Hello, I am a bad person!
I spent all month taking time off from Six Months to write something for the Write A Game Challenge– a game jam that is being judged by cool people whose work I actually admire– but crapped out during the last week. Thanks to E3 I didn’t have enough energy to fix some major things that were wrong with my story. I was so nervous about releasing a flawed story that I gave up the entire project. With this new free time, I completely finished a completely different project (??) commissioned art for it, and did the Corgi Jam on itch.io just to do a jam, because I am addicted to game jams now, I guess.
So here’s my submission for the Corgi Jam. It’s a summer school course for corgis living in America’s far future. Sid Menon edited it for me.
All of the information in this game about the Supreme Court is taken directly off Wikipedia and is therefore probably mostly true.
Part of the reason I failed to complete the WAG Challenge was that I basically scheduled myself too tightly for the month. In order to finish the game properly, I had to write an entire scene for it every two days. I had to do so much writing that I was basically unable to recreate. I spent a lot of time writing that thing wishing I could just go out and see a damn movie. In the end, when E3 derailed me, I got derailed hard.
I might save the project and finish it later. I might also release it with Six Months and the others I’m planning to release together, since it’s set in the goddamn sad wizard world. It had a cool text mechanic that I really liked, too.
I have created a Tumblr entirely of gifs of my in-dev text games. I know, I know, this sounds stupid and useless, but it’s definitely not.
There are a lot of people out there making text games right now, and thanks to Twine and Leon Arnott’s excellent macros, more and more of these games include text that moves or changes onscreen. This is the kind of stuff that interests me most. I like stories with text “mechanics.” Most of the stuff I make has this kind of thing in it.
It’s hard to excerpt out isolated little moments of these games so that I can discuss/brag about the cool shit I have done. Gifs work well enough, though. So that’s what the tumblr is going to be. Solid gifs of me clicking on shit.
This is not commonly done with, say, novels– nobody sticks two paragraphs of their novel on a blog to brag about some little technical thing they did and the thought process behind it. I am fully aware that the actual text content of a lot of these gifs will be confusing and meaningless to most readers. However, I think I can explain myself well enough to make some of these gifs a little bit valuable. There are “mechanics” that can be discussed even when the text content is taken out-of-context.
It’s important to think very hard about what you do, no matter what you’re doing. Even artists who cultivate an air of carelessness or spontaneity are thinking much harder about their craft and process than most of us realize. When it comes to Twine, we don’t often talk about the nitty-gritty details of hypertext. Twine has a low barrier of entry but you can do a lot of very complicated and weird stuff with it, and it doesn’t necessarily take a lot of practice before you can start to work at a high level of complexity. I think there’s a lot to learn and share there.
Basically, I want to talk about Twine craft and I want to do it with gifs of my unfinished projects. I hope you enjoy it.