August 23rd-26th 2013 :: Theme: 10 Seconds

Ludum Dare 27 — August 23rd-26th, 2013
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10 Second Defence

by Christina Nordlander - Jam Entry

My first interactive fiction game, made in Inform 7. A one-room, vaguely cyberpunkish game: you have ten seconds to prepare before a hitman reaches your flat. What happens next depends on what precautions you have taken.

I apologise for any cheap coding tricks or roughness around the edges: I learnt Inform pretty much from scratch during these three days. I choked on the compo; I'm glad I made it in time for the jam, though.

Also, despite my best efforts, some of the planned elements had to be dummied out due to lack of time: most glaringly, the implant went from having an effect on the plot to being basically just a meta-device explaining how the player can undo and restart. However, the finished product is perfectly winnable and has no known bugs.

Difficult, possibly unfairly so, but short enough that the whole point is to experiment and see what you can do differently the next time around.

Source text available. A walkthrough can be found at:

EDIT: Fixed a very silly bug (caught by Zwergesel) that allowed you to bypass the entire game. Thanks, mate!

Downloads and Links




Zwergesel says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:42am

Seems to be bugged. I can win in 3 moves by just leaving through the front door! :)

IndigoWolf says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 12:52am

I really like the concept and that it is similar in style to Zork, one of my all time favourite games. I couldn't seem to get very far into the game however, I found it difficult to find what I should do but that's my stupidity not the game :) Overall nice entry.

Aug 27, 2013 @ 8:05am

@Zwergesel: Dang. I never tried that command, assuming that it would default to "go east".

Anyone know if you're allowed to reupload debugged versions of your game after the deadline is up?

At any rate, congrats on finding an exploitable bug!

@IndigoWolf: Thank you very much!

Aug 27, 2013 @ 1:45pm

Fixed the bug.

Thermite says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 10:37pm

Nice bit of IF, and I love the concept of everything being a preparation for what's to come. Good work.

Sakuyan says ...
Aug 27, 2013 @ 11:47pm

This was a pretty fun read! I have a hard time with text-based adventure games, so I cheated :3c ufufufu

Aug 28, 2013 @ 3:25am

I really like the take on the theme. I thought of a similar approach, as in preparing for something, but I couldn't think of an effective way to do it. This really builds a sense of tension through the writing.

I would have liked to see more about the world, because there are hints in the writing that there are interesting things going on outside the apartment building. That said, I completely understand the overall brevity with the timecrunch.

Overall, well done.

PaperBlurt says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 8:21pm

old school adventure game!

Typedeaf says ...
Aug 28, 2013 @ 10:53pm

Looked all over for something to burn, eventually had to cheat and look at the walkthrough. Though that's more a staple of the genre than a critique of this particular game :)

Nice story! Could have benefited from just a tad more world building, the implants and the Sleep (with the capital S) drug hinted at the setting, and the Kieran bits drove it home as a cyberpunk story (not sure if I ought to count the built-in strip lights as futuristic any more ;P), but I'm not sure if the less genre savvy would pick up on that.

I liked it though! Spending all your time setting up a trap and seeing the iterated results was fun

ShitAndSon says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 12:14am

Cool gameplay bro

Angrycrow says ...
Aug 29, 2013 @ 3:42am

Compelling game! I had a real hard time! I bookmarked it because I want to come back and figure it out. Good work!

Joror says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 1:00am

Nice mood, descriptions are well done to place the setting. Unfortunately your operations required to get to the premise are a bit too difficult. Some hint towards the right way from other object is a nice way to direct these things. Having a way to get a list of verbs in these kinds of game is also good. :)

Sep 1, 2013 @ 10:57am

@Joror: Thank you!

The only verbs you need to use in this game are fairly straight-forward ones: TAKE, WEAR, TURN ON, TURN OFF, OPEN, PUT [object] IN/ON [object], plus compass directions (and up/down).

Brunodev says ...
Sep 1, 2013 @ 3:12pm

Pretty cool game Christina! I'm impressed that you've learned so much in 3 days!

