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Text-Based Hell

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Gameover

If there was one field I really wanted to get into when I was younger, it was working with games.

No one in my family thought that was a surprise, from my school days it's all I ever did, I would come home from school, NES, Master System, Megadrive all through the night, every night, without fail, I love video games and always wanted to make one of my own.

Fast forward many years later and here I am…afraid to walk out of my own house. I am writing this because I am worried about being taken away and if there is anything that can get me out of a lot of trouble, It's this.

The best place to start I guess, would be the day I made the decision to create my own computer game, I didn't have any experience with any aspects of game creation though, you see, I am the kind of guy that would have all these life ambitions, but never follow them, I work long days in a job I hate and my dreams of creating wonders for younger, future generations, was nearly dead, I wanted to do something about that.

I took to the web, downloaded and bought some programs to help start out, I had a plan of making some good, well received indie games and hope to get picked out by a big company.

I downloaded a wide variety of programs for different types of games, RPG, Arcade 2D Shooters, beat em ups, just a range of categories I use to enjoy and still do.

I also spent hours on reading tutorials. It's amazing how so many different tutorials can give you so man different explanations about similar details, sometimes I was even wondering if the tutorial writers knew what they were talking about but I wasn't in a position to say, you're wrong or right.

I started to create an RPG using some of the basic stuff I learned from what I was reading, I had an idea for a story in my head, a mystical game with dragons and magic, a wide variety of different heroes, mainly because I didn't like the idea of just 1 character overthrowing many types of evil.

Then I thought of another type of game which I thought would be a good way to learn about how to give a character different choices and results, the text based game.

A style that was very popular in gaming's earlier years, the text based game was essentially a, play your way story book, without the need for a book and it was something I would use to hopefully get a small fan base going, without knowing too much about graphics and sound creation.

I already had the idea for the story too, it was going to be the one I had planned for my RPG, I had this plan about telling a little white lie if my text based game got enough downloads, that I would create the RPG based on the text based games popularity, but I was thinking far ahead, as if you couldn't tell by now, I'm the kind of guy who believes everything he does, should have guaranteed success.

It took a while but I finished the game, I had made some changes to my RPG story a bit, just to make the story more modern sounding and hopefully that goes well with some younger players.

Half way through development though, my computer was being really weird. To make this game I broke out my Windows based laptop, the game making program didn't have a Mac version, the laptop being weird reminded me why I wanted a Macbook in the first place. All was not lost though, I was able to remove the hard drive from my laptop and my neighbour and best friend, Timothy, who is very good with computers, had the know how to put my hard drive in a machine he currently wasn't using. All my files were safe for my game.?

So I was able to complete it, as stated earlier, before completion though, Timothy handed me a disk. Like I said before he knew a lot of computers and had been interested in this kind of thing before, the disk apparently had some files that could help me with a lot of things when it came to making games, but he never used it, he said he never really had the chance to as it was given to him after he made a few programs.

I popped this disk in, wondering what kind of add-ons it had, to my surprise, it only contained 1 file. A 47kb program called COMPLETER . exe, I opened it up and it opened up a window with my files in it, asking me to pick one. Some files were greyed out as they weren't compatible with this program, but my game, wasn't, so I used that. There were some whirring noises from the computer and then, the dos style window disappeared.

I went back to make some edits for the game and to see what COMPLETER did. It did nothing.

I finished the game, titled "Warriors choice" And burned it onto a disk. The first player had to be Timothy, for helping me save my files.

When I took the disk to him, I had to ask him, where he got that COMPLETER disk from, he had a serious look on his face and told me, that he found the disk, while looking around an abandoned house when he was away on holiday, a house believed to be built on an ancient burial ground.

My face went white "Really?" I asked with horror.

He laughed and gently clipped the back of my head "No you idiot" he said laughing, I started to laugh too "You really bought that? No I got it from Steve, my cousin, who lives a few miles away, he never used it, saw me as the computer geek and thought I would get some use out of it"

I looked relieved, I never really believed in those kind of things but to receive an item from a so called haunted building really got me. I handed him the game and left, he told me he would play it in his own time.

