Eligibility List 2015

We’re almost done with compiling the list of eligible games for 2015’s XYZZY Awards. The basic qualification for eligibility is ‘does this game have an entry in the Interactive Fiction Database‘?

In addition to an IFDB listing, a game needs to meet some minimal standards to be eligible for XYZZY voting:

Available. The game must exist in a form that can be accessed by the general public, either commercially or for free. Most commonly, games that fail this standard were never available (the IFDB entry was a test, or an announcement of a forthcoming game that never showed up) or were only ever available in one place and have since disappeared, either because a website became defunct or because the author took it down. But other possibilities exist: for instance, a game only available through private circulation, or only playable at special events with the author supervising, would not be eligible.

The following works were excluded under these standards. If you’re aware of a place where any of them are available to the public, please let us know.

Released as complete in applicable year. Each work only gets one shot at the awards, so we prefer to wait until they’re ready for it. Modern games are published in many different ways, so this is an increasingly indefinite category; thus, we mostly rely on cues from the author. If an author describes the game with words like ‘alpha’, ‘beta’, ‘demo’, ‘unfinished’, ‘intro’, ‘test’, ‘early access,’ ‘under construction’ or the like, or if it’s an Introcomp release, we take the author’s word for it.

This doesn’t apply to episodic works released as stand-alone installments. Earth and Sky was one story told in three games, but they all worked as complete, stand-alone games. Where it makes more sense, however, we’ll consider sequences of games as a single work (assuming that the sequence doesn’t include previously-released games). Feu du Joie is being considered as a single, complete piece. 18 Rooms to Home is likewise being considered as a single piece, but an unfinished one, so it won’t be eligible this year.

Ports, updated versions, and re-releases are considered to already have been released, and are not eligible. Adaptations, remixes and translations are considered to be new works. (Again, this is something of a rule of thumb. Jim Aikin’s 2006 game Last Resort, considerably expanded and renamed Lydia’s Heart, was deemed eligible for the 2007 Awards.)

For works which form expansions or supplements to existing works, things get a little more subjective. The main standards we apply here are:

  • How distinct is it from the broader work? Can it be played separately? Does it form a distinct narrative?
  • How is it represented by the author or publisher? If you call an update, we’ll take your word for it.

Although Aspel is a part of the Seltani platform, it is clearly a distinct piece under these standards. The various ‘Exceptional Stories’ expansions for Fallen London are a little more ambiguous; it’s not clear whether to consider them as distinct works in an ongoing series, or as updates to a pre-published piece. In general, where a question is tricky, we’d rather err on the side of inclusion, so this year the Exceptional Stories are in. We welcome your thoughts on this.

Works excluded on the released-as-complete standard include:

Is interactive fiction. This is a word which is used in very different ways in different contexts. The XYZZYs don’t use the very broadest definition of IF – ‘any narrative game’ – but we keep an eye on the evolving standards of IF communities. At present, we judge that the working consensus definition of IF is something close to ‘a text game’ – one in which interaction with prose or poetic text forms the heart of the experience, with graphics and illustration, audio, icons, spreadsheets and so on only appearing in a supplementary role.

Only one game was excluded on these grounds: Failbetter’s Sunless Sea. Sunless Sea has a strong focus on text and narrative, and features a high standard of writing, which qualify it as ‘interactive fiction’ under some usages of the term. But it is also heavily reliant on real-time, graphical gameplay. The real-time graphical map exploration of Sunless Sea is not a mere illustration supplementing or clarifying the text; it is the heart of the game. The central experience of Sunless Sea is not interacting with text.

Including Sunless Sea would mean that a great number of other graphical games – CRPGs, roguelikelikes – could only be excluded from XYZZY eligibility on quantitative grounds – ‘this isn’t literary enough to be IF’ – which is not something we’re willing or able to police.

The full list of eligible games follows.

