Fun Summer IF Speed Jam #1

IF Speed has a Theme

There seems to be a general interest in a quick, multi-genre IF Speed Jam. I am announcing a quick summer jam for everyone’s enjoyment hosted on As usual, comments and suggestions appreciated! This game jam is probably not written on a sorcerer’s stone.

IF Speed Jam #1

Speed Jam #1: Student Center

  • You are a first year student approaching the student center at a rural university.
  • A trail through a narrow strip of trees and shrub leads north to a parking lot.
  • The Admin Building is to the west via a path that winds around a pond.
  • A cluster of science labs is to the east.


  • Any genre of interactive fiction allowed.

  • Games must be loosely based upon the published theme above.

  • Submissions must be free to play during the jam.

  • Inclusion of source code is encouraged but not required.

  • The games will be ranked. Anyone game vote on the general quality and enjoyment of the individual games.

    • This is a quick, fun jam. Ranking is for enjoyment only.
  • Initial rules draft - further rules pending as needed.

Submissions: July 29, 2021 through August 15, 2021.
Casual voting: August 15 through August 22, 2021 (Just to generate interest.)


Just a minor thing. You’ve got the “Authors are not permitted…” rule listed twice.

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Itch prevents authors voting on their own submissions, so that rule is taken care of in any case.


Authors not permitted fixed. Thanks

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This is nifty, but also kind of short notice, so I’m not sure I’d be able to put something in (I mean, I can certainly put something in, but it would be awful short!). The other, non-IF jams I do usually have their dates announced in advance, so folks can schedule around them. Do you think you’ll be running another one of these later? (I mean the #1 implies that you intend to but worth asking).

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This is definitely a first. I hope to get the procedures down and pat.

The thread traffic indicated that members were interested in a theme based “speed IF” jam.

The dates are not written in stone. If members/participants would like to alter the scheduled dates, I am open to changes.

Thank you


Speed-IFs are a bit different from other jams and competitions, the spirit is that there should be no pressure to submit whatever you come up with regardless of how short or thinly implemented it is, because you know that no-one else is going to have the time to make anything super fancy either. Traditionally the deadline was two hours after the announcement so two and a half weeks is luxury.


I reckon you should stick with those dates and see what you get. If you start altering the schedule to accommodate people’s preferences then you could be fiddling around with it forever and the momentum will be lost. I see 6 people have signed on already; will be interesting to see what comes through.

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The dates are fixed. I too thought they were generous for a 1st speed jam. Others had mentioned 48 hours.


This is just the type of low stakes excuse I needed to to create something. Thanks for running this!


Good deal. I am looking forward to your entry.

Thank you

For what it’s worth, the early SpeedIF comps had a wide variety of time frames. For the two-hour ones, that was two hours of coding time. You were allowed to think about it, plan it and design it outside the two hours. It was based on an honour system.

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You could build a cathedral in 2 hours Garry. With transparent lockable drawers.


And an empty bottle that is used to get water.

(Sorry, folks. That’s a private joke.)

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I think the time limit is fine. 48 hours is no good for me because I have a job. The 48 hours have already passed and I haven’t had time to do anything because of my job and familial responsibilities at home. But now it’s the weekend and I can concentrate on it.

Likewise, that two hour speed jam is no good for me. I don’t know if I could find two hour block of uninterrupted time to work on it, so I’d have to just guess the overall time. I’d hate to work so hard on the planning process just to blow it during the coding process.

So anyway, I think this one appeals better to me.

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Yeah, less of a competition, more of a “monthly challenge” to showcase different elements. Kind of like those weekly chess puzzles in the newspaper - not a complete game but a scenario with creative potential that people could contribute to or not if they had a spare hour to think about it.

“Speed IF” might be a misnomer of what I was thinking - in the sense of low-commitment to contribute an example/solution, but with a generous amount of time to think about it rather than the stress of a strictly ticking time clock. Imagine “Chopped” the cooking show without the time pressure - here’s your basket with sausage, honey, jelly beans, and shiitake mushrooms; your challenge is to use all of this and make sense of it somehow. No pressure! :smiley:


Then they throw a wrench in the works by only putting one fryer in the kitchen.

I didn’t realize that the premise of this theme was hitting my inadequacy so hard until I sat down and tried to come up with ideas. :sweat_smile:

My family was poor and I’m dumb. I never went to college. I have no idea what a college campus looks like outside of crappy shows like Buffy and other random pieces of TV drama. I’m sitting here googling stuff like “What is the difference between a college and a university? What is a student center? Do universities have dorms?”
Everyone else is probably writing based on personal experience.

So, my story is probably going to suck and be incredibly vague or inaccurate with its descriptions.

You don’t use Inform 7 (I don’t believe?), so you’re probably not familiar with it’s extensive library of short playable examples that are always witty and fun, but usually don’t usually bother with much of a story. You could do something that simple and straightforward just as an example. The pressure to make a cohesive plot is hopefully not even an issue.

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Without a story wouldn’t there be even more focus on the environment?

But maybe I was using “story” a bit too vaguely. I didn’t mean story as in plot but the writing in general, so more like my environments.