Storytelling is an integral component of many video games. While these stories typically range from "hero saves the princess" to "hero saves the world" to "hero saves the universe", I see no reason why video games couldn't be used to tell shorter stories, more pointless stories--the kind of stories I usually blog about. With that thought in mind, I set forth on a mission: to create my own video games full of short, often irreverent, ideally humorous stories. To that end, I am using video games as just another medium, but perhaps giving the audience a slightly more interactive experience than books or movies.
There have been a few challenges so far. The largest, of course, being that I had absolutely no clue how to make video games. I have a fair amount of programming experience (that is to say, I have a fair amount of experience as a terrible programmer), but none of it involves graphics or games. So in the past month, I've gotten a few books, and tried to teach myself what it is I have to do transform a bad written story into a bad game story.
Consider the case of our visit to Baker Beach last month, when a naked old man lost his shoes in the tide, and a second naked old man had to come help him retrieve them. That's just asking to be a video game.
|How could you read this story without wanting to join in on the fun?|
There are a few issues so far. For starters, my complete lack of comprehension about visual perspective has made it appear as though the shoes are floating in the sky, rather than the ocean. Then the controls are pretty terrible--the main character just sort of awkwardly goes towards where you click. The game itself provides minimal (if highly erratic) challenge, and despite wanting to tell stories with video games, no one who wasn't already familiar with the story would have any clue what was happening, or why they should find it amusing. Plus, my character drawings are terrible--I mean, the penis is barely even articulated, and that was the best part.
Still, despite oh so many things that are wrong with this, I think it shows potential, and I have every intention to keep at it. I need to work on my artistic skills (or better yet, find an artist to collaborate with), I need to work on my programming skills (or better yet, find a programmer to collaborate with), and I need to work on my storytelling skills (or better yet, find a storyteller to collaborate with), but I have I hopes that this can manifest itself into stories actual human people want to play. I even entertain slim ambitions of turning this into a commercial enterprise, though the quality of my projects must improve by several orders of magnitude before anyone would pay even a dollar to play this.
Of course, it won't ever fully replace my blogging, because even a team of competent people can't churn out a decent video game as quickly as a few paragraphs of writing, but hopefully down the line, when I have a really good story to tell, you'll be able to play it first-hand in all of its pixelated glory.