36 Questions (Dietrich Squinkifer (Squinky))
The 4 Edith (Roboman)
5 Minutes to Burn Something! (Alex Butterfield)
Abduction (D.B.T)
Abusive Relationship Simulator (porree)
Accidental Character Generator (caeth)
After the Flag Fell (Felicity Banks)
The Ambassador’s Daughter (Stormchild)
ANDROMEDA 1983 (Marco Innocenti)
And the Pursuit of Happiness (Soda51)
Anf (Vincent Zeng, Chris Martens, Marius M)
Another Day in Seething Bay (Lisa Shininger)
Ansible (Jacques Frechet)
Arcadia (Iain Pears)
Arcane Intern (Unpaid) (Astrid Dalmady)
Arctic Survival Story (Jeffrey Balk)
Are You Racist? (Soda51)
Arthur (Piratescarfy)
The Art of Murder (Gavin Inglis, Failbetter Games)
Ashes (Glass Rat Media)
Aspel (Emily Short)
Attack of the Clockwork Army (Felicity Banks)
ausgedachte Tr (Jo)
The Baker of Shireton (Hanon Ondricek)
Balaclava (Nahuel Denegri)
Beautiful Dreamer (S. Woodson)
Beautiful Frog (Porpentine)
Before The Show (piratescarfy)
Below (Chris Gardiner)
Beneath Floes (Kevin Snow, Pinnguaq)
Beware The Faerie Food You Eat (Astrid Dalmady)
Big City Interactive Fate Machine (A. Hagen)
Bill Belichick Offseason Simulator (Jon Bois)
Birdland (Brendan Patrick Hennessy)
Bloom (Caelyn Sandel)
Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! (Steph Cherrywell)
BRITTLE (ValorsMinion)
Broken Wand (disabledpaladin)
A Bucket Filled With Sand (A C Godliman)
Bullets talk faster (Oreolek)
The Bunker (D.B.T)
Bus Station, Unbound (Jenn Ashworth, Richard Hirst)
By the Lake (Marius M)
The Cabin (D.B.T)
Can You Find The Mole In This Spy Organization? (ClickHole)
Can You Survive The Great Journey Out West? (ClickHole)
Cape (Bruno Dias)
CAPITALISM: The Role Playing Game (Soda51)
Capsule II – The 11th Sandman (PaperBlurt)
Captain Connie’s Ejactor Seat (Roxy Moskowitz)
The Cardiff Giant (G. E. M.)
Cards Against Buzzfeed (Soda51)
The Case of LeAnne’s Missing Bunny, Wendy (Ryan Veeder)
Castle of Doom (Bad Dog Studios)
Cat Simulator 3000 (Emma Winston)
Champion of the Gods (Jonathan Valuckas)
Chlorophyll (Steph Cherrywell)
The Choice is Yours (zombmia)
Choice of the Petal Throne (Danielle Goudeau)
Choices: And The Sun Went Out (Tin Man Games, Felicity Banks)
Coffee Simulator V1.4 – The Simulator No One Asked For (D.B.T)
Coin toss (Simon Deimel)
Come to Bag (PaperBlurt)
Com (Monsieur Bouc)
The Compass Rose (Yoon Ha Lee, Peter Berman)
Computer Lab Adventure (D.B.T)
Comrade (Roger Carbol)
The Court of Cats (Failbetter Games)
creak, creak (Chandler Groover)
Crossroads (Cat Manning)
The Curse (D.B.T)
The Cusp of Death (D.B.T)
Cute Forest Bus Story (Piratescarfy)
Cut with Moonlight (Failbetter Games)
Dames and Deadites: A Clancy, Renaldo, and Al Adventure Part 1 (John Robert Franklin)
Dark Deeds (sarge370)
The Darkest Fear (SCrumley)
Darkiss! Wrath of the Vampire – Chapter 1: the Awakening (Marco Vallarino)
Darkness Fails (Matt Campbell, Isaac Cook)
The Day of the Queen (Marius M)
A Day’s Adventure (Matt Ustach, Conner Soutar, Gianni Flores)
Daytime Never Had a Chance (Snoother)
A Day With A Troll (D.B.T)
The Dead At Home (D.B.T)
Dead Man’s Grave (Jon Tyktor)
Dead Synchronicity: The Longest Night (Mario Oliv)
The Dead Walk (D.B.T)
