Fun Summer IF Speed Jam #1

You can just fake it if you can get a campus map somewhere. Essentially, it’s a village, except instead of work/commercial place, it’s a study/educational place. Admin building is like Government. Student Center is like Commercial zone. Dorms are Residential. Different buildings for classes teach different disciplines: Math, Engineering, Biology, Social, etc.

There’s also special function buildings such as Gym, and Performance Arts and Library.

But you want some cultures on Campus, so know that classes are scheduled, and that you need to arrange your classes accordingly. You don’t have constant classmates except for the same classes. Even students pursuing the same degree may not attend the same class, unless they coordinate. Dorms/Roommates don’t necessarily attend the same classes either.

The most memorable event on college campus lately, you can research “Evergreen State College” which I’m sure is so famous, just about everyone knows about it. Plenty of coverage, albeit small sections, about students behavior on that one.

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The theme is very generic and only has to be followed “loosely”. A parking lot is a parking lot. A path around a pond or in the woods is common. An admin building could be Apple HQ, it is called a campus. As for science labs, think mad scientist in any kind of movie or sitcom. Iron Man comes to mind.

The theme is only an imagination spur… It could easily be a local high school and the cafeteria or a place when only seniors go???


Ah. Thank you. That helps a lot.

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Never heard of it.

Also nowhere does it say it has to be a rural university in our world. Set it in on Mars or in a fantasy world or have the students be bees… Then the descriptions of the places, cultures, classes, etc will be spot on since you can just make everything up as you want.


I don’t think anyone is expecting a painstakingly accurate university campus simulation - at least, I hope they’re not as that would be incredibly dull. Just let your imagination roll. I for one am interested in what you can come up with in Sadako.


Up to 8 potential entrants now! I’m looking forward to this. I like games based on university or high school campuses. I don’t have the time/motivation to enter, but hopefully I can judge and maybe even write a review and help this sort of thing reach critical mass and become a notable regular occurrence.


Good deal. This first IF Speed Jam is just a toe in the water. I too hope it becomes are regular exercise. Maybe every couple of months interspersed between the majors. A minor league kind of thing. :wink:


This probably surprises no one, but I’ve decided to bow out of this competition. Normally I wouldn’t even mention it, but I foolishly discussed entering in multiple threads and even helped bring about this competition, so I felt my absence would be noticed.

There are multiple factors as to why this didn’t happen for me, but the primary reason is that my job and home life kicked my butt hard the last week or so. To the point that when I did have free time to work on something, I ended up just staring at the screen because I couldn’t relax enough to become creative.

I’m not sure if this is the same for others, but even though I can code while half asleep, while watching TV, while surrounded by people having conversations, etc, for writing and being creative I need to get myself into a mind space that I have difficulty attaining or maintaining. Because of that, my literature projects are few and far between compared to my programming projects.

The desire to make a game is still strong, so I’m sure I’ll squeeze out one eventually, but I feel like I need to work on it when I’m in the correct frame of mind instead of within a set time limit. Otherwise my hobby begins to feel like an obligation and work instead of a passion and fun.

I thank everyone that showed interest in what I had to offer, even if it was merely out of politeness. Hopefully I’ll be able to provide you with a game in the future.


So far, 10 have joined the Speed Jam but no submissions as of yet.

Three days remaining.

Once it is over, I will open a de-brief thread for suggestions. Speed Jam needs to be tweaked to make it the best possible format. Possibly a second spped jam after IFComp?


Here’s a random thought, though I’m not sure if this is the correct direction to go:

What if instead of having a bunch of short speed jams, we turn it into something more stable? Like a monthly thing always being the full month. Or maybe bi-weekly? It’d still be centered around a theme, so it’d be like a book club but for writing games.

Edit: Although, on second thought, if there haven’t been any submissions for this one, maybe trying to turn it into something stable is getting a bit ahead of ourselves.


This is why I suggest 24 hour development time. You can take a whole month to do it, or just 1 weekend. It being 24 hours also means that you wouldn’t be tempted to start a bigger project than what you can handle.

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I wouldn’t be surprised that there are no submissions three days out, game jams almost never have submissions this early. It’s like a student submitting their paper three days early, that almost never happens. If people do end up submitting it’s gonna be, like, day of.

Ludum Dare, a very popular game jam, is a weekend, to help minimize the time commitment. The 7 Day Roguelike Challenge is 7 days. 2 weeks is kind of in an awkward spot where it’s neither short nor long.


