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Ian Farnham

Final Essay


Artist Statement

I’m not that experienced with hypertext but working on this helped me get a lot better at it than I was previously.  I read a lot of tutorials in order for me to create the time system that I would need. I wanted to explore the idea of interactive fiction and hypertext fiction. I wanted to create a story with one ending but I wanted the player to get to that ending in their own way. This work was mostly inspired by Device 6 by Simon Flesser. I really like in Device 6 how you didn’t know what was going on and how you had to try to figure out what was going on by exploring. I incorporated that idea by having the player explore the area and to find clues on how to escape just like in Device 6. Device 6 used clips of audio as hints, I used notes that were scattered around the house. I also took a few ideas from With Those We Love Alive by Porpentine. I liked how she had a time system that caused the game to advance as days would go by. I wanted to incorporate a similar idea with time advancement. I decided to make a time system that would allow time to slowly advance based on the players actions. The more time would advance the harder it would be for the player. For example, every room in the house (except certain rooms you would need special items for) is accessible. But as time would advance, some of those rooms would be no longer accessible and would cause the player’s character to die. I made it so the main rooms the player would need to complete the game are accessible as long as the player has items that they need. Another idea I like in Device 6 I wanted to use was it’s puzzles. Device 6 is filled with difficult puzzles that challenged the reader to solve them. I’ve never made a puzzle, riddle, or any type of problem like that before so I wanted my puzzle to be more exploration based. In order to succeed, the player would has to have a key that is locked in a four digit safe. Each digit is hidden in the house among one of my eight notes. If the player finds the four notes that have the code then the player can access the safe. All eight of the notes tell the history of the cursed house. Some of those notes however have certain requirements to access. Some can only be accessed before a certain time and some can be only accessed after a certain time and with certain objects. To be able to plan an area this big I made a personal map for myself to have a layout. I did this from the video we watched in class about Colossal Cave Adventure. The guy in the video printed out a map to help him navigate through the game so I wanted to do the same just for my own benefit to help me stay organized. The notes that I wrote were slightly inspired by The Babysitter. I wanted them to be spread out for the player to find somewhat out of order. I wanted the player to try to find them all and to try to make sense of what happened just like I did when I read The Babysitter.

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Kinetic and interactive Poetry

Image result for jörg piringer sound poems

The first piece of work that I wanted to explore was Jörg Piringer’s sound poems. I never was big into poetry but the word sound poem had me interested and I was curious and wanted to see what it was. What I thought it would be and what it turned out to be were two completely different things. I thought it was gonna be a bunch of random voices reciting poetry but what it turned was a bunch of random voices saying sounds. This made me question what the definition of poetry. What is a poem? Though it reminded me of when Scott Rettberg discussed how Readers can change sounds created in different ways. That is just what I did as a reader for Jörg Piringer’s poems. I created and changed multiple sounds just by clicking.

The second poem I explored was Cruising by Ingrid Ankerson and Megan Sapnar. This poem also uses sound but also uses images as well. The images can travel either fast or slow depending on how you control it and a woman’s voice is reading the text. I found that helpful to be immersive in the poem as I made the images travel fast so it felt like I was in a car looking out a window. It made a lot more sense to me as well than the sound poems did. It told a story that was easy for me to follow as the sound poems didn’t really seem to have any direction whatsoever.

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Blackbar and device 6


Image result for device 6 chapter 2 Two games that I explored were Blackbar and Device 6. Blackbar told a very unique and interesting story and had difficult puzzles. It was somewhat easy at first to solve but then became increasingly more difficult as some of the words I had to type were backwards or even had to be spelt wrong. The goal in the game was clear, I had to uncensor what the department of communication didn’t want me to know. It made the story very interesting because the more I played, the more I found out that mostly everything that was censored involved words of negativity. I play lots of word games so I was eager to solve what certain words would be. It got easier for me as I continued to play since I saw how Kenty’s writing style was.

Device 6 was very intriguing and mysterious which caused me to love it. I enjoyed it a lot more than Blackbar as I would explore the environment to try to find out what was happening. It took me forever in chapter one since I was a bit unsure with what I had to do but I eventually figured it out. After I passed chapter one I kinda figured out what this story was gonna be like and I had to pay very close attention to the environment that Anna was in. I needed a pen and paper to write down every clue I would find whether it was in text, pictured, or audio. I passed chapters 2 and 3 quickly using this method but couldn’t quite pass chapter 4. This game was great with exploring though as multiple times I would choose the direction to go. I actually got scared playing the game in chapter 2 when I came across a creepy doll and it started screaming at me.