Death and Dissonance (Matthew Parsons)
Death Attends The Matinee (ClickHole)
death becomes h e r ;; (faun)
Death Cometh (D.B.T)
Deathless: The City’s Thirst (Max Gladstone)
Delphina’s House (Alice Grove)
DEVOTED (TahoeSnow)
Die Akte Paul Bennet (Michael Baltes)
Die schwarze Lilie (Hannes Sch)
Dirk (Andrew Schultz)
Discernment (Failbetter Games, Emily Short)
Discover the World (Adri)
DJ This Party (ClickHole)
Doggerland (A. DeNiro)
Don’t Look Twice (GriffEn)
The Doom Beneath (Jon Richardson, Bryan Richmond, Paolo D’Antonio)
Doors (Caelyn Sandel)
Down, the Serpent and the Sun (Chandler Groover)
Dracula’s Ride (D.B.T)
DragonDad (Kronosaurus, Yersinasaurus)
Dragonslayer (Chris Longhurst)
Dérive I: Santander (Garm)
Duel (piato)
Dysnomia (Alex Dalliance)
Emily is Away (Kyle Seeley)
Emma the Trust Fund Baby (garcia1000)
end (Josh Coates)
Endless Sands (Hamish McIntyre)
The Epic Ass-Kicking Quest For Awesome Glory (piratescarfy)
Eravola (Bjarke A. Larsen)
Escape from the Man-Sized Cabinet (The Late Show with Stephen Colbert)
Ether (MathBrush)
Everything We Do Is Games (Doug Orleans)
Fabricationist DeWit Remakes the World (Jedediah Berry)
The Falling Box (Viko)
False Mavis (Ted Casaubon (as Litany Brisket))
Feu du Joie (Alan Johanna DeNiro)
The Field (D.B.T)
Fight For The Glory Of Rome! (ClickHole)
A Figure Met in a Shaded Wood (Michael Thom)
Final Exam (Jack Whitham)
First of His Blood (Teo Kuusela)
The Fixer (Chikodili Emelumadu)
Flint (Alexis Kennedy, Failbetter Games)
Food, Drink, Girls (Roboman)
Forever Meow (Moe Zilla)
For Me It Was Tuesday (Soda51)
The Fragility of Hate (Peter Freeman)
Frightful (Cuchlann)
Garden of Steven (Soda51)
The Garden of Verging Paths (Quinn Spence)
Get The Whole Online Experience By Trying Our Internet Simulator (ClickHole)
G-G-Ghost! (disabledpaladin)
Ghosts Are Good Hosts (Leonid Pilchin)
The Ghost Ship (Jonathan Snyder)
Glitch (Chris Godber)
Gotomomi (Arno von Borries)
Grandma Bethlinda’s Variety Box (Arthur DiBianca)
The Griffin and the Minor Canon (Frank Stockton, Chandler Groover)
Grimm’s Godfather (WaffleShuai)
The Grizzly (D.B.T)
GROWBOTICS (Cha Holland)
growth (Liz England)
Hackenslash RPG Chapter 4: Death (Noah Marshall)
HAIZARA (Rani Baker)
Halloween Dance (MathBrush)
Hana Feels (Gavin Inglis)
Hard Puzzle 2 : The Cow, The Stool and Other Animals (Ade McT)
Hard Puzzle (Ade McT)
Harlowe vs Sharpe (Sage Michael)
Harrison Squared Dies Early (Daryl Gregory)
The Haunting at the Marsh-House (Chris Gardiner, Failbetter Games)
HCF (Norbez)
Heading East (Hugo Labrande (as Alex Davies))
Heezy Park (Andrew Schultz)
Help Is On The Way / O Socorro Tá A Caminho (Alliah)
The Hero of Kendrickstone (Paul Wang)
Hippo on Elm Street (Adri (as Erin Gigglecreek))
A History of the Shore Regions (Porpentine Charity Heartscape)
Hollywood Visionary (Aaron A. Reed)
Home/Sick (Felicity Banks)
A Honey Moon (Ben Gabriel)
The Horde (D.B.T)
Howwl (Tipue)
HummingBird Haunting (Norbez)
The HUND: The Awesome Alien Dating Sim (Drakkenn)
The Hunt for the Ape (D.B.T)
I am a math teacher and I am about to die (George Smolik)
Ice Station Alpha (D.B.T)
The Insect Massacre (Tom Delanoy)
