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Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
4/30 UPDATE: It's 2250 words now, and I've changed the guidelines on publishing. tl;dr it's fine to publish but take it down as soon as you get your ten readers and official site rating. Inspired by something I stumbled across that the IF community was doing awhile back, but doing so boringly that it's hardly worth a mention except in the sense that they squandered a cool idea. The theme for this is "topia", that is, either the u- or the dys- variety. They should be 2200 words or less, and I invite you to get creative with the format. A straight narrative thing is difficult to do with that limit, but you could consider making it more gamelike or puzzle based, or maybe just more of a short 'experience' or something artsy and faggy like that. Writing jams are supposed to be no pressure just for fun things, so no time limit, just link your entries here as you make them. Unpublished in sneak peek counts as participation too. I may give awards for extremely high quality efforts, but obviously don't beg if you don't want to annoy me. Participation will probably get you a commendation here in the thread at least, unless it's a troll game or you're eight years old. ...now of course I realize this could be interpreted as inviting you all to write an endless stream of low effort garbage, and even when that's OBVIOUSLY NOT MY INTENTION I know there are those of you who will do this anyway. If you take the step of actually publishing the thing, make sure it meets all site standards and is at a quality level where you're confident you can get at least a 4.0 or so. Also, by reading these words you're agreeing to take it down (or have it taken down) after you get your ten readers and the site tacks on the official rating. It's fine to republish it later, but wait till it wouldn't affect anything on the New Storygames list on the main page. The thing I want to avoid is more effortful stories missing out on readers because they're getting shoved aside and buried by bunch of quick tiny experiments. Anyway, have fun, and don't ruin things by being an idiot. ENTRIES SO FAR: Application for Utopia Blank Memory Dead Inside >DEVOTION Expedition Aquarius Happy(TM) Letters Unanswered SPORK Springberry Morning Utopia Planitia Attempts that went over the word limit but still get an honorable mention: Doppenton The Unsightly Treatment of One, Benjamin Schatz. (If any of these links don't work, let me or the author know, it probably just means they were taken out of sneak peek afer unpublishing because of a glitch.)

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
Sorry, I didn't understand well the rules, It has to be a dystopian or utopia in less 2k words. But I don't understand the rest of the rules so we are disqualified from it and shamed if don't reach 4'5 rating?.

Anyway, I will participate in it as Dystopia are maybe my favourite topic. Still, scared by the rating thing by I try my best.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
There's nothing to be disqualified from to begin with, it's not a contest. And I didn't say anything about being shamed. It sounds like you do understand the parts you didn't just add on your own though.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
I get lost in all the back quality and docking points and I thought that was like a shame or something

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago

You know what, I just got a crazy idea!

I can only hope it won't take an eternity.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
I know it took you several centuries to agonize over 1000 words you didn't even like for the Corona Tag thread, but I'm excited to see what you come up with here anyway.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago

Pfft, those 1000 words were easy, since I was already in a writing mood before I pivoted to make them. The actual agonizing part was putting a storygame on hold to write that instead.

Which means that the real horror is that I can no longer use that thread as motivation for finishing a storygame!

Although, I suppose it isn't that bad, as it is in a place where I can technically work on it whenever, and I do want to finish up some of its sections before I begin considering to drop it.

But that doesn't matter right now. What does matter is that I'll do a storygame for this, one with a much smaller scope (which is sort of necessary with a 2000 words limit). However, the 'gimmick' I'm going for will make it take longer than one might expect. These things should thus balance out.

Edit - I've thought about it some more, and I don't think I can pull it off, not properly at least. Too ambitious, or I should say, it requires doing something that I'm not good at. If I ever get better at the particular thing, I might revisit the story. Tis a lesson in hubris, don't let a gimmick force you down a foolish path!

Good thing there's no deadline.

Edit 2 - Hmm, my new attempt has failed. Guess I'll just wait for the word requirement to get even higher, aha.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago

I actaully started something for this yesterday, though I'm on the fence about continuing since it's turning out to be a little more tedious than I expected.  It's a resource management-type game about making propaganda and brainwashing citizens.  

Is there any sort of deadline for this?  I know it's not a contest, but even low-pressure writing jams have to end eventually.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
No deadline because the thing I copied had no deadline.

