I decided to keep up. Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO). Simulations. Adventure. Real Time Strategy (RTS). Action. Stealth Shooter. Combat. First Person Shooter (FPS). Sports. Role Playing (RPG). Educational. Well, I tried to keep up. The MMO's are beyond my dexterity (or lack of it). However, I have developed some skill with FPS.
To be completely honest, one of the Adventure games, Minecraft®, really got my attention. I am a frustrated architect and Minecraft allows me to build all types of structures. And, my granddaughters love them. (Secretly, I think they brag about the worlds their grandpa creates.)
Unlike most other Adventure computer games, there is no one correct path in the Curse of St Basil's. Players may choose from any of a myriad of paths, then switch to others when they intersect. There are mazes and puzzles to solve, and booby traps to avoid. (My granddaughters, ages 7, 10, and 12 may have to wait a few years to develop enough proficiency to pass them all.)
I worked on the game for about nine months and then put it aside to focus on the recent elections. After the results were known and the holidays celebrated, I returned to my self-imposed task.
I suppose you may be wondering what this has to do with writing. After all, that is the employment I'm supposed to be pursuing. Well, here's the interesting part of the story. The game is a story. You are presented with a book containing chapter one, which describes your quest and sets you off on your first riddle: Which way is North? South? East? West?
The story tells the player of a city to the South where the quest begins. The player has to decide which way is South or wander lost in the wilderness. (Hint: Watch the path of the sun in the virtual sky.)
Thrice we murdered the Mad Monk. We poisoned him, we shot him, and we drowned him. Each time we buried his body in the catacombs beneath the cathedral with the jewel-bedecked onion domes. [Yes, yes, the version for my granddaughters won't be this macabre.]
Twice he rose from the place of internment and haunted us in the four chapels surrounding the sanctuary.
After the third time, he dug his way out of the catacombs and descended into a vast abyss beneath the cathedral. There he built a black sanctuary and opened a portal to hell.
The demons of hell flowed from his portal and rose through a labyrinth of tunnels and caves to the surface to attack the city. The people fled and the city died.
The people cannot return until the portal is destroyed and the demons path cutoff. Will you destroy it?
We have hidden a great treasure in a cavern of fire and ice. It is yours if you succeed. If not, we will remember your attempt in a great saga.
We have little left in the way of weapons, armor, and food, but all that we have is yours. It is hidden throughout the city and we left clues to help you find it.
Your adventure begins here. The city lies a little West of South from here. The second volume of this narrative can be found hidden in a chest in a bookstore near the Northwest corner of the cathedral.
--- The Curse of St Basil's, Chapter 1
Now, that the Curse of St Basil's is nearing completion and being tested by some expert computer gamers, I can return to writing short stories and novels. On the other hand, I might create another Adventure.