Inside the Mouth of the Clown (D.B.T)
Interstellar Text Adventure (Jordan Goldberg)
In The Friend Zone (Brendan Vance)
In The Shadow Of Two Fangs: A Harrowing Tale Of Vampiric Terror (ClickHole)
Into the Shadows of the Maze (D.B.T)
Invasion (Cat Manning)
Inventory (Joey Fu)
Investigative Journalism: A Welcome to Night Vale Fan Game (Astrid Dalmady)
The Island (D.B.T)
The Island of Doctor Wooby (Ryan Veeder)
itch (Liz England)
I Think The Waves Are Watching Me (Bob McCabe)
It Is not so Much a Story (Bruno Dias)
It’s best not to think about it anyway (Dylan W. Birdosaur)
It’s Killing Time (Eric Bonholtzer)
It’s Your First Day At A New High School. Can You Become Popular? (ClickHole)
It’s Your First Day On Wall Street (ClickHole)
it weeps in the dark (Marius M)
Jetbike Gang (C. E. J. Pacian)
Johnny Brim and the Brimless Hat (Bradley W.)
Join This Cult! (ClickHole)
Kane County (Michael Sterling, Tia Orisney)
Kentucky Basketball Showdown (Jon Bois)
The King and the Crown (Wes Lesley)
Koustrea’s Contentment (Jeremy Pflasterer)
Laid Off from the Synesthesia Factory (Katherine Morayati)
land’s end (guinevak)
The Last Dog Society (Rob Morgan, Failbetter Games)
the last love song (Some Strange Circus)
The Last Note (Conundro)
Learn A New Language Right Now With Language Getter! (ClickHole)
legend of game: avocado edition, a game made by an avocado (Avocado)
L’Envol (Benjamin Roux)
Let’s Go Eat (Tom McHenry)
Lifeline 2: Bloodline (Dave Justus and 3 Minute Games)
Lifeline (Dave Justus, 3 Minute Games)
Lifeline: Silent Night (Dave Justus and 3 Minute Games)
Life On Mars? (Hugo Labrande)
Lightyear. (chromebookbob)
little mermaids (Prynnette)
Little Red Riding Hood (Adrianna Martin)
Lockdown (Richard Otter)
A Long Drink (Spankminister (as Owen Parks))
Lorem Ipsum (Thom Woodley)
Lost (Amanda Evans)
Love Forever (Darla Rosa)
lucky me (Some Strange Circus)
Lullabies and Moss (B R Sanders)
Lyreless (Bruno Dias)
Manca solo un verso a quella poesia – capitolo 1 (Diavolo dei crocicchi)
A Man in His Life (Yehuda Amichai)
Mansion Escape (Sarah Potter)
Man Up (Gritfish)
The Man Who Killed Time (Claudia Doppioslash)
Map (Ade McT)
Map of Fahlstaff (Ian Hinck)
The Martian Fields (Andrew Watt)
The Mary Celeste (D.B.T)
The Mayor and the Machine (J. Marie)
The McFarlane Job (Jason McIntosh)
Mean Streets (Bad Dog Studios)
The Memory Hole Part Three: Into The Void (Charlie Brown)
The Memory Hole Part Two: She Has No Mouth, Yet She Must Eat (Charlie Brown)
Meow (Bad Dog Studios)
Mere Anarchy (Bruno Dias)
MetaHuman Inc. (Paul Gresty)
Midnight. Swordfight. (Chandler Groover)
Molly and the Butter Thieves (Alice Grove (as Cosmic Hamster))
A Moment of Silence (ANDROID) (SoulDepthInt)
Moonbase Indigo (J. Robinson Wheeler)
Mother (Porpentine Charity Heartscape)
Much Love, BJP (Megan Stevens)
Mu Complex (StudioCime)
Mug Quest (Nonstop)
MVTA (Porpentine Charity Heartscape)
The Mysterious Shadows Of Skullshadow Island (ClickHole)
Need To Get Right With The Lord? Go To Church! (ClickHole)
The Negotiation (Soda51)
Neon Haze (Porpentine, Brenda Neotenomie)
Night of the Beast (D.B.T)
Night of the Devil (D.B.T)
Night of the Vampire (D.B.T)
Nine Lives (Merlin Fisher)
