W00t! So THIS is what's been keeping me busy for the last couple of weeks.  My humble game-making debut. Any kind of feedback would be much welcome!

Escape from Cluster Zeta

You are the newest Ensign aboard the Invisible Hand, an official commercial vessel of the Laissez-Faire Trade Federation. Can you help the crew repair a broken FTL drive before a hostile enemy fleet shows up to reclaim your latest bounty?

An interactive fiction piece -- dare I call it a "video game"? -- inspired by sci-fi tropes and old-school Classic Text Adventure Masterpieces of Infocom. Recommended if you like: Ron Gilbert meets Futurama, or Discworld sensibilities IN SPACE.

Authored with Twine
Playtime: +/- 20 mins.
Cruelty level: Merciful.

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i. Angus Macgyver (Macgyver)
The #1 draft pick for any kind of post-apocalyptic disaster scenario, this Phoenix Foundation operative can build improvised weapons and makeshift tools from the most sparse resources. An unlikely exemplar of the wonders of maker culture, the graying action hero would likely fulfill the role of Team Dad, by default.

ii. Dr. Elliot Reid (Scrubs)

Any worthwhile zombie survival party needs a group medic. And unlike other more charismatic but troubled healers -- say, Dr. House -- the skilled endocrinologist has a more stable head on her shoulders. Yeah, she can be a tad over-dramatic at times, but she can be trusted to keep her emotions in check under more tense situations.

iii. Bear Grylls (Man vs. Wild)
The English adventurer/writer/TV host/Chief Scout has just about every ability needed to survive in the wilderness -- urban and otherwise -- while evading the shambling hordes of undead. According to popular urban lore, this guy is so hardcore, he would simply walk into Mordor.

iv. Claudia Donovan (Warehouse 13)
What can I say? Hacking, stealth, bluff, and evasion skills -- all in one lithe teenage frame. Yes, she's barely legal -- but really, what do the old laws mean in a zombie apocalypse?

v. author Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Guide, World War Z)
Who better to help me survive the zombie apocalypse than the man who literally wrote the book about it -- twice? 'Nuff said.

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i. Experience Music Project | Science Fiction Museum, Seattle, WA, USA ::
A shrine to the influence of pop music and one of my favorite genres, all in one compact Frank Gehry-designed facility. Really, do I need to qualify this choice any further?

ii. Biosphere II, Oracle, AZ, USA ::
Frankly, i'm fascinated by the sheer audacity of human engineering, and what could be more gloriously pompous than replicating an entire frakking biosphere, under lab-controlled circumstances. Believe me, i'm wary of civilization's attempts to subdue nature's fury, but you've gotta be impressed with the vast scope of this project.

FUN FACT: This place was the likely inspiration for one of my guilty pleasures: the mid-90s Pauly Shore flop, Bio-Dome.

iii. The Bund, Shanghai, PRC ::
I mostly grew up in cities next to bays -- Singapore, Hong Kong, Manila -- so i'm predisposed toward urban forms that are clustered around bodies of water. So it ought to be no surprise that i'm all too eager to witness the flood-lit hodge-podge of architectural styles along the western embankment of the Huangpu River, facing Pudong, in Shanghai. British-era Art Deco! Neo-Classical! Pseudo Beaux-Arts! Likewise, the urban studies geek in me has a massive hard-on for the seamless integration of pedestrian thoroughfares and public transport networks in the area.

iv. The entire city of Brasília, Brazil ::

The capital of the populous South American nation is an interesting study in urban planning, psychogeography, and the forces of national will. It was designed in the 50s, ostensibly as a shining example of utopian modernist ideals about city life. Citizens were allotted residential areas amidst designated greenbelt, with communal supercuadras set aside for sporting, leisure, and business infrastructure. And yet these days, it's more often regarded as a budget travel destination for New Age aficionados, seeking out the various cults, sects, and mystical religious groups that ended up taking refuge amongst the city's monumental tower blocks.

The Henry Ford, Dearborn, MI, USA ::
Where else can you find Buckminster Fuller's prototype dymaxion house, alongside a replica of Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory, and the interior of the actual bus in which Rosa Parks made her famed act of defiance? At the Henry Ford, that's where! And if that isn't reason enough to check out this sprawling museum complex in the outskirts of Detroit, then maybe we shouldn't be travel buddies.

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"The starting-point of critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, and is ‘knowing thyself’as a product of the historical processes to date, which has deposited in you an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory. Therefore it is imperative at the outset to compile such an inventory." – Antonio Gramsci, Prison Notebooks

This will be my inventory.

photo by Claire Villacorta

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