This jam is now over. It ran from 2016-12-06 01:03:20 to 2017-02-28 08:00:00. View entry

Grab your keyboards and come on down to the No-Brainer IF Jam: 2016 Edition! We had one of these last year, an' it went pretty well, so here we are again on another whirlwind adventure!

As of 12/05/16, you have 24 working hours to create a text-based game, and several solid months to upload it. Why so relaxed about deadlines? Because No-Brainer's about challenging yourself, having fun, and experimenting with the medium — not skipping meals and welding yourself to your writing desk. Also, holidays.

It's essentially ConstraintsJam for IF devs.


Who Can Participate?

Any and all creators of parser games, hypertext fiction, and visual novels!

How Do I Participate?

  1. Decide which engine you're using...
  2. ...and pick 3 challenges from the list(s) below.
  3. Create a game within 24 working hours.
  4. Upload it before February 28th, 2017!

If you're making multiple games, remember that you may not re-use challenge combinations from previous No-Brainer entries. Gotta keep you on your toes. :)

Challenges for Visual Novels:

  • Keep the game under 10MB.
  • Use 3 colors or less with all assets.
  • Use a pixel art aesthetic.
  • Fully customize the GUI.
  • Use 3 art assets or less.
  • Create ALL art assets from scratch.
  • Limit yourself to 2 scene transitions.
  • Use 3 pieces of music or less.
  • Use 3 sound effects or less.
  • Give the PC their own sprite.

Challenges for Parser Games:

  • Make the parser its own character.
  • Replace all the default responses.
  • Implement custom commands.
  • Include a visual map w/ your upload.
  • Include 5 or more rooms. Halls don't count!
  • Include multiple solutions to one puzzle.

Challenges for Hypertext Fiction:

  • Style your game with CSS.
  • Play with punctuation for artistic effect.
  • Keep total game text under 500 words.
  • Tell the story through dialogue alone.
  • Mimic the style of a specific author.
  • Use exactly 500, 1000, or 1500 words.
  • Use exactly 5, 10, or 15 links.

General Challenges:

  • Make the PC nameable.
  • Include 2 or more speaking characters.
  • Implement achievements.
  • Use a font you made yourself.
  • Make the PC a public domain character.
  • Make the PC an inanimate object.
  • Avoid all gendered pronouns.
  • Name your game with this randomizer.
  • Or plot your game with this one.
  • Have everyone speak in song lyrics.
  • Include 3 or more endings.
  • Use one of these words in the narrative.
  • Write in a genre you usually don't.
  • Write in a tense you usually don't.
  • Don't stop believing.

What Are 'Working Hours'?

Hours you spend working with the engine or assets, actively making the game. Most jams define hours by the clock, not development progress — resulting either in frenzied all-nighters or missed deadlines. Bet you're glad you're with us now, aren't you. ;)

I'm trusting y'all to honor that time limit. Of course, no-one will know if you cheat — but you wouldn't short-change yourself that way, right?


Can I Use Pre-Made Assets?

Regarding visuals and audio: Go ahead, so long as you give proper credit. However, you must create all game text within working hours!

Can I Submit More Than One Entry?

Heck to the yes. If you want, they can all be interrelated, too!

Can We Collaborate On An Entry?


Can I Include 18+ Stuff?

Just keep it tasteful and respect your audience. We're grown people, here. I'm sure I don't need to elaborate. If you really don't know if your game will pass, drop me a DM on twitter. We'll discuss it there. :)

I Want To Propose A Challenge!

Cool. Hit me up on twitter and I'll gladly consider your suggestion! We're all friends here, man.

All submissions

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Parser game about a vampire trying to get revenge on a usurper