The DC Annual
The purpose of this Fabuludus entry was to explore the concept of choice within the context of digital storytelling. Specifically, the notions of how a reader can be empowered by the structure of the text and intervene with its narrative.
This was done with the development of a non-linear narrative, through which readers are provided choices in regards to how they navigate the plot's various components. Thus, the program Twine 2 was used in order to apply that foundation of a non-linear narrative, as wells as hypertext tools that could act as the primary method of readership choice and the network binding the narrative together as a functional piece.
"The DC Annual" itself was originally a short story that I had done in the past. It has been adapted and expanded upon using the Twine 2 program. The codex format that forced the story in one particular direction has been fractured into separate passages, linked only by key words embedded in hypertext. This short story was already meant to non-linear, but the experience of that narrative is dictated entirely by the reader as opposed to the vertical orientation of a codex page. The nature of this adaptation also allows for the experimentation of how the concept of choice and the use of hypertext can alter the experience of a previous piece.
The plot of "The DC Annual" alternates between the past and present experiences of its narrator, and the way in which those two narratives interact is meant to be deciphered by the reader. On one level of the text, Lewis is dressed as Robin and presently engaging in his annual walk of remembrance, a nightly patrol that is conducted on the anniversary of his friend's death. This forms the primary path of the story, a journey that continues to come back in fragments as the reader navigates the text.
But on a secondary level, there is a network of past events and character details, acute moments in time that add context to these present-day events. The friendship between Kenny and Lewis, the reasons for their escapades as "Boston's Batman and Robin", are explored through these flashbacks.
Ultimately, there is no ordained path for how the reader should explore these events, both past and present. The reader is simply meant to explore the nature of this relationship between two characters. How they do that is up to them. In fulfilling this, my hope is that this project will provide a unique experience for each reader.