Monday, November 17, 2008

Everybody Dies: an Interactive Fiction Game

Nerd Confession Time: ever since I was a teen, I've been a huge fan of text-adventure games, or interactive fiction (to use the high-brow term).  Those who were computer geeks like me in the 80's will know what I'm talking about and might even remember games like Zork, Planetfall or the Hitchhiker's guide to the Galaxy (all made by that classic interactive fiction company, Infocom).  

Anyway, I still play those kinds of games today and when my buddy Jim Munroe asked me to draw some illustrations as part of his new text-adventure game, Everybody Dies, I was thrilled.  My schedule at the time was jam packed, but there was no way I was going to miss out on the opportunity to get my name in the credits of something like that!

Originally, I was asked to draw 3 small illustrations, but that quickly morphed into 16 full drawings, which is a pretty sizable amount.  But after I played through a rough beta version of the game, I was totally stoked and wanted to deliver the best job possible.  Jim is a professional writer of some repute, and he crafted a game that was refreshingly original and hilarious.  

After the game was completed, it was entered in the annual Interactive Fiction Competition (a cool nerdy event all on its own) and we were delighted to find out that it won 3rd place.  The credit really goes to Jim, since he had the hard task of writing and programming it, but I was very happy to contribute.

So all this is preamble to me explaining where the illustrations at the top of this post are from, since they are 2 of the 16 drawings I created for the game.  These two feature two of the characters from the game, Graham and Lisa.   You can check below to see the pencil roughs for those illos.

The best part though is that if you want to play Everybody Dies and check it out for yourself, its completely free.  You can play it online at this link (using Javascript), or  download various Mac or Windows versions to play offline.  Give it a try, if you've got the time -- Jim's writing is a real treat.

P.S. for the record, my favourite Interactive Fiction games of all time are Sorcerer, The Lurking Horror and Infidel, all by Infocom.   I even played them again just a couple of years ago.  There -- taste my nerdiness.