Text Adventure Time is one part of a two-year programme of work facilitated in part by FACT to engage young people in forming ideas for and creating their very own text adventure game. Working alongside artists collective Re – Dock, and basing the game on their own ideas, experiences and surroundings, young people from Wigan, Burnley and Hull are participating in a series of workshops to help them shape the game, before coming together in regular summits to bring all of the ideas together.


This first Burnley workshop, led by Hwa Young Jung and Saoirse Higgins, looked at different ways of mapping the immediate area, and in doing so would go some way to preparing them to make a map for their game in future workshops. The morning session introduced the concept of the day and gave a little bit of background to the project, and how the large map of Northern England in Manchester Victoria train station inspired the idea of getting people from three different places together to create one story. After this brief intro, lead artist for the day, Saoirse Higgins introduced some of her work and how she had got images of different places she had visited for various projects.


When the workshop resumed after lunch, we were shown each of the different methods we would be trying out during the course of the afternoon to gather the images of Burnley town centre, which could then be used to put the map for the game together. Armed with GoPros attached to monopods and also a large helium filled balloon attached to the young people by a hood, the group set out for a short walk to get some footage and sound from unusual places and angles. The wind unfortunately proved to be a bit of a problem, and was blowing the balloon off course, meaning that it had to be restrained so it didn’t blow into any passers by, or overhead power lines. Each of the young people tried each of the methods, often while being watched by intrigued passers by, especially when the walk to a diversion through the towns bus station.


Once back in the Library, there was time to review the footage and log some of their thoughts and ideas into their individual account on the Text Adventure Time wiki, which allows each participant to offer ideas and ask questions in between the workshops. By the end of the day, everyone was on board and looking forward to the next session.


Find out more and get involved with the Networked Narrative project and Text Adventure Time. Find out more about the artist's perspective and aims for the workshop here.