Play my March Game, Prism, rorriM, Lz. Yes, it’s supposed to look that way!
The One Game a Month prompt for this month was “Rogue.” That leaves me with the idea of randomness, due to the generation of content in most rogue-likes. I had some thoughts about that, but the game I was working on wasn’t going to be done in time, so I had some second thoughts. My second thought was, what if you played a twine game, but didn’t know what the choices were? Or maybe the text itself?
That led to the idea of blocking out the text, and covering it with a gradient — a randomly generated one, but one which preserved the sense of it as a set of sentences. I wanted the covering gradients to feel like words, with the variation in length English words have. I wanted it to feel like sentences, so I wanted to keep the punctuation. And since I wanted it to have a real textual feel, I needed to pull it from something that was written, something fictional so there would be conversation and differing length paragraphs.
I played with Google search a bit, but couldn’t figure out a good way to target the kind of text I wanted. I thought about using my abandoned novel, but I wasn’t happy with that. I realized my idea was kind of “glitchy” and that made me think of Alex (@aandnota) . That led me quickly to think of Travis(@theautumnalcity). His tweeter handle refers to Samuel R. Delaney’s Dhalgren, which I referenced in my January Twine Game.
I found a copy of the text online, and proceeded to strip out the first chapter, getting the text into ASCII only, and only using hte first part, which is called, “Prism, Mirror, Lens”. That led me to the action of the three buttons below, one of which can widen the variation of the colors (prism), one which reverses them (“mirror”), and one which focuses them (‘lens”). These are randomly placed, so the “gameplay” is just a slot machine. Still, I can get to the end after just a few clicks, and there’s a cheat method that I think is fairly obvious.