TINS rule-o-matic needs your input!

Just one week for the start of TINS! You can still sign up.

As you know, random rules are drawn at the start of the competition, using a secret algorithm called the "Rule-o-matic".

Anyway, I'd like to ask your help in updating the rules. I'll need at least five new ones to replace the ones that were used last year.

The rules are in three categories:

technical - this type of rules require you to add a cool algorithm or some odd technical feature to the game.

  • The game must use a custom (glsl or hlsl) shader

  • The game must use only touch-based input (You can use the mouse to simulate, but no mouse-move events, and no right clicking!)

  • Use a voranoi diagram

  • Use a EGA 16 color palette with dithering

artistical - these rules govern the graphical or artistical style of your entry

  • The game must be Kawaii

  • Follow the Art Noire style

  • Use eighties punk style

genre - these are broad rules that govern the genre or overall style of the game.

  • The game must be Turn-based

  • Make an exploration game

  • Make a survival game

Then there are the optional bonus rules, a.k.a the "act of" rules. These rules usually give you some kind of escape to get out of another rule that you don't like.

I never took the time to create a web front-end for the rule-o-matic, so it's just a set of tables that I update manually, plus a script to draw the rules. So if you can think of any cool new rules, please list them here and I'll add them to the tables.

Edgar Reynaldo

I officially signed up for TINS. I'll try to come up with some good rules for you when I manage to think what they should be.


I don't remember which rules I submitted in previous years so these might be the same... :P

technical - use only vector art, no bitmaps allowed
artistical - make the game Halloween themed
genre - make a board game
act of monkey - you may replace any rule by a rule that has the opposite effect

Edgar Reynaldo

Genre :

Slip and Slide - you must implement low friction physics like effects, be it slipping or sliding in any form.

Act of Banana - You may replace any single technical rule with Slip and Slide.

Technical :

Pan and Scan - You must create a side scrolling game, with perspective of the game being shown from the side.

Top Down - Perspective must be from above.

Artistic :

Burn Out - part of the graphics must involve fire or flames, or heat

Fade Away - Something must fade in or out

Chill Out - part of the graphics must involve cold or ice, or freezing


Zoom zoom - somewhere in the game, a zoom must happen. It could be a zoom out after a battle or magnifying glass allowing the user to zoom in.
Script It - part of your game is controlled by a scripting language like lua.

Lively Inanimate Objects - there should be (…or everything should be) inanimate objects that seem alive in the game. Example: rocks that can talk, trees that dance, clouds that breathe, etc.
Fog of war - something obstructs the player's view of the playing field until they get closer. Could be a lighting effect or a cloud that is removed when you get close enough.

Time is of the essence - in your game, you must finish something before something else. Examples: come in first place in a race, finish the level before time runs out, cook this before you cook that.
Creepy - the more goosebumps the player has, the better!

Act of Deception - reduce the scope of another rule by turning it into an easter egg that is separated from the rest of the game


OneWing, can you give an example of the Act of Deception? I'm not sure I follow how it should work.


Here's an example using the Act of Deception to cover the Lively Inanimate Objects rule:

You could have an invisible button below your other buttons on the title screen that opens a new screen with a rock that tells you how to cheat in the game. Perhaps somewhere in the game you could give a clue that leads players to the invisible button.

The more intertwined the Act of Deception is used in the game to minimize how you applied another rule, the better.


Ah yes, I get it now. I was confused about what you meant with reducing scope.

Basically you could take a rule and replace "everywhere" with "somewhere" or "always" with "sometime" to make the rule lighter. This wouldn't work for every rule, but I can see it being useful sometimes.

Thanks for all the help so far. I have sufficient new input, but I could always use more, so don't hesitate...

Edgar Reynaldo

I like Zoom.


LOST - You must implement a maze or force the player to map their surroundings. Any kind of maze will do, including text based interactive navigation. In a stretch fog of war will do, but the best kind is where the player has to map the area themselves.

FOUND - You must force the player to find something. Something must be lost that you have to find before you can advance or finish the game.

INVENTORY - You must implement an inventory system, where the user may carry multiple items.


Warm colors - your palette must use reds and oranges and yellows

Cool colors - your palette must be blues and greens and purples

B&W - your palette must be entirely black and white

Lo-Fi - you must use a palette with less than 16 colors, the less the better

Dithering - you must use dithering to render at least a few different colors. The more you use the better.


Zoom was a rule in Speedhack 2008, so unfortunately I'll exclude it.

(I guess that's so long ago that we can repeat rules. Then again, we don't really have a shortage)

Mark Oates

These are actually some pretty good suggestions in this thread. Actually impressed ;D

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