You're sitting in a room in a [[check Facebook]] suburban house in Findlay, Ohio. [[fidget->FIDGET]]NO You promised yourself you wouldn't until you got some work done. [[fidget->FIDGET]]It's your friend's grandparents' place. <img src="stephensGrandparents.jpg"></img> You came here from Brooklyn for a few months to save money and avoid distractions while you finish The Splits. [[stretch->STRETCH]]<img src="imgRoomView.jpg"></img> You pull your elbows and shoulders back and arch your back. Your head itches, your side itches. Your leg itches under the knee...a little higher....that's it. Mmmm better ..... Ugh, now your EYEBROW itches? I need to start using lotion. [[scratch->EYEBROW]]It's not that you're sick of working on it, you're not! If anything you have too many ideas for it, pulling you in different and incoherent directions. Also the codebase is a tragicomedy..... UGH whining about it even to yourself makes you feel like such an entitled baby. What right do you have to complain after the Kickstarter? The people who backed you don't wanna hear you cry and moan about how hard it is for you to do what you said you would do using their money. They expect you to be stoic and cheerful and productive and efficient at all times. Or in any case, more so than you are. And don't you owe them that? The Sarah Connor voice in your head is like "SUCK IT UP, SOLDIER!" and you will. You will! You totally will. You.... ...You are gonna release the game and ship the rewards in June 2015 like you fucking said you would, you lazy piece of shit, and that is not. fucking. negotiable.Ooof, that hurts good. You're a little surprised how tense your muscles are. [[daydream about a wonderful massage->MASSAGE DAYDREAM]] [[adjust your office chair->OFFICE CHAIR]]The fine beach sand warms your belly. Motes of sunlight reflected from the water sway on your closed eyelids. Firm gentle hands softly knead and caress your knotted shoulders and upper back as fragrant oils soothe your nose and your skin, and beautiful humans carry peeled grapes and pitted cherries to your mouth on long slender fingers. [[adjust your office chair and feel guilty for indulging in such an inappropriate fantasy->OFFICE CHAIR]]It's not really an office chair, it's just a beige padded metal folding chair that you ganked from the living room because it fits in your alcove "office". [[eat a delicious gummy bear->GUMMY BEAR]]<img src="img/imgSelfie1.jpg"></img> Haha whoops. Looks like you forgot to resize the image again before putting it in the Twine. Why the heck is it upside down though? You scratch your head and lol. [[fix it->SELFIE 2]] When you worked for PETA and had to be 100% vegan and couldn't eat gelatin because it's made from horse hooves, the food you missed the most was [[gummy bears->MEAT]].Putting these course proposals together is slow and uncomfortable ("like all worthwhile work" echoes in your head), partly because you don't know what you're doing, and partly because you don't know what you're talking about. If it weren't for the riches that await university adjuncts, you don't know that you'd bother. Gallows humor aside, you miss teaching. You are good at it and, honestly?, it's probably your best prospect of earning a reasonablish steadyish living while doing something you enjoy. It's not like your games are likely to do that, uh, ever. I mean sure, you could fluke into a hit, it's not impossible, and the gambler in you kinda loves it, but come on you are almost <b>THIRTY FIVE</b> in less than a year you'll have to start picking the next radio button on the age group question and you don't ~really~ have a capital-C Career yet. Not to mention you have <b>ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND</b> dollars in grad school loans. You have been a daisy on the wind for long enough, you have to be more practical! but NO ugh that's gross you don't want to think like that, that way lies TV every night and high cholesterol and being a registered Democrat and putting tutorials in your games.....aaggghh damnit. damnit. you do NOT have time for this again right now. You take a deep breath and neigh and shake your head to