Invisible Walls: First Draft

This weekend I took part in a game jam in Derry/Londonderry thanks to Global Gamecraft. It was a 24-hour rollercoaster: one full day and night in which to make a game alongside many other like-minded folks to a specific theme chosen at the start of the jam.

The theme for the Derry Game Craft was: “Reality becomes a prison to those who can’t get out of it.”

For my game, I wanted to work solo and make my first game in Twine (an engine for creating interactive fiction and CYOAs). I had installed Twine on my laptop and read up on a few of the most popular resources, including Porpentine’s extensive resource list and Anna Anthropy’s quick and easy guide.


Here’s my brainstorming ideas and thoughts from the first hour, when I was trying to decide what to make and how to make it, a process that changed around a lot over the 24 hours. 

I decided to write about someone trying to escape reality itself. My aim was to create a kind of interactive poem with the majority of time dedicated to writing something  that could almost stand alone without the game element. However, I ended up spending a LOT of time working on learning javascript to enable an inventory and create conditional actions and (before the Counterstrike players entered the building and destroyed the internet connection), into selecting nice images for my player choice states and learning how to support Vines to expose background information and have some menacing humming noises in the background (none of which is in the below iteration of the game due to internet problems).

Massive props to Vicky, Andrea & Dave for organising such a great event! 

Here's my game: 

Invisible Walls

Over the next few days, I’m going to fix the following issues:

  • Swapping out the colour-text player choices for images representing similar choices. I couldn’t do this at the jam due to internet.
  • Adding in the humming noise.
  • Adding in Vines for background texture and information.

What did I learn from the experience?

  • How to use Twine.
  • Quite a few little tips and tricks of javascript.
  • How great it is to finish something!
  • You should download assets early, waiting too late might mean no assets at all!
  • I can absolutely stay up for 24 hours with just a small nap on the floor midway. 
  • An alternating diet of coffee/wine/Maoam is pretty great for maintaining energy and enthusiasm.
  • My legs do not appreciate sitting down for 24 hours.
  • …but my eyeliner stayed on the whole time!
  • No sleep and the above diet make me pretty weird…you have been warned.