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Wumpus Jam Rules and FAQ Sticky

A topic by John D. Moore/Whatnot Studios created May 20, 2018 Views: 463
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(5 edits)

Main Rule:

To quote Sophie Houlden's "Important Rule" from her Chess Jam,

"The only real rule is "Don't be hurtful or harmful", breaking this rule will get you banned."

That's it. That's the main rule.  Other than that, go nuts. Everything else is just more information (and some recommended reading it you want it!).

What's Hunt the Wumpus?

HUNT THE WUMPUS is 45 years old this year! The first known mention of Gregory Yob's classic game was in September 1973's People's Computing Company magazine where you could order a tape of it for $4. Yob made it in reaction to early creature-hunting games like Snark and Mugwump. The game's code was published in Creative Computing two years later.

Basically, HUNT THE WUMPUS is a game in which players wander treacherous caves in a dodecahedron layout, searching for signs of the dangerous Wumpus. When they believe they have located the Wumpus, they fire an arrow into an adjacent room. When walking into a room, they might also fall into a hole, be transported by bats, startle a Wumpus and make it relocate, or be eaten by the Wumpus! 

What can I make for Wumpus Jam?

That's open-ended! You might make a digital game, a board game, a comic, a song--whatever!How does the Wumpus theme need to be applied?

You're encouraged to take this prompt however the heck you want.  Think about the game world's dodecahedron shape. Think about hunting. Think about drafty rooms. Think about why anyone would hunt a wumpus. Think about the two-action (Move/Shoot) mechanics of the original game. Why did Yob make it? Think about the wumpus itself (what does it even look like?).

Does I have to put a Wumpus in it?

Nope! Since the prompt is very much open to interpretation, games with Wumpuses are great and games that have nothing resembling a Wumpus at all are also great!

Do you have some recommended inspirational reading/playing for understanding Wumpus?

Sure! To begin with, play some version of HUNT THE WUMPUS! The game has been relentlessly ported and remade over the last five decades! Various versions abound on the Internet. Here are a handful:

  • Hunt the Wumpus (Remade/Refurbished/Re*), playable in-browser on by MayMoonsley (2016)
  • Bob Murching's incredibly 1998 Java-based Wumpus 98
  • A 1993 loosely graphical Hunt the Wumpus playable in-browser at

Read the Wikipedia article about HUNT THE WUMPUS for an overview of the game's design, impact, and legacy.

Read this pair of articles from the Digital Antiquarian about Hunt the Wumpus and the milieu it came from. 

Read this section of 1979's book MORE Basic Computer Games featuring a one-page article by Yob about the game's origins and the game's BASIC source code. This 1975 issue of Creative Computing has the same article text and a sample run of the game.

Also check out  this video of the wild, awesome-looking graphical TI-99 adaptation (the visual rendering of this wumpus has had a distinct impact on people's understanding of the wumpus), from 1981.

Can I win this jam?

This is a non-competitive jam! The winners will be those who make something for it and those who get to play neat new games (or whatever else you make!)!

Do I have to have a team?

Nope! Go it alone if you like, enlist your roommate, partner with your child, or form a great big team! 

Can I reuse old assets or rework/finish old projects?


Where can I share progress and see others' progress?

Right here in this community category!

Now please, enjoy WUMPUS JAM!