Thursday, 27 November 2014

Ghost (in the machine) Stories

  • A sad tale's best for winter: I have one
    Of sprites and goblins. 
  • Shakespeare, The Winter's Tale

So Halloween may be long gone but ghost stories are traditional for the midst of winter and even at Christmas so that's what we're going to be looking at today.

First of all play through the Twine game, The Uncle Who Works for Nintendo.
This is a horror game so expect a creepy atmosphere and the occasional shock.

Done that?

Now have a look at this video of the 2002 GameCube game Eternal Darkness . It's quite long so don't think you have to watch the entire thing!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Hey Listen!

This week we're going to be using the opening cutscene (or another of your choice) to inspire our interactive fiction.

Here's my attempt at reproducing this scene:

In Twine.

Download the file

And click on "import from file".

Now it's your turn!

Choose Your Own Authoring Tools

We're back with a new group and new ways of creating adventures.

We've already looked at Adam Cadre's work and we're ready to start writing our own adventures.

This year we're moving on from the basic Word based games and exploring free online authoring tools.

For the last couple of weeks we've been looking Quest which can produce either paragraph based games (like the Choose Your Own Adventure or Fighting Fantasy books) or text adventure/interactive fiction piece (so Zork! or 9:05).

This week we're going to be exploring Twine which is a way of producing hypertext fiction quickly and easily.

If you have admin privileges on your computer you can also try Choice of Game's ChoiceScript.

Friday, 17 January 2014

The (kind of) final pieces

And so, with much fanfare and not a little wailing and gnashing of keyboards we are proud to present our finished, our very final pieces of interactive fiction.

The authors of these pieces have now gone on to university and so what is currently unfinished will remain so. Art is never finished, only abandoned and so are these pieces. Sorry, but it never did Edwin Drood any harm. 

Secondly, if you read/play these stories you should be prepared for some violence. The students who wrote these were 17-19 and some of them aren't suitable for younger eyes. I'll draw your attention to those in my introductions.

You can read the stories directly from the link but if you choose to download them in MS Word you will need to press [ctrl] as you click on the hyperlinks. If you're using another interface, either on the web or another text editor you may (or  may not) have to do something else to get it to work. Or nothing at, who knows.

The stories

Adam's You Die - MULTIPLE TIMES is the sequel to his earlier You Die!.

This time instead of starting out in the disconcertingly pastoral setting of a forest you find yourself trapped in a cupboard with something outside, something that seems to want to do you harm.

Not so much creepy as downright silly this piece is a rhapsody of OTT deaths with a slight slasher flick sheen.

The authorial voice is very strong and Adam was clearly enjoying himself writing the many, many ways in which you and everyone around you can come to a sticky end. It's also pretty repetitive stuff, the subtitle isn't an exaggeration.

Eden's You are in a Building starts with a stark choice. "You're here, what do you want to pick up?" with no idea of the context or what may or may not be useful.

Again the themes are unknown but malignant forces, abandoned buildings and handy weaponry left lying around for no apparent reason. It's also the most unfinished of the stories and you'll have to scroll through manually at times to reconstruct the story.

Who is the person stalking you, where are you and why are you here? If Eden knew she wasn't letting on which lends it something of the absurdist. Perhaps we're all being stalking in our private abandons buildings?

After all that death and despair Hannah's perkily titled Time for Lesson is like opening the coffin lid to fresh air and blue skies.

Lesson is all about working hard and doing the right thing. But there may be a dark heart beating here too if you look hard enough. You're prevented from being too good by a broken link and opting for ice-cream sees you reading a book instead. All of which raises the question are you playing the story or is the story playing you?

From the domestic to the epic with Jack's Peasant Quest. Taking the part of a typical proto-hero farm boy you find a sword in the forest. Do you take it and can you use it if you do?

Time for some philosophical science fiction in Katie's Welcome to the Kebbatron.

Although it starts off in a similar way to Eden's Building it emerges as a much more philosophical work with shades of Orpheus or Dante.

Pip's The Problem With Groups on the other hand is much more down to earth, privileging realism and the novelistic concerns of inner dialogue over big explosions and bangs.

Finally we arrive at our only illustrated story, Sam's You Quest 2: The Terror of Politics. If the Mighty Boosh were to turn their hand to interactive fiction I imagine it would be something like this; satirical, surrealist and just really, really silly.

So there you have it. I hope you enjoy reading these stories or playing these games or whatever it is you're doing when you consume these. We certainly had a lot of fun writing them and hope to return to the project at some point in the future with bigger and better stories.

If you have read these do let us know what you think of in the comments section.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A taste of interactive fiction 9:05

Play a classic of IF, 9:05 here courtesy of the Interactive Fiction Database .

We won't have time the session but everyone should play Photopia, that's right, EVERYBODY IN THE ENTIRE WORLD.

Mapping our stories

Today we're going to be using a free online flowchart generator to plan some longer form hypertext fiction.

You will need to create an account so you can save.

My example is here

Wednesday, 10 April 2013