November 18, 2014

Terrain Poetry Generator

Wow, I had created this blog post back in April, and for whatever reason, never published it. Anyway, here it is:

I've created a poetry generator to assist me with experiments in EMP-LIT. The resultant poems are a form of ASCII Terrain poem, in that the poems themselves resemble large (> 400 pages) world maps.

The generator was written in .python. I am still tweaking/updating, but you may have this version to play with:

Further description from the code comments:

# ASCII Terrain Poetry Generator
# Sonny Rae Tempest
# 4/26/14
# Best viewed with monospaced fonts.
# Super-best viewed with monospaced typewriter fonts.
# This program will create a file named terrainpoem.txt in this directory.
# That file will be the poem.
# With default settings, will create a randomly generated poem > 400 pages
# at Courier New 12 pt font with ASCII characters chosen based upon their
# appearance related to terrain.
# Read from top to bottom, north to south, the poem which is generated
# will resemble a map of an enormous world, with changes in terrain determined
# randomly.
# There are near-infinite possibilities. You may need to run this program
# several times to experience all possible terrain.
# Be on the lookout for wildlife & small settlements.
# After all, this poem is their story.

Additionally, I'd published an iteration in book form on lulu, which I also forgot about. From the book description:
A Terrain Poem is a single iteration of my terrain poetry generator. I have included the python code for this generator in this book. This is an experiment in poetics and randomly-generated ASCII-style maps. The goal was to create a large-scale atlas from which a story would emerge. I chose this iteration because I really enjoyed the ending. srt #emp-lit
You may find it here: A Terrain Poem , or you may download a .pdf here: A Terrain Poem.pdf


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, 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: 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.