Single Choice Jam 2!

Remember this thread last year?


The Single Choice Jam is back!


The Jam where you only give one choice to the player!

The Single Choice Jam is a short unranked jam where there is only one restriction:
you can give players only one choice or action in the game!

The rest… is up to you!

Constraints and Rules:

  • There can only be One Choice in the entire entry: only one page (or room) can have more than one option/action the player can pick/use.
    • With the exception of the multi-option passage (hyperlinks), there can only be one playable link on the page.
      • Non-story passages, such as Title/Landing Pages and Menus (i.e. Settings/Codex/Credits/etc…) do not count under this rule.
    • With the exception of the multi-action room (parser), there can only be one playable action per coded room.
      • Movement (i.e. N-S-E-W) and Inspection (X, LOOK AT, SEARCH, …), and other active verbs, all count as ONE action.
      • Non-story verbs, such as HELP, WALKTHROUGH, CREDITS, do not count as an action.
  • The Jam is open to any program/medium, as long as the piece can be considered Interactive Fiction (i.e. the game is interactive, and its focus is on the text).
  • The Jam is open to any language.
  • The Jam is open to NSFW content, as long as you indicate it in your submission.
  • You must credit any asset used in your entry, or it will be removed (ex: code, images, sound, etc…)
  • Entries using AI or LLM, or having spam or hateful content will be removed.
  • You can submit up to 3 entries!

As a rule of thumb, you should aim for a 15-30min maximum gameplay in your entry, but you can make it as long or short as you would like.

Come have some fun with us:

If you would like some previous examples, you can check out our previous edition.


Would (in Twine say) expanding links and cycling links count as separate choices? For example, is this one choice, three or four?

Dear (cycling-link: "Sir","Madam"),

Why was I not selected for this (link-reveal: "position")[, which I clearly deserved]?

Yours (cycling-link: "Sincerely", "Lovingly", "With Hate", "Unfortunately"), John

[[Send letter]] or [[Burn Letter]]
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OK, I still have trouble here.

EXAMINE does or does not count as the single action in a parser?

And if I want to have more than one room, players obviously need to be able to go there. So do NEWS movements count as the single action?

Can you give an example? Or a game from last year that does this well? I’m not clear how many actions this actually means.

  • Examples of good usage in a parser game, I mean.
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:joy: I only wrote the shorthand version in the rules, sorry.

Yes, EXAMINE-ing an object is an action.

Yes it does!
(one single action per coded room)

The 5-Second Simulation and If You Had One Shot followed the Aisle-like option (one move and you reach the end).
Onno had taken the more linear option (one viable action per coded room) with One King To Loot Them All, which he finished for the IFComp. I think The World’s Most Annoying Game from the Really Bad Jam would fit this category (if you restricted the player from going backward).

Lemme double check on what we agreed last year and I’ll ping you right back


Does that mean I can enter it again and you can spend another 4 hours going through it? :rofl:


Hm. That makes it a little tough since in order to have multiple rooms you need to be able to go to them. Although I guess the game could simply move you there if you take another action.

Quite the challenge. Diabolical. We’ll see if I’m up to it.


Would it be cheating to have a TALK TO PERSON ABOUT TOPIC with multiple topics available? Or asking about multiple objects? I assume that if the single action was FURGLE, I could FURGLE everything in the room. So can the player ASK or TALK ABOUT anything in the room? What about things that aren’t there but are implied? Like, if you’re talking to Sherlock Holmes and you want to ask about Watson even though he isn’t there?

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I’m assuming hidden actions and meta actions don’t count to the 1 action limit? Stuff like xyzzy, quit etc.

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Although if those didn’t count, you could hijack them for a game purpose. Which would be an awesome way to slide around the rules.

I have a little bit of oppositional defiant disorder and my desire to bend the rules often takes more work than just obeying them would.

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Technically, you can easily add as many meta actions as you desire, like so.

Something is an action out of world applying to nothing. Understand "Something" as something.

So you could just make a normal game, change all the actions to meta actions and you’d be good to go! Not sure if @manonamora would approve though! :joy:

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Oh wait! That stuff’s all covered as “non story verbs”.

