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New Game Journalism: GDC The Text Adventure

I do like that pixel art.

This is really neat. Picked up from Indie Games. They had Jim Munroe go to GDC with a press-pass and write up his experiences in the form of a text adventure. It’s actually more of a text-based game than a text adventure (i.e. you shouldn’t be having any problems with the parser as long as you REMEMBER the instructions at the start), and actually somewhat splendid. You can play it online in Java here, for the java-hating here and for those who use an IF interpreter, its actual code is here. And some more explanation follows…

It puts you as a GDC delegate and is a sort of simulation of the social whirl of a conference. There’s three parts – the infection of ideas to one another, the creation of a social web and desperately trying to get a development team together. So you’ll end up going to a session, picking up ideas about procedural generation, and then be able to talk about it with people. Much like the Sims, you bore people by chatting to them about stuff they’re not interested, and excite them by doing the opposite. Soon, it’s the true conference experience with Susan and Jeffrey making in-jokes and smiling whenever we cross paths, and Simon scowling because I’m the idiot who talks about 2D physics all the time. And, at the end of the day assuming you’ve made some friends, you get dragged out for drinks, meeting more people. The game starts slow, with you not excited by anything or knowing anyone. By the end, everyone is talking or scowling at everything else – and possibly you’d have excited enough people to make a videogame. I ended up with a team devoted to making a game featuring viral marketing, 2D physics and Chiptune music. Which sounds like exactly the sort of thing we’d end up linking to on RPS, so I better get cracking.

Oddly human little thing which captures quite a bit about the human side of development. Go play.

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Kieron Gillen

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Kieron Gillen is robo-crazy.

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