I sort of envision this thread becoming an archive of tiny coffee break sized fantasy and sci fi games, plus maybe some more gamelike games that we can point people at.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/22/2020 9:09:01 PM
To anyone wanting a try, I just want to say 2000 words are much less than it first appears. You will never have enough words. Anyways, let this be the first entry: Expedition Aquarius

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
I'm so confused, but good job.

Tiny 'topias Jam

5 months ago
Okay, here's what I've got so far: 1.) The Silucids are a neural network the humans are tapped into. You confirmed that one. 2.) The Silucids are referred to variously as 'primitive' and a 'predecessor' by the POV entity. 3.) The POV entity is some kind of AI, tapped into the network and relies on it to get information. 4.) It wants access to whatever's in the monument. 5.) It keeps mentioning that it's been at this for millenia, which would imply it itself is alien. It also rarely refers to the humans but to things like 'the Silicid ship'. 6.) The Soulless are an evolution of the Silicids, possibly humans upgraded till they're no longer human or possibly holograms, I don't really know. 7.) The Soulless corrupted the crew's network and caused the fighting on the ship? I'm not really sure about that last one except that 'call me Zhou' as well as mentions of an invader in the system implied it. Either that or Zhou was a traitor all along. 8.) Cain and Abel are being continually cloned and thrown at the monument again. It's automated somehow because it kept going after Cheng lost contact with the surface. The two of them were also all the POV entity had left to work with after whatever went wrong with Cheng's duplication process forced it out. 9.) The Soulless were taken over easily by the entity and: Then there's the following, pieced together from page titles:
The Silusid have used their insights in genetic coding to transcend their biological limitations. They have become the data packets. How fascinating. Yet they proved to be an inadequate vector in cracking the safe. You see by now that only through direct interference you can achieve your goals. And soon the Silusids would too fall under your influence. Tomorrow you will win. These Silusids were the perfect vector. Tomorrow they will lead you to the center. Tomorrow. (30 year time jump and Cain and Abel are still dying in the monument over and over with their memories breaking down.)
Also, I can clearly see where your own thoughts started to fragment: "Corpses of their predecessors marked the paths their previusly tried, and failed." And yet after all that I'm still only "50% right" when I guessed the POV is of an alien AI. I mean is it a virus in the network then, are you getting me on semantics here? In conclusion, I hate you and I hope you suffocate on your own farts, you pretentious Eurofag. Next time just write about Palpatine returning, somehow.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
A bit late of a reply, but better late than never. Also if you didn't read the thing itself: here be the spoilers, beware.

Alright so here is the story told in a mostly nonconvoluted manner:

Earth has entered a technological revolution where artificial technology directly communicates with the brain, something like Elon Musk's Neuralink company/concept. The particular device used by captain Cheng and Taskforce One is called the Silusid: a device that allows transmitting real-time data about what they are experiencing to each other. The device also allows the user to influence the brain through the release of neurotransmitters and interlinked synapses.

The conglomerate behind Taskforce One, one based on spirituality, saw the potential of the tech and developed it further to allow scans and storage of brain data, which allows a consciousness to be transmitted to another body. This is the crux behind the DNA parabole, their consciousness has become the packet of data that was originally the human gene. As you guessed, for this to work cloning was a necessity. Each new clone possessed the memories of its predecessor and would come into the world better prepared than the last.

The Soulless have taken this technology, but, not hampered by spiritual concerns, experimented and went much further. They did away with their biological remnants and remade themselves in digital space. They see themselves as the next step of evolution.

They also left Earth far more recently, which indicates which direction Earth was going in. But because they had access to the latest tech, they could make up for most of the time. Once arrived, they could easily plant a virus in the Silucids outdated tech and assume control of the system.

That was the human half of the story, the alien half was much harder to implement and where IMO it starts to break down a bit. 2000 words wasn't really a lot to explore the two different concepts and to tie them together.

The POV was based on a book I'm currently reading about social engineering and security specialists. That's where the vector talk comes from: its goal is to break into the monument and reach its inner sanctum in whatever manner is necessary.

