“You are in a room…” A Tweet-based Adventure

A million (2) years ago I started a tweet-based adventure game which went on for several months, but stalled because Life Happened.

It was one of the most enjoyable and magical pieces of shared storytelling I’ve done for a while, so I’m resurrecting it. But before I do so, I’m going to capture the Story So Far here, as a record for myself, the current players, and anyone who is interested or might like to join in.

The cover of the programming book for Silver Mountain, along with the story and hints.

Silver Mountain: my first text-based adventure from the 80s.

It worked like this –  I set up a Twitter account called @YouAreInnaRoom and tweeted:

@YouAreInnaRoom: You are in a room. What will you do?

Other tweeps, my ‘players’ then said what they would like to do – much in the style of a classic textbased adventure, except I was the computer programme, and I was often making stuff up on the spot. Together we wrote a story that was funny and sweet and full of wonder. Featuring a deserted house, a cat, Anakin’s lightsaber, a Deep Dark Forest and a Lonely Robot.

Below is a transcript of our journey. As there’s a fair amount to type up (although not that much to read – 350~ tweets) I’m doing this in two ‘episodes’. I hope you enjoy.

Episode 1

(Note: some players have private accounts, so I have replaced player names with Player 1, 2, or 3, in order of appearance):

@YouAreInnaRoom: You are in a room. What will you do?

A small dusty window in a dark room.Player1: Have a look out the window.

@YouAreInnaRoom: The window is small and dusty, you can’t see very much.

Player 2: Look around the room.

@YouAreInnaRoom: There’s quite a lot of stuff. Someone has been collecting. Many boxes. A guitar. Anakin’s lightsaber is here.

@YouAreInnaRoom: There are also doors to the North and West. To the East is a small grubby window. To the South, a cupboard.

Player 1: Let’s see what’s in the cupboard.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You open the cupboard. It’s dark in here, but there’s maybe something at the back.

Player 1: Have a closer look.

@YouAreInnaRoom: It’s hard to see much when the only source of light is a grubby window and you’re standing in the way of it.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You can detect an amorphous darker blob against the lighter painted wood-work, however. What will you do?

Player 2: Touch it?

@YouAreInnaRoom: It gives under your touch. You think it’s probably a blanket. It feels like there’s stuff underneath.

A blue lightsaber against a background of space.Player 1: Let’s try the lightsaber for some illumination (that’ll work, right?). What’s under the blanket?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You turn around and grab the lightsaber. Flicking a button hopefully, you manage to turn it on with the blade pointed away from your face. It ‘whombs’ softly. You turn back and point the lightsaber into the cupboard.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You have burnt a hole in what you can now see was indeed a blanket, and anything that might be beneath it.

Player 2: Switch off the lightsabre! Before we/I lose any fingers.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You turn it off, experiencing a moment of night blindness before your eyes readjust. Fortunately, the lightsaber does not appear to have set the blanket on fire. Lightsabers are remarkably nifty like that.

Player 1: OK. Let’s try the door to the West. We’ll keep hold of the light saber but keep it turned off for now.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You open the Western Door & find yourself in a kitchen. There’s a large wooden table in the middle of the room and several fitted cupboards on either side. On the left there is also a ceramic stove. It looks expensive, but like it hasn’t been used in a while. Directly ahead is a sink and a large, grimy window. Fine dust coats everything.

@Player 2: Open cupboards. Food is useful. If there’s best before dates on anything, it’s a estimate on abandonment time.

@YouAreInnaRoom: There are two rows of cupbards on each side of the table. To the left, two above the surface and two below. To the right, there’re four above the surface & four below. There are also two under the sink. Which will you open?

Player 1: Let’s start to the left, above table, left of the two cupboards.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You open the cupboard. It is is full of herbs and spices. Also cornflour, food dye, and edible luster.

Best Before End: 01-01-2070Player 1: Any best-before dates?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You select a spice at random – coriander – it has a best before date of 01-01-2070.

Player 2: Sounds legit. Next cupboard?

Player 2: (the other upper cupboard on this side).

@YouAreInnaRoom: Pots and pans. A wok. Extra virgin olive oil.

Player 1: Let’s look in the two lower cupboards while we’re here.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You look in the lower lefthand cupboards. They have tupperware. So much tupperware. Not all of the lids match the tubs.

