TBA
Created Tuesday, September 15, 2009 | Added Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

The goal of this project was to create a narrative hypermedia piece.  I decided to make a sort of choose your own adventure game based on a series of linked web pages.  They all follow the same basic story, however, depending on the choices you make (the links you decide to click on), the story can end in different ways.  Also, the game is designed to only let you play it once.  This way you can’t change your mind about a decision, so choose carefully!  (As browsers have advanced, there are ways to play it more than once, but play it as though you can only play it once :P)

Some of the images below have spoilers, so I recommend playing the game before you view any of the images.

Here is the original project assignment:

The first project will build on our class discussions regarding narrative and linking structures. Culled from your own personal interests, you will brainstorm ideas for a hypermedia artwork that follows narrative form. Your ideas will be submitted in the form of a proposal, will undergo preliminary critique, and finally be developed into a completed work. Your project will be evaluated on its technical merits as well as its ability to communicate meaning beyond the simple story.

And here is my original proposal:

Project 1 Proposal

Materials:

-Adobe Creative Suite Programs:
==Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash
-Sound Editing Programs:
==Audacity, GarageBand

Location:

As this project will not be usable more than once on any one computer, I hope to show this project in the FAC 306 computer lab so that all students are able to experience the project individually via the different computers in the lab.

Project Explanation:

As of now, I am planning on making a type of online text-based game that will incorporate multiple web pages with descriptive and navigational text and possibly the use of visual cues and/or images. Internet browser pop-ups will also be used, possibly along with sound clips/music.

This game will be based around user interactivity dependent upon written/visual cues via the Internet browser. There will be an ongoing multi-branched narrative (the “story” of the game) that will change dependent on the user’s interaction. The ways the user will interact will be by navigating through a virtual maze via directional hyperlinks (Up, Down, Left, and Right) that are displayed on every page in this project. By using the navigation links, the user will direct himself or herself through this virtual maze. The object will be to reach the end of the maze, at which point, the player wins. In certain “rooms” (rooms are the equivalent of the different web pages) the user will come in contact with monsters, represented by pop-ups that will appear above the original page of the browser. In order to “defeat” these monsters, the user must click the pop-ups a certain number of times, at which point the pop-up will disappear, simulating the defeat of the monster; the user will then be able to continue navigating through the maze with the directional hyperlinks. While the pop-ups are visible (the monsters have not been defeated yet), the user will slowly lose health (which will be a visible meter on the original page). If at any point, the user runs out of health, the game will end. Unlike other games, however, once the player has run out of health, the game cannot be restarted. As of now, I plan on using an IP block to prevent the same computer from playing the game more than once. IP blocks, however, can be worked around, so I am looking into additional methods to stop a computer from playing the game more than once. So, simply put, if one dies in the game, it is truly “Game Over.”

The maze will be two-dimensional in layout (for example a 4×4 grid comprised of sixteen squares). The user will start in one square and will have to navigate through the grid in order to get to the end (a predetermined square in the grid). However, there will be multiple grids that will be “layered” on top of each other, creating a three-dimensional grid that is comprised of multiple two-dimensional grids. These different layers will not necessarily be used or seen in a play through of the game; it is all dependent on the user’s input. These layers will be used if the user makes certain decisions based on the on-screen text prompts. They are essentially the different paths that the story will follow. For example, the user is notified by the on-screen text that there is a stairway going down on the square that the user is currently occupying. If the user does not use the stairway, the grid will stay the same, but if the user chooses to go down the stairs, the grid “below” the current grid will be used. This grid will be different from the ne “above” it in that the boundaries will be different, the squares that monsters occupy will be different, and many other things will change. This decision can potentially change the outcome of the game. It will be possible for the user to navigate through only one grid before winning the game, according to the choices the user makes, multiple grids could be used. The grid changes will be completely unnoticed by the user unless tied to the story somehow (as going down the stairs probably would be).

Concept:

There are multiple conceptual aspects to this game, the first of which being that the game explores the fundamental purpose of hyperlinks –navigation. What better to do so than actual directional keywords that move one through an array of related web pages? Quite literally, the user will explore the purpose and applied use of hyperlinks by navigating through the Internet.

The design of each page will be simple in design, and will convey a sense of easy navigation through these pages. However, with the use of the text prompts and user input, navigation will become harder than perhaps originally anticipated. By using simple and easy navigable hyperlinks along with the complexity found through the user input, I hope to arouse thought of both the simplicity and convenience as well as the sheer and utter complexity of the Internet.

Through the use of pop-ups as “monsters” I will be exploring the widespread thought behind pop-ups –they are bad and must be stopped. Often, one must click multiple times in order to get rid of one pop-up; additionally, some pop-ups actually are harmful to the computer (may contain viruses and such) as will be exemplified by the player losing health.

The concept of the “maze” and the user’s exploration of it is related to the way a user of the Internet “searches” for something or “navigates” through web pages. Also related to this is the fact that the user may “die” in the game and become banned from retrying. Many times, one will find what he or she is looking for with the help of the Internet, but there are other times when the desired outcome does not occur and the user simply gives up on trying to find what he or she is trying to locate. Perhaps the reason is broken links, unexpected interruptions, or it is simply not there, all of which are to be imitated by in-game features. Will the user find the end of what he or she is looking for –the end of the maze that is the Internet?


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