3-day game jam set in a 50s scifi world

A bunch of us are writing a set of loosely-connected stories in a 1950s scifi world (the MC jumps from planet to utterly different planet for each new writer, then we’ll put it together afterwards and probably see if we can tie it together a bit more - details and discussion [here][1]. )

Anyone is welcome to join us THIS Friday-Saturday-Sunday (in your time zone), and you can talk about it and post outlines in advance at the other thread.

Things will appear here soon.

Tada!! Here it is in all its dubious glory: a fully functional, debugged game with five different writers (two chapters are still coming, and what’s available is still rough).


This is not at all finished - there are many more bits coming!

I imagine we’ll all have a nice lie down for a bit, read each others’ stories, and do some editing of our own work (listening to any suggestions we’ve gathered by then). When people-who-are-not-me are ready, I’ll do an “official” edit to whatever degree people like.

Here are some rough outlines:

Felicity Banks – opening:
Plot: Due to mechanical failure (possibly sabotage by Joe, but if so the MC won’t know), MC is forced to land on Xenphuth IV, a planet even the Zork consider uninhabitable because of the large array of unusual and man-eating vegetation covering its surface. Our hero takes the robot Hint and plunges into the killer wilderness to find the elusive graxweed plant in order to repair the ship. A plant so useful is worth a lot of money if the MC can get more than the single strand required to survive. Of course, survival would be nice too.
Stats gained: Every stat will have at least one chance to grow.
Stats tested: None, since it’s the first “chapter”.
Other info: Hint will spend some time being all-knowing, indestructible, and overly literal.
Gender (he/she/they) and name will be chosen.

Doctor – en route to a bar:
Plot: while in deep space, the crew runs out of fuel and is set adrift. When going down to get more fuel from storage, they discovered a giant Space Bat had clawed it’s way into the ship through the gas tank. Lazer Pistols seem use-less against it, they must figure out how to remove it from the ship.
Stats gained: intellectual mostly, fighting
Other info: not yet

Adrao – starts in a bar:
Plot: while on a bar at a space station the MC is contacted by Xargos, an exile from the planet of Lautus. The MC is told that, while in the last stages to transcend into the next plane of existance, the cleaning robots employed by the Lautians became sentient and have now enslaved the Lautians. The MC is hired to go to the planet and attempt to activate the transcend machine, a large artefact that will extract the souls of the Lautians from their body into the next plane. If the MC accepts the mission he will go to the planet, attempt to land and try to find this machine, and then try to come out alive.
Stats gained: mostly fighting stats and knowledge stats, plus wealth can increase
Stats tested: fighting and knowledge
Other info: still thinking about the details…

Wait, so it started yesterday? Oh no, three days was already really short. If I understood you right I guess I’d better get coding!!

Edit: oh nevermind, this is when the 50s game in particular is starting? Good luck everyone, I’ll wait for the next open jam. Let me know if you need a hand with proofreading or playtesting once it’s written.

It starts this coming Friday! Anyone who just wants to jam for three says without doing anything scifi (or doing a completely different scifi) is welcome, of course!

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Ha, okay. Thanks for the clarification.

@Sashira, you scared me there

@Felicity_Banks, I will spend some time looking at this today.

I read it this morning just to get a feel for the game. I was super impressed. The tone and dialogue are spot on, at least in my opinion! I love Miss Foster! Also, I’d hope that small touches like the MC’s “what a gal” thoughts could be continued throughout the other stories.

After I knock out some much despised yard work, I’ll sit down and playtest all the options, check stats as I go, etc. The only continuity error that sticks out thus far was when I described myself as a man, I was still given a female name option.

What kind of feedback would be most helpful? Mostly checking for continuity and stat bugs?

Ah, thank you! I wasn’t sure if I was only amusing myself. And of course I stuck to my usual tradition of “do no research, make sh*% up”, which from what I hear is true to the genre.

Yes, I think continuity and bugs are the biggest issues (but anything else bad I’d want to know too). I’ll fix the name thing soon, and I’ll add much more visuals etc when I’ve read the other stories.

