Ectocomp 2011

I am hosting Ectocomp 2011 this year, in J.J. Guest’s stead. Please consider Ectocomp open for all platforms with willing participants.

The rules: write an IF suitable to Hallowe’en in three hours or less. You can get a good idea of the spread of available topics by checking out previous year’s entries. We’ve had a haunted forest house, spoofs on Dracula, a tale from an asylum, freaky trick or treating stories, post-apolcalyptic scenarios, you name it. It need not be horror, but in the spirit of the season it should involve some Hallowe’en element-- monsters, ghosts, fright, or the like.

A general note has been that the 3 hour restriction applies only to the actual coding of the game. You may plan for as long as you want, but as soon as you open your developer, start the clock.

Deadline for entries will be October 30th at midnight. This way people can start playing on Hallowe’en if they so wish. We will decide how long judging will last based on the number of entries received.

If you have an entry to submit, please send it to me at bowsman d (all one word, lowercase) at (except without the e’s). Thank you.

Ectocomp 2011 has its first entry: Bloodless on the Orient Express, by Hannes Schueller!

This game has the distinction of being the first non-ADRIFT game to be accepted for any Ectocomp. Huzzah!

I noticed the wiki page mentioned EctoComp is for ADRIFT games only. Has that restriction been removed? Or is there a higher bar for non-ADRIFT games?

It’d be cool to learn ADRIFT one day but I don’t think I can pull it off in three weeks.

Edit: yay! I might have an idea, then.

/prepares for some speed typin’

This year it’s open platform.

I bet you could… [emote]:lol:[/emote]

Not only is it possible, I have seen it done. (Jacqueline Lott learned ADRIFT within a three-week deadline for SpeedIF Indigo, and, being a constantly overcommitted person, didn’t actually spend any time on it for most of the allocated days. And Jacq is very far from being a top-flight coder.)

I would join this if I weren’t already committed to releasing Hallow Eve 2.0 by Halloween, which way breaks the 3-hour development period of Ectocomp. I do look forward to playing the games though. Perhaps will enter next year with a much shorter Halloween-themed IF.

Hallow Eve was written in Inform7, and like Maga mentioned above I think that a crash-course in Adrift would be fun once I have the time.

Just unveiling this year’s banner by Jacob Garbe.

We decided to keep the “ADRIFT” part in the banner as an indication of the roots of the competition. I also plan to originally post it on the ADRIFT Adventures page, subversive a move as it might be to put Z-code games and the like on the ADRIFT site (gasp).

Remember, any and all prizes for Ectocomp are of the kind given for IFComp: purely by donation. If you have anything you might want to throw in, even if you’re a contestant, it can make for a fun gift-and-story type of exchange. I will personally be donating a Cthulhu action figure with pose-able tentacles to whomever picks it from the prize pool. [emote]:geek:[/emote]

Ectocomp 2011 now has 3 entries and 2 donated prizes.

The games:
-“Bloodless on the Orient Express,” by Hannes Schueller (Z-code)
-“Hungry,” by Richard Otter (ADRIFT 4)
-“The House,” by Finn Rosenloev (ADRIFT 5)

The prizes:
-Cthulhu action figure with pose-able tentacles
-$10 Amazon gift certificate

Several authors are still working on games. If any are interested, there is still until October 30th-- just over a week for 3 hours of writing-- to submit a piece for this competition.

Two questions:
Do the three hours have to be continuous?
Is it cheating to write a bunch of prose (or code, even) in an external editor before you open the development environment?

The 3 hours need not be continuous, but they should be tracked. From what I understand of the rules’ intent, it is not cheating to write something in an external editor before putting it in a game. Copy-pasting is discouraged, mainly on the grounds that it could inflate an entry to well past what might be write-able in 3 hours, but as the technique hasn’t been abused, it has not been specifically disallowed. I believe James Webb used some copy-pasting to write Drinks with Lord Hansom in '08, but his effort didn’t strike anyone as having been more than 3 hours of work so it was okay.

If the main question here is whether or not one might write out pages of Inform 7 code and then copy-paste it into that development environment over the course of 3 hours, I think I would argue that writing code constitutes writing the game as opposed to planning. But, again, it’s mainly the spirit of the rule that’s important. Needless to say, a novel-length work would probably not be appropriate for Ectocomp.

I hope this answers your questions?

Yes, excellent! Both those rulings are probably good for me, time-wise (I’d have trouble finding a three-hour block, and if I actually tried to write copy-pastable prose at my usual pace I’d never finish).

Thanks for the clarification about what can and can’t be done beforehand. I sort of wanted to ask these myself, but I got caught up, etc. I had a lot of questions like “What if I want to give a random message here” and such. So it’s good to know that I can wait til I put the big ideas into an editor.

The release of Ectocomp is nigh! This year we have at least 8 games. However, some authors on the ADRIFT Forum have expressed that they still wish to write something, but missed the deadline. I have offered an extension, if there is sufficient interest. If there is interest here, as well, for an extension, just let me know.

Update on this situation coming soon!

I wouldn’t mind a small extension. I finally got something reasonable to compile–I have about an hour and a half left of programming time, but I’d like it to count. I, uh, thought the deadline was the 31st.

This makes sense. It’s Halloween; Halloween games would be cool [emote]:)[/emote]

(extensions are fine, too, but it would still be nice to try the finished games on the holiday …)

I missed the deadline AND exceeded the programming time by, like, a lot. I’ll probably release my game in the next couple of weeks (or just after the IFComp voting deadline) as a sort of annex.

(I also thought the deadline was the 31st, but it wouldn’t have mattered.)

So far, the competition has turned out 9 entries-- the biggest Ectocomp yet!

I believe the .zip should be attached in this post? Okay, tested. Works for me!

Will the games be made available in unzipped versions, or online? I don’t really trust Spatterlight with ADRIFT 5 games.

Works here, too; thanks!