This year's clawfoot bathtub

Last year, there were a bunch of games that all, incongruously, featured a clawfoot bathtub. What were the odds?

I’ve half been keeping an eye out as I go to see whether there’d be something similar this year, and of course the more you look for patterns the more patterns you find, but still: I’m about 40% through the games and I just found my third game that includes a peristyle (The Cursèd Pickle of Shireton, Vain Empires, and creepily enough, my own entry, The Eleusinian Miseries). A peristyle is a sort of columned courtyard or atrium, with about 1/50th the Google hits of “atrium” and 1/9th those of “colonnade” – it’s a pretty obscure word no matter how you slice it!

I am really curious what was in the water…

Anybody finding any other weird coincidences?


There are two games with a character who says ‘The Eye of Horus is upon you’, which is a surprise.

Also, there are at least five games involving one or more women being kidnapped by men for (or at least with hints of) the purpose of sexual assault (Captivity, A Calling of Dogs, Ghostfinder: Shift, Phantom, Radicofani), and at least one kidnapping without sexual overtones (Jay Schilling’s Edge of Chaos). I haven’t played The Brutal Murder of Jenny Lee but there’s a chance it fits as well!


The section of the game that mentions a peristyle is text lifted directly from Transparent which was another IFComp entry of mine from several years ago! (Which I’d bet also included a clawfoot bathtub…)

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Ooof, 2020 being the sexmurder Comp isn’t quite as whimsical as the Peristyle Comp or the Eye of Horus Comp. Though I don’t think that’s what’s going on in Radicofani – it’s quite confusing, but I think there’s an evil priest who’s actually the devil, but he has men as well as women locked away in his fourth-dimensional lair?

@HanonO I actually searched the forums to see if this was like, a thing people had been talking about, and found a couple of your posts from a couple years ago that included sample code, so that makes sense! And reusing an old game I guess is partly why the optional prologue for Cursèd Pickle is so expansive – I spent a bunch of time screwing around there and just got to the introduction of the pickles as I hit the two hour mark… very much enjoying it so far but I’m a little worried I’ll be mostly basing my rating on a combat/exploration minigame that’s just a bonus for the actual game!


Optional…prologue…? :rofl:

“Hanon’s game is too short” - said Nobody Ever!

I almost don’t know if I should even mention… The entire final third (Act III?) of Cursed Pickle is completely skippable if you know how.

/me tries to think of a game for the “Less than 15 minutes” category…

Perhaps I will post the “speedrun” version sometime.

Two games mention, in their blurbs, a job that you can “really seek your teeth into” - Academic Pursuits (As Opposed to Regular Pursuits) and Big Trouble in Little Dino Park.


Luckily, they in fact say “sink”. :smile:


So this year’s bathtub is a sink?

Darn budget cuts.


A simple, five-word phrase - and I still messed it up! Sigh. What could I have been sinking?


I mean, maybe this stuff will come back later, but I think you can pretty much just head straight for Shireton and enter the bakery whenever you want, right? I didn’t run into any fights along the way but maybe I just got lucky. Anyway between the title and having played some of Baker, I figured going there would move the plot along, so I probably spent an hour grinding stats and doing dumb fetch quests in NewBee Town, beat the Hive and became a horrifying bee hybrid, wrecked a couple of zeppelins, delivered a bunch of letters in SameyTown, flew to the creepy town starting with an L, became a citizen, ransacked the abandoned mansion (and saw all my stats busted back down again), and pretty much everything except exploring the desert… Oh, and I’d probably spent 15 minutes screwing around in the Inform “legacy server”, which I’d thought was a prequel but I’m now guessing is a flash-forward. Anyway, back to see what the deal is with that pickle jar!

EDIT: Ok, I get it now! And I think I figured out how to skip Act III, too…


“Seek your teeth into” COMP. Write an interactive fiction where it at some point makes sense to type:

seek teeth into [some noun]



My game, The Incredibly Mild Misadventures of Tom Trundle features women being kidnapped. And a game that I was going to enter into the Comp, but was not near ready features a peristyle (does that count?). What are the odds??


Seeking of teeth, let me pull the conversation between Victor, Nils, and myself back to the thread topic.

Where have we seen malapropisms in IFComp this year? (Games, I mean. Judges’ comments don’t count.)

Stuff of Legend features malapropisms. Any others?

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Flattened London has malapropisms, but I’ll tell you right now that there’s nothing deeper behind that choice.


Oh, right! I remember malapropisms in Flattened London now. Mr. Pages uses them.


Are there are lot of games with broken glass?

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I had a glass of white wine with shattered glass in it once. It was a Shardonnay.


@Canalboy that’s pretty funny!

I just realized another (cheerful?) pattern in the competition. The number of games with supernatural Halloween-like creatures (as players or enemies) is really high.

Demons/evil spirits (Deelzebub, Radicofani, At Night, The Arkhill Darkness, The Call of Innsmouth [Lovecraftian], Minor Arcana, The Eidolon’s Escape, Desolation, Ghostfinder: Shift [mentioned], Ascension of Limbs [Lovecraftian], Vain Empires)

A mummy (Tombs and Mummies)
Doppelganger (Doppeljobs)
Jinni (High Jinnks)
Tons of supernatural creatures (Chorus, Tragic, The Cursed Pickle of Shireton)
Vampires (Vampire Ltd, Savor, Little Girl in Monsterland)
Werewolf (The Shadow in the Snow, You will thank me as fast as you thank a werewolf [title only]
Fairies [the bad kind] (A Murder in Fairyland)

Haven’t played Babyface yet, but I assume it also fits in here!


Electric word, “life” takes place at a Halloween party, too! (This is a good game with a kind of bad title that I hope isn’t putting too many people off).

Phantom is about the Phantom of the Opera which maybe qualifies as well.


There’s at least one more vampire-centric game, though it’s a spoiler for the game: Academic Pursuits

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