The Message

So I made my first game and now it’s on RPS and Freeindiegam.es and Anna Anthropy loves it and people genuinely seem to enjoy it, and I’m like, okay, that’s cool. Somewhat surreal though. Anyway, last week there was a Game Jam called Fuck This Jam. The idea was to create a game in a genre you hate, or at least not fully understand. Here’s the keynote:

“Through utter ignorance for conventions and hate for the established rules of a genre, beautiful things will happen.”

After talking about indie games in our podcast all the time, partner-in-crime Dom and I were eager to make a game together so teaming up for this one was self-evident. Since both of us are fans of Ms. Anthropy’s work and had read her guide about making text-adventure games with Twine, we decided to finally give it a try. Inspired by all the fuzz about Curiosity (our robot on Mars, not Molyneux’ crime against video games), I had this idea about a short story about humanity making accidental first contact through New Horizons, which is currently en route to Pluto. Also, I’m a lazy wannabe space nerd and wanted a theme I could easily write about without having to do too much research. So after I told him about my idea, Dom agreed to draw some sweet pictures to spice the game up visually. (Seriously, without him it wouldn’t be half as cool as it is now)

I don’t hate Interactive Fiction. In fact, I kind of like text-adventures (yet dislike the often awfully archaic text parser controls). I like that these type of games still exist, but don’t understand why someone would surrender themselves to the above-mentioned controls. Most parsers still suck, but there are some cool solutions and ideas out there. Twine is one of them, which opts for “choose your own adventure” type mechanics.

We had some issues customizing the look of it (Twine’s template system is a little shitty), but in the end it turned out great and I’m proud like hell to finally have created something I can show people and not be embarrassed about it. Creating is fucking terrifying, but also exciting. Also, I learned a lot about what a nightmare deadlines are and how nerve-wrecking fixing last-minute bugs can be. I must admit that it isn’t much of a game, but I don’t really care about that whole discussion anymore. We made something, people have fun with it. The End.

Please, go have a look at The Message. The whole thing takes about two to five minutes, depending on how fast of a reader you are. If you like, you can tell me what you think, or leave a comment over there.

Thanks for reading.