More word stuff I’ve enjoyed recently

Aliens by James Cameron

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I recently read the shooting script for Aliens. If you enjoyed that movie (or any well-made action movie), I highly recommend you take a look at this script. It’s pretty damn excellent. Use the above image to find a good copy to read.

Destroy/Wait by Pierre Chevalier

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A beautiful little Twine poem. Strong imagery. A melancholic mood.

Solarium by Alan DeNiro

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Structurally complex Twine story in a post-apocalyptic Cold War setting. The story is told in a looping, circling style, which Alan previously used in We Are the Firewall. His stories bring the reader back again and again to the same passages, but give them opportunities to experience those passages differently. He is the only Twine author that I know of who currently uses this style in this particular way. Besides the fun structural stuff, though, this is a wonderful story with a surprising and satisfying ending. Very much worth playing through completely.

Broke Down by Saguaro

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As you read each passage of Broke Down, you have the ability to add or remove detail, making the story more or less complex. Sometimes the details you add are interesting and funny. Sometimes they hurt, a lot. I like this (and Solarium to a certain extent) because I like stories that have “mechanics”, that have consistent and interesting ways of changing or presenting the text. One day I want to write a story that has a whole bunch of link “mechanics” like this one, all interacting in unusual ways.

Device 6 by Simogo

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Simogo previously created Year Walk, a popular iOS game about Scandinavian legends. Both Year Walk and Device 6 present worlds which the player must explore via strange and novel navigation methods– methods which encourage a refreshingly frank and direct interaction with whatever’s on-screen. Unlike Year Walk, however, Device 6 is a textual experience. It’s not hypertext, it’s not parser– it’s something completely different and weird.

Instead of linking to new areas or entering commands, the player scrolls along vertical or horizontal panes and lines of text that twist and turn to imitate the shapes of the imaginary spaces the story takes place in. Pictures appear in frames and slowly scroll or pan by beneath the text as players swipe from side to side. Some of these panes contain pictures of ancient electronic equipment, which the player manipulates using obscurely-labelled buttons. Sound, too, is central to many of the puzzles. A few gems require the player to do unusual things to the iOS device itself in order to uncover the solution.

The game’s visual presentation is all about layers– layers of text, layers of images– and the story itself echoes this. There are several nested layers of narrative in this game, and nested protagonists, too. Some of this is never completely explained.

It took me only about an hour and a half to play Device 6. I completed pretty much every puzzle within 5 minutes or less. None were particularly hard, but they were all satisfying to solve.

I highly recommend taking a look at this game if you have the time and money.


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