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May 12

2022

Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents—Rewrite the shocking history of electricity!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents, the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, Android, and on iOS in the “Choice of Games” app.

It’s 30% off until May 19th!

At the dawn of the electrical age, can you outsmart Thomas Edison and electrify the world? Rewrite history with worldwide wireless power, alien contact, death rays and sapient machines!

Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents is a 225,000-word interactive science-fiction novel by Dora Klindžić. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

The man who invented the 20th century was a queer immigrant from Serbia. Nikola Tesla dreamed of distributing free energy to all of mankind but passed away in a New York hotel room alone and forgotten. What if it had gone differently?

In the year 1886, you join the eccentric Tesla as his laboratory apprentice. Notoriously bad at monetizing his inventions, but nonetheless ingenious at building them, Tesla needs your help with making a living wage as much as your help in the lab.

Fend off Edison’s spies, Wall Street bankers, electrical industry magnates and other unsavory types as you navigate real historical adventures involving electrocuted elephants, the Niagara Falls electric plant, pigeons, and that time Mark Twain had the mishap of soiling his trousers in Tesla’s lab.

Develop your own science skills, your social life, or opt to be more business-minded. Manage your mentor’s fragile mental state while balancing your laboratory’s checkbook. Love your work, your pigeon, or pursue a risqué romance with Edison’s daughter. Will you manage to maintain enough funding and influence to prevent the destruction of Wardenclyffe tower and perform the most esoteric of experiments? Bring free power to all, contact the aliens, or accidentally flatten a city. The history of the last great independent inventor, as well as the future of society, are in your hands.

• Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or asexual/aromantic.
• Achieve fame through spectacular inventions, people skills or cunning business.
• Change historic events such as the invention of the electric chair, the Chicago World Fair, the social unrest at the turn of the 20th century, and more.
• Monetize your inventions or uphold Tesla’s ideals of working for the betterment of mankind.
• Uncover secret societies lurking in the background of early-capitalist New York.
• Meet a cast of historic characters such as Thomas Edison and his family, George Westinghouse, Mark Twain, J.P. Morgan, Joseph Pulitzer, Lewis Latimer, Charles Steinmetz, Lord Kelvin and many more.

The world awaits in darkness, ready for your electric light.

We hope you enjoy playing Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.

May 09

2022

Author Interview: Dora Klindžić, Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

At the dawn of the electrical age, can you outsmart Thomas Edison and electrify the world? Rewrite history with worldwide wireless power, alien contact, death rays and sapient machines!

Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents is a 225,000-word interactive science-fiction novel by Dora Klindžić. I sat down to talk with Dora about rewriting history and what makes Tesla and this period such a fantastic setting for a Choice of Games title. Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents releases this Thursday, May 12th. You can try the first three chapters for free, today.

This is your first piece of interactive fiction, I think? But your background as a writer is in sci-fi/speculative fiction. Tell me more about how you became interested in writing about Nikola Tesla, I’m sure the fact that he is a countryman of yours must have come into it.

Part of my fascination with Nikola Tesla comes from our shared Serbo-Croatian identity, as he’s been elevated to the status of folk hero in the Balkan consciousness. But his significance in my life peaked when I started my studies as a physicist. During times of hardship in my undergrad years, when I wasn’t sure why I went into science or whether I was capable enough to graduate, reading Tesla’s biographies restored the magic of invention in my mind and inspired me to keep working at the dream. In the later years of my studies, I got a job as a student curator at Zagreb’s Nikola Tesla Museum, where I learned even more about his personal life, and had the privilege to share the wonder of his inventions with the world. There is a veil of romance and legend surrounding his character, a mythology he had partially cultivated himself, which made me wish I could have traveled back in time to visit his laboratory just for a day. This interactive novel is the embodiment of that lifelong dream.

What were the most fun parts of being able to write (and rewrite) Tesla’s story?