Player 3: I look for kittens (or cats, or any other pets).

@YouAreInnaRoom: Moving further into the kitchen, you do not find any pets, but you can now see past the cupboards, revealing doors to the North and South at the end.

Player 3: Bimblin’ around, looking for cats.

@YouAreInnaRoom: Would you like to bimble in any particular direction?

Player 1: Shall we try going South?

@YouAreInnaRoom: Exiting the kitchen South, you find yourself in a long thin room running parallel to the kitchen and the Dark Room. There are shelves with many tinned foods, dried foods, pasta etc. Also a washing machine. On the ground are two small, empty dishes. Running the length of the Southern Wall is a large, grimy window. In the middle is a door, with catflap at the bottom.

Player 3: I look through the cat flap in the hope there is a cat.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You push open the catflap and peer through. You can see soft loamy ground, ferns, and tree trunks stretching into the distance. No cats at this time, though, sadly.

Player 1: Let’s try the door to North of kitchen.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You go North and enter a large Lounge. In front of you is an oval dining table with four chairs. In the Western Wall is a large window. To the East of the table is a seating area with two sofas facing a large flat screen TV set into the wall. In the North East corner is a spiral staircase going Up and Down. To the East is a door. What will you do?

Player 3: I’d like to turn on the TV and see what’s on.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You turn on the TV. It displays blank Blue. The number ‘001’ displays briefly in the corner.

Player 1: What’s up the spiral staircase?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You ascend the Spiral Staircase and find yourself in a brightly lit room, its walls and floors made of white moulded plastic that blends in seamless curves from one surface to another. You face West. To the South is a small round table surrounded by four comfortable looking chairs. There is a wall-

Player 3: I feel up the walls!

@YouAreInnaRoom: (Patience, young Padawan, you will like this description when it’s done ;D)

@YouAreInnaRoom: There is a wall interface in smooth black next to an indent roughly half-way up the wall. Ahead to the West is a floor-to-ceiling window looking out into Space. Along the Northern Wall is what looks like a bank of of computers with several comfortable-looking computer chairs in front of them.

@YouAreInnaRoom: On the nearest is a Cat.

@YouAreInnaRoom: Exits are to the South and East. Would you still like to feel up the walls?

Player 3: Sorry for being premature! Might I pet the cat instead?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You move forward to pet the cat. It starts to its feet, puffs up, and hisses.

@YouAreInnaRoom: Do you want to continue approaching the cat?

Player 1: Let’s look through the door to the East.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You go East and find yourself in a corridor. There are three doors on the left hand side, and one on the right at the far end. There is a soft thump behind you. The cat is following from a wary distance. The door immediately to your left is open. You can see several large bags of cat food.

Player 3: I would like to offer some food to the cat (after checking said food is safe).

@YouAreInnaRoom: You step into the room and examine the bags of cat food. One is torn open and almost empty. Only a few bits of kibble remain. There are no bowls to put the food in up here. The bags are made of a thick paper, you could probably tear it if you wanted to. How will you check the food is safe?

Player 3: Good question! I’ll open the full bag and sniff it to see if it smells as cat food should.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You rip open the bag. The cat overcomes its fear&comes closer, making inquisitive ‘ep! ep!’ noises. You inhale deeply. It smells like like cat food.

Player 1: Feed the cat! 😀 (Wasn’t there a dish or something by the cat flap that we can use?)

@YouAreInnaRoom: There are two bowls downstairs in the Utility Room by the cat flap. Do you want to take the food to the bowls,get the bowls and bring them to the food, or feed the cat right here w/out the bowls?

Player 3: I’ll fetch the bowls.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You turn back to wards the stairs. The cat pauses to sniff a bit of kibble on the floor, but she seems to sense that you want to Feed her. She follows you. You descend the staircase into the Lounge, through the kitchen, and into the Utility Room. The cat isnow winding round your legs and letting out cries of ‘EAaaaaaaaooooow’. The presence of her bowls seem to excite her.

@YouAreInnaRoom: With some difficulty, you avoid tripping over the cat, pick up the bowls, and return through the Kitchen and the Lounge, up the Spiral Staircase, through the Space Lounge, and back to the room with the cat food. The cat is positively wailing and bumping up against you by now. You have two bowls. Would you like to fill them both with cat food?

