Through a couple of recent interviews with The RPG Guy and Gaming Tonic, you've been able to get a little insight into the story behind Tweet RPG. However, there's one facet of the tale that I've accidently overlooked so far, and wanted to make sure it is brought to light.
When asked about my inspirations, I easily recalled the gamebooks and video games that first introduced me to role-playing, but there is one other source of inspiration that has shaped a core aspect of Tweet RPG.
When I started university, my flat mate introduced me to the greatest web-comic on the internet – Ctrl+Alt+Del. I read through the entire back catalogue as quickly as I could, loving every second of geeky hilarity. In 2008, the Ctrl+Alt+Del creator Tim Buckley produced a 'create-your-own-adventure' story arc, casting one of his characters, Ethan MacManus, as a space archeologist whose destiny the reader could control and shape. The reader was given options throughout the comic strip – votes were cast via email, with the majority choice shaping the narrative. Notice anything familiar?
When I started to working on the concept of Tweet RPG, the idea of a voting mechanism, as used in Ctrl+Alt+Del, struck me as being the perfect way to conduct a role-playing project through Twitter. Although I envisaged the player getting into the skin of the protagonist and 'becoming' them as an individual, I wanted the players to become part of a community, playing together and being affected by each other's decisions.
Through 'quick votes' and 'open votes', Tweet RPG players do get the chance to control the actions of the protagonist on their own, but playing as a group through voting is an important element of the Tweet RPG project. And this idea wouldn't have come about without Ethan MacManus: Space Archeologist – thanks Ctrl+Alt+Del!