and fro and snap out of it lol yooohooooo you looney. You... <a href="" target="_blank">Control Scheme Intensive</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Free Games</a> (You wonder again if you should change the name of this one to something like Art Games don't like that term, and you like the multivalence of your title, but you also very much want to avoid contributing to the undervaluing of personal/avant-garde/experimental games -- even if it's just by leaving room for a misunderstanding. You could use some more feedback about this...) <a href="" target="_blank">Lone Wolf Studio</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Playing It Wrong</a> <a href="" target="_blank">Poker Seminar & Practicum</a> ...realize that you honestly can't even handle any more of this today. You close the course proposal folder and get up.Trigger Warning: contains 2nd person text bits of mild-to-moderate psychological self-abuse, internet addiction, neighing --- ....Only mild-to-moderate? Hmm. Fine, [[go on->START]] ....Thanks but no thanks, not my bag. I'm just gonna play some <a href="">Fignermuckre</a> instead. ....Wow I am so bored that <a href="" target="_blank">vandalizing your CV</a> sounds fun.<img src="img/imgSelfie2.jpg"><img> Better! Not good, mind you. What is going on with your hair?! You do not look like yourself today. [[do another one->SELFIE 3]]<img src="img/imgSelfie3.jpg"</img> There's a huge spider on your hand but don't freak out. [[this whole close-up thing isn't working->SELFIE 5]]<img src="img/imgSelfie4.jpg"</img> Now you just look like you're napping. click!->SELFIE 5<img src="img/imgSelfie5.jpg"></img> Look at you, you are so wacky! [[click->SELFIE 6]]<img src="img/imgSelfie6.jpg"></img> You big meanie! [[click->SELFIE 8]]No! No Fucking FACEBOOK! !!. Take a swig of coffee and [[buckle down->TEN MINUTES LATER]]<img src="img/imgSelfiePaint.jpg"></img> [[fuckfuckFUCKkkkk->FUCK]]<img src="img/imgDeskStand.jpg"></img> The desk fits snugly into the alcove, leaving no room to squeeze through on either side. [[move the desk->CANT MOVE DESK]] [[crawl under desk->UNDER DESK]]<img src="img/imgDeskStand.jpg"></img> The desk does not budge. You wonder how you got it here in the first place. [[climb over desk->CANT CLIMB]] [[crawl under desk->UNDER DESK]]<img src="img/imgDeskUnderLow.jpg"></img> Well whoop dee doo, you are now under the desk. Good job. You crawl forward, being v e r y careful not to bump your head cos you remember that you left your coffee on the laptop after taking that picture. [[crawl into room->CANT CRAWL]]<img src="img/imgDeskStandOverlay.jpg"></img> You begin to try to clamber over the desk, but to your surprise and dismay you realize that you have forgotten how to climb onto things that are above ankle level but below chest level. [[knock over stuff on the desk in frustration->FRUSTRATION]] [[crawl under desk->UNDER DESK]]<img src="img/imgDeskFrustration.jpg"></img> You don't really want to do that. [[crawl under desk->UNDER DESK]]An invisible wall blocks all of your efforts to move forward. [[curse loudly->CURSE LOUDLY]] [[turn around->UNDER DESK FACING WINDOW]]<img src="img/imgDeskUnderToChair.jpg"></img> [[get back in the chair->FUCK]] [[raise blind->RAISED BLIND]]<img src="img/imgRaisedBlindHugeCropped.jpg"></img> [[.->BIT MORE LIGHT]]<img src="img/imgWindowOutside.jpg"></img> Church bells are ringing in the distance, marking the hour. Snow is melting. Beyond, you can hear the traffic going past the Best Buy and the Walmart on Tiffin Ave. You see a...the sun is in your eyes, but you think you see a fox slink behind one of the houses across the street. Lol probably just a squirrel. [[spread your wings and fly away like a majestic eagle->END]]It's not that far down from the 2nd story window, and the snow must have cushioned your fall. You wake up next morning with the sun in your eyes that a...a fox licking your face? Aaaagh! But wait no it seems friendly...whaaa...are you dreaming? You sit up and check your twisted your ankle and you are definitely gonna have a serious bruise on your ass, but it doesn't feel like anything is broken. The fox saunters