Ghosties and Ghoulies -- My Adventure in Text Adventure
I had played a very small amount of Interactive Fiction when I was younger. It mostly involved book based games (Goosebumps may not have been the best choice for someone with an overactive imagination) and I loved it. To set myself up for this project, I played two different IFs. Both Blue Lacuna and Violet caught my attention. I enjoyed the complexity of Lacuna. Having to examine things and actually "look" brought observation levels to a new height. With Violet, I loved the idea of being just as confused as one would be in that situation. Violet actually may have been my favorite because of that.
My own IF takes place in Rockport, Massachusetts in 1709 - 17 years after the Salem Witch Trials. The tone is pretty mysterious and (I hope) spooky. The ideas of ghosts and witchcraft in a time that was so against them both adds a level of mystique. Who's behind the hauntings?
My influences were my honestly my own imagination. I love Colonial America as a time period and the witch hunts have always fascinated me. I also have wanted to write a horror story for a while now and was hoping this could get me started.
My opening screen sets the stage of the character hearing voices and experiencing things that could land her in a lot of trouble. I hoped this would help to draw readers in.
The code probably gave me the most trouble. I finally caught on, but it took my a while to figure out exactly how to word things. Figuring out how to change objects from scenery into "takeable" objects was one accomplishment I was incredibly proud of. I had some help with changing day to night, but it worked really well and helps to set the scene for the spooky stuff.
The more players examine, the more they learn. Backstories and even a little history appear as the player progresses. I actually used a real item, the witch cake, from the trials. While I warped the use just a little, it remained basically the same.
I utilized two different endings. The first comes if one doesn't think their inventory through. Running into a church with a spell book in 1709 wasn't the best way to prove one's innocence. Instead, head off to Goodie Howe's. Eventually, the player will win. Eventually I want to add another ending based on points to include a vision of Hannah's mother.
I didn't borrow any code, but I did research the Trials on Wikipedia for a little backstory. I already knew a sizable chunk about the Witch Trials, but I just wanted to be sure I had my facts straight.
My usability testing went well overall. I had three test subjects: Kelly, 20; Elyse, 23; and Sara, 28. All three really enjoyed the game's storyline, but wanted more to interact with. I definitely and wholeheartedly agree with their opinions. When I expand the game, I would really like to add more to the final scenes in the forest and make it more of a maze. It's too static right now for my (and my testers') taste.
My classmates have also been doing some amazing work. I can't wait to play their games!
You can now play my game here!