Sunday, May 5, 2013
In 1998 I was lent a game by my friend Jane. I'd told her that computer games weren't really my thing, but she assured me that this wasn't like any computer game I'd ever seen. There was no shooting... in fact there were hardly any people in it. There were puzzles... such challenging puzzles that she had hardly progressed beyond the beginning of the game. I don't know what I was supposed to be doing at that moment, but I do know that what I did do was start the game and then go out and buy my own copy, and I spent the next three weeks solving it. Riven is a photorealistic exploration and puzzle solving game, and I adored it. However, what I wanted wasn't to play more games by Cyan (although I *did* do that)... what I wanted was to make my own games. Riven used hypercard technology - you could move by point and clicking and then seeing a different aspect of a scene. There were occasional videos incorporated into the game. Strangely, I'd been given a free copy of hypercard when I got an Apple computer at work in the 1980s... and I really couldn't imagine what it was good for. Now I knew. Although I longed to make my own games, I didn't have the expertise required, and indeed, never thought there would come a time when it would be possible.