Ludum Dare is like a one puzzle IF. You can create really nice game in one weekend, but how good can a one puzzle IF be?

Another consideration is Weekend Writing Jam. Sure, you can come up with a great short story in a weekend, but CYOA will probably need a little more time.

I speak for myself but having kids, Weekend Jams are always a no-go.

I entered because the 2-week timeframe is perfect : I can spare maybe 1 or 2 hours a day (during lunch or in the evening) during the weekdays that finally add up to 10/15h time (the time someone usually spend creating/coding on the week end of the Ludum Dare or other 48h-long jams).

In the french IF community, we have 2 short competition (non-ranked) a year (+ the Big One), Partim 500 (500-words max limit) and Nouvim 3000 (3000-words limit) they are respectively 10 days and 1 month long.


That’s an interesting idea. In the AGS (Adventure Game Studio) community, there’s the monthly “MAGS” competition for graphical point-and-click adventures. The winner of the previous competition sets the theme for the next one.

Even though they also have perennial worries about few participants, I think it’s a success, since it has been running for years and has produced quite a number and variety of games, and has given new authors the opportunity to get started with a small manageable project.
(Here’s a list of topics with links to individual threads.)

I have no idea whether that’s the optimal timeframe, but I just wanted to mention it as a reasonably-working example of what tayruh said.

(Although I think one month is probably the upper limit for any hypothetical “Speed” IF event. Anything longer than that would surely take some of the intended just-for-fun, no-pressure jam atmosphere out of it. Maybe two weeks, as in the current jam, will work out fine.)

Speaking for myself, I didn’t join the current one yet, because I didn’t have enough time during the last weeks, but I’ve had some (very rough) ideas for a game. Maybe I’ll manage to submit something, but probably not, no promises. :slight_smile:


This isn’t specific to the jam, but for people who want to judge, I recommend a daily task (on Windows) to open up the link in the first post. (I have a batch file that opens up certain hot-button sites daily.) Or a CRON job on Unix/Mac.

It’s the sort of nudge that helps remind me “Hey, do you want to keep playing that time-waster you’ll regret, or do you actually want to try and contribute to a community? You have (x) days left…” … without sounding quite so harsh or passive-aggressive.

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TBH, the timing of this inagural speed jam comp is really poor. When it ends, it leads directly into IFcomp.

I’m not sure if the timing for IFcomp was announced prior to this jam (it at least started the sign up after this jam started), but it’s unfortunate. Even I considered dropping out of the jam just to submit the game I was working on to IFcomp instead. You know what I mean?

I’m curious what the entries to the next run of this jam will be because they have to be a more accurate representation of actual interest than it currently seems.

Hmm, I think I know what you mean – although for me personally, starting the two weeks right now would have been better, even if that would have brought it closer still to IFComp. :slight_smile:

But speaking more generally, regarding the timing,

  • I think the idea was to react in a timely way to the momentum and interest which had generally been expressed in some recent threads.

  • A big part of the motivation for the jam, as far as I understood it, was explicitly to have something that’s less high-stakes/high-profile than IFComp. So theoretically, people interested in this lower-stakes aspect wouldn’t be distracted (or attracted, so to speak) by the prospect of entering IFComp instead.

  • People who are currently working on IFComp entries might be less likely to join this jam, but a) they might join nonetheless, because they need a break from their opus magnum, and b) timing is hard to get right because there’s always something. :slight_smile:
    Parallel to / near the end of IF Comp, there’s EctoComp, and fos1 said he’s planning to run a TADS jam after IF Comp. It’s also not unlikely that another PunyJam or Adventuron Jam will happen at some time.

If you are motivated to withdraw and extend/polish your potential Speed Jam entry in order to submit it to IFComp instead, then that’s okay.
I don’t think fos1 will feel aggrieved about that (although of course I’m hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that the jam gets lots of great entries!).
The overarching goals are to raise the number of good games, and to give everyone a chance to create the games they like, in a timeframe they like. And if it works better for you (or anyone else reading this) to find the time and the motivation for creative work in the coming weeks until IFComp, that’s fine!
(And I second others who’ve said that they’re looking forward to see what one can do with the Sadako engine, that would be cool!)


Another thought besides the “speed jam” aspect was the allowance for any type of IF. There has been individuals that commented that “text based parser” type games were favored here at Intfiction.

I wanted to start a periodic jam that had no preference for the type of development system.

This is just a first test or trial run of the Speed Jam. Details can be discussed and considered prior to the next. Hopefully a consensus can be reached.