Le projet final

For as long as I care to recall, I’ve been playing text adventures on the computer.  My first game system, Nintendo (NES), was technically my brother’s even though I clocked a huge chunk of my childhood on it.  But my brother was very protective of his gaming systems and I was only allowed to play at times when he was at soccer/football/basketball practice, at a friend’s house, sleeping, etc.  As such, I found myself heading online (yes, during the incipient days of the internet) and, henceforth, discovered very simple text adventures could fulfill my basic gaming needs.  I’ve been playing them ever since.

In terms of material covered in this class, Galatea most resembles a standard (though I would hardly call it that) text adventure, with a cerebral twist – while most involve traversing rooms, dungeons, castles, and the like, Galatea focuses on an intellectual inquiry into one woman’s reason for existence.  While undoubtedly interesting, for my final project, I would want to transfer a piece that I feel would benefit from the interactive medium of text adventures (preferably, one which had little interaction before).  Makers by Cory Doctorow would definitely exhibit an interesting transition into text adventure-dom: I plan to make the script and format as cliche as possible, with swords, evil villains, etc.  However, I would make an interesting statement about each item acquired (such as limitations on when/where you can use it, who made it, and basic copyright information that is usually overlooked in games) in order to emphasize the part of the makers of objects.  In fact, perhaps I could add a function to “make” your own items, if my programming skills are sufficient enough (spoilers: they’re probably not).  I will have many more social statements to embed into the narrative, I am sure.

Of course, we haven’t fully delved into the structure of text adventures and, more significantly, how to create them.  There are numerous programs online (Quest and TADS to name a few) that provide a basic setup for those with little to no programming experience, but those also constrain creatively what you can present to the reader.  It is far more likely that I will use a tutorial online (once again, there are a multitude of them) and my horrendous programming knowledge to completely construct my world.  I’m not sure if the TA’s will hold a Text Adventure-based tutorial, but I will mostly try to utilize the wonderful resource of the internet to fufill this task.

-Victoria Lang


Edit: I am, specifically, using the software Inform to create an interactive fiction text- adventure, thematically addressing Makers and technically referencing Galatea.  I intend for it to be more true to what one thinks of when they hear “text adventure:” dungeons, trolls, medieval perils, etc.  While Galatea took a familiar medium and manipulated it into an overtly intellectual analysis, I plan to be much more subtle with my message; that is, the structure will be the same, but within that, I will address copyright issues and the idea of “makers” of things.  A text adventure is not typically a narrative form used to bestow the loftiest of ideas, but Galatea transformed that stereotype by creating a cerebral pursuit.  I wish to further this intellectualism in text-adventures, but by employing  a more standard method of play-through and overall atmosphere with subtle references to more academic topics.


I think the text-adventure medium is effective in promulgating this specific work, Makers, since it was the least interactive narrative we have encountered thus far.  Conversely, text-adventures are completely interactive, often times to the point of confusion and frustration, and rely wholly on the actions of the participant to continue.  How would the themes of Makers transition to such a medium?  I’ve begun working on the code (which is time consuming- I’ve done about 4-5 hours of programming and only constructed 2 rooms) and already am enjoying it immensely.  It’s also interesting to have people play through my semi-completed adventure in order to say what players could possibly say (although they’re are limits…one of my friends demanded a “>vomit your gruel” function that I have yet to create).


~ by victoriafrolics on March 28, 2011.

One Response to “Le projet final”

  1. […] refer to my original post here for more information) I still plan to create a text adventures that,perhaps not explicitly, but […]

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