No Parents (Roscoe)
Not Another Night (D.B.T)
not knowing when the dawn will come, i open every door (Patrick Fox)
Nowhere Near Single (kaleidofish)
Nuclear Fire at Castle Treachery (A. Hagen)
Ohmygod Are You Alright? (Anna Anthropy)
The Oldest Hangover on Earth (Marius M)
Old fogey (Simon Deimel)
Ombre (Andrew Plotkin)
Onaar (Robert DeFord)
One Button Travel (TheCodingMonkeys)
One Day a Week you Work Here (Tim Ralphs)
Open That Vein (Chandler Groover)
Oppositely Opal (Buster Hudson)
Orchesterprobe (Nena Ost)
Orifice Clique (Porpentine)
Out of Gaz (@jen5588533)
Out West (veoviscool12)
Pale (Ally Vordan)
Pendragon Rising (Ian Thomas)
The Physiognomist’s Office (Christina Nordlander)
Pie (StapledTape)
Pilgrimage (V)
Pit of the Condemned (Matthew Holland)
Plan Your Son (ClickHole)
Point of No Return (D.B.T)
The Pond (D.B.T)
Pool Dominator (Andrew Watt (as Destiny Spearmint))
Priapism (Soda51)
A Primer On The Capture And Identification Of The Little Folk Of Myth And Legend (Krishan Coupland)
The Problems Compound (Andrew Schultz)
Prospero (Bruno Dias)
The Purple Island Glow-Grubs (Dave Strand, Kelly Levy)
Questor’s Quest (Mark Stahl)
Rainbows and Dance Parties! (Carolyn VanEseltine)
Rape, Pillage, Makane! (Chandler Groover)
Ratings War (Eddy Webb)
Recorded (Nick Junius)
Relic (Caelyn Sandel)
Review of Life on Mars? (Stephen Granade)
Rider In The Mist (Roy Mathur)
RiFRAf (Soda51)
The Ritual (Ed Turner)
Roasted Misfits (Jason Dyer)
Rocket Hall (Ian McDonell)
RPG-ish (Stuart Lilford)
Ruiness (Porpentine Charity Heartscape)
Running Down a Dreamland (Wes Eas)
Save the World in 7 Moves (chintokkong)
Saybutts (Densetsu No Gomez)
Scarlet Sails (Felicity Banks)
School Adventure (D.B.T)
Das Schwert der Macht (Freya)
Scroll Thief (Daniel M. Stelzer)
Second Date (@HarrisonChute)
Second Story (Fred Snyder)
Secret Agent Cinder (Emily Ryan)
Seeking Ataraxia (Glass Rat Media)
Silver & Gold (rosencrantz)
Singular (Gritfish)
Siren for Hire (Maddy Myers)
Six Gray Rats Crawl Up The Pillow (Caleb Wilson (as Boswell Cain))
Sixth City (Oreolek)
Sixth Grade Detective (Laura Hughes)
SKATE OUT! (PaperBlurt)
The Skeleton Key of Ambady (Caelyn Sandel (as Adalai Trammels))
Sleepless (Natalia Theodoridou)
Sleepover At Brynna’s (ClickHole)
Snake Game (Vajra Chandrasekera, Tory Hoke)
Sogno di Sangue (Marco Vallarino)
So Help Me Choose (Bjarke A. Larsen (Chronologist))
Someone Keeps Moving My Chair (Ryan Veeder)
The Songbird, the Woman and the Silver Casket (Taryn Quinn)
Sorcery! 3 (Steve Jackson, inkle)
Sourire de bois (Natrium)
So, You’re Possessed! (Tony R. Smith and Beth Townsend)
The Speaker (Norbez)
The Spectre of Castle Coris (Larry Horsfield)
Starry Seeksorrow (Caleb Wilson (as Ayla Rose))
The Story of the Shinoboo (Adri)
Stranded: The True Tale Of A Shipwrecked Sailor (ClickHole)
The Striding Place (Gertrude Atherton)
A Study in Steampunk: Choice by Gaslight (Heather Albano)
Submerge (Joshua Houk (as Carlos Percival Saldanha))
Sub Rosa (Joey Jones, Melvin Rangasamy)
subVegas (subVegas)
The Sue (Marshal Tenner Winter)
Summit (Phantom Williams)
Sunburn (Caelyn Sandel)
Sunrise (Lucky Sun Scribes)
