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Super Sudden Surprise Challenge: The Number Twenty Three


Five seconds ago, I had the urge to suddenly start a challenge thread unrelated to the one previously discussed, which I still have brooding in the back of my mind.

Since the wisest thing was to immediately react on my impulse and start a new thread without putting any further thought into it, here we are, the Super Sudden Surprise Challenge Thread Go!

For this challenge, "Twine" and "Twee" as well as "game" and "story" are synonymous.

Here's the challenge:

1. Use Twine to create a new game beginning now. The game can't have been published, began, or even thought about before this very moment. Thought police will scan each file and arrest cheaters.

2. The challenge's overall theme is the number twenty three. However, your game can have as much or as little to do with the number twenty three as you want, just so long as you manage to include it in some fashion.

3. The game must contain exactly 23 passages. No more, no less. All passages count. Yes, StoryAuthor and StoryTitle counts. Yes, imported images count. Yes, all passages count.

The challenge ends Feb. 23 at 2300 hours Greenwich Mean Time.

Post your games here in this thread either as an attachment or as a link. Bonus points if the link to your game is on IFDB! You may submit as many games as you like.

All submitted games are considered licensed under Creative Commons 4.0.

Entries will be compiled and listed in the next post of this thread.

Everyone ready? Great! Let's get started!


  • Here are the current challenge submissions:

    Digital Witnesses by Rosencrantz

    Generic Twine RPG, Version 0.2 Pre-Alpha, by Richard D. Sharpe

    If you wish to take the challenge, no matter the date, even if it's years from now, please don't hesitate to post a link to your game!
  • Presumably people would need to submit their tws for verification, or are you not checking that closely?
  • What's there to verify?

    Just post the game in this thread.  :)
  • Number of passages?
  • Oh, duh, like as in "verify the game follows the 'rules.'"  ;D

    I mean, this isn't really a competition; it's a self-challenge. I wasn't planning on being a judge or anything. If a person wants to take the challenge, they can. If not, don't. Not following the rules would kinda be like saying, "I'm going to run a mile today," then take a scooter around the block. Why would you do that? The whole point was to run the mile. ;)

    Anyway, a Twine-built HTML file can be read the same as a TWS file (File->Import->Compiled HTML). The advantage of a TWS file is that it's much smaller. So, no need for a TWS file in any case.
  • Whoa. Did not know that! o_O

    Anyway, thank you for posting this! I won't be participating, but I will be using the idea I brainstormed for it for the Spring Thing, in lieu of my longer and less-likely-to-be-finished concepts. ^_^
  • Just when I thought my free time was safe...
  • Can I enter 23 times?
  • I'd prefer if outsiders, a.k.a., "community members we haven't met yet," join the forum and post game links in this thread.

    However, so as not to discourage anyone, you may e-mail me game links at

    Tell a friend (or a blog or two) about the challenge. :)

    If you're here from a blog or other site, let me know.
  • I've trashed a number of ideas after getting a couple passages out. One was a fantasy, one was about a girl's twenty-third birthday. Finally, I have a story going pretty well where the player/main character is a robot named Twenty-Three. I'm thinking I'll call it "i23," a play off the "iWhatever" tech nomenclature and the Issac Asimov short, "I, Robot."

    Here's a preview:

    [quote]Utter darkness explodes in a sudden burst of bright, white light and a loud roar like the rushing of water. As suddenly and unexpectedly as it begins, it stops. In its place is a spectacle incomparable to anything else you've ever seen before.

    It's incomparable because you've never seen anything else before.

    Another sound, much quieter and more orderly, comes from a moving thing very close to your position, almost touching you: "Yep. He's on."

    "How do you know?" The new, higher-pitched sound is made from another somewhat similar thing farther away. It seems more stationary.

    "Speech recognition online," another voice joins to the chorus. "Cognitive subroutines initialized . . ."

    You recognize these sounds. They have meaning. They are "words."

    ". . .And we're go. He's aliiive!"

    "Why does it have to be a he," the blonde teenage girl replies as she sits on the desk looking down at the dark-haired man with a salt-and-pepped stubble at the computer console. "Can't it be a girl?"

