It is 2022, a bit late I know, but with 2022 comes the second year of my course, MA in Professional Creative Writing. What a year last year was, I am so glad I chose to do the course part-time studying three modules last year, three this year. A significant reason for choosing this course was the relevant content the course has in its modules. Though the course isn’t available anymore for new students, they have tried to adapt the course for the remaining students to keep it current.
For the first module of the year, we have been studying Emerging Writing Specialisms. Being one of two students the module was quite personalised and we could choose the areas in which to focus out of a few that were offered to us. Echo writing, Video Game Narrative and Graphic novels were the ones we experimented with. A lot of the topics within eco writing were a bit boring to me but one that caught my eye was dystopian writing. However, for the purposes of the upcoming assignment, I did not have a dystopian themed piece of writing. I always try to find a piece of prose that I already have, adapting it to meet the themes.
Though I found parts of the graphic novel interesting and though I’ve wanted to create one of my own, I felt that my cerebral palsy would hinder me from creating a good one. We were expected to do the illustration as well as the writing. The pain in my hands would stop me creating one to the level a masters degree accepts. It is something I would like to do if I had an illustrator complete the panels for me.
Video game narratives are an area in the industry that I always knew was there and knew it was becoming more current. However, I never thought of doing it myself until now. I have always played video games with my brother or on my own on game consoles or on computers and when I heard this topic, I immediately started imagining the type of video game script and graphics I would create. I decided that I was going to do a video game interpretation of my fantasy fiction novel Realms of Magic which has an emphasis on world-building. For the purposes of Emerging Writing Specialism’s coursework, I had to isolate a part, or parts of the novel, that would work well in video game form.
For the assignment, we only had to create a script and did not have to include graphics. Using Twine, and my deduction of the important elements of my novel, I decided to base the interactive story elements on my protagonist and antagonist. Both of these characters have different goals and morals which allowed for more scope to be included in the game. I was able to branch out further and develop different choices for the gamer to choose and it actually allowed me to create further ideas for how the novel itself, particularly the novella based on the antagonist, would develop.
I was expected to develop my video game script with such detail and significance that I soon realised I wouldn’t be able to do both characters to the same degree. I had to make some tough decisions considering which character would work better for their story at present and which character would be embellished more in the future when it came to developing graphics and mini-challenges for the gamer to complete. I decided to use my antagonist Horos for the script, developing my protagonist Nancy, and her character and story, along with the graphics.
Creating this video game was fun as I got to map out everything with all of the potential avenues the gamer could go down. However, I felt it somewhat surprisingly restricting as I witnessed other people playing my game. I, as the creator, had to allow the players to choose their own options and go down avenues, making their own stories. I couldn’t control which way they were going. There were parts of the story that I felt were significant, because of their own decisions, they completely missed out. Compared to prose writing where you supply the reader with information and they read along with you filling in small details for themselves, I had to construct the video game script very carefully to make sure whichever avenue the gamer chose to go down, the story would still make sense.
I really have enjoyed this module and surprised myself with the different forms of writing that I have been able to do. Gamers that I have had to test out my interactive script have all enjoyed it and found the twists and turns very exciting. I really do want to develop this game further at some point in the future and am excited to go back to my novel itself and embellish it using some of these different choices I used on the antagonist’s behalf.