Super Epic Link Clicking Simulator (Anton Muerte)
Survival Horror (Joe Aaron Sellers)
Switcheroo (The Marino Family)
Taghairm (Chandler Groover)
Tailypo (Chandler Groover)
Tainted (Claudia Doppioslash)
Tentacles Growing Everywhere (Dietrich Squinkifer (Squinky))
Terminator Chaser (Bruno Dias)
Test Story (Octopolluted)
Texas Instruments Theater (Socks Meanie (as Winston Ian Parrish))
Thanksgiving Adventure (D.B.T)
Thanksgiving Adventure ][ (D.B.T)
Thanksgiving (Hannah Powell-Smith)
That Sinister Self (Astrid Dalmady)
There Are No Cats in My Backyard (Jeff Campbell)
This Was A Man (Piratescarfy)
Three Days of Night (spaceflounder)
Three Dragons (Tim Samoff)
Timecrest (Sneaky Crab)
Time Disaster (Chris Backe)
The Tiniest Room (Erik108)
tiny tarot (Chelsea Stearns)
Toby’s Nose (Chandler Groover)
Toddler RPG (Noah Marshall)
TOMBs of Reschette (Richard Goodness)
Tonight Dies the Moon (Tom McHenry)
To Spring Open (Peter Berman, Yoon Ha Lee)
A Town with No Name (D.B.T)
Traveler (Caelyn Sandel)
A Trial (B Minus Seven)
Trick or Treat (D.B.T)
Trumped (Soda51)
Truth be untold (Pseudavid)
TUNDRA (PaperBlurt)
Unbeknown (A. DeNiro)
Unpolished (Sparklebliss)
Untold Riches (Jason Ermer)
USSR-DOS (Kevin Bott)
Utopia Ep 1: Human Values (Mystery Man)
vale of singing metals (foresthexes)
VERSUS: The Lost Ones (Zachary Sergi)
Visita al Marconi (G. Marconi, Marco Vallarino)
Vividity (Ben Scott)
Voice Box (B Minus Seven)
Walking with Spirit Bear (Christina Borek, Faye Iolanthe)
The War of the Willows (Adam Bredenberg)
War of the Worlds (by D.B.T)
We Know the Devil (Aevee Bee)
Welcome Home (D.B.T)
Well. (AnAwesomeHobbit)
What are you wearing? (Von Django)
When the Land Goes Under the Water (Bruno Dias (as Nikephoros De Kloet))
Where is Everybody? (D.B.T)
Winter Storm Draco (Ryan Veeder)
Witches & Wardrobes (anna anthropy)
Wolfenschtein: The Text Adventure! (Shaokang Yuan)
The Wolf in the Park (D.B.T)
The Woods (Nick Filauro)
The World Model is Really Problematic (Spankminister)
The World Turned Upside Down (Bruno Dias)
Would You Survive A Bear Attack? (ClickHole)
The Writer Will Do Something (Matthew Burns)
X-80 Oppenheimer (Oliver Ashford)
Xanadu – The World’s Only Hope (XanMag)
Yep (Mike Reeder)
Yesterday’s Reality (Walter Johan)
You Are Not the Author (Soda51)
You Arrive In America (ClickHole)
You (ClickHole)
You had, like, so much going on (porree)
Your Sword is Rather Plain Chapter 1 – The Quest for Starbucks (Waywardautarch)
You’ve Been Elected To Congress! Can You Pass Even One Goddamn Bill? (ClickHole)
You Were Here (Joshua Houk)

4 thoughts on “Eligibility List 2015

  1. matt w

    I noticed that Terminator isn’t on the list–I think the issue is that its IFDb page doesn’t list the year of release, though it was a 2015 release (from ParserComp). This is mostly a concern in case there are any other games that slipped through for the same reason.

  2. Orihaus

    Hi, author of To Burn in Memory here!

    I let the online version of To Burn lapse due to the Steam release. You can find it here: .

  3. Pingback: FEATURE: awards season recommendations – spooky action at a distance

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