Ectocomp 2020

Hi Everyone, it’s that time of year again, it’s :ghost: Ectocomp :ghost:

This is a really nice friendly comp which I highly recommend people enter or wander over once the results are posted to read the entries, leave a few comments and vote for your favourites :grin:

Any interactive fiction is acceptable (including choicescript). It’s over on, so if anyone’s having trouble with the game compiling side of things let me know and I’ll try to help.

One of the great things about Ectocomp is they have two categories:

  1. La Petite Mort (Max 4 hours of writing time so you don’t need to devote large amounts of spare time to this if you have a cool idea and want to try to speed write a short game. Think of an idea, plan it out and then get writing :slight_smile: )
  2. Le Grand Guignol (Anything you want to spend longer on writing and creating your game.)

The themes for this year are:

  • Halloween fest . Base your game on the Halloween festivities, overall the activity of wear costumes and going out with friends doing the “trick or treat”.
  • Día de Los Muertos. Pay your tribute to the Mexican festivity. As Wikipedia says: “Day of the dead involves family and friends gathering to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and helping support their spiritual journey.” Also, celebrate Mexican folklore and mythology.
  • All Saints’ , which commemorates the faithful departed. That is, an occasion to talk about how we miss the people we leave behind.
  • All Souls’ Eve , at the same time, the evening of All souls’ is a special moment for some European countries to gather the family around the fire, eat sweet wheat porridge, and tell scary tales.

Alternatively you can always go for

  • Spooky adventure! That is, the common and loved usual ECTOCOMP games. Create a game destined to creep the hell out of players, or just go freestyle and just do whatever you want.

Full rules and entry details can be found here: ECTOCOMP 2020 (English) -
There is also a spanish version of the comp for anyone who’d prefer that: ECTOCOMP 2020 (Español) -

Link to the infiction thread if anyone has specific questions for the organiser: #ECTOCOMP2020 warming up! - Competitions - The Interactive Fiction Community Forum


I was wondering when it’d finally pop up!

They say previously unpublished games — if I start writing a game now, does that mean that I can only submit it to Ectocomp?

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I think you can do what you want with it after the comp ends. I think it’s more they don’t want games that have already been written and published elsewhere prior to the comp being entered in. If you’re planning on entering it into 2 places in October, I’d ask as I’m not sure.(I’m not on the organising committee, just spreading the word :slight_smile: ) You could drop them a line on their itch or forum page. (The infiction forum page is probably better monitored at the moment I think.)


Just a reminder 8.9 days until entries are due in! That’s still enough time to get a game in for anyone interested :slight_smile: (You only need 4 hours of writing time to enter the speedwrite game part of the comp!)

The rules for anyone wanting to enter:

  • Games submitted for La Petite Mort should be written in 4 hours or less.
    Any time spent planning, thinking, doodling, researching, etc does not count.
    Any time spent writing words or code that end up in-game totally does count.
    (With the exception of if you wrote game engine or library code in the past and now you’re using it.)
    La petite mort games cannot be updated.
    Less in the case you have a game breaking bug, in that case you are allowed to fix the bug to guarantee players can complete your game. But… remember, NO UPDATES!

  • Games submitted for Le Grand Guignol could have an indefinite amount of hours into its development. Either more than 4 hours, or more than 1 week, even more than 1 month. And they can be updated to correct bugs or improve the present, but no additional content can be added during the competition.

  • Games should be recognizably “interactive fiction”. (Comp admins are not here to police edge cases, but if your game isn’t primarily text-based, why are you here?)

  • Games should be, y’know, spooky somehow. (Serious, psychological, campy, satire, etc. all included). Also, we have proposed five main themes, go and take a look at them. They are just up there!

  • The tradition is to work on the games during October, but you can start NOW to work on your game. The games should be available for 31 Oct, so we can enjoy them in the proper festivities.

  • The games should be original and previously unpublished. With the exception of localisations of previously unreleased games in the current competition language.

  • To participate properly, please choose the correct category for your game. And, please, select one of the main themes, just for taxonomy reasons. (See the first post or the comp page for categories.)

  • ECTOCOMP is generally a light-hearted competition meant to have fun. If the objective of your game is to be directly offensive to any type of group or person, then you didn’t understand ECTOCOMP and you shouldn’t be here anyway.

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Hello, is a gore, horror game of like 2,000 words qualify for the spooky adventure category?


We don’t run Ectocomp, it’s an independent contest! Looking through the rules, seems like a fun gory horror game is exactly what they’re looking for.


I don’t know about fun lol but thanks for replying. :slight_smile:

Sorry guys haven’t been around for a few days, but will’s correct Ectocomp’s an independent contest. Did you end up submitting your game CC_Hill?

