Hit Troll With Axe: A ZORK Review

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This is an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front door.
There is a small mailbox here.
A rubber mat saying ‘Welcome to Zork!’ lies by the door

This is the opening scene of Zork, and believe it or not, in it’s total freedom of interaction, it’s sheer number of possibilities, it’s one of the most important and iconic moments in gaming! Continue reading Hit Troll With Axe: A ZORK Review

A View from Above: Mapping the earth from the skies

Hi TextAdventurers!

My name is Saoirse (see-er-ssha!) and I am an artist from Dublin, living in Manchester. I make work that talks about our relationship with nature and how we try and sort things out with technology. I made an interactive art piece called the Doom Machine, which looked at people’s fear of planetary failure and disaster. It measured how close the earth was to a disaster according to people’s general gut instinct-whether they felt all is good or bad on the earth. I showed the level of disaster on a dial based on the Torino scale, which usually measures how close asteroids are to the earth!

Continue reading A View from Above: Mapping the earth from the skies

Science Fiction / Fantasy is the name of the game

We have a genre! After much scribbling, discussion and debate during the 1st Summit at Hull the young people will be exploring Science Fiction with a dash of Fantasy throw in. Sci-fi, often described as the literature of ideas, is a great setting to ask ‘What If …?
This genre was the most attractive to all the participants, the pre-summit survey revealed, so it was not surprising it was chosen. We’ve set some boundaries to create a coherent narrative in the fictional dystopian world. We’ve agreed to set the world some time in the near future….

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A History Of Interactive Fiction

Gather round while I tell you a story of the old time videogames before your internet connections and hi-def displays and even random-file access. Things were simpler back then, you had 32kb of memory (64 if you were lucky – how much memory does a modern computer have?)
Continue reading A History Of Interactive Fiction

1st Summit recap

Young people from cities across the North are working together with artists and professionals to create a new text-based adventure game as part of the Networked Narrative project. Gary Lunt went to find out more about this fast-growing trend amongst the gaming community and report on the project’s next steps.

It was 8am on a warm Saturday morning and in true Bilbo Baggins style I was quite ready for an adventure. Although I wouldn’t be travelling to the Misty Mountains and beyond, there was still a great chance that many elements from the fantasy genre could reveal themselves throughout the course of the day.

My journey was to take me to the symmetrical side of the country from Liverpool, to Hull where I was to participate and learn about a new arts project entitled Text Adventure Time. Only knowing what I had read online, I was keen to channel my inner Louis Theroux and explore what sounded like an extremely challenging yet exciting idea.

Continue reading 1st Summit recap

Summit 1: Hull

The first summit to kickoff Text Adventure Time will be on the 18th of April, Saturday in Hull Central Library. We’re looking forward to meeting all the Young People and partners in one setting. The summit will be a chance to meet each other, pick up some wiki skills to stay in touch and start the conversation flowing. We will be meeting at Hull Central Library, starting  at 11:30am. This summit will be a chance to get an overview of the project and start discussions around a literary genre to write our Text Adventure Game. The summit will take place in the beautiful James Reckitt Reading Room.

The Proposal

Last year Re-Dock was approached to pitch for Networked Narrative, a two year project working with Young People in libraries in Wigan, Burnley and Hull run by FACT. We’ve done a lot of work in libraries, and a lot of work with Young People so it seemed like a good start. The project looked very exciting, allowing Young People to not only get a glimpse into creative industry but also the opportunity to work alongside and with artists and cultural workers in creating and commissioning new art work.

map-bigWe first thought of ways of bridging the three locations and took inspiration from the tile map of the train line in Victoria Station. The idea of allowing the Young People to be the driving force of the project was always an important factor. The main idea of Text Adventure Time is creating a fictional narrative around the places you live now. But we wanted the Young People to write the story as well as create the fictional world. We would give them all the tools and skills needed, and then it was up to them keep the audience in suspense. The tools include workshops around DIY cartography, map making, creative writing and some software skills. Through the summits and workshops we are taking steps towards creating a interactive saga fill with real world props. We are on a group journey to creating an interactive story by the Young People of the North, stay tuned.