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Designing a text adventure for Wikileaks Stories

December 21, 2010

It was only a few weeks ago when I decided to actually go on and create a text adventure -a piece of interactive fiction, if you prefer- for the Wikileaks Stories indie gaming initiative. Though I have been involved in the creation of games before that, this would be the first project I ‘d attempt to tackle all by myself and the first project that would have me script. And, no, I’m not much of a programmer, though I did dabble in BASIC and C ages ago.

So, how have things progressed so far I pretend to hear you ask. Well, the first thing I did was decide on the authoring tool that would help me create my very first text adventure: Inform 7. It is relatively easy to learn, seems powerful enough and hasn’t posed any serious problems so far. Still, you -just like I did- will probably have to invest some time in learning how to properly use the thing, as apparently designing and actually creating an adventure game is not as easy it might sound. It is way more fulfilling though.

What’s even more fulfilling, intriguing and nigh on exhilarating is actually designing the game itself. Searching for a Wikileaks cable that is interesting enough, researching it in order to flesh out a realistic game world, deciding on the game’s plot and the protagonist(s), coming up with some key puzzles or, to better phrase it, obstacles, writing a few descriptions, researching a bit more and trying to come up with an interesting title are just the beginning. Watching everything fall into place is where the joy of creativity manifests in all its glorious self.

Then of course, technical and design problems arise, as my lack of experience rears its ugly head and that’s the reason behind the game’s delay. To be frank, I thought this little piece would be ready before Christmas, but now I know better. You’d be wise to expect one more post on this text adventure before the release of the game -hopefully- sometime during January. It will of course be a way more revealing post too.

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