Create a TEXT ADVENTURE game suitable for children with no prior experience.
Prizes include a Pi 400, a Pi 4, Pi Pico microcontrollers, bookazines, digital download keys, microcontrollers and a personalised T Shirt donated by the creator of the world's first text adventure game for home computers, Scott Adams.
(A Spanish version of the gamejam is being run concurrently here )
PODCAST FANS: The Adventure Games Podcast Episode 104 is now live, in which the jam organiser discusses the jam, as well as other text adventure related topics.
Put any classic text adventure game in front of a young person and they will be mystified.
The TALP (text adventure literacy project), launched in 2019, challenged authors to create a text adventure game that you would teach them how to play text adventure games, using a fun and interactive tutorial built into the game itself.
This jam encourages text adventure authors to write a fun game such that can guide children (age 8+) so they can play unassisted, or that younger children can play with a parent or trusted adult.
A text adventure game (or parser game) is a type of game where a situation is presented to the player in text with optional graphics then the player interacts with the game (usually) by typing or speaking commands.
Basic text adventure games expect commands in the form of VERB NOUN, such as GET LAMP, THROW ROPE, TALK WIZARD.
VERB NOUN games tend to be faster paced and less error prone for players as they know the exact format of expected commands and commands are shorter to type. They are also easier to develop.
More sophisticated text adventure games can take complex sentences as commands however this jam is concerned with building a VERB NOUN game with commands being limited to a maximum of two words.
These rules are designed to (a) Limit technical ambition (b) Increase the pace of the game. (c) lower complexity for new players.
This jam is organised by Adventuron, but any system may be used to a game that adheres to the rules.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the #gamejam channel in the Adventuron discord.
Your in game tutorial should teach at least the following concepts and possibly more , you decide the order in which to teach these concepts. A reference implementation for a text adventure literacy project (TALP) tutorial can be found in the TALP version of Excalibur.
NOTE: You are free to use other systems to make adventure games in this jam, but step 2 onward assume you are using Adventuron.
Step One - Play an Existing TALP implementation
It is strongly recommended that you play Excalibur (up until the point that you enter the castle), in order to learn how to play text adventure games. Excalibur can be used as a reference TALP tutorial game, but do not copy the game outright.
Step Two - Make An Adventure Game without a TALP Tutorial (60 minute tutorial)
(Adventuron Only Step)
Click here to follow tutorial A (on how to create a text adventure).
The tutorial is built into the system, in the left hand panel, and it remembers your study progress. This tutorial takes three to four hours.
Step Three - Study The TALP Source Code
(Adventuron Only Step)
Check out the source code for Excalibur TALP (download at bottom of page).
Detailed documentation for Adventuron can be found here .
Documentation for other authoring systems are not provided here. Other systems to consider are Inform 6 / 7, Puny Inform, DAAD / DAAD Ready, PAWS, TADS, TAB Adventure Creator, Lantern, or more.
Your games should ideally be playable in browser, but it is not a hard requirement.
Recommended Graphic Specifications
Graphics / game art can be any style you wish, and does not have to be "pixel art / blocky" style.
Graphics should ideally be in super landscape format (16 : 5 aspect ratio).
Sample resolutions (at this aspect ratio) are 1024 x 320 or 512 x 160, 256 x 80 pixels or 128 x 40 pixels, 64 x 20 or 32 x 10.
Other resolutions are fine, and slightly different aspect ratios are fine, but the strong advice is to have your images to be much wider than they are tall - to leave space for text beneath the images.
Don't convert photos to "blocky photos". If you feel you can't make graphics for your game, then it's ok to submit a game without graphics.
Processed photos are not permitted unless the photo is high resolution, and of hand-drawn art.
Incidental graphics can be in different aspect ratios.
The following tools are recommended for basic artists (for pixel art style);
Keeping it simple is the best approach, and not making too many "empty" locations in your game is also a good idea. You can also re-use graphics in multiple locations.
If you want to add a custom font, a guide exists here.
Note that modern fonts are supported by Adventuron, and games with a modern look and feel are very welcome. A guide for using Google Fonts is provided (not for beginners).
Scott Adams is the legend in the text adventure community. The first person to create text adventure games for personal computers, and the founder of Adventure International, now the co-founder of Clopas.
Scott Adams will play the top 5 games (as rated by Itch placement), and gift an (optionally) signed and personalised Adventureland XL T Shirt to the "Scott's Choice" award winner.
This is a very unique prize, blessed by the one of the Godfather's of the genre.
TERMS: Only large size is available. Unfortunately, this prize only applies to the English language competition. Specific personalization requests will be at the discretion of Scott.
There are currently one placement prize, and the winners of the jam by overall score (in order) will be able to select the placement prize unless there is a tie, and then a random draw will be made between the tied winners.
The Raspberry Pi 400 is a standalone Linux desktop computer, with integrated keyboard, wifi, bluetooth, 4GB memory.
Note that the participation prize draw is a shared between the English version of the gamejam, and the Spanish language version of the gamejam. There is only one set of participation prizes shared between the two jams.
The fourth revision of the famous single board computer (2GB RAM version). Compatible with Adventuron Classroom.
(Picture by Michael Henzler, Wikipedia Commons, License: CC BY-SA 4.0. NOTE: Pictured Raspberry Pi 4 is representative but may not be the 2GB model.)
Classic Adventurer is the premier text-adventure bookazine. Ideal for the coffee table of classic adventurers.
Features interviews with classic text adventure and new text adventure authors, beautiful layout and artwork, and interesting features on the subject of text adventure games.
Thanks again to author Mark Hardisty for this donation.
Adventureland XL is a 40th anniversary re-imagining of the original microcomputer based text adventure game. Complete with new graphics, sounds effects, and voiceovers.
<< IMAGE PENDING >>
Kindly donated by Scott Adams / Clopas.
The Raspberry Pi Pico is a powerful microcontroller, newly released in 2021.
Fun because there is 'only' 264 Kilobytes of RAM, and 'only' two 133Mhz ARM cores. Super useful for learning Python / C or for working with hardware projects.
NOTE: This is two individual prizes of one RPi Pico each.
PICO-8 is a fantasy console for making, sharing and playing tiny games and other computer programs. It feels like a regular console, but runs on Windows / Mac / Linux. When you turn it on, the machine greets you with a commandline, a suite of cartridge creation tools, and an online cartridge browser called SPLORE.
Many thanks to Lexaloffle Games for the donation of these keys.
Note: each prize is just one key.
If you would like to contribute prizes to the prize pool, it would be much appreciated.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with subject "Prize Donation".