June 1, 2014

Authoring Generative Poetry via Game Worlds

** A Game about the Authorship of a Story about a Character in a Game. **

Goal: To explore methods of autoarchiving possible imaginative experiences of platformer-style video gameplay through the generation of textual narrative from within a game environment.

To keep this initial experiment manageable, a game world was created which exhibits a great degree of visual abstraction and traditional play mechanics. This way, the attention could be focused on text generation, and not gameworld aesthetics.

To build the game world in an expedient manner, I followed the tutorial available at http://www.programarcadegames.com/, which was simple enough to butcher once operational.

This work is partially inspired by the chapbook World 1-1 by Philip Miletic and Craig Dodman, in which both authors document actions within various playthroughs of the first level of the NES' Super Mario Bros. I feel that World 1-1 works superbly as an archive and as a written account of classic console gameplay, which this game strives to do.

Remainderly, inspiration comes from decades of wanting to develop a manner of logging actions, dialogue, &c. from old Sierra On-line PC games, so that I could read the story of my playthrough after completing the quest. Seems like a reasonable request.

Download (link at bottom of page), extract, and launch game.exe to start the game.

The game may be completed 3 different ways:
- Press 'q' to Quit.
- Fire all 6 bullets.
- Let 10-second timer expire.

The controls are as follows:
- 'a'     left
- 'd'     right
- 'w'     jump
- 'space' fire
- 'q'     quit

When the game environment opens, you have ten seconds to run around the house and fire your weapon. As you run around platform-style, each of your moves is logged and used to generate a short narrative about the game, the house, and the player (including an additional, unseen character). The more moves you make, the more passages will be generated in your logfile. When the game is over, a text file: gamelog.txt, is saved to the game's file location. Open this text file to read the generated work.


You may download game here: game.zip. Once downloaded, extract the .zip and run game.exe.

At this point, this game.exe has been tested only on Windows 8.1 64-bit. Please let me know if this works/works not in your Windows OS.


February 14, 2014

Rogue: Menagerie

ROGUE: MENAGERIE is a conceptual text which aims to explore and experiment with translation, rhetoric, and archivism by a turn-by-turn documentation of play through an unsuccessful game of Rogue.

It available for download here: ROGUE: MENAGERIE

It is also available for purchase in print here: BOOK



January 12, 2014

Ce n'est pas un virus.

Ce n'est pas un virus.

For Windows only.

Download at your own risk*.



* It's perfectly safe. Use Task Manager to kill the task, or reboot. You'll be fine.

December 19, 2013

A Tabletop Dungeon Escape Game

Hello World.
I made a new game.
It's a tabletop dungeon escape game played atop QR code maps (all scan-able, yay!).
It is called Queen Regent's Dungeon Escape.
I made this for my kids for Christmas, but unfortunately didn't finish in time to receive a print of this, so I will need to print this on my printer for them.
But the book is now available here: Queen Regent's Dungeon Escape
I figured, since you can't get it by Christmas either, I will give you all a download of this book here: QRDE.pdf
You can print it from your printer.
This download will be available through December 25th, 2013.

Download and play with your kids!
Merry Christmas!

November 5, 2013

345 - Fun w/ Numbers

I realized I hadn't updated this blog in a while (sorry, been busy with things I'm sure I'll update you about in the near future). So, I calculated you all a poem.

There are two ways to read 345: one way is to read it as a series of numbers, the other is to read it as a series of letters. 180-degrees, ya dig?

Here is the poem as a zip file of 13 images: 345_srt.zip

Um, Enjoy!


July 30, 2013


TERMINAL BOOT is an experiment in translating methods and delivery of digital literature to a purely pen-&-ink medium. The load time of electronic work is here represented with printed words, producing a text which reflects not only the visual characteristics of a boot screen, but also the time taken to load a larger piece of software by an honest read-through.

Additionally, this book is an experiment in pacing, tension and resolution, through erratic progress indication.

The conclusion is intentionally open-ended, so that this book may serve as a thought-provoking standalone artifact, or as a prologue to any existing work of printed text.

It may be found here: TERMINAL BOOT



June 27, 2013

Adalay Drifts Away - Bilingual Children's Lit in English/BASIC

I'm not going to lie: I love the time of year for Cheerios books.

If you're not familiar, every year for a couple of months, Cheerios releases their Spoonfuls of Stories books, bilingual children's books (English and Spanish) that are included inside specially-marked boxes of Cheerios cereal. My kids love these books. I love these books. They are pocket sized, beautifully illustrated, and the along-side Spanish translation helps to reinforce the lessons which Dora the Explorer and her abrasive backpack have taught my 2-year-old about alternative languages (something this pocket of America so unfortunately lacks).

I've always wanted to write a Cheerios book. Now that I'm a grown up, I suppose I can.

But let's rewind to a time when I wasn't a grown up. I didn't have Cheerios books. The only marginally bilingual books that I owned looked like this:

This and many such books may still be found online at bombjack.org.

They were usually a series of short stories, or complete novellas, which, within the standard story prose, would contain snippets, or entire standalone sections, of code which could be entered into a BASIC interpreter. These pieces of code would enhance the story in one way or another, from displaying text on the screen to allowing entire games to be played to further the narrative. And while they didn't teach me Spanish, they taught me BASIC to at least a base level of competency.

Now I know there are many that will argue that BASIC is not a "language," and would not help to satisfy a language requirement toward degree completion, but honey nuts to that. By reading these books as a child, and inputting the printed code into the Commodore 64 BASIC interpreter, I was learning to communicate with a machine. There was no slang, no ambiguity, and my goodness, if I didn't get the syntax exactly right in every sentence which I "spoke," the machine would tell me, hand-slappedly, that I was doing it wrong (very much like my high school German teacher: "The Frau").

I've always wanted to write a BASIC-enhanced book. Now that I'm a grown up, I went ahead and did so. And to kill two birds &c., I've gone ahead and created a bilingual, Cheerios-style children's book, in English and Commodore 64 BASIC.

Adalay Drifts Away is a book that I wrote for my daughter to give her the same experience that I had growing up with a C64. Now that these machines are hard to come by, I've loaded an emulator on our home machine (Frodo for Mac OS). She's a little too young to input the code at this time, but with her daddy's assistance, she is able to experience a higher level of traditional storybook storytelling.

In a manner similar to that of Cheerios books, the English prose is set side-by-side with a BASIC translation of each scene. Rather than be a simple translation (like an English-Spanish one would be), the BASIC translation takes what is written in English and presents on-screen animation, audio, and other user-driven processes which directly reflect the words on the page.

I will admit, one of my favorite aspects of this is seeing the code written on the page. This, to me, proves the legitimacy of BASIC as a written language. If one is fluent enough, the need to input this into a machine goes away. The code becomes a set of signifiers which the brain can process and translate into mental images, audio, and other user-driven ideas, just as well as a machine can.

For a gift to my daughter, I've had this book printed, and if you are interested in receiving a hardcover copy, go here: Adalay Drifts Away. If you just want to check it out and get a better sense of what I'm talking about, I have made a lower-quality .pdf version which you may get here: Adalady .pdf.