296 Interactive Fiction+

As mentioned yesterday in my post about Lifeline, I’m interested in exploring how this idea can be pushed further. We’ll continue with the idea of a stranded astronaut in space, since it’s relevant.

The visual design of this IF could go much further to set it apart and help immerse the player. Let’s say the screen looked much more like a communication device. The would allow a myriad of new narrative ideas to flourish. Maybe the connection is unstable at points during the story, or the player must turn their device to point a certain direction to get better reception. The interface might be both aurally and text focused; the player gets voice memos or direct voice contact with the stranded astronaut, but must resort to using the text occasionally when the story dictates so.

This control panel might also allow the player to help the astronaut in other ways; maybe engaging a distress beacon somewhere, unlocking doors inside of some space wreckage, or relaying messages to other stranded astronauts. It could also monitor life vitals, to help the player keep track of the health of the astronaut.

The “forced waiting” system might be taken a little further. I love the idea of having to wait for the astronaut to find or complete some task. But, it would make sense if your player also had only short windows of time to respond when certain key events happen. Maybe a decision needs to made quickly, and the astronaut can’t wait much more than 10 minutes or so for a response. If the player isn’t able to respond in that time, the astronaut is forced to make a decision on their own, or continue on without your additional tools and support.

All of these ideas are in support of making the experience more immersive, and also more dynamic and reactive to the player. You want to feel like you are helping the astronaut in every way possible succeed in reaching safety. You don’t want to feel like you accidentally said one wrong thing once, which somehow led your astronaut down the path of unsalvageable demise.

[ Today I Was Playing: Disney Infinity 2.0 ]

October 23, 2015

#experimental-game, #text-game, #touch-controlled-game