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Yes I did thank you :slight_smile:

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We’re into the last day of Ectocomp 2020 with many spooky and quirky games to be had. Whether you’re looking for a game involving possessed bath toys, creepy forest adventures, Indiana Jones tomb raiding, halloween parties, rituals gone wrong (or more terrifyingly perhaps, right…) or more, there’s a wide variety for you to find something to enjoy. A few of our own forum members have submitted stories as well, so if anyone is interested wander over and have a read :slight_smile:
(And if you’re feeling really nice, feel free to feed the authors who have submitted games to the comp with a comment or vote to let them know what you think :hugs:)


Hey guys. Just put up a very quick short description of the games (in the order they’ve been put up on my random sort on itch) entered into Ectocomp this year to give you an idea of what’s out there :slight_smile:
(Sorry for anyone’s game I haven’t done justice too. I was trying to condense it into an easy to browse list.)
5hrs to go in the comp- If you have time, please feed the authors with votes and comments. We thrive on attention :yum:

Le Petit Morte (Speed written games)

  • Death plays battleship by Nerd date night: The grim reaper holds your soul within his bony grasp, and has demanded a game of chess… I mean battleship… to determine your fate for the rest of eternity.

  • Duck diary by @Brian_Rushton Explore the terrors that lurk beyond your dreams with your favourite bathroom buddy by your side.

  • Cabin in the forest by @will: We writers like to think we’re not at the mercy of our muses don’t we?

  • Rat chasm by Hatless: When rats attack. Probably most concerningly, this senario was adapted from a real event.

  • Fracture by DevBits: What happens in someone’s last moments?

  • Last day by Earth Traveler:
    “News guy wept and told us,
    earth was really dying,
    Cried so much his face was wet,
    then I knew he was not lying…”
    What would you if you had one day left on Earth?

  • Red Fast Bent by bminus7: How many stories can you create with three choices? A short, unsettling choose-your-own poem.

  • The long nap by paulseawa: You slept so deeply that no one guessed you would awaken. But now, trapped in a box far underground, can you escape before time runs out?

  • The imposter by :Trapped on a ship as your crewmates are picked off one by one. Who or what could be responsible, and will anyone survive long enough to reach your final destination?

  • A pilgrim by Caleb Wilson: It’s getting dark and the forest is dangerous. You need to find somewhere to sleep, but that building seems to have secrets of its own…

  • Ritus Sacri by quackoquack: Sometimes you wonder if your Latin teacher even reads the homework assignments he gives out. They often seem to be randomly photocopied pages out of any old book in the library. At least passages he’s given you to translate seem more interesting than the last lot.

  • Ebony and Ivory’s Halloween party by mchamberlain: The party is prepared and guests have already started to arrive. It’s going to be great, but no! What’s this? Where are the gourds?! Your partner is going to kill you if the highlight of the evening doesn’t happen due to this mistep. Just where does one find a fresh supply of gourds late on a Halloween night?

  • Phantasmagoria (Mine): It is not wise to linger beneath the elm that grows near the entrance of the underworld. Not all who sleep beneath its branches wake to tell the tale.

La Grand Guignol (Created in >4hrs)

  • Social lycanthropy disorder by ejoyce: You’re a werewolf, a full moon is due to rise soon but you’ve got a Halloween party you simply can’t be a no-show for and retain any measure of social standing. What could go wrong?

  • Several other tales from Castle Balderstone by Ryan Veeder: Want to write your own horror story instead of being at the author’s mercy for what they themselves find creeps them out? This game has got you covered with a selection of spooky stories.

  • The curse of the scarab by Nils Fagerburg: There’s a skeleton that looks suspiciously like Indiana Jones near the entrance which should give you some idea of what you’re in for. Enter the tomb of all dooms if you dare.

  • A very dangerous criminal by kemlly161 (is this you @CC_Hill?): It’s a dark lonely road and against the protests of your companion, you pull the car over to pick up a hitchhiker. Is everyone whom they appear to be?

  • Toadstools by bitterkarella: This mushroom will give you visions, while these will heighten your emotions. Those black ones over there? They’ll kill you stone dead at the first bite so don’t even think about it, but someone will pay for them. Oh yes… and take a piece of this red toadstool with you. One must always take something to forget if you plan to enter wilderness claimed by the god of the forest.

  • Better than alone by @will: A hard hitting story about being a carer during a pandemic lockdown.


Yes that’s me :slight_smile: thank you.


Congratulations @Brian_Rushton for winning the Petit Morte category with Duck diary! A well deserved win :tada:

And well done to all the authors from here who entered. There was a wide variety of games which was wonderful to see and the standard was quite high this year. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did. Is it wrong that I’m looking forward to next year’s comp already? :smile:


This type of competition are really cool, So it makes sense.


So looking forward to next year!


Congrats!!! :slight_smile:

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Thanks! Yours and @will’s were my favorite two games!