Reading Time: 3 minutes
Studio Chaotic, a dark corridor
It is pitch dark in here.
Or is it? No, you see something; there is a flickering light ahead, growing brighter for each step.
Listen. A rustling, an offbeat percussion, a disharmonic pan flute.
Smell. Your nostrils flare, mouth crumples in disgust from the sour cold stink of fear, your own fear.
Run. You can’t go that way.
Look. There is a desk. On the desk is your doom. A pile of something. Papers in a frayed uneven pile sit in the centre of the desk. The type on the top sheet is dense and crooked. You step closer.
You reach with trembling fingers. The letters shiver as if sensing you drawing nearer. they blurr and rearrange themselves on the dusty page. The first few pages stirr restlessly, then the entire pile of tightly typed code shudder, the top sheet rises slowly toward your touch. You quickly place your palm on the pile and try to hold it in place as it starts moving more violently. You press down hard but there is nothing you can do. A cloud of dust emits from the neglected pages and surround your head. Holding the struggling papers down with one hand, you cough and choke, wiping grime and grit out of your eyes. It’s no use. There is no stopping the thing that will happen. No hope of reprieve. No end in sight.
You take a deep harsh breath, pulling swirling dust into your lungs. You grimace and spit but then you suddenly relax. You have known a long time that this day would come. “Ok, damn it.” You sputter in resignation. The air clears and the pile of inform 6 classes, objects, and endless hours of troubleshooting settles down. Grinding your teeth you slowly move your hand and hiss at the disgustingly selfsatisfied bundle of code. “Ok, ok, fine, you win. You win you little bastard, I’ll do it.”
Interactive fiction – another obsession
I knew the day would come when i would get a great idea. I have that idea now. I’ve started a bit cautiously to build the world I want to create, the characters i want to breathe life into, the types of objects, classes, files that need to be modified, adapted, or created in addition to the main source code.
It doesn’t even have a name yet, this game. the temporary work name I’ve assigned though is:
It is so named partly because of the initial scene in the game, and partly because I know the work that is ahead of me. It’s not just writing a simple inform game. I couldn’t settle with that. The first game Crystal and stone, beetle and bone, proves that I am unable to keep it simple. In CSBB I had one character, commanded in third person, who had three different states of self. Yes. Each action had three different responses. then if you add that this character had a companion that would or would not follow the MC depending on the state, would or would not follow commands given to it depending on the state of the MC, as well as several important characters that followed the MC around the game. Alternative ending? Yes, that too.
Thinking about it now, I find it hard to believe that I did it. I spent the better part of a year on creating that game. Note that I learned the coding from scratch at the same time as I started writing the story and game world.
This time I have the advantage of knowing what I’m doing. Much of the habit of writing code on the fly is gone and there is quite alot of retraining. But it will be easier this time.
That’s what I thought.
Now, I’m chewing on ideas to make my teeth ache:
One character – second person. I.E the normal game-play mode for interactive ficction. For example you type “take knife” and the game replies “You pick up the bloodstained butcher knife. Immediately it slips out of your grip and it plants itself firmly in your left foot. You scream like a girl.”
the second character, existing in a parallell story line in the same game-world – third person action mode. I.E You type “go west” and the game replies “Papa roach stares at the west door in disgust for a long moment. He snarls, sniffs his armpits and spits on the floor. ” I don’t think I feel like going that way.” He strolls off east while muttering under his breath. “Mother-fucking control-freak.”
Update 1, massive change in thought:
Okay, I changed my mind. This will be another third person game with characters tagging along. The genre is contemporary thriller. Protagonist is a guy with little or no clue… about anything.
Crystal and stone, beetle and bone files and info coming up.