Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Zombie Story

During a Game Design class, my professor Eric Zimmerman showed us a narrative story book style game that he designed some years ago. What you have is a fixed Cover and Last page and a deck of 52 cards which contain short sentences. You shuffle the 52 cards and draw 5 and put them between the Cover and Last page and that is it. You read it from Cover to the Last page and that is your story. His design was called Life in the Garden which is about Adam, Eve and the snake.
It instantly captured my imagination and awe. I was so impressed by how such a simple and elegant design can conjure up so much meaning and imagination. We later did an exercise where our class was split up into groups and we each came up with a similar design. There were various topics like First Dates, Mos Eisley and our group chose Zombies. What we created was quite dark yet very evocative.

After the class, I was quite intrigued by the design because even though the sentences may not seem to make much sense individually, when they are combined together, for some strange reason a very cohesive story is formed. As Eric put it, it formed an insight into a slice of time in the story and we fill in the rest of the story with our imagination. Since we were still in the midst of finishing up our classes on Phaser, I quickly mocked up a working prototype. Garageband provided a very good and suitably moody piano overture which I used and viola!, I had a good web application going. I decided to engage my classmate to create the art and after permission from my professor, I released it into the wilds :P

You can find it here and refresh the browser to get a new set of 5 sentences to form your new story:

Do share with me if there are particular combinations that struck a chord with you!


  1. Wuuuuu .....eerie ........ I refresh around 10 times ........ it reminded me of Tragedy Looper! lol!

    I awoke to a world where Zombies are real

    I have killed my share of zombies
    I am talking to myself
    Rock Paper Scissors for one is not that fun
    I have never felt so alone
    My last decision led me here

    I am still alive . Somehow ......

    1. lol... we may add some more art at the end of the year :)