Challenge Foolishly Accepted: Twine Edition

Burnt Matches

You know that thing where you’re supposed to challenge yourself to make work outside your comfort zone because you’ll grow as an artist and gain the respect and adulation of your peers?

Not a good idea.

Well, at least, I’ve been trying to do pretty much exactly lately and I can’t say that it’s been going well. For the last several weeks my only faint thrashings of game making have been going toward making a Twine I’m calling Burnt Matches. The project stems from a very brief attempt to make a text-based “thing” at a design jam we had back in late September around the documentary “Into Eternity” – a film you should absolutely watch because it’s terrific. It’s about the long-term storage of nuclear waste and I was imagining some kind of system of interfaces that would theoretically keep people out of such a facility, or trap them in, or… something. Anyway the thing I made looked like the animated GIF at the top of this post – an ever-changing set of paragraphs and links utilising the entire Unicode character set.

Being bloody-minded, I was pretty determined to “just finish” this Twine after the jam ended (at which point I basically only had the interface element constructed in a way I liked), but then there was also the small matter of the university semester being fully under way and me teaching three classes a week and grading and… well, it hasn’t been working out very well.

Not least of all because I’ve also decided to try to be “original” with Twine and do some stuff that I haven’t necessarily seen elsewhere (inspired in part by some of the efforts of students in my game studio class who hated Twine as a tool but produced some quite striking results with it). The combined pressures of my job and the desire to make something good has mostly crushed my spirit. Frankly I’m normally at my best when I just try to make “anything” rather than striving to best a tool at its own game. But I’m stuck, but I’m totally unable to walk away from projects and shelve them, so I’m pretty much in this scenario where I’m going to sit here trying to finish the thing before I allow myself to move on to any other projects (of which I have a couple in mind).

Pretty depressing blog post? Yeah, tell me about it – at least you’re not me!

(But really, it’s not so bad. I imagine I’ll get it done in the next week or two? And it might even be an okay thing by the end of it? You be the judge! Later!)

31 October 2016
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