There was a definite aspect of self-indulgence in writing the camaraderie between Tesla and the player’s character! I have always wished to know more about the intimate sphere of Nikola’s life, like the quality of his friendship, the quiet moments of daily cohabitation in the laboratory, or sharing in the intellectual pleasure of a philosophical battle of wits. Writing Nikola Tesla: War of the Currents gave me the opportunity to imagine and explore what it would have been like to have truly known Nikola Tesla, using the inevitably domestic nature of the inventor-assistant relationship. By placing the player into the role of an interpreter between Tesla and the world, I could show Tesla for who he was — queer, misfit, neurodivergent — as well as how the cut-throat world of budding American capitalism responded to his many idiosyncrasies, and let the player decide on how to resolve this perpetual conflict between the poet-inventor’s soul and the cold hard market of electrical engineering. It was deeply satisfying to offer the possibility of resolution which departs from the true historic outcome of Nikola Tesla dying alone in his hotel room, penniless. Who hasn’t, upon reading a biography of Tesla, wondered how differently it might have gone if Tesla had actually succeeded in his big dreams? And then it was also fun to get a little playful with the weird science, to write about robots, aliens, death rays and all the other surprises…

Did writing historical fiction present any unique challenges to you?

I found the research into the early electrical industry surprisingly invigorating, and have fallen down many a rabbit hole involving mad inventors and Gilded Age era social intrigue. There were simply so many fascinating historic events unfolding in those three decades, from Thomas Edison electrocuting elephants to Mark Twain soiling his pants in Tesla’s lab, that the greatest issue was keeping the story in scope. The major recurring characters in the game are all fascinating figures, like Marion Edison, Thomas’ firstborn daughter, Bertha Lamme, the first female electrical engineer, and Lewis Latimer, the black inventor who perfected the light bulb. It might take the players several playthroughs to get to know each of their personal stories within the wider historical context of the Edison-Tesla electrical race. Even the smaller side-characters like Charles Steinmetz or Stanford White have rich historic backstories which beg to be written. I feel like I could have collected two more novels’ worth of stories about these people, but I suppose I will have to leave the joy of continuing that research to the readers.

Did you have a favorite NPC?

That’s a really tough call, as there was something about each of the characters that I found magnetic! Even the ones who only make miniature cameos, like Eugene Debs or Emma Goldman, were a thrill to include. But I’d have to say I have a special sense of achievement with my version of Mark Twain, who initially seemed the most daunting voice to write for the sake of the levity he brings, and whom I ended up making a little more, ahem, politically radical…

What was your experience with text-based games or TTRPGs prior to writing this?

I’ve enjoyed interactive fiction from the first choose-your-own-adventure books I read as a child, and in recent years through beautiful videogame narrative experiences like Kentucky Route Zero or the inspiring collection over at sub-Q magazine. Choice of Games really opened my eyes to what the genre of text-based games can be in the modern world, with immersive novels which felt lived-in rather than merely witnessed, achieving complexity in their branching structure that some triple-A game titles can only dream of.

What are you working on next?

I’m extremely proud to say I’ve joined the writing team at ZA/UM studio, the makers of Disco Elysium, and could not be happier about what the future has in store!

May 05

2022

New Hosted Game! Life of a Space Force Captain, plus Paradox Factor is now on Steam!

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Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Have you ever wanted to be the captain of a faster-than-light starship? You will live a full life starting as a young child of the future.

It’s 33% off until May 12th!

Play as human, various species of alien, or even a robot. With the help of your friends and your loyal, upgradable robo-pet, you will go to school to learn skills of your own choosing before taking a position as a lowly cadet.

You’ll choose which department to join and rise within as the Solar System trembles in fear when a powerful foe threatens its very existence.
Will you master the psionic arts or use technology to enhance yourself with cybernetics? Will you follow the rules or will you do whatever is necessary? The choice is yours in Life of a Space Force Captain!

