ChoiceScript game jam


What the title says.

We should organise an event where we try to code and complete a game (or section of a game) in a set time limit, working off a theme or prompt or something. Not a contest, just for fun. It’s just an idea I came up with a minute ago, so maybe someone else can see holes in this where I don’t? And what are your thoughts on something like this?

Choicescript Game Jam?

The idea has been talked over a few times the past few years, its a good idea if you want to hold it, but some of us are just coming off of NaNo so I wont be joining in this time around. :slight_smile:


Sounds like fun! I’d be down.


It sounds like fun, just not for right now.
Like @Lordirish I’m still suffering from NaNo fatigue.


Oh, definitely, not right now. I totally forgot about NaNo, having been unable to participate because of exams. Anyway, in a month or two sound good?


I am still writing but now going back over all the mess I wrote lol. Will be lots of editing involved. December I might join in.


@Lordirish Ehm, it is December already…

@gkkiller January or February should be doable. Preferably February, most of my exams are in January.


lol so it is. I did mean Jan.


Sounds intriguing… For once, Doctor may join in the reindeer games.


This sounds fun although definitely not until the new year.

How do we go about picking a theme?

Also do we communicate with each other during it?


I propose we do it in February. Actually, we could do it over the Valentine’s weekend (13th Friday - 15th Sunday), with a romantic theme, something like “falling in love with the wrong person”? (In hindsight, my second word seems especially appropriate :P)

As for communication, we have this thread to plan the event. Once we work things out, we could make a proper announcement and discussion thread. And for real-time chat, I guess we could use Xat or something? I’m not too sure about that. Any ideas?


There is a chatroom at Choiceofbox.


I think Valentine’s Weekend is a bad idea because people might have something planned for that and would have less time to dedicate to it than they might on any other weekend.

I think LordIrish had some chat software over on ChoiceofBox we could use?

I’ll admit I’m not digging that theme. I think because it’s a bit too specific for me. Even a theme that’s more vague, like Love, is at least open to a lot more interpretation.

Personally, I like getting a bit more meta with things. I’d have liked to have some fun with the nature of choices themselves. A couple of days isn’t that long to write a game so I’d like something I could keep short and simple if need be (or elaborate on further if I feel like it).

I’ve also been looking for an excuse to try and create another puzzle in choicescript, mind you, so a challenge based on that would be interesting too.

Or we could all make a suggestion and just randomly pick one? That way no one can prepare in advance?


Ok then. First weekend of February sound better? And the chatroom at Choice of Box sounds good.

Getting suggestions for themes sounds good. On the day before the jam begins, we could use an RNG and pick the one we’re going with. Sound good?

On the topic of what kind of theme, I believe there was a challenge somewhere here to write a game only using fake_choice. I’d love to do something like that, something that could really bring out a lot of originality. So yeah, the theme I suggested was maybe more restrictive than I first thought. Anyone have suggestions for themes? I think suggesting a genre would alienate too many people, so maybe something like ‘putting a twist in the genre’? Or maybe even just ‘twist’, to be interpreted as the author wishes?


@gkkiller Would ‘weekend’ be Saturday and Sunday, or also a part of Friday? And what about time zones? That might be a bit of an issue with the people around here living on all sides of the globe.

For a theme, maybe have the MC be the bad guy, or even not being human at all. I don’t necessarily mean alien, but rather an animal or even an inanimate object. That could be interesting. Or a set of fixed sentences you somehow need to incorporate in the story.


I thought I had a list of other suggestions in that Fake Choice Challenge. However they’re not there. they must be lurking in another post. (Incidentally feel free to participate in that thread if you want, I don’t think there’s a problem in bumping it.)

What I’d like to see is a challenge that’s centered around a difficult moral or ethical dilemma. Perhaps the opposite of the Fake Choice Challenge, wherein there’s one important choice, it’s significant, it has impact, you can change the world with that choice.

The benefits of a game jam, and writing a short game means that you’ve actually got more freedom to make that single choice matter, and to explore all the consequences of it. If you’re writing a long game branching too much, especially at the beginning, soon gets unwieldy and can be off-putting for a new writer.

Or an ethical dilemma. Maybe something like but put into choicescript.

Or if we’re speaking love themes, what about Paris’ Choice? Wherein three beautiful goddess’ appear before a shepherd, ask him which of them is most beautiful, and he’s stupid enough to choose.

Sophie’s Choice wherein she’s forced to choose between which of her children will survive. There’s a lot of these choices in Batman too. One which had Batman choosing between Batgirl and Robin, one where he has to choose between the man who’ll change the future of Gotham and his girlfriend, and the others that the joker forces upon people in The Dark Knight. I think those sort of choices are fun. (I know Heroes Rise does one as well but I was disappointed in the way that one worked out.)

Firefly does it in an episode, where Zoe’s forced to choose between her husband and her captain. I loved that she didn’t even need to think about the choice she made there.

Also Cabin In the Woods, which has another important choice. Again I loved how they inverted that choice. How the heroine is told her friend needs to die or else the world’s doomed, she originally tries to kill him, then they change their minds and just destroy the world.

Also, perhaps we could just have a list of things, randomly roll on the list and people have to include at least one element in their game. So we could have.

Mystery or Detective
Science fiction

Victorian London
The Wild West
Generic Fantasy Land
A Modern City
Desert Island

Then maybe a theme, a moral, or perhaps something off of or even a list of random things people want to suggest. Or a list of monsters/antagonists.


Most topics I’m good with, but I’ll admit, I don’t think I’d be the best at writing a love story… I do like Godfeather’s list idea


I like that (those) idea(s) a lot - I was also thinking about the literary themes (gotta love a great Deus ex machina)

Would we put a length limit/minimum? Or just whatever you can cobble together over the weekend?


@DetectiveSquirrel Deus Ex Machina’s such a good one. I’d love that as a theme, because it could be taken a lot of different places. You could use the concept, or you could be completely literal with it, or you could write from the god’s point of view. In fact I think that would be a lot of fun, a game where you’re a god in a machine and you’re catapulted from one climactic scene to another.

I’d say we don’t put a minimum or maximum. People should just write what they can manage. If they want to just do the one scene that’s great if they want to write something long that’s good too. The only limit is the time. (And I do think Friday should be the starting time.)


I think the only real ‘restrictions’ we want to impose are

  1. you start writing your submission* (for lack of a better word) on the day the contest begins, and turn it in the day it ends
  2. follow the theme(s)
    That’s it. I mean, you don’t even have to write a new piece for the jam if you don’t want to - just do a new scene for something you’re already working on.

*Submission makes it sound like you’re entering a contest, but I don’t think we want a competitive angle to it. The idea is just to see how creative people can get, right?