    "You're right," the man replies looking up at the girl. "It's a heartless killing machine. I should have assumed it was female."

    As you attempt to decipher what role gender has in being without a circulatory system, for some reason, the girl sticks out her tongue, the human muscular hydrostat used for the gustation and manipulation of food for mastication.

    "Well, Twenty-Three, what are you?" the closest man says as he continues to stare deeply into your optic sensors, just as he had been when you were activated. "Boy or girl?"


    Reply by triggering the actuators in your right appendage, causing it to strike the man lethally in his face.

    Reply, "I have no gender role nor sex. Therefore, I am neither."

    Reply, "I identify with the female gender."

    Reply, "I identify with the male gender."

    I never finish anything so I'm hoping the 23-passage limit will allow me to do so for once.

    Anyone else working on something?
  • I'm pretty sure "Reply by triggering the actuators in your right appendage, causing it to strike the man lethally in his face" is the most awesome "opt-out of a gender question" option ever.

    I do have an idea, but it'll be short and sweet. Or possibly short and horribly evil. If I can find time to do it. :)
  • mostly wrote:

    I'm pretty sure "Reply by triggering the actuators in your right appendage, causing it to strike the man lethally in his face" is the most awesome "opt-out of a gender question" option ever.

    Agreed. ;D
  • Yikes! I gotta get busy! Sunday at 5 p.m. is the deadline for me in Central Standard Time.

    Something tells my game is going to be the only one. Not a big surprise considering there are less than 20 regular posters here. Still, I was hoping for two or three.
  • Dang it, I thought this thing ended later than it does. I'll be away all this weekend and won't be able to get back to my computer and work on my game until Feb. 24.

    Hmm, I know it kind of defeats the purpose a bit, but mind if I post something a day or two after your contest ends? The whole thing just seems so interesting and it'd be a shame not to do something for it. ;D
  • Do script passages count?  I'm assuming they do?
  • Prim, I'm not going to delete the thread, so people can still post games years from now.

    Bawpie, all passages count.

    I've done a lot to my "i23" game, but I just don't see finishing it in five hours from now. So, I might go back to the drawing board and do something super mega simple, just so I don't fail to submit a game to my own challenge!  ;D
  • I'm working on something as well. I've only got one actual story passage so far though (plus 6 support passages), so I'm not sure if I can post anything playable tonight.
  • Awesome, mth! You're doing better than me at this point. My fingers are hammering as fast as they can.

    Maybe we can set the deadline to 2300 hours in whatever timezone you please. ;)
  • I only saw this challenge yesterday and thought it looked like fun!

    I haven't put this story on the IFDB, but I'll look at doing that later; right now I have to run out the door. Here's a link to it for now. It's more story than game. I'd love any feedback, too!

    Digital Witnesses
  • Hey, hey, we got our first entry! Awesome! Don't have time to play it right now, Ros, but I put it in the list. :)

    Welcome to the forums, too! :)
  • I'm going with the 2300 hours in my time zone interpretation of the rules. ;)
  • I totally didn't have time, sorry Sharpe. I still wanna do the game, but it could take a while. What time zone did you go with, by the way? Cuz in ours you're 42 minutes late! ;)
  • Central Standard. ;)

    It's 9 p.m. now, and I'm back from RoboCop. It was good. Went in with low standards despite being a huge fan of the first and second of the original movies (third, of course, was horrible). Started slow, but second half was better than expected. Action in second half was excellent, way better than anything in the originals. Still, it was missing . . . something. Something that the original had. That grim-and-gritty dystopian street cop feeling just wasn't there. It was very different, but like I say, good overall. I went with my mom and sister, neither of whom were the target audience, and they both liked it. There's not many movies I'd watch twice at the theater, but I'd go again in a heartbeat.

    I have a generic barebones turn-based fantasy RPG on the way. It's made from scratch, started about eight hours ago. I was so close to being done with the rush job, but I'll spend these next two hours getting it ready. I'll make it, I'm pretty sure. We'll have at least two games "in time." :)

    Hopefully, I can get my day and night and hunger/survival system worked into it. It has weapons, armor, and combat right now, plus gold and experience and leveling. Very basic, generic stuff,  though. Pounding it out as fast as possible.
  • Last second!!!

