Bytesize Adventures
Crafting bite-sized digital worlds

Researching the story

Twisty Little Passages Book CoverI have now developed my game prototype to a point where I know that the ideas I have on paper are possible in practice. The next step for me is the story. Due to the nature of the game i’m developing, I feel that I need to thoroughly research the history of the genre. Crucially, I need to ensure that my control scheme will retain the enjoyment that comes from the basic mechanics of this type of game,  whilst also adding a new level of accessibility. I’m also looking for inspiration in order to create a story that is unique in addition to making the odd, gentle nod to the genre’s illustrious history.

The basis for my research is a rather excellent book titled “Twisty Little Passages: An Approach to Interactive Fiction” by Nick Montfort (That should give a rather huge clue as to the nature of my game). This is a fantastic book discussing the early origins of interactive fiction and then taking a deep look at the computer text adventures in which interactive fiction manifested itself. The chapter on riddles is particularly interesting and it certainly provides some inspiration for the elements that my game could contain.

In addition to this I’m also enjoying some key pieces of interactive fiction, the most notable of which is “Violet” by Jeremy Freese (A winner of the 2008 Interactive Fiction Competition). If you think that interactive fiction is limited to games where “you are in a dungeon” and have to “pickup sword”, you really should try this. It’s amazing how far interactive fiction has progressed.

I have a few ideas for my story but so far i have not pinned anything down. This will be where my focus lies in the coming weeks.