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Showing posts from January, 2015

IntroComp 2014: 'Mount Imperious' by kaleidofish

Unafraid of delving into the the complexities of character relationships, the Twine piece Mount Imperius from IntroComp 2014 sets up a natural disaster story by pitting conflicting personalities against each other. At the end, as the hook teasing the transition into the unreleased full version explicitly requires the player to choose which part of the sundered fellowship to pay more attention to. The experience of playing the hypertext story as a whole feels surprisingly similar to viewing an indie film.

It never was much of a fellowship to begin with, despite the fact that the game creates a strong sense of ensemble. Instead of carrying the plot forward by the characters' camaraderie, the story actively subverts any sense of fellowship. The personality quirks of the protagonist and the four supporting characters come through strongly, but we have no great reason to like anyone. Perhaps one character shown to be an ignorant privileged tourist indulging in a Captain Kirk fantasy is…

IntroComp 2014: 'The Cuckold's Egg' by Veronica Devon (Daniel Ravipinto)

Even a casual glance at the implemented scenario in The Cuckold's Egg is enough to appreciate that the game contains both serious themes regarding religion and social justice as well as hardcore fantasy worldbuilding. It appears to wear its anti-religious sentiment on its sleeve; the fourth word in the opening text is the word “faith” used as a curse. This theme is integrated into the setting as the main concept around which the whole fantasy world seems to have been imagined – a world where belief can be literally manifested in some way, where in the face of mythological traditions humans have destroyed the gods by renouncing them.

It is clear that the worldbuilding is deeper than the history, the sectarian politics, and the metaphysical system seen in the introduction. However, the scale of the worldbuilding has little to do with the IntroComp entry being incomplete and more to do with the genre; even the most thorough high fantasy sagas in prose fiction leave gaps in their maps…