrift, TADS, ALAN, and other established systems and the occasional homebrew system.
By contrast, in this year’s KRIL, the most popular authoring system was Apero, although that may reflect incentive prizes for that authoring system. On the other hand, there were similar incentives for the Russian version of Inform 6 (rInform) and no entries were received. Other authoring systems included various versions of AXMA Storymaker (3), Twine (3), FireURQ (3), Atril (3), Instead (2), Ink (1), QSP (1), and Ren’py (1). In addition, one entry was submitted in GoogleForms, and two were hyperlinked CYOA text documents. My entry was the only one written in Inform 7. Ink may be more popular than this list reflects; in other comments, several authors mentioned using it as part of their development process.
Some of these systems have made at least limited appearance in previous IFcomps. In 2018, Serhii Mozhaisky‘s (TechniX) “I.A.G. Alpha” was written in Instead. Hanon Ondricek used AXMA storymaker for this year’s IFcomp entry Cannery Vale and last year’s Alice Aforethought.
There is some overlap between this year’s IFcomp and KRIL as well in terms of authors as well. Serhii, mentioned above, submitted a game to the translated works category, Michael Lutz and Kimberly Parker’s “The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo” (link to his Russian Version). Additionally, Provodnik Games, who submitted “Railways of Love” in IFComp, have entered with another original game, “Grayness“.
I have just started poking at the games, so I don’t yet have a good grip on themes, but it looks like fantasy and RPG are strongly represented, followed by sci-fi. I’m particularly intrigued by the game implemented in GoogleForms — will this be “Let’s Explore Geography! Canadian Commodities Trader Simulation Exercise” of KRIL 2018?