I play-tested it on my three year old, shaking her around on my lap for the crash, skipping the scary bits, etc. She ended up with strong curiosity and bravery stats, and she wisely chose the jetpack option… and was somewhat unhealthy by game’s end. So pretty much a normal day at the playground, I think.

@Felicity_Banks, okay here is some feedback:

What do the “silly options” at the first major choice do? It looks like screaming gives you %+10 idealism? Drinking scotch gives you health? Pulling the plug gives you nothing? And then piloting gets you %+10 flying. That last one makes sense, but I’m a little confused about how the other stats are working and why you wouldn’t always want to drink the scotch first - that’s obviously the best choice, since you also get to pick flying after returning to the menu.

“To your surprise, the ship’s headlong flight stabilizes and you glide almost peacefully towards the surface of Xenphuth IV. If memory serves, it’s an uninhabitable planet. Getting a new confabulator there could be a mite tricky.” The reader gets this text even if the reader has already been briefed on the planet by Hint just seconds before

Reputation went up %+10 when I told them I wouldn’t risk more lives than necessary. So is this a measure of how the crew views you, sorta like they view you putting their needs and safety first? I’ll try to max this up as high as possible in my next reading.

“Mr Bargle is making final checks before we leave this horrid place.” She shudders. “Did you know you had to have stitches? And you have three broken ribs? And a skull fracture?” From playing multiple times, I see that this text is specific to how much damage you took over the course of the story. I know it won’t have long-term consequences but it still adds flavor. I like it!

A few suggestions:

The game is much shorter if you make wise decisions. Could you balance this out? For example, if you actually steer the ship (which any sane Captain would do), pick the jet pack, fly up and use Hint to get the graxweed, the game is over very quickly. Hint is like a plot device to save the day, which is amusing but makes it very easy.

You might want to consider starting health at 100 (or 99% since you’re using Fairmath) and then subtracting as you get injured. It just seemed a bit counter-intuitive to start health right at 50%

Are there any checks in the story? I know your stats can get bumped up or down based on actions, but are there any choices where your current stats affect the success of your choice?

It would be nice if the ending used an *if statement or two showing how the crew viewed the MC, even though I know the stats will have to be “rebooted” in the next episode. For example, if the reader maxes out the reputation stat, perhaps the crew could be even more demonstrably appreciative of your efforts? Maybe Miss Foster could give us a kiss on the forehead (that would keep it clean and could be acceptable for female/other gendered MCs). Maybe Bargle could soften a bit more and give you a semi-compliment?

But again, these are questions I would normally be asking someone after they spent 6 months, not 3 days, working on a game. The fact remains that this is a wildly entertaining story, so much in fact that I regret not jumping in and writing an episode with you. Did you really write this in 72 hours?? The “writing” part is very strong, so all I could really do was to make some suggestions about the game mechanics (which is not my strong suit). And again, I know the mechanics will have to be tweaked anyway as you figure out how to weave the stories into a slightly cohesive whole.

Congrats for doing such a great job with this!

Thank you so much. I’ve made most of the changes, although I’ll have to think about how to make the “good” decisions more worthwhile (other than having better stats), especially the Hint bit.

Yes, I really wrote it (and edited it a bit, and forced two family members to playtest) in 72 hours. I’ve been writing novels for a long time, and I’m a National Novel Writing Month veteran several times over. Once I even wrote a 50,000 word novel in 72 hours.

I’m so glad to hear that at least some of my print-fiction writing ability (such as it is…) transfers to IF.


None of the options work past choosing your name.

felicity_banks line 62: It is illegal to fall in to an *else statement; you must *goto or *finish before the end of the indented block

By the way I like the idea of mixing several authors and making this game. Keep it up :smile:

Thank you @Theboywhocould

Fixed that error. It should work now (except for missing bits in the middle story).

This is awesome as hell! I love the choices and the crew personalities! You must finish! Also, will the be any romance able NPCs? :gun: is my fav stat!

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