Just like in the current hacking scene, breaking into extremely old and outdated technology is often much harder than breaking into the current, or last, gen. You could oversimplicate consciousness down into simply a mix of signals and then divide it into these generations: you have molecules and atoms for the human brain, electrons for the artificial brain and then the more advanced alien data processing using a combination of photons and fuck you plotarmor. Because if I knew the specifics behind the last generation, I wouldn’t be writing. While it is a heavy oversimplification, the concept stands.

So when the alien consciousness, itself an evolution from likely the previously mentioned steps, perceived the human explorers, it used the 2nd generation Silusid tech to gain access. It saw that these primitive humans had the same goal as it did, but also saw the power behind an ever-evolving entity that brute-forced its way through the security measures. It decided to stay on the sidelines and to let the program run its course. Meanwhile, it studied the way this new program worked.

Now when it saw another intrusion, this time a system wholly operating under the more easily cracked 2nd generation, and saw that that they blocked progress, it decided to intervene, leading the story to its conclusion.

The last quarter of the story is the mysterious monument, in many ways the crux in this story. The monument served as a great location to highlight the characteristics of the other three factions and allowed me to jumpstart the plot.
I wanted it to have a consciousness on its own, a presence to counteract the otherwise too advanced POV. It would be far more present and proactive and it would serve as the host of a foreign u/dys-topia that would contrast the evolution of Earth’s society, but I had to cut those parts down due to the word limit. It now serves as a mysterious and deadly obstacle in the outer reaches of space, full of questions, but no answers.

Now I really like this idea of the advancement of generations within sci-fi. You can also see this, apart from hacking, within biology where we, as humans, have lost immunity against outdated pathogens. It’s easy to think that progress is progress and that it is solely good, but I also wanted to highlight that it could open yourself up and that older technology still has its place within the whole ecosystem.

And that was almost half of the word limit. Damn 2000 words really isn’t a lot.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I don't know why, but itis more complex your explanation that the story itself lol.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I do like reading a layered story with a lot going on, but you packed the maximum amount of complexity into this one and it still wouldn't all fit. I don't know if 'impossible to understand without an author's note half as long as the story itself' is really ideal, but I did read this one several times just trying to figure it out so I suppose it's a success in that way. Of course if the writing itself wasn't good and the story hadn't raised so many questions I wouldn't have bothered.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
The writing and pace are really good and the atmosphere. Still, with 2k only is logical that feels so dense.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

Yeah, you're right. I'm using this jam to experiment with new things, trying to err on the 'too much' side, rather than staying within familiar territory.
On the flip side, you got almost everything (at least the important bits) without the notes, so it's not impossible. :)

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/28/2020 12:14:04 AM

Here be my second entry: Letters Unanswered

I swear I'm not just churning them out mindlessly.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/26/2020 11:08:14 AM
I don't know if is of enough quality to take part in the Tiny topia but I have First part of Venetian's requiem each of the two finals of this will significantly change the further parts. So Here It is if is of bad quality please tell me to erase the game Venetian's Requiem

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I am doing this one! I have a great idea for it, but it will probably take me a day or two to get it done... I am doing everything slow right now. This includes reading and reviewing Ninjas stories (I’m determined to read them all).

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/26/2020 10:04:59 PM
I am not quite finished, so there may be bugs in the coding links... Let me know if you find any! I plan to check every combination to make sure it works, proofread everything, update some endings so they don't use repetitive language, and publish. For now, here is the sneak peek link for entry: Apllication for Utopia I was worried I would forget to post here when I finished it.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Um, I'm not sure about this utopia....

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
LMAO. I don't like the way this game discriminates against the best hair color. Just a suggestion though, the 'alpha' pages are identical enough that you could clear up several paragraphs of extra space to use for something else, by just having a variable swap 'man' and 'woman' in the one instance it's used, COG style.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Yeah, it is meant to be more upsetting/disturbing the more you play. A “utopia” that isn’t what it seems at a glance...

That is a great idea for the “alpha” pages. I can add more details to the disturbing society! There are a few things like that that I can clean up before I publish. If this is good enough to even publish... we will see how o like the final version.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/26/2020 8:49:46 PM
I'm entering my story Springberry Morning. It's 1915 words and takes place in a utopia. Please play and leave a comment!