Player 1: Yup.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You fill both bowls with cat kibble. The cat is ecstatic. She purrs as she eats. It’s adorable.

Player 3: I happily watch the cat for a while, because cat.

Player 1: Let’s see what’s through the South door of the space lounge.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You leave the cat to its food and head back through the Space Lounge to try the Southern Door. It whooshs open at your approach to reveal a Long White Corridor. There are 3 doors on the East wall and one at the end of the corridor to the South. The West Wall has several thick windows.

@YouAreInnaRoom: What will you do?

Player 2: What can we see out the windows?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You look out the windows and see Majestic Space. Without the interference of atmosphere the stars seem both dense and impossibly Far Away. Something soft and furry bumps against your leg.

@YouAreInnaRoom: As the game progresses, I thought it would be helpful to share maps of where you’ve been so far:

Map of Ground Floor (full-description given in text).

Map of Ground Floor

Map of First Floor (Space Station) - as described in text.

Map of First Floor (Space Station)

@YouAreInnaRoom: What will you do?

Player 1: Let’s try the southernmost door at the far end of the Long White Corridor.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You walk down the Long White Corridor, the Cat trotting behind you. The Southernmost Door opens with a whoosh and you enter what appears to be a Large Communal Bathroom. Immediately in front of you is a large, empty, sunken bath. To your right is some kind of wall interface. To the left along the Northern Wall, are two sinks. In the North East corner is a large cubicle. Along the Southern Wall are 4 smaller cubicles. The walls are covered in floor to ceiling mirrors.

Updated Map of First Floor (Space Station)

Updated Map of First Floor (Space Station)

@YouAreInnaRoom: What will you do?

Player 1: Try one of the taps to see if the water is still flowing.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You wave a hand under the tap on the closest sink and water starts flowing. The Cat jumps up and starts drinking thirstily. After a moment or two the water stops. The Cat looks at you and moews. What will you do?

Player 3: open the large cubicle.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You open the large cubicle. It contains a bath, and a wall interface.

Player 1: Let’s have a closer look at the wall interface. Is there a way to turn it on, see if it works?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You examine the wall interface in the Bath Cubicle. It has a number of lit icons and the text ’37C’, with an up and down arrow next to it. One icon looks like a tap. One is an ‘X’. One looks like bubbles. Would you like touch an icon?

Player 2: shall we tap the tap?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You tap the tap and the bath begins to fill with water.

@YouAreInnaRoom: The cat peers at it curiously. It starts dabbing a paw at the hole the wateris coming out of.

Player 1: Tap the X.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You tap the ‘X’. The water stops running. The cat ‘Waaaooows’ at you.

Player 1: Let’s go back to the space lounge. What do we see on the wall interface there?

@YouAreInnaRoom: You go back to the Space Lounge and examine the Wall Interface. It is smooth and black except for the indent, which is maybe 15″x15″and goes in about 15″. There is a lit icon in the shape of a power symbol.

@YouAreInnaRoom: What will you do?

Player 1: Press the power icon.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You press the power icon. The indent lights up. to its right, a touchscreen keypad lights up below a text field, above which a succession of sumptuous foods and drinks misted with condensation or steaming with warmth passes before your eyes. A voice speakes: ‘Thank you for using Foodula. Please speak your request or type in the field provided.’

@YouAreInnaRoom: What will you do?

Player 2: Speak: “A cup of tea, with milk.”

@YouAreInnaRoom: The interface weebles at you. ‘What kind of milk would you like? Default milk is semi-skimmed cow.’

Player 2: “Default, please.”

@YouAreInnaRoom: You request the default milk and the Foodula weebles acknowledgement. A steaaming silver-coloured teacup full of tea with default milk materialises the Foodula’s dispensary slot. What will you do?

Player 2: Pick it up – gingerly – and sip it.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You gingerly sip it. It is the perfect sipping temperature.

@YouAreInnaRoom: You didn’t realise how much you needed a cup of tea. You sigh with contentment.

 

This entry was posted in Free Fiction, Tweet-based Adventure, You Are Inna Room and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to “You are in a room…” A Tweet-based Adventure

  1. Jim says:

    Aah! Silver Mountain! Such fun. And this looks fabulous!

Leave a Reply