    Alpha, but fully playable, though missing some features.

    EDIT: Whew. That was a close one. Only 13 seconds to spare. I was clicking and typing like a madman at the end! ;D

    It's "fully playable," but the generic goal (save the princess) has not been finished and there are some missing features like spells and healing potions, etc.

    Here's the big issue, though. It's not in any way even close to balanced. I've probably spent less than five minutes playing it total. The monsters and player stats are whack, no doubt. Oh, and I forgot to change gold back to 0, so there's a free 1,000G to start. I don't think there are any "bugs." It all works as intended, as far as I know. Just don't buy a crappy lower-priced piece of equipment or it will replace the better item. ;) It should be noted that's the same case with the original Dragon Warrior/Dragon Quest from the 1980's! If you had the best sword in the game and you bought a club, bam, that sword is gone forever. ;D

    When it's night, undead come out and they are (will be) stronger.  There's not much reason to stay at the inn right now, but when it gets some polish, fighting at night will be considerable more difficult and sleeping "on the road" will have its own dangers. Plus, I plan to add a hunger stat that uses rations. Going hungry throughout the days will decrease stats and eventually cause damage.

    I'm glad I rushed to complete something for release for once and I think beginners seeking to make a turn-based RPG will find it a treasure trove of information even in its current state. I guess that's officially my first Twine game, even if it's a pre-alpha version. I'll continue to revise it, but I'll leave this as my official entry into the challenge for now. I'll not upload this version to IFDB, though. Man, if only I had started this first, this would be one heck of a Twine RPG by now.

    The main goal of this challenge was to get people to make a game and release it to the public, myself included. If you make a game because of it, then the challenge was a success no matter if the "rules" are followed or not. So, if you still want to take the challenge and submit a game no matter the date, by all means, please do so! ;D

    Update: I found a misspelled variable making the player's weapon do no damage. :(

    Update with the fix plus a tiny amount of play-testing and balance. Attached the new pre-alpha version 0.2 (Twine-23.tws). Still leaving the old version (T23.tws) up. That will probably be it as far as pre-alpha releases go. The beta will be much more fun. This is still just a back-and-forth grind.
  • In part due to your instigation, I wrote a short tongue-in-cheek fantasy story called Castle Doomstone for my nephews. It ended up more than 23 passages long, and I didn't want to edit it down. But I finished it, which is unusual for me. I won't post it here, but will probably add it to IFDB or something.

    I enjoyed your RPG, and learned a lot from the code (controlling whitespace with nobr tag and manual <br>, using dot notation with variables to create object properties, sidebar, etc.). Had considered something similar for the contest, but knew I wouldn't finish it.
  • I only found out about this today, dang. I ought to get into the habit of clicking on Unread posts link.
    Whatever happened to the other competition idea? Twine72? was this it?

  • Sharpe, could you post a built .html too? I wanna take a look, but I can't install Twine on my work PC. :)
  • Dazakiwi38 wrote:

    I only found out about this today, dang. I ought to get into the habit of clicking on Unread posts link.
    Whatever happened to the other competition idea? Twine72? was this it?

    Like I say in the OP, that's still kind of a thing, but it's clear it won't take off from this forum; not with me starting it anyways. I barely managed to get a playable game out. One other game besides, and that was from someone who signed up to the forum to post it (which is awesome!). Two games does not a competition make. Since I'm not a member of any other IF community other than this forum, the chances I'll have much of anything to do with a competition are slim to none.

    mostly wrote:

    Sharpe, could you post a built .html too? I wanna take a look, but I can't install Twine on my work PC. :)

    You're not missing much. Uploaded. ;)
  • Well, this busted me out of lurking on the forum, AND this was the first time I made a Twine thing public. So you've accomplished something cool, as far as I'm concerned.

    Made a listing on the IFDB for my thing.

    Maybe something like cross-posting to Tumblr & Twitter would help -- I know a lot of people probably don't think to come to a forum regularly, but they look at their tumblr or twitter feeds practically hourly. Not that I speak from experience... :P
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