jigsaw puzzle narratives
Amy Jo Kim notes a recent talk by 4orty2wo Entertainment, the people who made I Love Bees, where they describe techniques they used to create the game. The one that’s most immediately relevant to my work (more on narrative than game) is the second:
2. Web-native story structure — the story consists of deconstructive narratives aimed at placing the audience in the role of an archaeologist piecing together clues. The narrative is broken into fragments, and by re-assembling the fragments the players solve the puzzle.
I think I need to re-read my first real publication, a reading of Michael Joyce’s hypertext fiction afternoon, a story. I called the paper Piecing together and tearing apart: finding the story in afternoon and it’s precisely about how the story’s set up with clues — or markers, as I called them — to help the reader piece together the puzzle. Puzzle, in this paper, is used more in the sense of a jigsaw puzzle than of a riddle. The quote above seems to combine both meanings of puzzle, which is interesting.
The paper I’ve been meaning to write for nearly half a year now is sort of about this. I want to do something similar to what I did with afternoon to a distributed narrative. Or to several, really. I just never seem to have the time to sit down and just do it. Sigh.