Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Guest Post: Dave Seaman on "Turning Short Stories Into A Computer Game, And Back Again"

Please welcome Dave Seaman to the blog today. I have known Dave for a few years now stretching back to when we both were writing various things at the late Epinions.Com. He has two books out now and this is one of them. 

Turning Short Stories Into A Computer Game, And Back Again

Let me tell you a story.  Back in the late 90s I was a teenager with a dream of becoming a published author.  Well to be honest I never really got very far with that, at least until self-publishing became ridiculously easy, but I did at least achieve a little success in the Indie Press, or the “Small Press” as we tended to call it then.  Slightly before the millennium I got a story published in a tiny magazine (photocopied and with a distribution of about 150 for the first issue I think) called “Visions”.  It was the first of quite a few short stories and poems I have published in the Small Press over the next few years – never coming anywhere close to hitting the big time unfortunately – but the very first story I ever had published was Captain Disaster Episode One – The Planet Eater of Acturus.  A further 5 episodes would be published in Visions before the magazine closed down.

In years to come I would try to create a point and click adventure game featuring the puzzle, I seem to remember getting a decent-ish prototype working in around 2003, but it all fizzled out.  I eventually got up to 11 episodes and tried self-publishing them to the total lack of interest of the rest of the world.  More recently I tried again to create a computer game featuring the character, and this time instead of going it alone assembled a small team   In 2012 we released a demo, which won the Best Demo Award at the AGS (Adventure Game Studio) awards that year, and after a few enforced team changes and a lot of difficulties to plough through, we are almost ready to release Captain Disaster in Death Has a Million Stomping Boots in 2017.  Originally I had planned to make small games based on the 11 existing episodes, but it quickly became apparent that this was not a plausible concept, so a new storyline had to be created from scratch.

Betwixt times I also designed another, shorter Captain Disaster game (The Dark Side of the Moon), which I made with the help of a different coder.  The graphics are pretty awful because I made them myself, but overall it’s a good little game and I’m proud of it, it’s really the first “proper” point and click adventure game the I designed all the way from concept to completion.  More recently I released a fully voiced version (I did all the voices myself, which was a lot of fun) – both the original and voiced versions can be downloaded at http://gamejolt.com/games/captain-disaster-in-the-dark-side-of-the-moon/16772

“But wait!” you might think, “what has this all got to do with writing?”  Well I’m just in the process of finishing the eBook of the game – it’s not really a “novelisation” as it’s far too short for that, but it’s a fun story in its own right and also (more or less) serves as a walkthrough / hint book for the game itself.   I’m 99% decided to release it as a free ebook to try to get more people introduced to the Captain Disaster universe.  So basically, as Obi-Wan might say... the circle is complete.  I have gone from writing stories about Captain Disaster to making games about him, to writing a story about a game I already made.  Groovy, huh?

Captain Disaster Collection: Amazon Kindle Edition is available for $2.99 (or $1.23 if you happen to catch it between 11th and 15th December 2016)! https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3W1MNY

Dave Seaman ©2016

Dave Seaman has been spending the last few years mainly focusing on game design and play-testing  with a fair amount of sound effect editing and voice acting thrown in,  but more recently has been drawn back towards fiction writing and is currently working on his first novel.  His writing blog can be found at http://backtofictionwriting.blogspot.co.uk/


Jacqueline Seewald said...


Congrats on continuing to think creatively! Best wishes for your continued success.

CaptainD said...

Thanks Jacqueline!

Do I know you from the Epinions days? I'm afraid my memory is terrible (but Eps user names are still largely ingrained in my head! :-D)