Friday, February 15, 2008

Dreamweb, Supportive Literature and the communication power of World of Warcraft

I've managed to pick up a copy of Dreamweb for a meagre 50p. Fantastic. While the game mechanics are clunky the atmosphere is mighty fine (owes a lot to blade runner and might as well be set in the same dystopia in most regards).

I'm only 5 areas into the game but it is set to be pretty fun (EDIT: and quite short). By far the best thing about the game is not the game but the 'reproduced' journal of the main character. Pretty high quality for 1994,all scribed in calligraphy pen and some 50 pages long. It documents Ryan's descent into madness as he comes to awareness of the Dreamweb. Nice.

You can download the game for free (it even works on vista) but the journal really harks back to the old days of gaming where the documents were all part of the experience. There is some discussion as to what use manuals are in the days of in-game tutorial and games like TF2 designed to be learnt as you play, but there is a lot to be said for supportive literature. Some of these colourful manuals used contain security codes, like the Sam and Max Crimestompers Coloring Book or the X-wing Starfighter pilots manual, but they would often try and create an atmosphere you could experience outside of the game, that you could read on the bus, at school/work, away from the computer. The Dreamweb journal covers no instructions and holds only mild clues to solving the main game but the story becomes a lot more viceral knowing what Ryan's been suffering before hand. Here's to more supportive literature I say.

Other news. I'm back in WoW. This was unforeseen but most welcome due to the ability to communicate over 6000 miles to talk and play with loved ones! Is there nothing this game can't do.

Will have a WoW addiction post up soon.

Safe Journey

Solar out

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