What're you working on for Ectocomp?

IFComp is merrily in swing, and it’s been wonderful to see the outpouring of reviews from old favourites (hi, Mike!) and newcomers to the forums alike.

I am curious about what people have cooking up for Ectocomp, though! So feel free to share a bit about your project here, if you’d like.

I’m writing a little psychological horror piece (a new jaunt in genre for me!)

Here’s my working blurb as it currently stands:

“A string of murders looping across the country. Grisly details in garish technicolour. Crime scene photos shot under bright white flash.”

Michael Vautier suspects his husband Dr. Raphael Toussaint is the serial killer slaughtering young women with an uncanny resemblance to their daughter, Evangeline. Thrust into a tense stalemate with the surgeon he’s been married to for over twenty years, Michael is caught between devotion and terror.

A piece of psychological horror interactive fiction.

Can you tell I’ve been watching Hannibal lately? :wink:


All I have right now is a blurb, but it’s a blurb I feel good about!

“At midnight you’re going to turn into a pumpkin – Literally.”

Originally planned for the Grand Guignol, currently trying to figure out how to squeeze it into Petit Mort since it’s too silly to go to waste even if I’m bad at deadlines.


This is so cute! It made me think of Cinderella and all her adorable little mousie friends right away. Good luck with figuring out how to smush it into the Petit Mort category! (I think it’s sort of funny how we have an inverse in categories, there- I had originally intended to enter something small into Petit Mort!)


I’ve now got a couple pages of notes for a more lighthearted puzzle-fest, in the “teenager investigates a spooky mystery” genre. (Anyone else burn through dozens of Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books when they were younger?)

The puzzles are coming together well (on paper at least) but I’m debating whether I can pull off genre writing within a four-hour limit. If I can, though, it’ll help me not agonize too much about the prose.

I’m also realizing, if I finish this in time, it’ll be only my second solo-authored game—and both of them start with teenagers breaking into a building at night to solve puzzles. In my defense, heists are fun.


I’m new to IF writing, so I haven’t heard of Ectocomp before.

It just so happens, though, that my current project is based around werewolves! I still have a lot of work to do, but I think I can get it done in time.

You play as a traveler named Alex. Alex is passing through a town when they realize that the Full Moon is approaching. Alex is overly cautious and boards themselves up every Full Moon. They plan to stay in the town of Branchbury, but while there Alex figures a werewolf lives in Branchbury. You have to find the werewolf and kill it beforehand or prepare to hunt it on the Full Moon, all while dealing with Alex’s paranoia.

I plan to have a post-game too, but that might not be possible before Halloween.

My original planning for this was to have it be a collection of stories in the same style, all dealing with werewolves. But again, new to coding, might not even get the very basic game done in time and all. :sunglasses:

Edit: I just had a fun idea! Character selection! Different starting items, traits, stuff like that. I have it set up for multiple characters anyways. (From my original planning. You would have a different character for each story.)


I certainly agree! There’s not nearly enough of them in IF.

This looks like a lot of fun! I have a soft spot for games where you have to wrangle difficult PCs. Looking forward to playing both of these, whether they’re done in time for Ectocomp or not.


I’ve planned out a small spooky village/forest adventure with tons of horror tropes crammed in. Not coding it yet as I’ve been knocked out by a cold this week, but itching to get going once my brain starts working again!


I’ve been working with a friend on a Lovecraftian mystery set in Scotland for a few weeks. But I have other ideas I also want to play with :confused:


I have a game in Beta right now, and I’m feeling a little unsure about it. It’s long-ish (at least I think it is) and it’s a horrible story that’s based on a true 16th century story.


leans forward in comfy chair, puffing eagerly on bone pipe

I’m listening…


Does designing/coding the UI counts as coding for La Petite Mort?

My grandfather would call you a nosy parker. You’re just going to have to wait, I’m afraid, unless you want to beta test. What’s that? I didn’t think so.

And that bone pipe is just gross. Here in the 16th century, we really prefer snuff in pretty little boxes. Do keep up.


My rule of thumb is that any code for this specific game counts. Updating my old Inform extensions for the new version of the language, for example, doesn’t.


This sounds like it’s going to be a treat! I can’t wait to play it once it comes out.


I have something for Grand Guignol. It was originally going to be for Petite Mort, and since it’s a spinoff of my longer IFComp entry, I tried a coding exercise of moving general code to extensions.

Then the thing got too big to properly implement and test in 4 hours, which is actually good, as now I can test some scripts that assign test cases from the source code. I thought it’d maybe be 15 or so points but it ballooned to 30. It’s also (marginally) properly supernatural, though some of the enemies are (I hope) more amusing than scary. I’m making myself laugh.

I haven’t run across “nosy parker” since I read Tintin long ago. I should reread it.

I’ve relied on this too. But this year I realized even with the old code, I had no chance of getting under 4 hours for Petite Mort. I enjoyed planning to parcel out my time so it counted, but I realized it was going to be too much.


Whooaa there pardner… Them there be fight’n words. As far as I can tell from down here, you lot in the fifteenhundreds are a lot of snuff in pretty little boxes.

Have a whiff of that, why don’t ya…


I told a bedtime story to my kids (2 and 4) a few weeks ago, where I invented what I thought would pass as a silly plot with a witch that eats children to make them laugh.
How wrong was I : I had to sleep with them because they burst into tears of terror.

The story is short, now I just have to think of a way to tell it interactively in an interesting way, and I’ll try to fit that in the 4h of a Petite Mort.


Just came up with the idea for my petite mort entry. The decision now is if I’m going to stream myself writing it again…


A friend of mine occasionally streams themselves working on gamedev stuff (which for their main visual novel generally falls into separate streams for drawing art assets (character sprites tend to be more popular for streaming in progress) or writing character dialogue. It’s a cool concept, and I enjoy attending them- great for ‘work along material’ for some gentle pseudo-accountability. If you do stream, maybe let us know when and where?


I’m trying to finish a small story oriented game for the Ectocomp. The blurb it currently:

“Sometimes you have to retreat into solitude in order to give birth to something great.”

I considered getting this done as a Petit Mort, but 4 hours is just too little for me to code and write something reasonably neat, I’m afraid…

You really should! I still have almost all the issues I bought as a kid and love to reread certain stories every now and then. Is it possible that no one has tried to convert one of the adventure stories into an IF (possibly because of copyrights)?

Sounds very interesting - could you share a link?