The lofty ambition of Textcamp is to create text-based adventure games that can be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere.
(Try the bare bones demo!)
Text based adventure games are one of the earliest forms of computer games, dating back to the 1960s. I've been building them since I was a kid, and I love how such a simple concept can evoke such powerful experiences. It's like being able to interact with the characters and scenes in your favorite books!
Another wonderful thing about text is that it's accessible ... but only to a point. Many (many) people around the world use assistive devices and software to help them see and hear the things that lots of us take for granted. This is one of the reasons why Textcamp is designed from the ground up to run in your browser instead of the specialized apps that most text based adventuring tools use: done right, the web is the most robust platform for delivering accessible content.
(Curious to see and hear an example of how blind players made a 20 year old text adventure game accessible? Check out this very cool video of a boss battle ... then come back!)
The other reason Textcamp is on the web is because the web is everywhere. I want to be able to play on Textcamp from my phone, my laptop ... heck, even my TV! This brings up another challenge: typing on a phone is slow and prone to errors, and it's nightmare to "type" anything substantive from your TV remote.
When we start thinking beyond a basic keyboard interface for text based games, we also open the doors to players with limited motor control, where typing on a full sized keyboard may not be possible. To make Textcamp available to everyone, everywhere, a player needs to be able to tap, click, or speak to trigger commands and events in the game.
The development of Textcamp is open to all who want to contribute. The game engine is 100% open source, and down the road, I hope to offer a low cost hosting service that allows anyone, not just software engineers, to build and share their games with the world.
What's next? I'm just getting started, and I'd love to get your help with testing and feedback — especially if you're well versed with web accessibility. If you're interested in learning more or contributing, please send me an e-mail or say hello on Twitter. I'd love to hear from you. 👍