  • A new look at the Lucidverse. After the Lost Heir, Life of a Wizard, and the Last Wizard, there was New Daria (home of Life of a Mobster and Paradox Factor.) This story takes place a few hundred years after that.
  • 6 Friends with full back stories, character arcs, and possible romances, if you wish.
  • Cybernetic Implants vs Psionic Skills
  • An upgradeable faithful robo-pet companion.
  • 5 distinct departments to join (Engineering, Medical, Science, Navigation, and Security)
  • 7 Traits: Strength, Agility, Endurance, Perception, Willpower, Charm, and Intelligence.
  • 9 Skills: Combat, Computers, Ranged Weapons, Leadership, Mechanics, Medicine, Pilot, Science, Streetwise
  • 6 Fully Playable Species: Aurellian (beautiful bio-luminescent alien), Linnera (giant cockroach with hive mind), Orrok (strong four-armed alien), Reticulan (traditional bald, grey-skinned, black-eyed alien), Solarian (human), Synthetic Humanoid (robot)
  • 21 exciting and unique endings.


Life of a Space Force Captain author Mike Walter’s classic Hosted Game, Paradox Factor is back— and we’ve released it on Steam for the very first time! Now with new art and a new option to play as nonbinary, you can enjoy Paradox Factor for 50% off until May 12th!

Mike Walter developed these games using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

Apr 21

2022

New Hosted Game! Grey Eyes of Death—A zombie outbreak survival adventure

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (1)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Embark on a deadly journey for survival. Your ordinary school life quickly turns around when an unknown outbreak turns humanity into flesh eating monsters. The hungry creatures ravage every corner of your home island, forcing you to quickly adapt to the new, hostile environment, and learn the ropes of survival if you wish to remain alive.

It’s 33% off until April 28th!

Fight to stay alive by any means you choose through the streets filled with chaos, towards the rumored last safe evacuation point. Forge friendships or make enemies on this epic, deadly adventure. Manage your ammunition through your adventure, because the dead are not the only enemy. Uncover the mysteries surrounding the outbreak as you work your way through the hordes of gray-eyed death.

Will you reach your goal, and find peace when danger lurks around every corner?

Grey Eyes of Death is a thrilling 300,000 word interactive fantasy horror novel by Norbert Mohos, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Play as male, female; gay, straight, or asexual in this story-driven thrill filled adventure
  • Meet new, unique survivors and decide whom you will trust, or form closer bond with
  • Shape humanity’s future, including yours and those you interact with along the way
  • Choose between life or death in challenging, emotional situations
  • Explore abandoned areas and survivor camps throughout the island country
  • Discover what the aftermath has to offer, and uncover the source of the outbreak
  • Fight against and escape from the flesh eating creatures behind gray eyes

Norbert developed this game using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

Apr 14

2022

Siege of Treboulain—Defend your magical city from invaders!

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We’re proud to announce that Siege of Treboulain the latest in our popular “Choice of Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, is now available for Steam, Android, and on iOS in the “Choice of Games” app.


It’s 33% off until April 21st!

Defend your magical city from an invading army! Use swords, spells, and strategy to save your people, lead them to glory, and build a legacy for the ages.

Siege of Treboulain  is a 280,000-word interactive epic fantasy novel by Jed Herne. It’s entirely text-based, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Treboulain rests on the power of arborturgy, the magic that governs plants and all growing things. With the recent death of your mother, the Queen, you now sit on the Throne of Thorns, the nightmarish chair of royalty that extracts blood from whoever dares to sit upon it.

When a ruthless army of horse warriors besieges the towering walls of Treboulain, will you take to the walls yourself, inspiring the soldiers with your own martial might and stirring speeches? Will you command the defense from a distance, using your sharp tactical mind? Or will you draw upon the vast powers of nature itself, strangling your enemies with barbed vines?

Should you fill the moat with traps, train elite magicians, or recruit mercenaries for a surprise attack? How will you manage your dwindling resources? And what will you do when deadly conspiracies begin to come to light, threatening to shake your reign–and your city–to its very core?

