View Full Version : Abstract text game?

12-03-2013, 12:51 AM
Hello Absolutewrite. A similar text concerning this topic has been posted on several forums.

Maybe i must give you a small introduction to the world of text adventures or MUDs.
Now, this is a sphere i have been floating around inside for quite some time. The people who are dedicated to text gaming or MUDing are people who appreciate text more than others, and enjoy the freedom of roleplaying without any concrete restrictions such as "there is no script for it" (As in 2d and 3d graphics). Sure there are other reasons why people enjoy text games but, i guess that by mentioning the one above, you might get a feel for what i'm also a part of.

I have indeed posted something similar to what i will be writing about here on other forums, but what it concerned was the mechanics behind my idea. Which seemed to be not so big of a problem.(Thanks to the posts).
With that said, i felt that i had to change forum and present this where other types of people might contribute other vital parts of the development of this game. Which really hasnt started. But at the moment I'll treat it as something that is going underway.

The actual fact of an abstract game is something we have been exposed to a very big degree now a days, thanks to the growing indie market and the appreciation of abstraction in a certain way.
But let's think about what kind of games we are talking about here. Though i praise the indie market for allowing small companies, even one single person sometimes, to get a chance to fund and share their game, but the majority of indie games and games close to a vague definition of abstract, are PUZZLE GAMES. Regarding the experimental writing in games, this is also something we appreciate, and has not yet been stained by the main-stream, commercialised market.

What I will be presenting to you and what i am getting myself in to, is to some degree the art in gaming, which doesnt really need to exist, but its pretty-sounding. And the notion of total abstraction. The ultimate exposure of abstraction for players, so that people open up the actual area in our brains where abstraction must exist. Experimenting in gaming is important. And together with creative writing even more so.

With that said, and with way too little information(I just noticed) I'll explain a bit more concrete on what i want from you and what i will give you.

I am convinced that by abstract story-telling, the satisfaction of the player can not match up to that of a plain, mainstreamed game but even a regular indie game. It means that even if we appreciate and enjoy some casual games such as, oh i dont know, A tower defence game with a twist. Where we praise the gameplay for being so rewarding, we must also acknowledge the stupidity of the enjoyment. Self-consciousness.

But why a text game? I mentioned very briefly earlier that players who are involved in text gaming appreciate the fact that there is no restriction on what CAN be done, except for the scripting of "Commands" obviously but, basically there can be a scenario where a player might type:
"Emote drops an iphone" Which reads out to other players "Otviss drops an iphone". Even if this emote is prohibited in a roleplaying enforced fantasy game, it can still be done, and there´s no way stopping it. That is the freedom of MUDing.

Nevermind, so yes, why a text game? Well, with that freedom it is possible to write(Which will be the main source of actual content)absurd,surrealistic and abstract environments. Which is crucial for this type of story-telling. That is why this game must be a text game and why i am posting this for you writers to read. I'm not sure how far i will take this, but the main goal is to establish a group of people for discussion, and through that discussion, a game will naturally develop, heck, a world will develop. Thanks to the creativity of several people, duh.

So i have a few questions here which are important (Programmers, Designers, Coders, Gamers. Whatever you might be, if you want to contribute with an answer to these questions, please do):

If this type of game is possible, Is there an audience for it?
If not, what can I do to achieve that at least?
Will i get help?

So, I'm sure some of you still dont really understand the concept here, thats alright, because it must rest in this uncertainty for a while in order for it to become greatness, I believe.

What i have mentioned could be interpreted as the creation of a single-player game. Or perhaps even a "Novel" of some sort. And it could as well be so but my intentions are to create an online game where players explore an abstract world together.(more on this, further on, as in, further on in the making).

I have made a mind-map online for myself where i have asked questions regarding necessary topics such as: Character progression, Setting, Objects and Rooms. etc.
Which i would like to share, but to those who are willing to become involved in this project. Now, additional notes...
This is not something anyone will get paid for. I can not do this full-time. and perhaps this whole thread is about the awareness of abstraction in games. But nonetheless it is something.

If youre interested:
Please, Writers(Preferably), Creative minds, Programmers, WHAT EVER. Get in touch with me, or reply to this with your thoughts, questions i would like to answer via email Here ([email protected]).

Also by answering the question in the poll, i could get a feel for what "Writers" would think about this idea and if this is something, without knowing too much, you'd be interested in.

Again this may all seem very unclear, but to those of you who are willing to help, no worries. If you spare some time for discussion there will be no worries.

12-03-2013, 12:58 AM
Such things exist to some extent in the form of ARGs (in which the game is treated in a more meta / less formal way - no client as such, just fora and chatrooms etc); or things like Failbetter's FALLEN LONDON and BLACK CROWN projects. Failbetter seem to be able to make a living out of it; though that's more akin to interactive fiction than to MUDding.

I've seen people play pen and paper RPGs via RPG fora, and I've seen kids tell incredibly epic RP stories and collaborative fanfic on sites as diverse as Stardoll, Wattpad and the SCP Project. There are a million different ways this sort of thing could go. I couldn't really vote in the poll without having a clearer idea of what you're talking about.

12-03-2013, 01:12 AM
I've seen people play pen and paper RPGs via RPG fora, and I've seen kids tell incredibly epic RP stories and collaborative fanfic on sites as diverse as Stardoll, Wattpad and the SCP Project. There are a million different ways this sort of thing could go. I couldn't really vote in the poll without having a clearer idea of what you're talking about.
Right so, first of all, my idea shouldn't only concern the creation of a game but also the possibility of creating a new type of forum for people to learn abstraction.
I am not very fond of indie games who label themselves as like abstract psychadelic adventures and so on, because what it basically is is just some basic puzzle game with rainbow colors and nonsense. But as we arent talking about 3d games. It's not really a big problem just a matter of principles.

Like i said, not only is the goal to create a tool or a game concerning surreal/abstract adventures but it MUST encourage player development in the sense that players are not only consumers but living beings.

I also want to add that the end product could be something else than a game. it could be a collection of discussions between people which will open new paths.

Surreal adventures? The true meaning of abstraction? Player-player interaction? The importance of creating environments with text?

(Edit: Just realised how complex it all might sound. Well it isnt. The main focus is discussion at this point, remember that. It's important to get to know what the definition of abstract expression in texts and games are to people and how one can learn from one another.)