Lions and tigers and "bad verbs" -- Oh my!
Before playing around with the People's Republic of Interactive Fiction, I had two prior experiences with the sometimes frustrating world of Interactive Fiction. The first was back in elementary school with the "Give Yourself Goosebumps" series of Goosebumps books. For an eight-year-old with an overactive imagination, the frequent gruesome endings probably weren't the best choice of reading material. My next experience with IF came from Christopher Paolini's Inheritance cycle. The website used to include an IF game geared towards the characters in the quartet. I had gotten pretty good at it before it was taken down.
Now it's my turn to write an IF. As I started researching (it had been a while since I had played any IF), I found three games that really interested me. Violet, by Jeremy Freese, intrigued me. I still haven't been able to get very far, but I like the idea of really having to work around the desires of another. That is one thing that will be extremely helpful as I begin my own dabbling into IF.
The second game, Lost Pig, may not have helped in my own particular storyline, but Admiral Jota's game did make me smile. The idea of simpler language might help eventually, I'm just not entirely sure yet.
Finally, I downloaded Blue Lacuna. I have yet to get very far in it, but I really like the structure. The way hints are given in bold is something I would love to be able to do with my own IF. It makes life just a little easier in deciding what to examine or take.
My horror story takes place in Rockport, Massachusetts in 1735. The story centers around a teenaged girl named Hannah Merriman who is being terrorized by the spirits left behind by her mother's exploits during the Witch Trials. When "examine me" or "inventory" is typed, the player will receive the following:
"Hannah Merriman, 17. You are dressed in a simple brown gown carrying a basket. Your cap is in the basket as you gave up on it once the wind started blowing. The book you were delivering to your father is holding it inside." The book will be covered in brown paper to keep the contents a mystery. After all, this is a horror story.
As the story progresses, Hannah will discover two very important things:
1. Her mother is not who she said she was.
2. The voices she is hearing aren't just imaginary friends.
The job of the player is to help Hannah put the clues together. After delivering the book to Hannah's father, Jacob, the player will face a narrative regarding the voices and the trunk her father hid the book in. The player must then find the key to open the trunk and produce the book. The book will start to unlock answers. Next, the player must speak to various townspeople to further understand the stories about Hannah's mother. The entire point behind the adventure is to force the haunting to stop before the ghosts destroy Hannah.
The player will be hinted through Hannah's inner monologue to what they must do next. Things like "I wonder where father hid the key?" or "Maybe Goodie Howe knows something" will (hopefully) point the reader in the right direction. As the game goes on, however, the villagers will need more probing to pry answers from them. Favors will have to be done for information. However, the further into the game the player gets, the more information they will learn from the villagers.
The game will have two different endings. If the player successfully ends the curse, Hannah's life will return to normal. However, if the player mixes up ingredients or directions, the counter-curse will fail and Hannah will eventually die...or go insane. One of the two.
If I run short on time, I can cut some of the middle regarding the villagers and just shorten the steps. But if I have time, I would love to try and add some more backstory or exploration "levels."
I'm really excited about getting this game going. Now just to figure out where to begin...