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World Of Awe

I chose to explore the World of Awe, an electronic story that takes place in some sort of weird desert where an unnamed traveler is searching for some sort of unknown treasure. There are three chapters in which the first takes place in 2000, the second in 2002, and the third in 2006. You explore this travelers journey by opening up love letters that he wrote to his loved one but were never sent. Even though he knew she would never read these letters he would write them anyways to keep himself from going insane. Some of them were often amusing as one that I read in the first chapter was talking about how he got captured and escaped but ended the letter in “P.S. still looking for the lost treasure”.


Due to the advance of technology each chapter seems more advanced than previous chapters. The first is just sound and text, the second has some short object animations, and the third has some 3D pictures and designs. I however enjoyed the first chapter the most as I found it more immersive with the audio playing in the background as I would read the letters. The third chapter was the most difficult to me as it seemed like the language was arabic or some other form of Middle Eastern language. This story all around seemed very bizarre and strange but I enjoyed exploring it nonetheless.

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Blog Post 3

Image result for minecraft story mode Over the years, hypertext has been non stop evolving. With Afternoon, a story being one of the earliest forms of written hypertext, now in the modern day it has evolved into something as simple as someone tweeting a hashtag. This has all happen just within a decade. Before that it was just links on websites such as wikipedia, but know you can find forms of hypertext within video games. One game industry that I absolutely love takes the idea of hypertext into their storytelling creating multiple games with many choices that the player gets to make that will affect how the story will be told. They produced games coming from the universes of The Walking Dead, Minecraft, and Borderlands. However very recently I discovered that their Minecraft game that the produced has been put up on Netflix. This surprised me when I saw this so I of course wanted to try this to see how they brought a branching narrative game and put it on Netflix. Turns out you would click links that would cause what the main character would do or say and I was amazed. I was hoping that this was some sort of test and was wanting more hypertext stories to come onto Netflix. Shortly after Netflix introduced Black Mirror’s Bandersnatch. I interacted with it multiple times getting multiple new stories from this work. This is where I think the future of hypertext literacy will evolve to. It’s so interesting and new I believe that within a decade we will find a lot more work similar to this on a lot more platforms and mediums.

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Blog Post 2

Image result for the babysitters club books

When I read The Babysitter I felt I followed along the story pretty well. I could tell whose perspective was whose and what was happening in the story despite the random time changes. But then as I got to the end I got completely lost. I read through the ending again and it seemed like there were multiple realities going on all at once, some good and some really terrible. This made me think that if I read this story on twine or some other form of hypertext, it would be a lot easier to follow. The story seemed very cluttered in this regard. There are multiple narrative paths and through hypertext, with just a click of a word or phrase it could take you on a different path.  Though because The Babysitter wasn’t written in hypertext it allowed the story to be mysterious. As I read it I, I would read each new paragraph and try to figure out whose perspective it was whether it was a main character or even something just playing on the TV.

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Blog Post 1

Taroko Gorge had an really interesting piece of work. When I first opened it, I observed it for a really long time trying to make sense of it. I tried to piece the sentences together to see if it made a story or a statement. While I couldn’t quite piece any of the words or sentences together I did notice a pattern in the work. The sentences all would say very similar things. It when I went through this piece of work I noticed how this one sentence would say “encompassing objective dim-“, “encompassing cool-“, “encompassing sinuous straight dim”, and “stamp the straight objective dim-“. This was only one sentence pattern that I noticed as I noticed as the sentences kept coming, it would cause more words to be in different and similar patterns. I remember learning about Dadaist when I took 101 and out of all the digital artist Dadaist and surrealist stood out to me the most. I find Dada real interesting and when I took a look at this work after I read the chapters it reminded me of it. Gorge, like all other Dadaists, have created something that I would have never before thought existed. Its so interesting to me seeing the types of things bots can create. 

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My name is Ian Farnham and I am a DTC major. My superpower involves Illustrator, premiere, and after effects. My interest is film and cinematography. I have worked on twine before and enjoyed it and would like to learn more about twine and find out how to use more of it.

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