Personal project
Samantha Godwin A Second Bloom

A Second Bloom is a modern day hypertext adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion. It seeks to reach out to old readers of Jane Austen and to encourage new readers to engage with her stories and characters. This project is both meant to be entertaining and an academic exercise in adapting old texts to new mediums. To expand upon the original text, several Tumblr blogs have been made to represent the core characters, and several Spotify playlists are in progress to the same end. Working with Rebecca Connelly and Emily Deibler has helped me to realize that the non-hypertext elements are just as important to the emotional core of the story as the hypertext elements, although the original platform of Twine might not be the best software for this project.

The preliminary stages of A Second Bloom as made in Ink.
Peer Evaluation and Analysis
Rebecca Connelly Ogre and the Crowd (conceptual editing)

Rebecca Connelly’s project Ogre and the Crowd is a hypertext or interactive fiction piece that is image and video based and aimed at young children, specifically Connelly’s own granddaughter. This project has a dual purpose in being entertaining while also being educational, making children laugh whilst teaching them not to judge others based on stereotypes in a religious context. She intends to use her own pets as the main characters, which would enable her to use and film a variety of copyright-free media with consistent characters. Although her creative vision and storyboarding elements are complete, she struggles with the technical aspect of her project. Connelly needs to consider the limitations of whichever platform she uses to build this project, personal limitations, and her audience; children are a delicate audience base, and they are rarely unaccompanied by some form of parent or guardian who would ideally also be able to engage with her piece. Pagination needs to be kept simple, clean, and accessible, content needs to be heavily considered and disclaimed for religious messages, and the story needs to balance both juvenile and mature audiences.

Emily Deibler Abandon (developmental editing)

Emily Deibler’s project Abandon is an offbeat RPG (roleplay game) that synthesizes Dante’s “Inferno” and her own original novel “Hot as Hell” that is currently in development. The RPG follows a female player character named Scout who made a deal with Satan for friendship, and now that she has died, she must journey to the ninth circle of Hell to reunite with her friend. Deibler is aiming this game towards a high school audience to encourage students who are not traditionally academic to engage with classical texts such as Dante’s “Inferno” or Faust. Her game has battle elements and currently concludes with a boss battle, but the core of the game is an emotional, empathetic one, rather than an action-packed, violent one. She develops upon characters from Dante’s “Inferno” and other classical texts, particularly female characters who have been unfairly demonized and/or sexualized by male authors, including Dante. Her concept is unique and sound, but there are currently a few structural issues. First, the novel this game is partially based on is the sequel of a written novel, and so there needs to be a stronger incorporation of background, context, and character relationships. Second, within the game itself, the first half is more action-based and revolves more around peripheral characters than the core characters. Third, the side-quests which build up the political tension between Mephistopheles and Satan over the governance of Hell are optional. Fourth and finally, the game concludes quickly after the final battle, not allowing for character development or narrative catharsis or the promotion of the coming sequel. Deibler has carefully considered the aesthetics and navigability of her game, but the narrative thoroughfare requires development.