Express Yourself: Young participants create brilliant interactive story game

Date published: 14 Apr 2016

Posted by: Joe Pick

Mr Green's Apocalypse

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Young people enrolled on the most recent City Arts’ Express Yourself project have created their own interactive story game.

Designed to support young people with emotional and social issues, our Express Yourself programme offers its participants a safe, creative environment in which to learn new skills and build their confidence.

For the first project of 2016, City Arts teamed up with the National Videogame Arcade, the UK’s first cultural centre for video games. Over six weeks, a group of nine young people collaborated on “Mr Green’s Apocalypse”, a text based zombie adventure game. Click the image to play:

Play Mr Green's Apocalypse

For the participants, the project shone a light on the relationships between traditional forms of artistic expression, such as creative writing and illustration, and the increasingly popular world of digital gaming.

“I met new people and made new friends. I’ve learned new skills. Creating games is something I’m really interested in.”

Workshop Participant

Nottingham poet Hayley Green led sessions looking at creative writing. Using “mindmaps” the group developed rounded characters and narratives, bringing them together to create a ‘Choose your own Adventure’-style story that gives the reader control over the characters’ destinies.

“I enjoyed learning how to come up with ideas for stories, which I find difficult at school, it’s too restrictive. Express Yourself gave me the freedom to be creative.

Workshop Participant

In workshops led by Nicole Solarte-Tobon, who works at the National Videogame Arcade, the group used open-source software Twine, combining their storytelling talents with some newly learned basic coding skills to produce an interactive story.

“Learning about coding has helped me with ICT; story writing has helped me to think creatively and working with the group has really improved my social skills.”

Workshop Participant

You can download Twine for free and start creating your own games today.

Sounds interesting? If you are 13-17 years old and looking for some extra support with your health and wellbeing, visit city-arts.org.uk/express to find out how you can get involved.