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or asexual.
  • Choose from three distinct backstories – magician, warrior, or scholar – and lend your skills to the defense of your city.
  • Command soldiers, plan tactics, and fight in everything from one-on-one duels to massive, history-shaking battles.
  • Wield the magic of plants through the art of arborturgy.
  • Manage the city’s politics, balancing the conflicting needs of priests, merchants, and commoners against those of the military.
  • Uncover the secrets of the past through flashbacks to learn more about your city and your foe.
  • Find love or friendship with a brave warrior, a wise priestess, a cunning merchant, or a talented artist.

Let the legends say that this was Treboulain’s bravest hour!

We hope you enjoy playing Siege of Treboulain.  We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.

Apr 13

2022

Author Interview: Jed Herne, Siege of Treboulain

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)


Defend your magical city from an invading army! Use swords, spells, and strategy to save your people, lead them to glory, and build a legacy for the ages. Siege of Treboulain is a 280,000-word interactive epic fantasy novel by Jed Herne. I sat down with Jed to discuss his work. Siege of Treboulain releases this Thursday, April 14th. You can play the first three chapters for free, today.


This is your first work of interactive fiction, I believe. Tell me all about your other work.

It certainly is! Outside of Siege of Treboulain, I’ve written three epic fantasy books, along with a few short stories.

Fires of the Dead follows a group of sorcerers and thieves who venture into a haunted forest to find a dead magician’s skull. But as people start dying, the magician might not be so dead after all.

In Across the Broken Stars, a cowardly war deserter tries to redeem himself by helping a young fugitive search for a mythical safe haven. Following a trail of ancient riddles, they set off across a realm where people live on discs that float in space, pursued by a ruthless inquisitor.

And, lastly, The Thunder Heist follows a swashbuckling pirate who’s trying to steal a priceless artifact from a city of ships that floats on a monster-infested sea.

What surprised you about writing an interactive story?

The main thing was how back-and-forth the writing process was. When I write novels, it’s (usually) straightforward. Outline the story. Start at the start. Work through until you reach the end.

Writing an interactive story was more scattered. Within each chapter, I’d often jump around from piece to piece. For example, sometimes I’d leap ahead to write a devilishly difficult choice; then I’d backfill by inserting other scenes to let players to reach this point.

I also followed less of a strict outline. With my novels, I usually plan every scene ahead of time, and I generally match ~90% of my plan in the first draft. But with this, I’d often enter chapters with only a vague idea of what’s next. For instance: in this chapter, people start getting poisoned. Go!

The spontaneous nature of this approach was the right method. It let the story naturally evolve to follow the most interesting paths available.

The other big revelation had to do with the nature of choice. When it comes down to it, a good narrative-based game should give players impossible choices with no easy answers. Within days of starting the project, it became apparent that one of my main jobs was forcing players into these situations—these crisis moments where you must make a tough decision about what kind of ruler you want to be.

This emphasis on difficult, character-defining choices has always been in my stories. But working in an interactive medium brought this idea to the foreground. I’m glad it did because it helped me grow as a writer, and will improve my future novels.

Did you have a favorite NPC while you were writing the game?

I enjoyed the interactions with the game’s main antagonist. In your backstory, the player chooses what their relationship was like with the antagonist—friend, rival, or even a lover. Throughout the narrative, the story occasionally dips back to your memories with this antagonist. Via these flashbacks, you learn what’s driving them. And you also learn about yourself along the way.

I loved this dynamic. It added more stakes and complexity. That was the aim: I didn’t want a paper-thin ‘evil villain.’ By having the antagonist be someone who helped you become the person you are today—for better or worse—it created a more interesting story.

Apart from the antagonist, I’m also a big fan of Marshal Heartstone, who leads your army. I’m drawn towards characters who make big sacrifices in the cause of duty—and Heartstone certainly fits the bill. Plus, Heartstone has a fun sidequest that explains mysterious aspects of Treboulain’s past, which was a joy to write. And you can have some duelling sessions together as well, to improve your sword-fighting skills.

