April 1GAM – A Dungeon Story

For April’s “1 game a month” project I tackled something completely different. My January, February and March games have all been Python/Pygame games. An asteroids style game and two platformers. For April however I wrote an interactive story called “A Dungeon Story”.

I did it using a piece of software called Twine. Twine is free and is perfect for creating choose your own adventure type stories.

Having produced a series of games of slowly increasing sophistication I felt like I was starting to get my feet under me as a game developer. I still have an enormous way to go but terms like surfaces, blitting, bounding boxes etc have actually started to make sense. My growing sense of competence drove me to tackle something further outside of my comfort zone.

One thing notably absent from all of my projects is a story. In fact I haven’t written any sort of fiction since high school. Given that glaring weakness I thought it was about time I stretched myself creatively and took on a project that consisted of nothing but writing. I’m a big fan of jumping in at the deep end.

Foolishly, I had visions of this being an easy month. I thought I could bang out a story then have time left over to get to grips with html 5 for next month. That was unrealistic. I had forgotten that writing something that doesn’t entirely suck takes real time and effort. This is particularly true in the land of choose your own adventure stories where you need to write far more than any single player/reader will ever see. And of course you need to structure it such that it will make sense no matter which path the player takes.

It’s written in a light hearted jokey style because I realized pretty quickly that writing a serious story with characters that the reader cares about is really difficult. I’ll save that challenge for another time. For the time being, if I can’t make you care I can at least make you smile.

Many a game has been set in a dark and mysterious dungeon so I stuck with that familiar theme. I hope you like it. Good luck. A Dungeon Story