Junior High Kid is having his birthday party/last day of school party today. His birthday was actually a little over two weeks ago. And it even fell on a weekend this year, so having a party on his birthday would have been a great plan. The reason we didn’t do that was because he had a definite idea of what he wanted to do — he wanted to have one of those teen mystery parties. And he had a specific party game in mind — Neal Schusterman’s Roswell that Ends Well. The only problem with that plan was WE COULDN’T FIND THE GAME!
I looked EVERYWHERE! I even contacted Mr. Schusterman directly (I figured surely HE’D have a copy of the game available for sale…even if it didn’t come in a nice box. He was very nice, but he didn’t have a copy of the game, either.).
There are A LOT of teen mystery party games available for purchase (and download) on host-party.com. In fact, once I discovered that site, I liked the idea of doing that kind of game even better than a boxed game because you can set everything up online. You can e-mail your invitations, you can upload your own pictures for the characters (i.e. if you have a photo of one of the guests, you can insert that right into the game), the guests accept/decline via e-mail, there’s even a message board where the guests can start talking about the party ahead of time and after the fact.
There were LOTS of games on that site that I would’ve thought Junior High Kid would’ve enjoyed, but no. He had it in his head that he wanted the Roswell game (he loves the old Roswell show and is fascinated by the Roswell story) and he thought if we just “tried a little harder,” we’d find the game he really wanted. We tried (believe me, we tried!), but we didn’t find it.
Finally I told him I’d write him a game (in my spare time???) dealing with the Roswell Incident. I did have a freelance job a few years ago writing characters (just the characters!) for a company that made these games…it was a great gig! But I’ve never actually played one of these games before…I don’t know how they work. So I told him I was going to buy the wizard game that’s on host-party.com to study first, and then he could help me come up with a storyline for a new Roswell story and I’d write it. (And with any luck at all, I’d finish by the end of the summer and his birthday party would only be three months late!) Fortunately, he looked at the wizard party himself and decided it didn’t look too bad. (In fact, now that the party is planned and he and his guests have been posting on the online board, he decided it looks like a pretty good game after all!) So I’m off the hook for now.
After looking it over myself, though, I think I really would like to write one of these games (a Roswell-like story…OR something completely different!). It looks like a lot of fun…an opportunity to write a story that’s non-linear…I wonder how hard it is to break into this kind of work?