I know I bang on about it quite a bit, but I’m (a now graduated) university student. My course was Film Studies and Creative Writing, which meant I spent several of my days at university either sitting in darkened rooms or coming up with silly little stories mostly off the top of my head and hoping they were good enough for the marker (no I’m kidding, I actually put a lot of work into my writing).
Near the end of my second year I started thinking about what jobs my double honours degree would get me into. While I loved Film Studies, I knew that I didn’t want to go into that field of work; it seemed a bit too hectic and technical, something which I hadn’t geared myself towards at university. I had always been more of a writer, so I thought about what that could lead to.
I think this must have been about the time I started my articles on game design and narrative, and realised that game writing, both scriptwriting and narrative, would be a perfect fit. I loved writing those fantastic stories at university (as well as for the occasional Dungeons and Dragons night) and games have always been a large part of my life, so marrying the two concepts together seemed like a marvellous idea. There was just one small problem.
I didn’t know how to make a game.
I’m not a designer. I’m not an artist. I’m not a coder. I’m not any of the roles that are primarily in game design. I looked at countless video tutorials and game engines, but I didn’t feel comfortable using any of them. This is a problem I know I have with technology and while I have started to look into code, I find it an uphill struggle. So all I had that I knew I could perform adequately was my writing.
I ended up landing on textadventures.co.uk and after looking at a few examples I thought this might be the place to at least start. And after a few months (including an entire wipe of my hard-drive, meaning I had start from scratch again), I had a functioning game. I decided to start development on a much grander game, but kept the first game on the editing board. But as development for the second game has slowed down as it’s neared completion, I thought “why not?” and release the first game I ever wrote (that didn’t get it wiped).
When I started planning out the game, I wanted to adapt a Greek myth, because they are fun adventure stories and would be good enough for a first attempt. I chose Theseus and the Minotaur, it being the one that has action and puzzle solving. I also wanted to make it semi-educational, with little notes about history, geography, classics and general trivia. This obviously had come from my extended periods playing Assassin’s Creed 2 and Civilization, both of which have databases/encyclopaedias about the people and settings of the games. I like that side of gaming, where you learn something while playing and tried to make that a major factor of the game. I also didn’t want to make it too hard, because I wanted it to be enjoyed by everyone, and so anyone can learn a bit about Ancient Greece. So here, the link to my game. Constructive criticism is encouraged, have some fun. If I can think up a sequel from other myths, I might have another go.
Link to my game – Heroes and Monsters: Theseus and the Minotaur.
Banner Photo Source: pinterest.com.