Over 4-5 April I attended the Interactive Pasts conference in Leiden, the Netherlands. It was organised by Archaeology PhD students, and they also created a gamified kickstarter project to get the funding required for an open access book publication of the proceedings. If you missed the conference (which was also on twitch), the presentations are on YouTube.
Figure 1: #TIPC Interactive Pasts Conference Summary-Erik and Lennie photo by Tara Copplestone
Four of us (myself, Lennart Linde, Catherine Flick, B. Tyr Fothergill) used Twine (Mac version 1.42, PC is version 2.0), to develop the beginnings of an Interactive Fiction (IF) game, called A Career In Ruins, which is an archaeology conference simulator, where the student or junior researcher has to attempt to maximise their reputation while maintaining other important functions (such as phone battery and regular toilet breaks) without missing important sessions.
FIGURE 2: IF PROTOTYPE DEVELOPED WITH TWINE 1.4.2-A CAREER IN RUINS
Like many in the digital humanities, I was a fan of Steve Jackson Adventure Books in the 1980s (yes I was young then) and I had developed my own interactive fiction/D n D game on a 1628 byte CASIO FX-702P Programmable Calculator (around 1982?) I was very keen on expanding my knowledge of what these interactive writing tools can do.
Firstly there is a wide range of these tools: Google Docs.
About 10-15 years ago a program called RealViz allowed you to create 3D layers to panoramas, allowing movies and 3D objects to co-exist (would love to refind the Embarcadero example). Some exciting work and examples was done (via Shockwave 3D) with the imagemodeler but RealViz was bought out by Adobe and no longer exists. I don’t know of a comparable software application today.
It would be even more interesting to create these interactive-fiction panoramas for the new head mounted displays like the HTC Vive.
FIGURE 3: HTC VIVE, DEMO, LETS MAKE GAMES, PERTH
The possibilities for creative writing and also for archaeological story-making and cultural tourism really interests me and with European partners I hope we can propose a summer workshop. Possibly we would propose two workshops, one for creative writers and cultural tourism (using people’s own holiday snaps and other media, or drawing from digital archives of local heritage) and a second for archaeologists to create interactive fiction/fact/riddles/hypotheses. The first might combine lectures on Nordic Noir and its influence on cultural tourism. If the workshops actually take place, I think they would probably be in Denmark or Greece, or both. Best to start working on the proposal, then!