REALLY BAD IF - a silly ~ham~

Preview of my entry:


What do you want to smooth the duck with?


You smoothen the duck with sandpaper. The duck seems content.


There is no need to smoothen the duck further.


You take the flight of stairs downwards.
Bottom of stairs
This is at the bottom of a long flight of stairs, leading to the basement, the top secret area of Dr Syrup’s laboratory inside his castle.


A few unnecessary comments about this one.

The “no LLMs” stipulation got me thinking of ways to creatively bend the rules: what if the game was itself an LLM implemented entirely in Z-code? Technically speaking, this is doable; the underlying math behind language models is not complex, although you wouldn’t be able to fit a very large model in the Z-machine’s 64kb of directly addressable memory. But this would require more effort than I wanted to put into a joke (along the lines of another ridiculous Z-machine project I’ve contemplated, writing an 8080 emulator and CP/M BIOS in Z-code so you could run WordStar and Turbo Pascal on the Z-machine. If anyone wants to steal this idea for some reason, be my guest.)

So I went with a simpler implementation: a variant of Dissociated Press, a Markov chain algorithm that remixes a source text into quasi-coherent variants by exploiting the underlying word-level entropy in the source text.

I finished this in about two hours. The .z5 file consists of a few hundred bytes of hand-coded ZAP assembly (much of it dedicated to improving punctuation) and a much larger corpus of text drawn from transcripts of Colossal Cave Adventure, Curses, and Anchorhead (1998 edition). (I find the mashup of stuffy English relatives with vague Lovecraftian unease particularly humorous.) In theory player input is used to prime the algorithm for the next turn, but in practice it’s hard to tell.

Incidentally, I think this might be the first publicly available game(?) written entirely in hand-coded ZAP assembly. Oh dear.



You’re at.

I sure couldn’t see any pattern or relation from input to output. PRTLL is just as acceptable as GET WALLET, and pressing ENTER on a blank command produces a response that’s just as coherently nonsensical as any other command.

I like the bewildering not-quite-meaningful ramblingness of the text.


I would nuke any attempt at trying to bend the little rules there are for this jam.
The goal for it is to make a bad IF game, not to subvert expectations on what can be (or not) considered LLM.

I’m sure it’s a real puzzle to attempt it and making it work in the first place it a feat of its own, so I would suggest submitting this project to another (more fitting) event.


Well, to my mind the result is 1) not really an LLM, 2) recognizably IF-ish, and 3) utterly unplayable. Which seems very much in the spirit of the jam.

But getting disqualified on a technical interpretation would also seem very much in the spirit of the jam, so… :laughing:


If we’re talking about COLOSSAL CURSE HEAD, no offence but the game is absolutely terrible and not really a game. Really no offence. It’s in the spirit of the jam! If anything, the game could be used (in ONLY THIS CASE) to prove LLMs are useless… :joy:


Here’s my entry!

While I hope everyone will enjoy (?) it, Inform folks might find its implementation of the theme especially resonant.


I usually don’t care about rule lawyering or going outside-of-the-box for the theme/constraint rule, because we tend to get interesting discussions and entries (see the Single Choice Jam thread last year).

But my point was more about not wanting to have to deal with entries toying with that specific LLM/AI rule because I don’t want to deal with the headache that comes with it (i.e. is it LLM or just not, what model is used, what data was it trained on, where does it come from, etc…). And so, the line drawn is just no, no question, thank you.
That’s why I clumped it together with the No Spam/Hate requirement at the end of the list - because no one question this.

I haven’t made up my mind about the particular entry yet.


I’ve added 2 more weeks to the deadline. Because why not.


Can the cover art be AI? I’m hardly a writer, and even less so an artist…

No. The rule is clear:

I’m not an artist either. I use Canva to help - they have tons of templates and free assets made by people that you can use freely.


Kein problem! Thanks for the fast response. The lame art I come up with will add to the bad-ness.


I spent about 2 hours making this… and at least 40 minutes of that was figuring out how gimp works for the beautiful cover art. It’s my first ever submission to a game jam and also my first ever published piece using my new ifSpace engine… probably not the best game jam to show off the engine, but a great excuse to not put hours and hours of work into it either :sweat_smile: Hope you all enjoy the short adventure (and catch some of the allusions).

Cloak of Cleansing (CW: Some language)


Obviously absolutely critical points of order:

Would a game like Dick McButts Gets Kicked in the Nuts be disqualified (the bad version, or the whole version,) since it is calculated to be so bad it’s good?

Can a game be disqualified for not having any major bugs or bad spelling?


The bad version would probably be the poster child for this jam :joy:
The whole might be a stretch, but I could allow it.

I’d expect a lot of entries to end up being this way :wink:

There are many ways to be Bad IF, and you do not require to include all those ways to be considered bad. No bugs or typos but awful uncontrasted colours would make me furious for example. :stuck_out_tongue:


Awesome! And one more thing.

Is insulting the reader is okay, as long as it doesn’t get bigoted? I’m thinking of stuff like “loser” or “dork.”


Is fine. A warning on the game page might be appreciated (like strong language towards the player or something)


> open window
The window is locked.
[ Roger: This player is an absolute nitwit. ]
> kill Roger
[ Roger: Let me rephrase that. This player is slightly incompetent. ]
> kill Roger
[ Roger: Sigh. Okay, here’s a brick. ]
> break window
(with a brick)
You break the window with a brick which mysteriously appeared in your inventory.