Sep 2, 2013 @ 5:47pm

Cool game, good job! I featured it in my LD27 compilation series if you'd like to check it out!

Sep 2, 2013 @ 7:49pm

@Jupiter_Hadley: Thanks a lot!

I'm watching your video now and seeing some interesting games. Thanks for the service you (and other video makers, of course) provide for us.

4xisblack says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 9:46pm

Nicely done. I was able to complete two of the three necessary steps before resorting to your walkthrough (WHY/HOW WOULD/COULD YOU EVEN GLUE THAT THERE :P)

The Evil Cult says ...
Sep 2, 2013 @ 9:51pm

Really cool, nice setting, but pretty confusing for me. Found myself wanting to do plenty of things that I couldn't, or having to do them in a certain order, and also getting the keywords wrong a lot of the time.

A couple of examples:
I had the idea of using the sleeping capsule in the burner but couldn't find out the words to do that.
After finding out how to do it by reading the first bit of the walkthrough the hitman was hit by my trap with the sleeping capsule and fluid on the floor and I tried to kill him with the knife (Violence isn't the answer was the response).
After having another go, I tried to use glue on the knife, and then the knife on the wall, but had to put glue on the wall first.
I also tried to enter the word 'use' a lot where I thought it could apply but wasn't able to do so.

Still, really cool to see this kind of game done to this quality given the time, and a nice very use of the theme. Good job :)

Sep 2, 2013 @ 10:01pm

@4xisblack: It's the future, so the glue is strong enough to do that. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. :-)

@The Evil Cult: If I polish it up to make a post-compo version, I'll definitely put in more synonyms and sort out all the problems you mentioned (you definitely ought to be able to put glue on the knife). Thank you very much for your critique.

KunoNoOni says ...
Sep 5, 2013 @ 9:56pm

Really cool text adventure. Liked the story, it felt like an old infocom game :)

SkyTheCoder says ...
Sep 7, 2013 @ 2:26am

Epic game...Very confusing. I kept on running around my apartment wearing the mask and hold the knife. Then I would open the door, and the hitman would either see me and shoot me or come in my apartment and shoot me. I looked at the walkthrough and thought it seemed kind of obvious what I should have done.

Please make a post-compo version of this, though, as it is AWESOME. Very creepy feeling to everything, and I can picture it all in my mind, even though it's just text. You're an awesome storyteller.

I saved the web page so I can play it over and over again later.

SkyTheCoder says ...
Sep 7, 2013 @ 2:26am

Forgot to mention: I don't quite see where the theme comes in, though.

Sep 7, 2013 @ 8:27am

@SkyTheCoder: The connection is supposed to be that you only have ten seconds until the hitman arrives at your flat. (I'm not sure whether you would actually be able to do all that stuff in ten seconds, but that could be explained by your enhanced reactions caused by the implant.)

Thank you very much for your positive critique. I will definitely have to make a post-compo version now, and I promise it will be a lot better.

alexandervrs says ...
Sep 8, 2013 @ 2:07pm

I like the concept. The parser gave me some funny responses at times.
I believe it be more helpful if the items were listed and the actions (along with some useless ones) were listed next to them as well.
It could be just me, as I don't really play or make games that have no graphics, but I'd personally have a background image strip on top, description text in the middle and item icons/button at the bottom with their actions, perhaps some music playing in the background which intensifies with each choice.
Not bad for first time. :)

sparkleswirl says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 12:53am

I expected a tower defense game. I got something way better.

withoutpillow says ...
Sep 10, 2013 @ 5:51pm

good writing and story, though i'm pretty worthless at text adventures of this kind and found it hard to figure out which verbs to use when. would have liked to have some kind of hint-system or something to help.

anyway, good work, and very creative solutions.

Jan 10, 2014 @ 9:54pm

For the record, a post-comp version of this game can now be played here:

Do play that one instead: it has better implementation and hopefully more intuitive hints.

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