In Depth Post #2 – “The Trials of Text”

This week my mind of In Depth has been heavily occupied with the Talons class integrated essay based on my in depth. I’ve been researching the origin of text based games this week, as well as in my own free time beginning to familiarize myself with the choicescript program I am going to be using for the remainder of the project. I’ve learned a lot about not only the history of text games, but video games in general, as well as the devices behind them throughout my research and I believe that while it may not all be directly related to my own personal in depth, I think the knowledge I’ve gained throughout this week will prove useful for me. Prior to all that has happened during this week, I began writing a very detailed plot line for my game in a word doc so I may refer to it when I actually start coding the game.

These past two weeks I’ve also been in contact over email with two of my own personal favourite video game developing companies, as well as the creator of the choicescript program; so far I have not had anyone accept my requests for a mentor but the two gaming companies have agreed to have a representative answer any questions I may have concerning my project. I also have had some minor assistance from a few students around the school, who have managed to compile a few textbooks on the topic of coding for video games, in order to help increase my learning. Even without one true mentor at the moment, I have a wide array of people willing to support me and my project, so while I can not reflect on the How to have a Beautiful Mind chapters in reference to my mentor, I can still reflect on my findings about it with those who have helped me so far.

When it comes to agreeing, De Bono’s book has a lot to say, most of which I’ve been doing my best to keep in mind at all times since reading it; however, I’ve been playing even closer attention to the words while speaking with those who’ve been willing to help me so far. An excellent example of this arose in a series of emails sent back and forth between myself, and a representative from Telltale games: The representative informed me that while they loved the idea of the project I was doing, and they wished they could mentor me closely on the project, their job was to focus on working and developing on games for their company. This upset me a little bit, but I did my best to understand what she was saying, and agree that from her point of view, what she was saying was the ideal choice. In these emails I remained positive, and did my best to reach the greatest possible solution, which I believe in the end I did achieve, as the representative did agree that she’d be able to answer any questions I might have, should I ask her via emails in the near future.

Aside from the previous paragraph however, I don’t believe I’ve been able to really disagree with anyone (much less a mentor) when this project is concerned; further, I’ve yet to really meet my mentor, so any differing of opinions, or anything similar to De Bono’s “how to differ” chapter has not yet arose in concerns to my project.

In the next two weeks I plan to be spending as much free time as possible working on in depth. My first priority is to confirm someone as my mentor, and as soon as I’ve completed that I’m going to move on to my next task, continuing the actual project itself: creating my own game. The deadline I set for the first part of the game falls before my next blog post, so I look forward to seeing if I’ll be able to stick to that deadline. It’ll be tough to get so much done in only two weeks but I feel confident I’ll be able to do so, and with luck (and possibly a little help from some of my more blogging advanced peers) I’ll be able to find a way to embed a brief sample of my game so far into my next post.

Until then, goodbye, and good luck.

In-Depth Intro Post 2015

This year for my in depth project, I knew I wanted to do something that would really captivate me. Finding something to do that was no difficult task however, and before long I had more ideas than I could count. However, after long periods of serious inner debate, and a lot of pros and cons, I’ve finally narrowed it down to one single decisive idea. For my second, and final in depth project I am going to create a video game, not just any video game though, I’m going to make a text based video game. Now a lot of you probably know what I mean by that, but for the clarification of those who may not, a text based video game is basically interactive fiction. Things like this go by many names (choose your own adventure stories, multiple choice games and so on) but more often than not, the idea is the same; to encourage readers/players to build and take part in a world built from their imagination. The writers of such games provide the words, which work as a sort of beam to help support and shape your imagination into the world of the game. Granted at this point, what I’m describing sounds just like any other piece of fiction, but the element that makes the difference is the choices. In a game like the one I plan on making throughout the following five months, the readers/players will often come across choices that will greatly effect the outcome of the story in one way or another, and that’s what makes things truly interesting. If my description is still leaving you confused, or if you’re interested and would like to know more, here¬†would be my recommendation to do so.

Now, as to why I chose this, I have a couple reasons: first and foremost is the fact that it, in its own way, combines two of my favourite things to do in my down time (read/write, and play video games). Not only are those two things I do in my downtime, but they’re two potential paths I may look into going down later on in my life as well, which means that clearly, any experience I could get early on would prove greatly beneficial should I choose to pursue one of those paths. A second reason is because this in depth project is free of any cost; the only thing I need for this is a program called choicescript, which is free for anyone to download and experiment with should they wish to.

This in depth is going to be a challenge for sure I know that now, but that being said, I’m still sort of looking forward to it all. I’m excited to expand what little writing skills I already have, while learning (With the help of a mentor who has yet to be found) a little bit about the video game development world, and the programming side of things as well. I know that I may, at least for the beginning of the project be relying on my preexisting writing knowledge to carry me a little, but hopefully in the later months, I’ll feel more comfortable when it comes to programming with choicescript, and things will all even out. I’ve really got my work cut out for me with this one, but I know that with a little dedication and time management, I’ll be able to make something I’m truly be proud of.