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I’m STILL not clear on this. Does this mean I can have all the actions I want in one parser room, but only one action in the rest?

And must the one action be used only once? Or if EXAMINE is allowed and there are 20 things in the room, can the player X all of them?

I was thinking of @Kastel’s Chinese Family Dinner Moment from last year, where you could repeat your one action many times. So it seems like Xing multiple things, or ASKING ABOUT multiple things, would be OK.

Just very confused. I’ve got an idea, but I’m not sure what’s allowed to implement it.


I’d recommend checking out One King to Loot Them All linked above. The idea there is that only one action moves the story forward. That one is a bit different though because EXAMINE does have a response. I think it would be more in the spirit of things to have EXAMINE generally blocked from doing anything (like giving one standard response to all examining).

It is very hard to do a parser game with these constraints. My group did the easy option of Aisle-like.


But there are multiple actions there. You have like 5-6 accepted actions and you get responses for them even if they’re the wrong one. So I don’t understand how this is single choice. If this is the example then it seems like I can have a whole lot of actions, give useful information for each action, but only have one of them affect something? In One King, you can also then go a direction, but I hear that this isn’t acceptable. So that’s more confusing.

I’ve written a fictional game transcript. Is anything here acceptable or overtly wrong?


You’re in a room. You can go in any direction. There’s a thing here. [room with multiple actions]


It’s a thing.


It smells like a thing.





You’re in a forest. There’s a tree, a boot, and a snowglobe here. They’re all evil and must be destroyed. [one action room, action used multiple times]


Everything is evil and must be destroyed!


Everthing is evil and must be destroyed!






The force of the explosion knocks you back to…


You’re in a room. You can go in any direction. There’s a thing here.




Garbage Dump

You’re in a garbage dump. There’s a princess, a rock, and a feather here. They are all possessed by demons. [one action, used one time]


No! It’s possessed by demons!


No! It’s possessed by demons!


Stop messing around! There are demons to exorcise here!


A demon flies out of the rock and disappears. You are catapulted back to…

You’re in a room. You can go in any direction.

I am just having SUCH a hard time wrapping my head around anything but an Aisle-type game, which is not appealing to me to write.


Hmm yeah, now I don’t know, seems like organizer territory, I shouldn’t have stepped in because I’m in over my head.

I know for Twine games the spirit of the thing is that you only have free will once and the rest is forced on you.

Actually, I know the perfect game:

I’m pretty sure this game fits the bill perfectly.

As for aisle-likes, maybe you could make it fun by making it like Rematch:

Where you can improve your strategy each time you re-take your choice

A couple of the Walkthrough comp games might be considered good for the jam, too, although not quite as good as Northnorth:


In my One King game there is one action valid at each turn. This was at least the original design I had in mind for submission to the Single Choice Jam. Examining things would give a generic response. Of course the IFComp version is a bit different: some actions were made optional, and particularly the river crossing puzzle commands can now be executed in any order. So multiple commands in a room are allowed, as long there is only one valid at each turn. And the one choice the player was allowed to make… well the ‘flash of genius’ was to hide that choice in the game preamble, I.e. the player already made the choice before the game starts and now has to play through the consequences to learn at the end … the meta command I abused to go back and allow the player to make the choice :sunglasses:


The player could only go forward (a true Barbarian never retreats), and only when all that needed to be done in the current room was done. I did add some fake choices for navigating: the path of order (all directions are seemingly available, but only one works) and the path of chaos (all directions are available, but they all lead to the same next room)


As it applies to this jam, though, that’s still more than one action per room. So I’m just still not sure how one can follow the rules and make anything other than an Aisle-game.

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I never played Aisle, but I remember someone mentioned last time that waiting for new choices to emerge could be an acceptable mechanic. Maybe Aisle also employed this?

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Maybe the rules have been made more strict? I distinctly recall asking the organizers if a scenario was allowed with strict ordering of commands in a room, eg

1 insert coin into vending machine
2 get can
3 leave (or whatever direction is the correct one)

The answer to that was yes at the time. If this no longer applies, then indeed One King would be impossible.