For this year’s recently concluded Game Developers Conference, Think Services’ alt.gaming weblog, GameSetWatch, decided to try a little journalistic/interactive experiment.
They recruited Canadian author and game creator Jim Munroe, whom, as his Wikipedia page explains, is a former editor at Adbusters Magazine and a HarperCollins-published author (‘Flyboy Action Figure Comes With Gasmask’).
In the game field, he founded the Artsy Game Incubator project, and his poignant illustrated text adventure, ‘Everybody Dies’, took third place at IFComp last year and picked up a number of other media honors.
So, the editors of GameSetWatch got Jim — in exchange for a press pass to the event — to write his experiences at GDC and what he finds out, and use that as inspiration to write a text adventure with some kind of Game Developers Conference theme, and that’s just what he did.
Here’s his brief explanation before you get into playing what is, intriguingly, more of a social simulator (very befitting of GDC!) than a traditional IF work:
“I wanted to try something that was more of a “text game” rather than “text adventure game”. Think of it as a round of cards rather than an immersive and colourful narrative. If you don’t like the hand you’re dealt, you can always reshuffle with a restart. If you find you’re playing “guess-the-verb” (IF’s most infamous minigame), restart and read the beginning carefully.”
You can now play ‘GDC: The Game’ in your web browser using Java [UPDATE: If you don’t have Java, try this Parchment link], or, if you’d like to download the Z-Machine file to play it on your computer, here’s ‘GDC: The Game”s zcode file – go check out the IFGuide’s Wiki for info on an interpreter.
In addition, if you’d like to read the process whereby Jim experienced GDC, thought through the game creatively, and then made it, we’ve archived his GameSetWatch.com posts made during the event and afterwards, with lots of insight into what he considered, and how that birthed the game.
[Please note that Jim had carte blanche to write anything he liked into the GDC game, and the work was conducted separately of the main GDC organizers and without marketing input, so it was an experiment rather than an explicit promotion. We hope you like how it turned out!]