Some seedcomp thoughts

Seedcomp is almost over, and I played my final seedcomp game today. Here are some short blurbs for various games:

Sclera is a really trippy choice-based game that is for more mature audiences and has music and images that make me think of some kind of 80s rave that would make your parents freak out, lots of pixel art. Interesting trick where you can make some choices by making no choice. Uses the Videotome system.

Sample game imgae

Hidden Gems, Hidden Secrets

Bez and Josh Grams collabed on this, and Bez is fantastic at prose/poetry and Josh is fantastic at coding so this turned out very well. Moderately slow text that didn’t annoy me, for once. Basically there’s major drama on the group discord and you watch it play out, taking control of each member of the group in turn, together with flashbacks using different css/styling.

Closed Door;Key?

This is a minimalist game. If you felt bad not playing Seedcomp games and want to get into one at the last minute, this one is pretty tiny. All nouns and adjectives, a twine game about getting out of a locked room.

The Rye in the Dark City

A game with lots of romantic tension. A bewitchingly gorgeous young baker woman comes to your door begging for help. Fairly short, as it’s just Act 1, but really strong characterization here and genuine, refreshing dialogue.

In a minute there is time

This game is like the opposite of timed text. In timed text, the game says, 'You must read this much text exactly as fast as I tell you to."

This game says, “You have 60 seconds. Read as much text as you want in that time because once it’s over, you’re done.”

It’s a pretty cool mechanic, especially when you see the neat trick at the end of the 60 seconds. Uses a lot of good TS Elliott stuff.

Cozy Simulation 2999

This is a pleasant Twine game with dark secrets lurking in the corner, if you poke around too hard. Lots of body horror, some Porpentine-adjacent vibes.

in a tomb with a donkey
This is a pleasant, mostly straightforward Adventuron magical adventure made fresh by funny dialog and made enjoyable by good implementation. You’re a wizard trying to recapture your lost spells. In a tomb. With a donkey. A kind of sassy donkey, if you ask me.

In a dream I told my mother

This was a really cool twine game hopping from one scenario to another, until one part turned into a very explicit porn game with lots of organ-based details, so I noped out. But I’ve recently been reassured by some forum users that they can handle pornography much better than wimpy Americans, so I encourage them to finish this.

After the Accident by Amanda Walker is based on multiple poems and deals with toxic relationships and a lot of blood. Written in a way that spoke to me personally and I suspect others can see a reflection of their lives in it.

free bird by Passerine is probably the game I’d recommend most to get others to check out seedcomp. Short, clever, terse, and cute. Another nouns-and-adjectives only game, and one about helping animals escape from poachers.

prepare for return is a nice sci-fi game where you’re a computer system trying to ‘reboot the planet’ to prepare for humanity’s return from among the stars. Kind of a survival sim, a little shorter than I’d like but cool if you’re into Star Trek-style sci fi like I am (this isn’t really Star Trek style but has similar levels of technical details and morals).

The King’s Ball is a classic Garry Francis game, an author who has become known (at least to me) for games that emulate older, retro styles. This one’s pretty short but packs in a lot of details. You’re trying to smuggle a cake into the king’s ball and have to take some pretty stinky detours to do it.

Cage Break is a choicescript game about breaking animals free from a poacher (multiple games in this comp are based on the same concepts, due to the nature of the comp). This game has some of the best characters in the competition, and a real sense of team-building.

In the Deep is a game mixing stories like Sphere, Jaws, Armageddon and Alien. You go deep sea diving and have to recover an alien species from the bottom of the sea. I guess I can say that this one had the most choices that affected the outcome.

While Rome Burns was pretty unfinished when the comp started but has had some updates since then. You’re Nero, you have a concert coming up, but everyone’s whining and crying because Rome is burning. Choice based, short.

A thousand words is a parser game about examining an art piece, and the image actually shows up and commands can zoom into it and stuff. Supposed to be a take-down of abstract artistic criticism but manages to make some solid points of its own and has some bonuses for people who like to try weird commands.

His majesty’s Roryal Space Navy Service Handbook is a very solidly coded parser game where you’re collecting chapters of a manuscript in an office after hours. Honestly I love the way this one was coded and written, reminded me of the style of better games of the early 2000’s when Ingold/Short/Cadre/Plotkin were all especially active.

I posted IFDB reviews of all of these over the last few weeks. I put off one game until the end. I posted its review on IFDB, but thought I’d copy it here, too:

The magic word

This game really hit me in a weird spot because it coincided with an idea of mine in an amusing way.

In my own game, I wanted to come up with something to ‘scare’ the player, a horrible device so terrible that every player would run in fear, only for it to turn out to be a joke that can be solved in one move.

My device was called ‘hideous contraption’ and had random dice, twenty six levers, 8 strings corresponding to elements, Towers of hanoi, goat and cabbage, etc.

But it was all a joke.

This game is just like that. But not a joke. The most horrifying thing I could think of a game having, that’s what this game is.

After a brief intro, you find yourself in a room with two switches, fives lamps, rope, a ladder that is movable, an exit, a chandelier, a button, a fitting, a track with fire on it, moveable scales, an egg timer, etc.

You have to manipulate all of these devices, plus far more. Oh, and your verbs are extremely limited to 2 or 3 at a time. Oh, and there’s a turn limit. Multiple ones, in fact.

I just refused to play it. Hints wouldn’t give the full experience for this game, and I just frankly didn’t want to play this type of game. I like games where you don’t need to take notes, just learning over time.

I said as much to Mike Russo, a tester of this game, and he said it wasn’t that bad.

I drew a very extensive diagram of this game, took careful notes, and got 4 or 5 points by being careful and a sixth point by dumb luck. At that point I looked at the hints.

I don’t like this game style and don’t want to see games like this in the future, but that’s my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the general populace, and should not be an impediment to future games in this genre. However, I do recognize the craft and polish that went into the game, and the storytelling is exquisitely good given the circumstances.


Thanks Brian for taking the time to review all SeedComp entries when you have to deal with organising the SpringThing at the same time!! :green_heart:
(thank you for the kind words :slight_smile: )


I tested it quite a long time ago, with a mixed result that left me without any chance of needing to continue, but still content (if that makes sense). Not sure if it’s the same as it was, but definitely very confusing.

…(I assume there was the angry spirit?)…


Yeah, seems broadly similar to when I tested it.

(BTW Brian, I think I said it was fair, not that it wasn’t that bad; it kinda is it that bad :slight_smile: )


The Magic Word is gloriously hellish.

I loved it, but I’m biased, having provided the seed.


Interest sufficiently piqued

Unfortunately I’m binging code til the end of SpringThing but this is now on my to-play list


If you play this and few others (some are literally 1-5 minute games, very small but satisfying) you could still vote for SeedComp. There’s a couple days to vote after the SpringThing submission deadline, assuming you aren’t unconscious for the entire time. :wink:




@mathbrush Thank you for reviewing all the games in seedcomp! I saw you’ve left reviews on many of them on ifdb as well which is amazing :smiley:


Pretty much me. I don’t want to slam it too hard because it is very polished and clever, but oh my god did I personally have a miserable time playing it.


Also yes hi hello, my game, In a minute there is time, is one (1) minute long! I’m glad people have liked it so far!