Choose Your Own SpeedIF

SpeedIF is an IF tradition that dates all the way back to the 90’s, and it’s been brought back a few times (by David Cornelson–the guy who invented the concept), and ideas on how to bring them back have been going around for a while.

One of the ideas that has been chucked around a bit (and in different ways without the SpeedIF name attached) is a SpeedIF comp limited to CYOA games only. Another one was to run a SpeedIF for games written in the Scott Adams format, but that’s another story.

In the tradition of the SpeedIF competitions of old, I’d like to hold one some time in May, assuming anyone would be interested. The rules will be as follows:

  1. Your game must be written in two hours or less.
  2. It must be written in a choice-based IF engine (Twine, Squiffy, ChoiceScript, Etc.) No parser games, or hybrid choice/parser games. (Sorry, GrueScript.)
  3. It must include the following:
  • A reference to the phrase “Make America Fat Again”
  • a famous musician wearing a
    latex monster suit,
  • #MonkeyPower
  • and any of the following: Fascist Klingons, dancing ducks, Canye West’s 2024 presidential campaign, unicorns that fart rainbows, or a homeless Tom Cruise.
3 Likes

I’m in!

2 Likes

With such a short timescale, I’d guess you’d need a macro or script to create the boilerplate for the game file, then you’d get your head down and create the content for each node?

The word “must” limits the entrants. Dave Cornelson would lay out a buffet menu, never insist that a speed-if MUST be this list. That’s why he invented it, and you are a fan.

  1. It shall include the following:
  • A reference to the phrase “Make America Fat Again”
  • a musician
  • Wearing a latex monster suit
  • #MonkeyPower
  • someone famous
  • and any of the following: Fascist Klingons, dancing ducks, Kanye West for president, homeless Tom Cruise.

This is CYOA only. You have two hours. Go.

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This is dumb. Ok. I have an idea for someone famous. It’s not Tom Cruise. I have 10 minutes to think of a thing-that-you-do-to-make-another-thing-get-another-thing-in-it. That’s how I write speed-IF.

Ok, I need to think of a thing that you do to make another thing get another thing in it. And maybe think of a brief story, just to show off. Ok. Concentrating on not-Tom-Cruise, because that was mentioned by the guy that started the speedIF. Cut the first option. Making a game that has “>WEAR MONSTER SUIT” is possible. That’s a fun idea. Hashtag MonkeyPower… table for now.

Someone famous that can wear a monster suit, could be anyone. Still good. Fascist Klingons. Is that how you spell Fascist? Ok, not Facsist, they got that right. But. Hm. 3 minutes. I need one IF type puzzle. I didn’t want to use Tom Cruise as “someone famous” but I’m gonna start writing my first scene description.

Room “Behind the club alley”
description “Tom Cruise seems passed out in this LA barroom alley. The only way out is north.”

TomCruise “Tom Cruise”
description “Tom Cruise is passed out. You can’t revive him. Never mind,”

/*

  • A reference to the phrase “Make America Fat Again”
  • a musician
  • Wearing a latex monster suit
  • #MonkeyPower
  • someone famous
  • and any of the following: Fascist Klingons, dancing ducks, Kanye West for president, homeless Tom Cruise.
    */

You get out of the alley, run into Klingons, you either salute or you don’t, you either have learned the salute or you haven’t, CYOA, speed-if,

Dah dah dah, dee dee dee, whatever the hell else you wanna put in there.

Jay Robbie Cohen, Tiin Pan Alley IF Author

Okay, maybe two hours isn’t feasible for choice-based IF… And I think the premise rule could’ve been written better. Also @jrobinsonwheeler, I love that your first thought of a homeless Tom Cruise was passed out in a bar. My first thought was “hmm… I wonder if that’s what happened after the end of Cocktail.”

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Two hours seems very short. Ectocomp does four hours. Somewhere between four and twenty-four (inclusive) seems like a good sweet spot.

I’d be interested in a Speed IF exercise but participating in a jam which mandated such specific inclusions is not something I’d do. None of the example “must includes” are interesting to me, and if the jam went up with those rules I’d just shrug and move on.

Ludum Dare, a popular timed game jam, has themes which are extremely general - for example, the last two prompts were “Delay the inevitable” and “Unstable”. Ectocomp has “anything vaguely spooky.” A prompt closer to that would be better, I think.

9 Likes

nailed it;

Homeless Tom Cruise and his dancing ducks busk for coins to Billy Gibbons’ King-Kong themed hit #MonkeyPower as part of Canye West’s MAFA campaign for president.
Against them, the Fascist Klingons threaten to kill everybody including the rare rainbow farting unicorns, just to make things miserable.

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Two hours proved to be exciting, for authors under 20. They have the energy, but we’re waiting for the genius who needs less than 3 hours to at least get the premise and three of the seven bullet points working in a game that can be cooked into what feels like a snack for a player.

Don’t worry about the time limit. The list of starter ideas is actually more important, and the time limit is a good cap on how long to work on it, unless you catch a groove and have to finish your idea. Taking it where it needs to go.

But finish it, and submit it!

Rob Wheeler

2 Likes

This is more or less the ethos behind Ectocomp’s Grand Guignol and I’d enjoy a choice-based minicomp like that. My oldest friend and long-time writing partner Loz Etheridge is up for it too, so expect something pretty surreal from us if it does go ahead!

1 Like