Robert Kline’s incredible Active Fiction Game is cool because it’s so many layers of retro it makes your head spin. Think about Steampunk meets Zork meets D&D meets SNL writers room ala 1985.
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This exhibit is a fully playable tribute to the interactive fiction computer games that were popular from the late 1970’s to the mid 1980‘s. Also known as text adventures, the games use text only to describe a virtual environment. The players use a series of simple text commands to control the character’s action within the game.
I wanted to create a fully functional adventure game out of found objects and artwork based on the Interactive Fiction games that were popular in the late 1970’s and early to mid 1980’s. The challenge was to make a game with the feel of that era without using a computer. The exhibit must be both fun to look at AND to play.
To do this, I opted to use 3 easles packed with corkboards, frames, canvases and items which hold cards that have the text and graphics of the story printed on them. Each card has a Card Number in the upper left. In the bottom right, the user has avariety of choices that point them to the next cards in the storypath they choose. The card numbers were randomized and reorganized, causing the user to look around on all sides of the exhibit, trying to track down the next part of their adventure.
The next step was to actually write out the story plots. A majority of the situations were created based off of Cleveland, the history of the IngenuityFest and all my favorite memories of those types of games. Dru then created paintings and sketches based off the situations written on the cards.
Visit the full website: www.steamhat.com