It’s a Twine game, and it takes maybe 5-10 minutes to play. Which you can do now, it’s at that link above! Or here! (Better with your sound on, but it works fine without.)
It’s pretty simple, as a play experience. Your character travels between a few different places in Skegness, and visits a few different historical eras. There are some low-key adventures. There are a few jokes. There’s a robot, there’s mild peril, there’s a chance to change the future. If you’re lucky and careful, you’ll return to 2086 and see what changes your journey into the past made.
But we thought it might be interesting to write a little bit about the process of making a time travel game in Twine.
So, late last year we ran a series of drawing games, called Drawing Games because we’re really bad at names, at No Quarter. And one of them in particular – named Art Deck, for reasons as listed above – we really liked. Over the last six months we’ve been working on it, on and off, testing it out and developing it as part of the London Creative Network artist development programme.
The way the game works is: you lay out cards, one at a time, to form a sentence. There are three sentence parts. The first is usually a clear instruction: “draw a rectangle”, “draw some eyes”, “smash something against the paper”. The second is usually a compositional constraint or an adverb of some sort: “near the edge of the page”, “in red”, “petulantly”. The final card usually makes things difficult, or funny, or both: “behind your back”, “while carrying a burden”, “with your wrong hand”.