Last year one was allowed to enter more than one game. One could spend three hours on each game. Is this still correct?

Just turned in my (first) entry! There’s at least one instance of “whoops, left in placeholder text,” but better than than a game-breaking bug!

Spoooooky placeholder text? [emote]:)[/emote]

Hey, I can donate a prize! I hereby donate a prize: a copy of my book “MOTORCYCLUS” and Other Extremely Scary Stories. It is the scariest book that has ever been written in any language. I will mail a copy to whoever wins EctoComp 2014, unless the winner asks me not to (probably a wise choice).

Thanks for the offer of a prize, Afterward! The rules are the same as last year so you can enter more than one game if you have more than one idea.

I narrowly missed finding out about this comp last year. Maybe I’ll participate this time if I get an idea that grabs me…

Due to an unfortunate circumstance, there is something of a last minute change of host for this competition. The Terrible Powers That Be have now infused me with their powers, so all entries and/or submissions for banner art should now go to me, at my screen name on this forum in the realm of the G mails.

Previously entered submissions have already been forwarded to me. [emote]:)[/emote]

EctoComp has at least two entries. With fingers crossed, I just sent mine to bowsmand.


At least 3, now, I’d think.

“Previously submitted entries” + inurashii’s being 1 entry means that “entries” is more than 0 and, thus, at least 2. Woohoo!

I have a sneaking suspicion there will be a good number of entries this year. I’ve got one Twine done and a parser idea mulling around.

So far there are 4 entries and 0 illustrations and 1 prize donation submitted.

I’m def entering. Gotta think of an ending, first!

How do you people manage to enter a game with such a time limit? I’m using 40 minutes for the very first room (which I’m not satisfied with, yet) and there’s just ONE object in it.
Guess mine’s the wrong approach…

Yeah, its really, really tough. I’ve had two abandoned attempts so far this year. You’ve got to keep either text or mechanic (preferably both) really simple. Try playing some past entries if you haven’t already to get a general idea of how to manage the DEADline. You will not produce a polished opus for Ectocomp. [emote]:)[/emote]

I think your quality standards need to be lowered for comps like EctoComp. Players expect that, though. I think that essentially you write a first draft and fix it for the second release. I had whole descriptions planned out in my head, notes and bullet points; I spent about a week planning. A description could take an hour to work out, but it only took a few minutes to write, if that. Still, a lot of things sounded better in my head than on the screen, so there are still a lot of changes I would have liked to have made. I took no chances with the code. It was simple, and it didn’t take long to make sure that the game was at least playable from beginning to end.


I use the barest room/mechanical skeleton possible, get the mechanics working, and then flesh it in - just a sentence or two o

Despite this:

  • my first Ectocomp attempt ran over time (too complex mechanically)
  • my second is likely to run over time (tried to do it in Twine, which is hard for me)
  • my third is coming under time only because it’s a collaboration, which meant I could turn to my partner and go “Aggh, you’re better at coding in this system than I am, fix this bug!”

…three hour time limits are HARD!

Inspired by your question, jamespking, I wrote a blog post on scoping and game dev. It’s aimed at the Global Game Jam/Ludum Dare context, where participants usually get 48 hours, but the basic principles still hold.

(Also, this resolidifies my opinion that IF people are completely awesome. We accomplish amazing things under incredibly tight time limits.)

I have completed two Ectocomp entries and failed at least one that I can remember. The one that I failed was called “The Revenge of Dr. Deadkovich,” and it turned out to have way too many variables: three murder weapons and three victims, plus “good” and “bad” endings.

I would say my first Ectocomp game, “I Was a Teenage Headless Experiment” was more or less the way to do it. It was based around one fairly limited puzzle and bare implementation. I spent a couple weeks writing notes for it and writing in stages. If I spent an hour writing, I stopped, assessed where the project was, and revised notes. Using this method, I also had time for a super fast beta-test from a friend, which left me with about 5 minutes to implement the changes.

My second game, “Attack of Doc Lobster’s Mutant Menagerie of Horror,” was inspired by “Pete’s Punkin Junkinator,” the winner of EctoComp 2010. It had this really neat sort of gimmick where you’re on a scavenger hunt to find stuff in the game that you can turn into a pumpkin (I forget how many endings it had). Figuring the scavenger hunt part meant spreading myself too thin for a large number of endings, I cut it and made the whole thing take place in a single room where you choose between a combination of objects. I handwrote out all of the code and descriptions I knew I would need to type in order to write the game ahead of time. When I coded, I tracked my time between milestones on the page with a pen. This is how I know I had the entire thing implemented but for the 16 different monster combinations in 2 hours and 18 minutes, which I typed up in 23 minutes. I can’t say the result was terrific, but the process worked.

This year I tried to do something in Twine that quickly ballooned into a much larger thing that escaped the bounds of the time limit (as so many of our summonings do in this season). I had a lot of fun learning Twine with it, though, and might just release it anyway when it’s done.

Wow. Cool. I think we should definitely have a “missed EctoComp” tag at IFDB, or something slightly more catchy, if we don’t already. I made a cursory search but found nothing.

To clarify, is October 30, midnight, referring to the end of October 30, aka, the beginning of Oct. 31? Because technically I think midnight is considered morning, so midnight oct 30 would be in like, a few hours.