At this point, I'm guessing I'm about 25% through the implementation of my game "The Z-Machine Matter." I've tested it out with about 10 people and it appears to have been well received. I have the game mapped out, but there's a lot of work still to be done in implementing the outline, characters and plot twists that I've written. Alas, my time to work on the game is very limited and I expect progress is going to be slow.
In order to keep things going, I am considering entering an unfinished version in IntroComp in June. I should be able to make more progress in the coming months and then finish the game in the months after IntroComp. Or at least that's my goal.
One minor sticking point with IntroComp: most IF competitions don't let you enter a game that has been previously entered into IntroComp. Although to be fair, this is really more of an issue with the other major competitions, SpringThing and IFComp rather than IntroComp per se.
As stated in the IntroComp FAQ:
WHEN I FINISH WRITING MY GAME, CAN I SUBMIT IT TO IFCOMP?
No go, my friend. It would run afoul of the spirit of IFComp's "no prior release" rule. You may be allowed to enter it in other minicomps, though - ask your local minicomp dealer.
In other words, you can enter the introductory scene or scenes of your game into IntroComp as a way to gauge interest and get feedback, but in so doing, you're effectively ruled out of the major comps.
While I have great respect for the organizers of these competitions, their reasoning seems pretty bizarre. SpringThing has considered making their competition open to games that were previously entered in IntroComp, but IFComp doesn't seem open to this idea at all. The thinking is that by being strict about not letting any previously released games into IFComp that this will encourage more people to write games. I don't see how that makes any sense. It seems to me encouraging IntroComp authors to finish their games by letting them enter IFComp would better accomplish the stated goal.
But I'm just a newbie in the IF world and I don't think my input or views on this were particularly welcome. Or maybe I wasn't clear enough in my presentation to the IFComp organizers. But it looks like I'll have to decide whether I should enter IntroComp and give up the ability to enter the completed game elsewhere or not.
What do you think? Does the "no prior release" rule of IFComp make sense? Should there be an exception to allow authors of IntroComp games to enter their completed works? Should I bother with IntroComp? Let me know what you think. I still think the full-blown comps are great and will continue to donate prizes, help fund kickstarter projects in the IF Community etc. But I still can't get my head around this.