The Secret of Flunkey Island is an Instagram based, choose your own adventure game which utilises hashtags for its game mechanic.
I initially started creating this game by adding text to images I found on my phone (like below) and trying to weave them together into a story.
Soon though, as the choose-your-own-ending story opened up and spread in all directions, the mechanic became more and more complex, and I found myself having to make a massive amount of flowcharts just to keep track, and acting out scenes in still images to take the story where it needed to go.
This might be the only game of its type, and for good reason. There are several Instagram adventure games which brands like Landrover and Old Spice have created for marketing campaigns that use a tagging and multiple accounts method. Basically you click tags on images to choose what to do in the game, and every step takes you to a new Instagram account. The same mechanic that lets you tag friends in your pictures, creating a link to their account. This is probably the best way to create games on this platform.
My method however, the hashtag method, requires players to type specific phrases into the search bar to advance through the game. I made it this way because I wanted to recreate the feeling of playing retro text based adventure games that require typing, with the humour and aesthetic of point and clickers that I enjoyed like Grim Fandango and Monkey Island.
The reason brands aren’t using this method is that if anyone were to use one of my game’s hashtags on their own images, they would be incorporated into the game… ruining it. If this game were to become popular it would fall apart pretty quickly, and I have put so much work into it that I hope no one ever plays it.
Please don’t go to Instagram and search for: #FlunkeyIslandLevel1 to begin playing.
And if you do, please keep the secret… of Flunkey Island.