"The Maintainer" Introduction to a Video Game in Development
Karrli's personal career dream was to develop video games. Karrli's remarkable first effort is a game scenario entitled "The Maintainer." In her detailed scenario and character sketch and script of over ten pages length, Karrli laid out a game universe where the dream world threatens to overpower the real world. The characters she created are caught up in this struggle, and are vivid and detailed right down to their appearance, their hair styles, and the clothes they wear.
This web site has separate links to the components of "The Maintainer" Game:
Karrli's work on "The Maintainer" continued, and her notebooks have many pages of further adventures of the main characters. This web site, for now, includes only the stories she typed into her computer.
The following introduction to "The Maintainer" is excerpted from the Memorial Speech given by Karrli's father. That speech is about Karrli's work as a writer. The complete speech is available elsewhere on this web site.
Karrli's career ambition and her college plans revolved around developing computer games. For those of you who are not familiar with the current state of computer games, they have become sophisticated adventure dramas, with well-delineated characters. Developing games is not an exercise in computer programming, but requires several components including detailed character development sketches, character interaction maps, dramatic scenarios, detailed dramatic scripts, and other components. Game creation today requires the creation of an entire imaginary world including those who inhabit it.
Karrli's remarkable first effort is a game scenario entitled "The Maintainer." In her detailed scenario and character sketch and script of over ten pages length, Karrli laid out a game universe where the dream world threatens to overpower the real world. The characters she created are caught up in this struggle, and are vivid and detailed right down to their appearance, their hair styles, and the clothes they wear. The characters also have wonderful dramatic personas, many of them loosely based on the Greek gods and goddesses of classical mythology who inhabit the night and inhabit the dreams of mortals. Karrli must have been one of the few high school students who possessed a well read and dog-eared copy of "The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology."
In one passage, two characters fight over plans to replace the physical world with the dream world. The first character, named Mark, boasts of his power to end the physical world and replace it with a world of dreams. He says:
"Who, after experiencing all the dreams, filled with hopes, fears, anger, sadness, happiness, life, and death, could be better suited to controlling existence and rules as humanity knows them?"
Mark's opponent, Selene, replies "But, you can't! No one can!"
Mark responds: "Then I am No One!"
This intensity and presence of the characters, and the dream world at the center of their struggles, are the hallmarks of "The Maintainer." We are fortunate that Karrli created this work and left for us so many possibilities to explore. Perhaps we will find ways to encourage other young women to create video game scenarios; perhaps we will find ways to bring Karrli's work to fruition; perhaps we will find ways to honor her memory through her creative work. How powerful creativity is.
I would like to share with you a passage describing two characters: Nyssy, who is named after the Greek goddess of the Night, and Selene, who is named after the Greek goddess of the Moon:
"So it seems, Nyssy looks after all of them in some fashion, Selene does as well, but because Selene's future is "uncertain," Nyssy is the permanent giving heart."
"The permanent giving heart." What an inspiring choice of words.
This web site includes copies of Karrli's certificates of copyright registration for The Maintainer because she loved the idea that she had created something that she could say was officially "hers." The certificates include her signature as the proud author. The registrations are listed online at www.copyright.gov. The certificates arrived shortly after her death, and include her signature as the proud author. Click here to see the copyright registration.
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