Dicky Mint was a sailor. A sailor with a very, very big nose. His name was Dicky Mint because once upon a time he got his dicky bow stuck in a bowl of very very sticky mint ice cream.  Spyglass Guides has some great information on this game.

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Interview with Christopher Brendel  

by Gelert, Apr. 19th, 2016


And concerning the exciting new remake of his classic

Adventure, Lifestream





 Christopher Brendel is the owner of independent game studio Unimatrix

Productions. He is a veteran game designer with extensive experience in

the field. He has released three critically-acclaimed games to-date;

"Lifestream" (2005), "Shady Brook" (2006), and "The Filmmaker" (2010);

along with a demo of another game, "Stonewall Penitentiary" (2008).


This year, Chris has launched Storycentric Worlds, a brand new game engine

that allows for the creation of next-generation interactive fiction on a variety

of platforms. Through this, he has recently launched a remake of his original

game, Lifestream.


Fans of his Lifestream, and of Adventure games in general, may well

be enthused to hear what Chris has to say regarding his latest,

groundbreaking project. This week, Chris was kind enough to grant me

an interview. I was, of, course, delighted to hear what he had to tell me.


 Adventurers . .

. . Read on !


Gelert:  Hi Chris. Thankyou for granting Adventure Point the opportunity to

learn about your latest project. I guess my first question is, can you tell us a little

about Storycentric Worlds and all it involves and has the potential to deliver?


Chris:  Absolutely! Storycentric Worlds is a brand new game engine that

we have created that is designed to revolutionize interactive fiction. The

engine allows for the creation of next-generation text adventures on a variety

of platforms. The first game we have produced with this engine

-- a remake of our first game, Lifestream -- has just been released.



Gelert:  So, in a way, there are two projects; Storycentric Worlds AND

Lifestream? Is that correct?


Chris:  Yes. That's correct. Lifestream is the first in a series of games that we will

be producing with the Storycentric Worlds game engine. We plan to

release several games per year in the new format, beginning with remakes of

all of our existing titles. Following this, new games will be released on a

periodic basis. In addition, we plan to release the Storycentric Worlds

engine to other developers interested in making their own text adventures.



Gelert:  That sounds intriguing. Can you just clarify something for our readers?

What is the relationship between Unimatrix Productions and

Storycentric Worlds?


Chris:  Yes. Of course. Unimatrix Productions is the company. Storycentric

Worlds is both the game engine and the collective name of all the games

produced with it.



Gelert:  Why the switch from conventional adventure games to

interactive fiction? Do you see this as a 'step down'?


Chris:  Not at all! In fact, this is the kind of perspective, seemingly common

among the gaming community, that I am trying to change. There are a lot

of people out there who view interactive fiction as 'beneath' other genres of

gaming, simply because they are text-based. This is, of course, completely

inaccurate. As anyone who has played quality interactive fiction will tell you,

the quality of storytelling in some interactive fiction far surpasses that of of

many AAA titles. Text games are not a step down... They are simply

a different format.


Another common misconception is that interactive fiction is less

professional than other genres because "anyone can write,", whereas it takes

skill to make other types of games. To a certain degree, this is true-- Anyone

'can' write. But these days, anyone can make other types of games too, given

the number of engines that are out there that provide WYSIWYG editors

and pre-existing assets. And, just as it takes a certain level of talent to

make a quality adventure game, role-playing game, or first-person shooterm so

too does it take talent to write quality interactive fiction. In some ways, I

would argue that creating a well-written text adventure is even harder than

other genres, because the focus is on the words themselves. These games require

a talented writer in order to succeed, because there aren't any flashy 3D

graphics or fast-action gameply to distract players from a sub-par story.


As for why I switched from adventure games to interactive fiction, the

answer is simple: I am a writer at heart. Whilst I will always have a special

place in my heart for adventure games, since they are the genre that I grew up

with, I also have a fondness for interactive fiction, because it sparks the

imagination in a way that other games do not. There are some advantages

to making interactive fiction too. First and foremost, they don't take as long

to make. As a storyteller, I want to share as many of my tales as possible and

text games will allow me to do that at an accelerated pace. On top of this,

the Storycentric Worlds game engine will allow me to attract other writers

and storytellers who may not have prior game design experience and help them

to tell their tales, as well. Lastly, the switch isn't as drastic as it may seem.

The mechanics and basic gameplay elements of Lifestream and other

Storycentric Worlds games resemble those of classic adventures, like my

existing games. The only difference is in the way in which they are presented.



Gelert:  What made you decide to remake your existing games?


Chris:  Aah! This was a tough decision. At first, I was going to start with

brand new titles. I already have a half-dozen new stories planned and written

and, so, it wouldn't have been hard to move straight to new content. However,

I decided to first remake my existing games for a few reasons. First, from a

selfish perspective, I wanted to improve my existing stories. I wrote the

original draft of Lifestream back when I was still at High School. Obviously,

my skills have developed a lot since then and I wanted to revisit the story in

order to improve and expand it. Second, it gives me a chance to finally complete

projects that I had previously shelved, such as Stonewall Penetentiary

and The Alpha Report. Beyond this, I thought it might be interesting if

all of the stories were to take place in the same fictitious universe. This led

to the idea of featuring cross-over storylines and characters, which will tie

into future Storycentric Worlds games. In effect, a lot of what is established

in the remakes of Lifestream, Shady Brook and The Filmmaker, will set up

plotlines for future games to come.



Gelert:  What types of gamers will these games appeal to? Will they

attract adventure gamers, despite being text-based?


Chris:  The wonderful thing about Storycentric Worlds is that it will appeal

to a variety of gamers. Those who have never played interactive fiction before

do not need to feel any sense of intimidation, because Lifestream and future

text adventures like it are extremely easy to play. These games will appeal

to fans of traditional text adventures, modern adventure games and even other

genres, such as fans of gamebooks, choose your own adventures, visual novels,

role-playing games and hidden object adventures. The scope is not limited

only to gamers either. Fans of traditional novels, board games and

pen-and-paper games will all find common ground with Storycentric Worlds.



cont'd on page 2

Storycentric Worlds

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A new next-generation text adventure series



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