Recently I have been investigating different fields and uses for illustration and design. I was reading about interactive design because I wanted to expand my contextual understanding of it. I liked the problem solving aspects of making interactive websites and was interested in the possibility of applying more art to the equation now that I was free to do so. It is experiences created through narrative and emotional connections that interest me in particular. I thought that a good way to do this interactively was through computer games, although this can be applied to other aspects of interactive design as well, I have played computer games from an early age so that was the thing that most resonated with me. In fact many other aspects of interactive design such as websites, mobile devices and touch screens take inspiration from computer game design to “gamify” a users experience and increase “stickyness”. I decided to start with the basics in my investigation. Some of the first computer games were interactive text adventures and I wondered about how to go about making one myself.
I am old enough to remember some text based games. I was always reading for pleasure as a child, yet I was introduced to computer games as a young child and so I tried a few text adventures as well as visual games. I have begun to read and write for pleasure again, it really gets your imagination going. I have stopped playing computer games for about a year and a half now to focus on my art, writing and reading. Don’t get me wrong, computer games can also be a rich source of interesting ideas, narratives and beautiful images and they are designed to be entertaining and a distraction from everyday worries. I don’t see this distraction as a good thing all of the time though, only in moderation. Facing your problems is ultimately the best thing to do.
At their best and when not just a distraction, computer games can make you look at the world differently, challenge and inspire you just like any other form of entertainment. I theorised that idea generation, creative writing skills, problem solving and game planning skills were particularly useful things to start with in devising the sort of game I would like to make. I have no experience in making computer games, and before I did this investigation I had limited knowledge of the process. I wondered about the possibility of making an interactive text adventure game or a text multiple choice game so I started to look into ways of doing that.
For me all of this research made me realise that I am very interested in visual storytelling and creative writing, and that is what I am currently focusing on. This is why I think it would be an interesting, fun and educational exercise to make a text adventure, especially one that incorporates art into it as well, although making “concept art” is part of the visual development process (in my mind anyway). So now I am learning all I can about the different aspects of “visual development art” and working on my writing. Where all this will take me I have no idea, but that’s all part of the fun…