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
ngl I wasn't REALLY expecting anyone to go for the Utopia option.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/28/2020 12:13:53 AM
My entry is almost as linear as my storygames.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Not speaking of the linearity, that's a really solid piece of cinematic writing and I think the lost memory POV really helps cut the whole thing back to the 2k limit.

I originally was thinking that the protagonist was something akin a futuristic Talibani fighting the more advanced human occupational forces, but the clicking language threw me off at the end. That's some strange empathy for the alien at the start.

Are you planning on expanding this world into a full storygame, or was it just an one-off?

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Oh, whew, I saw you posted and were afraid you'd written another story already.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
If That happened, I would start to cry desperately. Why is so damn difficult to make a 2k story?

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I was about to take a break, but the damn rainy weather and these comments makes me want to go back to the writing table. I guess I'll see you somewhere in the next two days.

On an unrelated note, I noticed 2k is the ideal wordcount to keep the initial writing flow going without entering the midstory crisis, where you suddenly realise you actually hate the damn thing. Maybe it's just me.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
This is true. After about 2K words, I start to question everything.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Lol, I always question everything. But Damn I always hate doing short stories. And that hatred continues; I am incapable of doing a story in 2k. I am trying, but all of you are geniuses for achieve this.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
You can write a long story! I am trying to do a few...

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Only 651 more until you're top Warden! Oh so that's why you didn't want to extend the word count. Fair.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/28/2020 12:14:10 AM

Just a little something I cooked up. Does the apocalypse count as a dystopia? I'm leaving it unpublished due to it probably not fitting minimum site requirements but here ya go: http://chooseyourstory.com/story/happy(tm)

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Oh man, I love this. Maybe needs a quick proofread, but you should publish it.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

Deal

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/29/2020 7:25:18 PM
I published my Spork game. SPORK

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 4/29/2020 7:38:36 PM
Just realized I'd never linked mine in here: DEVOTION

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
There's actually been way more participation than I expected so far, and they've all been really really good. Now that we're right at ten days into this, I was thinking I'd loosen the restrictions up a little. 1.) The limit is now 2250 words instead of 2000. Everyone who's kept it under 2000 words has hugely impressed me, but I know from my own attempt now that it's brutally difficult to have any kind of branching this way, and it seems like in every case having just a liiiittle more wiggle room would have improved the stories. (This also removes the tempation to cheat with $PAGETEXT, but of course, who would do such a thing, haha...) 2.) As far as maintaining a certain rating, here's my thoughts: I really hate being so strict about something as subject to whims as ratings. But I do still feel really really strongly that I don't want these burying the larger stories, they take so much more time and effort and already get less ratings due to not being a free point. But these have all been so good, and I want you all to have more of a chance at feedback for them. As a compromise, would you be okay with putting them up only until they get the official site rating, and then take them down for a bit? If you want to republish them again later that's great, but just wait awhile until you can do so without affecting what shows up in those New Story slots. @enterpride @ninjapitka @poison_mara @Wildblue @Orange I'll update the OP once the current participants get a chance to read this.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I think is a very good suggestion. So I will certainly do that.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I won’t even publish mine. I haven’t done the final editing anyway, and I have too many shorter stories already.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Oh, I forgot to tag you. I knew I was going to wind up missing someone.

Nice prompt response anyway, good job sensing my post.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Haha, I have it followed and happened to check immediately when you posted. Also, can you tilt your computer back a little? It has a lot of glare through the window...

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Oh, that's a mannequin at the computer there.

But if you hear what sounds like a shotgun being cocked behind you, it's totally just a raccoon or something, no reason for alarm.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Oh, I am a fan of Racoons... I'll just be leaving though...

I was wondering why there was so much procrastination going on...

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Sounds good. Maybe we could bundle all the entries into one storygame when this all is finished. Makes it all tidy and neat.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Ooh, I actually really like this idea.

That'd be a hell of a lot of copy and pasting though, and unfortunately the site only allows four co authors.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Everyone gets their publication points by this temporary publication solution. So I think, if one person has a nice idea to tie it all together, akin like @ninjapitka 's fables, and has a nice description detailing which story is from which author, it could all work.

