There are a lot of community-created worlds in StoryNexus (more than 800 with at least a snippet of content) - and one of our challenges is to sort out the really good work from the unfinished experiments. This is why we held our first World of the Season competition: to encourage creators to submit their efforts to scrutiny, and pick the best-written, most effectively designed and most innovative pieces for promotion.
And we had some really, really fine entries. Every one of them was well worth playing, but honourable mentions in particular to Lily Fox's MAELSTROM and Ben Mansky's THE HOUR. But the top three were...
in third place, Caitlin Lill's EVOLVE, an ingenious and delightful educational game tracing the evolution of life over millions of years from single-celled organisms onwards;
in second place, ZERO SUMMER, a team effort from Gordon Levine, Becca Noe and Tucker Nelson, the lushly enigmatic story of the exploits of a Man With No Name in a desolate future America turned impossibly strange;
and in first place, the winner of this season's competition, Meg Jayanth's SAMSARA - an intricately detailed and wantonly phantasmagoric tale of dreams, intrigue and desire. If Inception had been set in eighteenth-century Bengal, it might have looked like this.
Nigel Evans led the judging on the Failbetter side, but we also had a panel of marvellous external judges -
- Mike Laidlaw, Creative Director of BioWare's Dragon Age, for the mainstream games industry
- Susan Arendt, Executive Editor of the Escapist, for the press angle
- the entirely inimitable Jonas Kyratzes, developer of The Sea Will Claim Everything, Infinite Ocean, Phenomenon 32 and other wild experiments, for the indie crowd
...who we'd like to thank tremendously for their time and their quality feedback.
You can play all of the World of the Season winners at www.storynexus.com , from the navigation bar at the top - all the other entrants will also be visible on the front page for another day or two.
We'll be holding another World of the Season competition this winter, closing end of December. Rules and prizes will be very similar to those from this season's competition. Get a head start on it now, and it could be you on our front page in January.