Anyone following this blog knows that I am creating StoryTime, an interactive fiction game that allows players to pick and choose their way through the story line. While this concept has its roots in the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style of children’s books, the stories are not limited to young readers. Any subject matter for any demographic is fair game, so to speak.
StoryTime is almost ready for authors, writers, anyone who can put words into meaningful sentences. Create a story world, and explore dozens of what-if scenarios that keep your fans entertained for hours. The subject matter can be youthful or serious, uplifting or dark. You might try a fantasy or an adventure or a fantasy-adventure. The possibilities are limitless.
To get things started, here are a few story concepts that could make for some great StoryTime games.
Sail the open seas in search of treasure and fun. Decide whether to follow an X-marks-the-spot map or go wherever the winds take you. You catch someone stealing food from the stores. Do you make him walk the plank or have mercy on your starving crew? A ship appears on the horizon. Do you out-run it or out-gun it? Want to plunder and seaport? You will face the noose if you are caught. Strike the right balance to avoid personal disaster and live like a king.
You are stuck in a maze and must face a series of obstacles as you wind your way through. Each challenge is a test of character that exposes your true nature. There are many ways through, and each choice tells you something about who you are. This adventure could be loaded with philosophical puzzles that have the player questioning the nature of life and existence.
Life of an Assassin
Follow the tale of a hapless assassin. Explore the mind of a cold-hearted killer for hire. The ethical dilemma, the rationalization, the tortured mental struggle of each hit. Time-travel back when different choices could have made a difference in surprising twists of fate.
Of course, I am leaving out lots of details, leaving plenty of room for creativity. You can see how these kinds of stories are not only for children, some not at all for children. Even The Mission, the short story I wrote for the pilot launch of StoryTime, is written for all audiences. As short and simple as that game is, more than half of the people who have played it so far did not catch on to what was really happening. That’s okay—it’s what makes the game work for lots of people, posing a fun challenge that is accessible to everyone. As with reading novels, people bring their own perspectives and experience, which colors the stories in unique ways for all.
Want to try your hand at crafting your own exploration of destiny? Do you like to write and want a safe, easy way to practice? Sign up for the Insiders Newsletter or follow this blog, and I will let you know when StoryTime is ready for authors.