My partner Daniel joined a group of computer game programmers who wrote 38 interactive fiction (text adventure) games in tribute to the 20th anniversary of Apollo 18, the They Might Be Giants album with 38 tracks. Each game has the same title as one song on the album. Daniel wrote “Hall of Heads”. That is, he made up the puzzles and did all the programming of the game. The reason I have co-author credit is that I helped a lot with the main concept and the opening scene of the game. What does the Hall of Heads look like? Why does it exist? Why are you there? I helped to answer these questions, and it was my idea that you, the player, should be able to swap your own head with those you find in the Hall. For some reason I just sort of knew how this should work, what it would feel like to switch heads. I also felt strongly that the lyrics of the song should give hints for winning the game. After a couple of late-night sessions of spouting ideas, I left Daniel to do the actual programming.
I still haven’t played very far into the game myself. It’s tricky! I’m not an experienced computer-game player, and I need more hints. But I got far enough to say that it’s got just the mood I had in mind–creepy, but not too horrifying.
Helping to write the occasional creepy computer game works for me!