It'd be essentially like having free writing done if everyone agrees.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
It'd require people not having any scary and arcane pagescripts though

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
My game should probably be left out... it has variables and coding to work, so it would be confusing. I am sure people would be able to handle it, but it would be more annoying than copy/paste.

I would love to help with the ideas for combining them. Perhaps a short series of choices that is "how a utopia/dystopia came to be" that leads you into one of the other stories.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Nonsense, it's fine!

The only issue with transcribing would be if you use a variable name that someone else also used, but that isn't hard to fix.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
If you need someone to narrate the story into a Inception type dream collapse, I'll be your guy. I'm not unexperienced in that category, you know. I have a few leftover insults from Fables to throw in the mix. On a more serious note, I once had the idea for a short story collection like the one you're describing. Depending on the stories picked, they'd force you into different epilogues tagged by variable counts. It'd require depth though, like different branches of short stories, to make sure the reader wouldn't be facing the same selection screen. No one wants that. It'd be like a story within a story (within a story if you're feeling frisky).

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Reminds of an idea I had a few years ago of compiling short stories posted on the forum into books found in a giant interdimensional library. With a way to encourage you to click a bunch of them while searching for a missing wizard or a Macguffin or something. I guess I in some ways reused that idea for Read My Stories or Die!, but it was much more direct and dickish there.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I want to help if something like that is done. I will write anything else if it is needed.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Updated the OP to list all the games so far, more clickable for the lazy.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/1/2020 8:53:15 PM

Here

2250 words (Not counting the title)

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Lol, loved this but I have a feeling it's going to traumatize some of the happy ending with Alison fans.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

I guess they can sit right along side the Semra-Eternal shippers.

He's still with her anyway. Not like the big war happened yet.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Can those of you with stories in the OP double check to make sure they're on Sneak Peek? It looks like it may automatically switch it off when I take them down, or at any rate it's difficult for me to test if the links still work without logging out to disguise myself as a common peasant.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

I wrote a story tonight for 'Tiny 'topias Jam', called 'Dead Inside'. 33 pages, 39 links, and 2123 words at present. It's about how a sociopath handles the lockdown from the Coronavirus.

I have two more days to wait until I can publish it, so I'll edit and proofread some more in the meantime. 

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Are you still going to be publishing this?

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
@QingBo

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

Thanks for the reminder mizal :)

I was waiting for my editing friend to give me feedback, but he got busy and didn't get around to it.

I've just enlisted a few friends to read through the story today. Once I get their feedback, I'll make my final edit and then submit the story here for real!

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
I just had a look at that Age of Empires game btw. That was pretty amusing, although AoEII used to be my favorite game so perhaps I'm biased. Do you think you'll ever be continuing that one?

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

Thank you :) Sure, I might continue that sometime as a 'fan-fic' - I have a few other fan-fics in mind that I may write just for fun.

 

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/4/2020 3:56:26 PM
Another one. Liquid Metal

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/11/2020 4:39:30 AM

Well look at what I went and did tonight.

Utopia Planitia

A dystopia set in a real-life place named Utopia.

In regards to the word count, when you subtract the title page (20 words) and the Pearl Jam quote (50 words), the story itself comes out to 2250 words exactly.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/15/2020 11:25:59 PM

The Unsightly Treatment of One, Benjamin Schatz.

Another wordy failure, but I like it.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Are you going to be publishing this one?

I have a working keyboard again so I should be getting to yours and Bill's in the morning.

E: never mind, you did publish it. I must be losing my mind. And I see Bill took his down.

Well I'll get them both in the OP soon along with QingBo's if we ever hear back from him.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

Did so just now, had to wait for the 2 days to fully pass.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago

Mine will be back, with the original 2250-word version, and a slightly longer (7000 word?) alternate version. It was interesting to work within the word limit, basically conveying an entire scene in 100 words, but it was also frustrating that no story branch could go anywhere. So instead of collecting half a dozen comments saying as much, I decided to just write the missing branch(es).

Both versions will be in the same storygame.

Tiny 'topias Jam

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 5/25/2020 9:52:20 AM

Here is my story (in sneak peek mode): http://chooseyourstory.com/story/dead-inside