I went back to my house, happily anticipating my first review, but while waiting for that, I created an account on a well known fan game website and uploaded it there.

One week later, no downloads on the sight, nothing from Timothy. I gave him a phone call, he said he hadn't got round to playing it because he had been really busy, I was a little annoyed but in my excitement for an opinion, I realized I hadn't even played it myself! I had to go to work the next day so I thought I would trial it when I got home, that was the original plan anyway but then I got a text from Timothy.

"I'll play it tonight"

I went to bed that night, knowing he was on the game, I could see the light from his window out of mine.

Then, at about 2 am, I heard a loud noise, I didn't realize the severity of it until I looked out of my window, There was an explosion in Timothy's room! That section of the house was completely open, broken glass and brick on the road…and an arm!

Emergency services were called in, Timothy was dead, grieving parents were crying and cuddling outside, I was crying, I had lost my best friend through a huge blast. It made local news, but not national and the emergency teams were trying to find the cause of the explosion.

It took a long time for things to somewhat get back to normal, I had taken several days off, my boss was angered and I came close to losing my job for no showing and I was going through many stages of depression.

2 days ago I checked the website again to see how my game was doing.

3 page views, no downloads…still.

So I played it myself, I knew what to do, where to go obviously, but then I came to one part of the game which I didn't remember putting in, one of my characters had to make a choice to pull one of 2 switches, one was attached to the door to escape, the other, to a large batch of explosive. I hesitated to do anything because, a situation like this wasn't even in my original plan, I tried to close the program but it wouldn't let me. So I made a choice, right switch.

Then in big red letters, covering the whole screen, the game said "GAME OVER" and my computer made some very loud noises, you could hear loud electrical noises from the machine so I acted quickly, I held my finger over the power button.

The noises were getting louder, the machine was heating up, the sweat and fear was pouring out of my body that I thought I was going to pass out when suddenly….

The computer turned off…I had held the power button long enough to switch the computer off. But it wouldn't turn back on. I opened it up from the bottom and I saw light flames. The wiring was damaged, as was the hard drive.

Did the COMPLETER program do something to my game? Where did it come from? I asked Timothy's family, relocated after the house damage and they told me how to get to Steve's house, Timothy's cousin.

I introduced myself and he seemed happy to invite me in, I never really knew Steve, nor had I heard of him before Timothy mentioned him but once he knew I was his best friend, he invited me in. He asked me why I was here and I showed him the disk, he cowered with fear. I had never seen someone visibly shake, the way he was doing, he even began to tear up.

Apparently the program on the disk was created by a man who specializes in making destructive programs, but not the kind that stops a PC from working, his programs overload the system to a breaking point, causing devices to explode. The program couldn't do it alone though, it had to be assigned to a game creator file.

I got angry at Steve, saying he practically gave a death disc out, but he said he didn't know about this revelation until after he gave it to Timothy, you see, Steve got the CD of this mystery guy, thinking it to help with making games. Steve had no use for the CD, but got it because he knew someone who did, his cousin. He genuinely had no idea about this guys hacking past, until after the CD was out of his possession. When I asked him how he knew about what the CD was now, he said he heard that the man had been arrested in connection with an explosion in another city, then rumors started, he never told Timothy though because the rumors seemed so surreal.

Then I remembered…my game was available to the public. I asked Steve to use his computer and tried logging into my page to delete the game.

"Wrong Password"

Unbelievable, maybe a typo. I'll try again

"Wrong password"

Did my game alter my account too?

"Wrong Password, you are locked out, please contact the administrator."

I nearly broke down, I knew I had entered the right password, I named it after my dog so I couldn't be wrong.

Then Steve called me over, he told me I wasn't going to believe this.

And he was right…on the main page…featured game of the week…Warriors Choice.

3720 downloads and counting.

So here I am, waiting for a knock on the door as the creator of a game thought could potentially kill thousands of people. I have heard nothing yet, I am just waiting for the first newspaper now to report a story similar to Timothy's.

While the destructive program had nothing to do with me, I am now linked to it. I write this to warn everyone not to download that game, I am torn apart now because I don't feel that I could go on, I'm going to get in trouble I know it, but there is nothing I can do about it.

My life is over…..

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