Johansen Quijano's "Ethan has nowhere to go" is a full-length adventure computer game based on Jeremy Hight's story. It runs on PC-compatible computers, and is available free here at Unlikely Stories: Episode IV.
Download the game (415 megabytes)
Download the .zip file and extract it to your computer. Recent versions of Windows can automatically extract .zip files, or you can download WinZip.
The .zip file will create a folder called "Ethan." In this folder is a file called "Game." Double-click "Game" to start the game.
Inside the game:
Use the arrow keys to move around.
Use the space bar to interact with objects.
If you get stuck in the first scene, try interacting with the mailbox and nearby shrubbery to proceed.
"Ethan Has Nowhere To Go" was a short story written by Jeremy Hight. It was about to be published when he pulled it. It will never be published. These solicited works are Ethan. These works are the story.
The text exists only to be used as a nameless trigger, as a bit of back end, like HTML code.
Johansen says, "For the creation of this game, I used the RMK XP game engine. I edited community assets, including Shokaizer's character templates and Zanyzora's world tiles, using Paint.Net to create a world reminiscent of the 16-bit era of gaming. I used the engine's collision detection system to make sure that sprites would not overlap, then I scripted the events while following Jeremy Hight's original story as source."
"The purpose of the game in the early stages of Ethan's life attempts to re-create a sense of repetitive drudgery where everything comes down to similar boring tasks being carried out day after day. The game then attempts to convey the sense of struggle and hopelessness that the Ethan of the story must have felt as he wondered America from job to job, homeless, with no hope of success, and running away from himself. Towards the end of the game, it tries to convey a sense of regret by making the player think 'what if Ethan had made other choices?' That being said, the game (which can be completed in 30 minutes to 1 hour) is highly linear, as in its core what it is trying to do is convey in videogame form what was originally a short story by giving it a 16 bit JRPG aesthetic.
Johansen Quijano is currently teaching at the University of Texas at Arlington, where he is pursuing a Ph.D. with a focus on digital media, rhetoric, and composition. He holds a Bachelor's in Education, a Master's Degree in Curriculum and Development, and a Master's Degree in English. He has published on topics including video game studies, popular culture studies, and education. He has also participated in several media related projects including proofreading and testing on Super Nintendo translation projects and curricula revolving around the rhetoric of games. He is currently working on a series of games based on early literary texts.