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 Post subject: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:06 am 
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Shhhhh! Did you... did you hear something? Something hiding in the night... something horrifying, revived by October's mystic air. Something stirring in the leaves, that crawls up from the darkest pits of the Earth only once in a year, something whose scream can be heard across the globe, a monster they say is called... ECTOCOMP!

Ectocomp, Interactive Fiction's Official Hallowe'en Speed-IF, has returned for its seventh incarnation this fateful year of 2013! Ectocomp is a haunting, all-month competition for Hallowe'en-themed interactive fiction executed in just three (3) hours on any platform, guillotine, or gallows. Once more our host, J.J. Guest, crosses over from his indescribable world of horror to oversee this darkest of IF rituals. Writers and all sensitive persons, prepare as you may... there is no defense against the nightmares of this season! Will they compel you to portray impossible worlds of madness, confess to occult sins of mystery, or tickle your readers' funny bones... to death?

So that audiences might witness these horrors on Hallowe'en, the DEADline for all ghastly rites and terrifying delights shall be October 30th at midnight. Authors may feel free to spend as much time as they need in secret preparations, but may spend no more than three (non-consecutive) hours writing (this includes beta-testing). If their nightmarish visions are fertile or the screaming just won't stop, authors may also submit more than one game to the Ectocomp demon at jason.guest[at]gmail.com, but no more than three. The length of the judging period will be determined by the number of sacrifi-- I mean, entries we receive.

Ectocomp 2013 is upon us... run, run, and write for your lives!

Download the games here!


Last edited by bowsmand on Sat Nov 02, 2013 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Are there any prizes of any sort? Not that there needs to be. Just wondering. :?:

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:18 pm 
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This sounds fun! Real life robbed me of my IFComp entry, but surely it'll allow three hours in the next thirty days.

Reading through past threads, it seems you can use a text editor in advance? So if, for example, one was writing a Twine game, one could write all the text at leisure, then cobble it all together in three hours before submitting? I would consider an Inform 7 project, but to be honest the first bug would probably take me three hours to squash, and then there would be no game.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:32 pm 
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If I remember correctly from previous years, the rule was to restrict copy-pasting of large text blocks. Basically, you can plan what you'll write, but you should be able to type it all within the time period.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:16 pm 
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By the way, prizes are all by donation. Nobody has offered one yet, so I'm going to change that by offering up a double-feature Vincent Price DVD containing both Theatre of Blood and Madhouse. This does mean that whoever wins will have to privately notify me their address for shipping.

If anyone else wants to donate a prize, that would be great!


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Mon Oct 07, 2013 4:44 pm 
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Cool! I have a couple of short horror stories in my head I'd been thinking of turning into short games. Just may have to enter one of those.

Also, I'm sure I've got some horror DVDs and such laying around I could donate the cause. I'll try to round those up and send them in soon. Should I also email jason.guest[at]gmail.com about that?


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 8:12 pm 
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This might be just the thing to get me motivated again. So a person can do some initial planning and come up with the idea, but the actual writing and programming and testing needs to cover no more than a cumulative three-hour stretch? Is that right?

I don't know though. It could take me three hours just to remember how Hugo works. Not to mention getting tweaks to the grammar rules just right. Maybe I should check out Roodylib.


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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 4:09 am 
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Let's say someone were thinking of making a game with some RPG mechanics. Would coming up with and programming those count towards the three hour limit?

Programming the actual enemies and such would be within the time limit of course...

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 5:33 am 
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From what I understand, any typing at your keyboard is coding. You can work them out on paper beforehand, but when you're on the computer putting them in, it counts against your limit.

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 Post subject: Re: Ectocomp 2013
PostPosted: Thu Oct 10, 2013 10:23 am 
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Tale wrote:
Let's say someone were thinking of making a game with some RPG mechanics. Would coming up with and programming those count towards the three hour limit?

Programming the actual enemies and such would be within the time limit of course...


Just looking at this whole question of the Ectocomp rules, I think there's a certain degree of "what do YOU think makes sense?" involved here.

Almost every game I've written has included the following code:

Spoiler: show
Quote:
An immobile prop is a kind of thing. An immobile prop is fixed in place.
An immobile prop has some text called the don't-move-me text.
An immobile prop usually has the don't-move-me text "You fail to move [the noun]."

An immobile supporter is a kind of supporter. An immobile supporter is fixed in place.
An immobile supporter has some text called the don't-move-me text.
An immobile supporter usually has the don't-move-me text "You fail to move [the noun]."

An immobile container is a kind of container. An immobile container is fixed in place.
An immobile container has some text called the don't-move-me text.
An immobile container usually has the don't-move-me text "You fail to move [the noun]."

A backdrop has some text called the don't-move-me text.
A backdrop usually has the don't-move-me text "That's not really feasible."

Taking or pushing or pulling an immobile prop is futile lifting. Taking or pushing or pulling an immobile supporter is futile lifting. Taking or pushing or pulling an immobile container is futile lifting. Taking or pushing or pulling a backdrop is futile lifting.

Instead of futile lifting: say "[don't-move-me text of the noun][line break]" instead.


I haven't turned it into a formal extension, but I don't feel the need to type out the words every time. I open up whatever game I last wrote, grab the code above, paste it in, and go from there. And I wouldn't see that as a violation of EctoComp rules, any more than "include ExtensionName" would be.

So my thinking would be: If you already have RPG mechanics sitting around from a different project, then including them is fair. But if EctoComp is your only RPG game, then they really should be created in the time limit.

Of course, it's all on the honor system anyway. (But honor matters.)

(Disclaimer: my only involvement with EctoComp is as a competitor. Bowsmand should totally overrule me if I'm wrong.)

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