What is Dark Lens?

Dark Lens is an interactive, reader-driven Lovecraftian horror story developed in Twine. It is released in installments for players to experience and make choices which are recorded into a pseudo-database in Google Sheets. This recorded data is then used to influence the narrative and should give readers a great deal of influence into how the narrative plays out.

My reasoning for pursuing a Lovecraftian narrative for my Master's thesis, despite the problematic aspects of the author, is in recognizing that his techniques still influence horror today. As such I am positioning Dark Lens as a colonial resistance narrative that uses a variety of diverse viewpoints and Lovecraftian tropes to counter colonialist ideology. H.P. Lovecraft relied on his writing to exert control over a world where he felt increasingly powerless, and as such outsiders in his narratives are a source of his anxiety. Whereas Lovecraft rejects outsiders, I welcome them into the story I am creating by letting their choices influence my writing. The final thesis project will be a revised and corrected narrative compiled from these various installments. Please note the corrections and revisions are only intended to be stylistic or to solve any continuity problems that may arise.

More information on the project, my analysis of Lovecraft's colonialist-views, and information on postcolonial theory can be found in my thesis proposal.

How does it work?

In Twine I utilize variables for storytelling purposes and to indicate choices, or branches, in the narrative. Once a player finishes the game, that data is sent to a Google Sheet that records the choices made by users.

For more information on this process please view this article. Please note that I had encountered some technical errors in my own project, but I contacted the author of the article, John Stewart, who was kind enough to help me figure out the issues. This resulted in an update version of the Twine to Google Sheet method.

Who is behind this?

My name is David Davis. I am entering my final semester of graduate studies at CSUSM this Fall and will obtain my Master's degree from the Literature and Writing Studies program this year.

Dark Lens is an original idea developed by myself in collaboration with Ram Lama Hull, owner of Pollcomics.com. Ram and I came to an agreement and produced a collection of reader-driven comics. Ultimately, we each had other commitments and were unable to continue, but I have opted to continue the narrative. The current story on this site takes place hours after where the Poll Comics narrative ended and is still, roughly, canon.

I am also the creator of the webcomics Cosmic Dash and RGBots.

Who did the illustrations?

The illustrations for the character portraits are done by BLANK, who can be commissioned here. Internal illustrations that are not by BLANK are handled by myself.

I have a suggestion/issue/question!

Please e-mail me with any comments or suggestions you may have: hpkomic @ gmail(dot)com

Special Thanks:

Thank you to: Holly, Ram, Dr. Levato, Dr. Breuer, Prof. Doller, my CSUSM and MSJC cohorts, my friends and collaborators at Comicadia, and Deft.

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