Zeitgeist 1980 - 80s movie themed serial interactive fiction

Zeitgeist 1980 is a work of choice-based interactive fiction set during the 1980s and inspired by the cinema of that decade. Through the course of its episodes you play an 80s teen protagonist as they come of age in a very weird era.

The game’s prototype was developed in Twine, and you can play it in your browser here. You’re a high-school sophomore sent off to stay with your cousin Colt over winter break, only to be roped into delivering a strange cargo cross-country for unknown patrons. Inspired by 1980 action-comedy films Smokey and the Bandit II and Any Which Way You Can.

Work is currently underway porting the game to godot using Inkle’s Ink markup language. The Alpha version is in the hands of my supporters on Patreon while I work on creating the art assets the game requires. Here’s a screenshot.

I’ve also produced a number of video devlogs of the process. You can find them here.

What’s next:

Art. Lots of art. So much art. I need to create dozens of pixel art scenes for the game. These will be placeholders for now.

Once that’s done I’ll have a working demo - essentially the first episode as represented in the Twine prototype. I’ll use this as proof of concept for a kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of the rest of the serial, allowing me to commission both better quality pixel art and music composed for the project.

The first full release will span 1980 in four episodes inspired by 1980 movie releases. Additional episodes will be released on a regular basis spanning the rest of the decade for as long as interest in the project makes it worth pursuing.

Questions, comments, criticism, advice?


Here’s a quick video on the artistic choices I’ve been making, and the process by which I create illustrative images for the game.

I’ve also been talking to a composer. More on that as it shakes out!

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