Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Party Crash!

So they do this advent calendar thing on the 2000ad forum every christmas, where forum members put together 'gifts' to the board which are posted throughout the month of December. The gift can be anything from a single picture, to a full comic strip, or even a random act of kindness. I decided to take part this year and recklessly threw my name into the ring when the call for contributors came up. It was only after this that I realised I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do. I'm not much cop with drawing, being more the writey-type, so my first thought was...write a comic script, get someone to draw it. But when I found out my good mate LocustsofDeath (real name) was already doing that, I tried to think of something else. Somehow, I hit on the idea of doing a 'choose your own adventure' story. This took various formats at the initial planning stage, until I eventually settled on the idea of having a 2000ad christmas party, which the reader gatecrashes, mingling with various 2000ad characters and getting mixed up in all kinds of shenanigans. When I started writing it, I thought it was going to be a breeze. But as I got into it, and 1 option led to 2 options, and 2 options led to 4 options, and 4 options led to EIGHT options...I soon realised I had created a monster. I won't lie - keeping track of this was a monumental task, especially when I ended up with 4 individual story threads that started to criss-cross amongst each other! It was tough. But with various spreadsheets and roadmaps I was able to keep a handle on it. Just.

I realised early on that one thing I was definately going to need was pictures to accompany the text, just like the old books used to have, so I sent out a couple of mass emails to various guys from the forum who I had been interacting with throughout the year. Everybody was extremely supportive of the venture and with one or two exceptions where people were genuinely swamped with work, everybody agreed to help out. I ended up with 29 completely original illustrations to incorporate into the text, and completely awesome illustrations to boot.

The whole project took 6-7 weeks to complete -- my laptop packing it in mid-way through the work didn't help and meant I had to play Frankenstein and bring to life an old desktop PC I'd stashed in the attic a couple of years ago, in order to finish the writing. But somehow, I managed to meet the deadline and get it ready just in time for my allocated slot on the advent calendar. Phew!

So, having said all that, and without further ado, here's the link to the game. Hope you enjoy!

(cover mock-up by Malcolm Kirk - using artwork by Chris Weston)


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