Announcing: Bare-Bones Jam! 💀`(Games are out!)

Organised by the NeoInteractive Girlies (@cchennnn, @LapinLunaireGames, @sophia), presenting the:

The Bare-Bones Jam is a month-long game jam for text-based games where you cannot change the formatting of the chosen program. Not only are graphics prohibited, but so is changing the interface or presentation in any way from the engine defaults.

During the jam, the focus is on the text only. After the jam, you can do whatever you like with your game.

This jam was inspired by the Naked Twine Jam from 2014, but it is not restricted to twine.

Constraints and Rules:

  • You cannot make changes to the visual of the game, and must keep the basic UI and formatting of the chosen program.
    • Excluded are the uses of basic text formatting (italics, bold, underline, etc…), lists and tables (that means it’s allowed!).
  • Games should not include assets, like images or sound - the focus should be on the text.
  • Games should not include any generated AI content.
  • The Jam is open to any program/medium, as long as the piece can be considered Interactive Fiction (i.e. the game is interactive, and its focus is on the text).
  • The Jam is open to any language.
  • The Jam is open to NSFW content, as long as you indicate it in your submission (in the Content Warning of the form).
  • Spam or hateful content will be removed!
  • During the duration of the jam and the two weeks following the deadline, the submissions should be free to play.
  • You can submit up to 3 entries!

Register here:

Join the Neo-Interactive Discord


[I’m adding a page in the Wiki in a bit]
EDIT: Done Bare-Bones Jam - IFWiki


Are line breaks allowed? :wink:


We’re not monsters, Hal…
(ofc line break is fine, we just meant stuff that could be considered formatting in CSS/with special macros)


I think this means that italics etc. are excluded from the prohibition on formatting changes, and are therefore allowed, not that they’re specifically banned. But should confirm with @manonamora!


Cool! A new text jam.


If you’ve ever considered giving Twine a shot, this is about as low-stakes and beginner-friendly as you can get in a Comp/Jam. Other creators’ CSS and graphics/audio mastery becomes temporarily irrelevant, lowering the perceived barrier to entry. Just focus on your game/story and have fun. Chapbook in particular is fairly easy to pick up and the default UI isn’t even that hard on the eyes.


OOOOOORRRRR you can make a lil parser :stuck_out_tongue:
(We accept any IF engine/format, even the ones you make yourself from scratch !)


I know, for once making a parser game is easy mode!


[Eyeballs murder-mystery made on an excel sheet. The financial forensics that provide evidence of motive and means are hidden in the sheet and you have to use the built in formulas and tables of figures to solve the murder mystery.]


In keeping with the spirit of the jam, I’m wondering how hard it would be to write an Inform game that doesn’t use any Before, Instead, or After rules to change the behavior of actions…

EDIT: (And that includes check rules that should really be instead rules, and the like. I mean no rules that handle special cases. Everything must be fully general!)


I think that’s outside the scope. There’s nothing to stop you doing that, but I think the spirit of the jam is to concentrate on content, not cosmetics. To quote:

I’m not sure if I’ll be able to write anything, as this jam conflicts with ECTOCOMP and I was thinking of doing an ECTOCOMP entry this year. However, if I do, I have a question…

If I write a parser-based game that’s contained in a z-code or glulx file, the appearance of the game is determined by the interpreter and different interpreters will display it differently. I presume that’s okay.

However, if I do a Parchment version, I have to jump through hoops to do that and that means custom html and css. Is that permitted? Perhaps I could force it to black text on white background. I’m not using Inform 7, so the Inform 7 default templates don’t apply.


So, my understanding is that this is Plain Text only? Choice IF is acceptable? Does that mean even bash or bc is OK? It certainly is interesting!

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It does a bit. But if you are already creating a game for the Ectocomp which doesn’t change the visuals of the chosen format, you can submit it in this jam too :stuck_out_tongue:
So regular parser files are totes fine !

Lemme get back to you on that (will ask the neoint girlies), because it’s like a special case :joy: but probably fine too.
EDIT @Warrigal It’s fine!! Parchment is good :slight_smile:


It is acceptable! We actually expect more Choice IF than parser, honestly…
It’s more than plain text, because we only ask people to not change the built-in visual of the format chosen. So if you chose Twine Harlowe, you are stuck with the black background, white text, and blue links.

Can you make IF with it? Then sure!
Just don’t change how the visual looks in the output file.


Doesn’t Parchment still have a default style if you don’t write any CSS of your own?

1 Like

Erm my entry of IFComp kinda does that…

Rule Count
Check 15
Carry Out 20
Report 7
After 2

I did need two after rules:

1 for allowing testers to put in a comment (after reading a command).
1 for showing a help message (after printing the banner text).


This is getting into a tangent, but those rules don’t actually go into the After rulebook! “After [an activity]” is a separate thing from “after [an action]”.


(Don’t feel pressured to add extra rules to your entry :wink: )


Ouch okay I stand corrected lol… you peeps know Inform much better than me. But main reason why I dont have any Instead Before After rules is because the game is using only custom verbs…