Sprinklepills! & Eliza's Unbearable Awkward Reunion!: A Post-Mortem Double Feature

I submitted two different entries during the Neo-Twiny Jam (very fun event!): Sprinklepills! and Eliza’s Unbearable Awkward Reunion!. I don’t think there’s enough to talk about both of them separately, so I want to go over my experience with the jam and really getting into authoring as a whole.

Sprinklepills! is the first complete IF I’ve authored. I’ve had games in the works since summer of 2022, but this one seemed easy to knock out and I wanted to enter with a jam. My preferred debut would have been an adventure game called Jimin, Ari, and Shush, which I do want to finish up someday, but alas, the demotivation…

Coming up with a story idea from scratch is hard for me. I work best when I have established characters, and a setting, that I can just bounce off of and make plots from. I’m wondering if anyone else feels this way, too? The 500 word constraints also prevented me from pulling off anything grand-scale or full of unique character dynamics. I realize how that there’s no reason this had to be a jam submission, but I wanted to go with it and just challenge myself.

So I had to think pretty small. A story that doesn’t feel meaningless, but doesn’t necessarily leave you wanting more after it’s done. And in a few days, I had two ideas for what I wanted my jam entry to be. The first was a game involving the “buttered toast always lands butter-side down” experiment. You’d get to pick a bunch of different spreads, put them on bread, and see what happens. It was a fun idea, but I wanted something with a more concrete plot. Hence, Sprinklepills! The concept of this one comes from one of those awful food ideas I saw on Reddit; tiny capsules full of sprinkles. Readers pointed out just how suspicious they are, so I incorporated some of these criticisms into the game.

The default Twine formatting with the white-on-black and the obnoxious font honestly annoys me way more than it should, just because of how accustomed you become to seeing it. It was absolutely one of the first things I wanted to do something about. I decided to go with a dark blue color and Arial font instead. And with those small changes, I felt much better about my presentation. I was considering doing more text effects, but it felt like too much for a 500 word game.

Using Twine for the first time was much easier than expected. I wrote the entire thing in bed from my laptop, and it took maybe 40-60 minutes from start to finish. I came up with the dialogue as I went along, then went back to polish it and add a bit more backstory and personality to the main character. I was wondering if you should be able to succeed with your pitch, but honestly, I couldn’t think of many practical advantages. So it always ends in a failure, but has a slight optimistic tone to it.

I designed the cover art a day or two after finishing the game, after realizing that I probably needed some. In the final art, you can see a small grain effect over the rainbow text, which I did for a bit more visual interest. I also have other versions where the grain is over everything, and one where it’s not there at all, but I didn’t like those as much.

And that was it! My first complete game! I shared it with a few friends, I saw a few users talk about it on their review threads, I felt good for completing something and putting it out there. I did dip into a few of the jam entries that I found interesting to play them myself, as well. But I thought that was mostly the end of it; I’d start working on some bigger projects, ones that I’d spend more than an hour on.

Then comes late June and we’re nearing 100 submissions! I wanted to help get there. I decided, I was going to make another entry right then and there. I decided to pull from a personal project I had been working on: a series of scripts that I started in 2020. It’s evolved into its own thing, and I really do enjoy writing it. I got the idea to adapt the current one I was working on into a game… but when there’s literally fourteen episodes worth of plot before it, it’s a bit hard to squeeze down into 500 words. So I honed in one on scene, I tried to give as much background information as I could, and added in a little story that would wrap up neatly.

I definitely could have done better with Eliza’s. I had the established characters and setting I wanted, but there was too much to say about them that I couldn’t fit into one game. I did try to go with an angle that Eliza’s worries are unfounded since Honey barely remembers her. I don’t think there’s much to say about it besides that re-reading the name “Sunflowertavia Honey” made me laugh out loud.

The styling for Eliza’s was a rush job, and I don’t think I did as good with it as I did on Sprinklepills! The yellow-orange coloring on the logo is meant to bring honey to mind, just like Honey. I wound up going with a green font for the game, mainly because I didn’t want to just re-use the same style from Sprinklepills!

Still, I had fun making these two submissions, and I’m glad I got them out there. We did end up passing the 100 game milestone. I have been working on another Twine game with Eliza and Edits, which will hopefully serve as a more natural introduction to their world. It’ll be wonderfully horrifying.


It’s great you were able to dig a bit deep into stuff you’d written to put something out there for Neo Twiny Jam. That was sort of the case for me.

And I hadn’t played EUAR until now. I’d meant to. Yes, it’d be interesting to see what you can do with 500+ words and I’m not surprised there’s more of a backstory!