away and...did it just wink at you over its shoulder? Wink back->ENDYou feel a little better. [[turn around->UNDER DESK FACING WINDOW]]<img src="img/imgSelfie7.jpg"></img> click->SELFIE 8<img src="img/imgSelfie8.jpg"></img> Ugh what are you doing... [[click->SELFIE 9]]<img src="img/imgSelfie9.jpg"></img> You are wasting time... [[click->SELFIE 10]]<img src="img/imgSelfie10.jpg"></img> Should you just go for a walk [[check fb->FACEBOOK 2]]Ok, fuck, you really have to do this. Deadline's in like 3 days and you promised yourself you would apply even though there's no way you're gonna get it, and you have to finish revising your CV if you're gonna apply. Which you are. "Why, cos you're the Slayer?" . . . ... [[get up->CANT STAND]] open your <a href="" target="_blank">CV</a>Your recross your legs, again. You tap your toes on the carpet, you tap your heels on the carpet. You close and open your knees, you have current running through your thighs down your shins down to your ankles. Everything itches. Get up->CANT STAND Open your <a href="" target="_blank">CV</a>The snow cushions your fall. You stand up, brush the snow off your hair and sleeves, wave to your neighbor across the street to signal that you're ok. ...You're ok? [[You're ok!->JOG]]Exploration! Going off the beaten path promises rich rewards. [[yes!->DETOUR 2]]You wonder whether you shouldn't check the detour after all. You might miss a valuable item. [[....ugh, fine->DETOUR 1]] [[....screw you->YEAH]]Yeah, you did [[take selfie->SELFIE]]ScratchscratchSCRATCH Your dad told you to edit this part down or people would think you have crabs. Haha you are pretty sure you don't have crabs! What a silly idea! Ha ha ha! [[rub your shoulders->SHOULDERS]]You focus [[five minutes later->SELFIE DESKTOP BG]]MEAT You crack your knuckles ("Mike Hammer cracked his knuckles like a bad joke..."), sigh, pull yourself up to the card table you're calling your desk, and [[...take a detour->DETOUR 1]] [[...take a selfie->DETOUR TEMPT]]There's a bit more light in here now. [[Open window->OPEN WINDOW]]You feel alive! You feel free! You feel like running and waving your arms in the air! <a href="">Dance jog away!</a>You glide smoothly through a textual corridor. [[glide on, intrepid explorer!->DETOUR 3]]You come to the end of the corridor. [[search->CHEST 1]]You see a big chest right in front of you. [[never mind, go back->SPURN CHEST]] [[open chest->CHEST 2]]It is locked. [[pick lock->CHEST 3]]Seriously? [[yeah->OK]]With what? [[your lockpick->CHEST 4]]You must equip it first. [[equip lockpick->CHEST 5]]You are holding a lockpick. [[pick lock->CHEST 6]]Which lock? [[the one on the goddamn chest!->CHEST 7]]Ok. [[picking...->CHEST 8]][[picking...->CHEST 9]][[picking...->CHEST 10]]Your lockpick broke. [[@#%@#T#*->CHEST 11]]Your lockpicking skill has increased by 1. You are out of lockpicks. [[bash head against chest->CHEST 12]]Your head is bleeding. The chest is locked. [[give up->CHEST 13]]As you turn around and begin trudging back down the corridor, you hear a click behind you. You turn around looking for the source of the sound. Your blood has seeped down through fine channels embedded in the stone surface of the chest and into the secret ritual blood lock. The click was the sound of the chest top springing open. [[you've got to be kidding me->CHEST 14]]You look in the chest. It contains a potion and a book. [[read book->CODEX]] [[take potion->POTION]][[tl;dr->CHEST 14]] Around Findlay Part VII: Notable Programs at the University of Findlay by Encyclopedemnestra Wikipedius The animal science/pre-veterinary medicine program[5] is highly respected for its hands-on approach beginning with the freshman year. Its graduates who apply to veterinary school are accepted at a rate at more than twice the national average. Students benefit from a new 31,000-square-foot facility that combines a working barn with an academic wing. The English equestrian program[6] utilizes a 72-acre farm, named the James L. Child Jr. Equestrian Complex after the late University trustee, houses the English equestrian studies program. Established in 1992, the program has won an Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national title, several reserve championships and numerous individual honors. It also includes University Equine Veterinary Services Inc. and an adjacent, 30-acre nature preserve. Founded in 1976, the western equestrian program[7] shares a 152-acre farm, the Animal Sciences Center, with the animal science/pre-veterinary medicine program. The western program has earned five Intercollegiate Horse Show Association national championships in the past decade as well as numerous individual honors. The Nuclear Medicine Institute,[8] which is the largest nuclear medicine technology program in the United States and one of the largest in the world, is one of only 100 programs nationwide accredited by The Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology. Students are trained to be nuclear medicine technologists, using radioactive materials to diagnose and treat disorders and diseases. The five-year overall certification rate for graduates of the program, established in 1966, is 98 percent. The remaining students are eligible for national certification. [[most fascinating!->CHEST 14]]You are holding a potion. The chest slams shut. In fact, it vanishes. [[look at potion label->POTION 2]]"Hot Tea +5 blood/second for 3 seconds" [[drink potion->POTION 3]]There's a pep in your step as you start the walk back to the crossroads. [[backtrack->BACKTRACK 1]] [[haha fuck that, fast travel->MEAT]]What a nice corridor. Taking the time to walk everywhere is so much more immersive than using fast travel. [[backtrack->BACKTRACK 2]]These hi-res textures are great. [[backtrack->BACKTRACK 3]]Haha you love how how the stiffness of the jump animation draws attention to its own artificiality [[jump jump jump->BACKTRACK 4]][[jumpjumpjumpjumpjump->BACKTRACK 4.5]]Did it really take this long going the other way? [[it sure didn't feel like it->BACKTRACK 6]]Of course! How could you have been so daft? It is simply that the narrative is deftly (daft/deft, that's good....) playing with your perception of time: not simply describing the tedium of backtracking but actually reproducing that experience through pacing and mechanics. Brilliant. [[backtrack->BACKTRACK 7]]But is it tragic, or comic? Could it be both? [[backtrack->BACKTRACK 8]]You can't go on. [[sit down->BACKTRACK 9]]You sit slumped back against the cold stone wall of the corridor, your feet splayed on the dusty ground. You would feel like weeping if you weren't so tired. After a while, you become aware of a small hard object jutting into your lower back from the wall. You slide over to the right, but before you let your chin droop back down to your chest you [[glance over to see what it was->BACKTRACK 10]]Wedged deeply into a gap between two stones in the wall egg? [[pull it out->BACKTRACK 11]]This is why you stick to Twine games. ok, selfie time!->SELFIEOk [[selfie time!->SELFIE]]You notice that you are a little bored now -- and you wonder if this is part of what the game is trying to say. [[walk->BACKTRACK 5]]You're holding the egg. Unfortunately, it seems like the egg was holding the wall. Everything starts to crumble and shake around you!! [[RUN FOR IT!!!!->BACKTRACK 12]]You scramble to your feet, clutching the egg in the palm of your hand, and sprint down the corridor faster than you have ever run in your life. A deadly avalanche of stone follows close on your heels, but just as it is about to consume you, it peters out. You collapse on the ground, exhausted, wired, relieved, laughing maniacally at the closeness of your escape. Something is wet and sticky in your hand. Did you get hurt? [[open your palm->BACKTRACK 13]]Only a yolky mess remains of the egg. Well, a yolky mess, and a little slip of paper that looks like a fortune cookie message. That's curious. [[pick up the piece of paper->BACKTRACK 14]]You wipe the yolk from the paper and hold it up to the torchlight. One side is blank but on the other side there is a strange inscription: "Over Easy free download code:" Yes!! You KNEW that taking the detour was the right choice! It had to be! You want to remember this moment, this feeling, forever. [[take a selfie->SELFIE]]