Submissions open from 2021-10-01 07:59:59 to 2021-10-31 08:00:00
Submissions due in

Don't get strung out by the way that we look
Don't judge a book by its cover
We're not much of a book by the light of day
But by night we're one hell of a game
We're just a sweet transcompetite
From Transectocomp, Transylvania, MUWA HA HA!

Banner by Elizabeth Smyth
Words profanation by Ruber Eaglenest

ECTOCOMP is an annual competition for interactive fiction written for the SPOOKY MONTH OF HALLOWEENTOBER. Whether you celebrate Halloween, Day of the Dead, All Saint's Eve, or just love ghost stories and creeping people out, this is your time to shine!

This competition is for games done in English and Spanish. To make hosting the comp on work, we've split Ectocomp into two separate jam pages.

You are looking at the English ECTOCOMP jam page (use the link below to change language).

Visita la versión en Español aquí: --> ECTOCOMP 2021 Español

As per tradition, Ectocomp has two categories:

  • La Petite Mort, for those who want to speed-write their game in 4 hrs or less
  • Le Grand Guignol, for games that, for whatever reason, took longer than 4 hrs to write (perhaps a more thoughtful masterpiece? perhaps spent too much time writing GORY DETAILS?)


Additionally, here we have some optional subthemes or inspiration prompts to improve the diversity of topics and ambiances. But, feel free to ignore those and send whatever you want.

  • Spooky adventure! That is, the common and loved usual ECTOCOMP games. Create a game destined to creep the hell out of players.
  • Sweet supernatural. Yeah, your game can be supernatural, but maybe there is no need to be creepy. Maybe your ghosts and monsters are homies and sweet.
  • 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." To 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.
  • Any other festivity or mythology around the world.


  1. Games submitted for La Petite Mort should be written in 4 hours or less.
    1. Any time spent planning, thinking, doodling, researching, etc does not count.
    2. Any time spent writing words or code that end up in-game totally does count. 
      1. (With the exception of if you wrote game engine or library code in the past and now you're using it.)
      2. La petite mort games cannot be updated by any means.
      3. 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!
  2. 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.
  3. 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?)
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. The games should be original and previously unpublished. With the exception of localisations of previously unreleased games in the current competition language.
  7. To participate properly, please choose the correct category for your game. And, please, select one of the main themes, just for taxonomy reasons.
  8. 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.

Go forth and don't be cursed!


To vote and participate as a jury, you must do so by giving between 1 to 5 stars on each entry page of the jam. The voting period ends on November 15.

Itchio doesn't allow to leave categories unvoted, so vote and judge the games just as normal. Later we'll make separated ranked lists with each category.

In addition to each entry page, each game has its own itchio homepage. It is somewhat confusing, but it is a way of distinguishing when a game belongs to a jam.

Receiving feedback from players is an essential part of participating in a competition of Interactive Fiction. Take the time to leave a kind comment for the authors to thank their participation and the good times with scary stuff. There are several places where the community can meet to discuss and comment on the works presented:

  • Each page of each participant has a comment section enabled, here at itchio.
  • In turn, on the main page of each game, you can leave comments but only if the author has enabled this section on the page of the game.
  • In the forum of the English-speaking international community. This category includes the ECTOCOMP threads.
  • In the CAAD forum, of the Spanish-speaking community. This way.
  • Finally, you can talk live about the games in the Narrative Games Discord Server:
  • The discord server for the community in Spanish is called Textualiza, invite link:

Give Yourself Over To Interactive Fiction!