SpeedIF Jacket 4

SpeedIF is interactive fiction written to a premise in a short time, in a mini-minicomp-like format. SpeedIF Jacket is one way of producing those premises. (Normally we just run SpeedIF on ifMUD, but I thought I’d try opening it up a little.)

People interested in participating should supply a list of jacket blurbs – five is a minimum requirement, ten to fifteen is a good number, more is not a problem – by 5 PM EDT on Friday, April 8th. Then I shuffle them up and randomly assign each individual author their own set of quotes, and they set to work on making a game that fits those quotes. They turn it in by, let’s say, 23:59 EDT on Friday, April 15th. Both of these operations should be addressed to magadog, care of gmail.

Previous examples of how this has worked: 1 2 3

What’s a blurb?
A blurb is one of those short quotes that appear on book jackets, movie posters and similar forms of advertising dressed up as bite-sized review. Often they’re meaningless praise – “A tour de force”, “A major new talent has emerged” – but lampooning the form is a long-established tradition, some writers include excerpts from their more entertainingly critical reviews, and some do both (as in the Metropolitan Police spokesman quoted on the back cover of Banksy’s Wall and Piece, “There’s no way you’re going to get a quote from us to use on your book cover”.) Usually, they’re a single sentence or a fragment. Two sentences is okay if they’re short and snappy.

The sort of blurbs that would be useful here are ones that give some information, but only a little. “A masterpiece of ironic perversity set in a brilliantly realized city” is pretty good, although ‘masterpiece’ and ‘brilliantly realized’ don’t add much except style. “I liked the bit with the dog” isn’t bad. “A brilliant work of the imagination and the intellect working in union” may be true, but is worthless for our purposes. Scathing criticism – “[The author] does not appear to actually understand most of the jargon that bloats [their] unremarkable prose” – is every bit as helpful as praise.

Can I use quotes excerpted from existing reviews?
If you want to and you find some good ones, sure, although it’s probably more fun to write your own. In any case, it’s a good idea to poke at a few examples beforehand, just to get a feel for the style.

Can I still take part if I turn up after April 8?
Yes, but you’ll have less time to finish and you won’t be able to supply blurbs. You’ll get leftovers from existing participants instead, and less time to finish your game. If you show up after April 15 you’re out of luck.

Aren’t these things meant to be written in two hours?
That’s the classic ideal, yes. Personally, I find speedIF more satisfying when it’s had a little more time and thought invested in it, but YMMV. Do as your heart mandates.

What if I get blurbs that I don’t like?
You don’t have to use every blurb. To be honest, if your creative process goes off on a series of wild tangents and ends up looking totally unrelated to the quotes, that’s okay too.

Who judges the entries?
SpeedIF isn’t a contest.

Then what’s to stop me submitting any old unfinished crap?
Honour system. The respect of your peers. It’s polite to enter something that is reasonably winnable.

I am a very serious person and disdain to squander my creative energies upon the tomfoolery that is SpeedIF.
Serious speed-IF makes up a pretty small minority of the form, but it’s not unknown. A few speedIFs have won or been nominated for Xyzzies. Some speedIFs have even been betatested.

That said, the baseline for speedIF is definitely silly, inconsequential, sketchily-implemented games; anything more than that is great, of course, but there’s no pressure to write anything spectacular.

I’d rather not use email – can I just post my quotes on the forum or talk to you on ifMUD or something?
Yes, as long as it gets to me.

Damn, I wish this started on the 15th, rather than the 8th. I might have a go at something anyway (Uni holidays start then). It will give me a reason to learn to program, and a bit of direction for the game.

EDIT: Just found this: Just found this: http://www.ehow.com/how_2074207_write-book-blurb.html

Woot. I’m in [emote]:)[/emote]

Me too. [emote]:)[/emote]

Just sent in my blurbs. Not sure if I got it right, but I tried to make them interesting. I hope they’re not too specific.

Sent my blurbs as well.

Okay, things are underway: everybody should have received their very own set of quotes. If by some chance you haven’t, it’s probably my fault; apply a sharp kick to some portion of my anatomy and I’ll try and rectify things.

Have fun, everyone; I’m looking forwards to your games.

Got mine. Some are pretty tricky for a first time coder. But they are all interesting (some inspired blurbs guys), and should keep me focused.

How many people are taking part?

I apologize in advance for the plot of my entry. YOUR BLURBS MADE ME DO IT.

If SpeedIF means anything, it means never having to say you’re sorry.

(Except for Final Attack of the Big Green Cliches. But I’m not sure that that even counts as a game.)

Mine a) needs a walkthrough, and b) will only work if you cling to the walkthrough, and c) is one of the buggiest things I’ve ever seen.

But I think there’s probably nothing like it anywhere else in IF, which makes me feel fuzzy.

Aww horsefeathers I am not seriously contemplating a speedIF with three plot-functional NPCs. NO. SIMPLIFY.

I’ve almost bitten off more than I can chew, but I fully expect to pull it out of the bag at the last moment, as is usually my way.




Aaaand we’re done! I hope it was as exhilarating and ultimately humiliating for you as it was for me.

Thanks for taking part, all. Each of you receives your very own, personalised fist-bump, raised glass and knowing exchange of glances, eyes hooded, from across a crowded room.

The games are temporarily at diden. (Edit: they’re now at ifarchive.org/if-archive/unp … acket4.zip ) . If anybody objects to having the bundle uploaded to the IF Archive, speak soon-ish or forever hold your peace. We’ll be playing as many of the games as we can on ClubFloyd tomorrow: ifMUD, 2pm Eastern US. Hope to see you there. (Also, if blackmail is required: with eight submitted games we may not get through them all, so we’ll probably end up giving priority to authors who can attend.)

Okay, took me longer than two days, but I was still recovering from the con [emote]:)[/emote]

[shakes fist playfully at ClubFloyd] If not for you meddling kids, people would always think of this game as completely half-assed, rather than barely-one-sixth-assed!

Added a listing for it at IFDB, not sure of the etiquette for games tied to events like this … if anyone need to go behind me and repair some faux pas in my entry, please have at it, and I shall be educated in the process. Apologies in advance for that (and, of course, for the game).

Old post. Not currently happening. Regulations for SpeedIF change with the competition, so they don’t matter anymore once the competition is over.

Harsh, but true [emote]:)[/emote]

Hah. Didn’t mean it to be harsh, sir.

I don’t think I posted on this thread this morning. I’m pretty sure this is old. Was I conscious at two in the morning? Surely not… Or was I?

I don’t even remember. But I’m pretty sure I posted this a while ago.

I think…

And where’s the post I responded to…?

Some kinda guv’ment conspiracy, I say.

S’okay. I never take this tinfoil off.