Interactive Fiction: Chance Encounters

Project Status: Complete

As my final project for my Interactive Fiction class, taught by Janet Murray, I created a game that fit within a storyworld that my group created. We envisioned a near future Savannah, where mass floods have caused the need for governmental relocation. Each group’s story deals with the way in which the aftermath affects the city, the citizens, and the government.

In my game, while on a ghost tour in downtown Savannah, a young woman encounters an apparition of an ancestor who tasks her with saving the family’s rightful inheritance.

Process

In the class, we each made a prototype of character dialogue in a setting that we designed. Our groups were then sorted into genres and ours was classified as “contemporary drama.” The other genres were a little more clear cut, such as science fiction and fantasy, but my story was Southern Gothic in tone and the others involved a dystopian near-future, a crime mystery, and a drama between two lovers. Thus, we made a storyworld that had a little of everything. We needed a city, so we picked Savannah to have the Southern Gothic element. To have the near future scenario, we brainstormed various ideas. We finally settled on using the rising coastline as a cause that might increase government surveillance.

Throughout the whole design process, we kept in contact as our stories individually progressed. We made a timeline for each of our stories and a map that shows how characters overlap in our stories. View the overall storyworld presentation to see more.

For my story, I used Sandbox-Adventure as the engine to program my game and the art I used was a doll-maker by Rinmaru Games. I used the visual novel style of storytelling because it’s a compelling way to present text-based, interactive narrative games.

Story Structure

Since this was part of an interactive fiction class, I used various writing structures to outline my story.

Five Act Structure

My story follows the traditional literary five act structure with rising action, climax, and falling action. Based on the choices throughout the game, the climax point and the success or failure changes.

 

 

Dramatic Agency

This diagram shows an example of dramatic agency within the story. The player is given a choice, which will ally her with either the rebel group or the governmental group.

Script

I combined screen-writing with pseudocode for writing my script. I began creating this game using Ren’Py, but then switched to Sandbox Adventure because I wanted my game to be in HTML5.

Here’s a screenshot of one of my acts:

Quick Links:

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View overall storyworld presentation

View individual game presentation