What was the most challenging part of finishing this game for you?

The complexity of wrangling the various stats and pathways through the game!

Right from the start, I wanted to create a sprawling world with tons of varied routes. There’s four romanceable NPCs, three backstory options, and you can even decide what weapon, armour, and shield you want for certain fights. All of that made for heaps of head-scratching and frantic diagram-drawing. Still, it was worthwhile for the story it creates!

The other big challenge was the sheer scale. Previously, the longest book I wrote was 80,000 words. Siege of Treboulain clocked in at 280,000. It took endurance and patience to make it through. But I’m glad I did, because it’s hugely improved my writing stamina, along with producing a story that feels grand and epic in scope.

What would you like players to know about this game that they might not expect from the title, art, and descriptions?

I’m stoked with the magic system, but it’s hard to describe it in a blurb–so that’s probably the main one. Essentially, you are given the gift of arborturgy: the ability to control plants with your mind. Depending on how you play, it can lead to cool set pieces in the game; swinging from building to building by using vines, enchanting grass to snare your enemies, and even using plant-tendrils to catch arrows mid-air.

I also think the backstory adds a lot to the game. Early on, you choose one of three backgrounds: magician, warrior, or scholar. Each choice creates an entirely different playing experience.

Lastly, if you enjoy epic fantasy for the world building and the immersion, then you’ll love the city of Treboulain. Before writing, I mapped out every street in the city, and there’s a ton of depth, ancient lore, and hidden mysteries all wrapped up in the place. You’d need to play the game a few times before you can fully explore even a fraction of the city.

Plus, it’s not just a static backdrop. The city shapes itself to your decisions. Depending on your actions, it might look totally different by the game’s end…

Tell our readers what else you’re working on.

I’m currently writing my next epic fantasy novel, tentatively titled Kingdom of Dragons. I can’t give away too many details yet, but the title might suggest its subject matter…

My other current project is Wizards, Warriors, & Words. It’s a fantasy writing advice podcast, which I co-host with fellow authors Rob J. Hayes, Michael R. Fletcher, and Dyrk Ashton. We’ve published over 80 episodes so far, with cool guests joining us from time to time. New episodes come out every Monday.

If you want to stay updated with my future works (and read some exclusive, free short stories), you can join my twice-a-month email newsletter.

Apr 08

2022

Two New Hosted Games! Big Brains in Little Jars and Relics 2: The Crusader’s Tomb

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has two new games for you to play!

A long-lost treasure. A glittering prize. An unforgettable journey. And a host of rivals and enemies between you and the finishing line.

It’s 30% off until April 14th!

1938. A terminally-ill English aristocrat has one final wish: to locate the long-lost resting place of one of his legendary ancestors, a crusading knight said to have found a terrible secret in the East and then vanished. A cryptic, coded poem points the way, allowing a modern-day adventurer to retrace the knight’s steps. So a contest is set: five of the world’s leading treasure-hunters and archaeologists are challenged to follow the trail and track down the crusader’s tomb. And whoever gets there first stands to win an unimaginable fortune. Do you have what it takes to outwit and out-gun your villainous rivals and make it safe – and first – to the prize?

Relics 2: The Crusader’s Tomb, the sequel to Relics of the Lost Age and the second game in the Relics trilogy, is an exhilarating 400,000 word interactive adventure novel by James Shaw, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based – without graphics or sound effects – and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Step into the weathered boots of a swashbuckling 1930s archaeologist and embark on a wild ride across Europe and Asia, racing to stay ahead of your vicious and amoral rivals, facing murderous enemies and intriguing mysteries at every turn, as you strive to beat the odds, solve an ancient mystery, and uncover the secrets waiting for you in the long-lost crusader’s tomb.

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, poly, asexual, or aromantic.
  • Continue to develop your romance from Relics of the Lost Age, or try your luck with one of three new romanceable partners: a hedonistic historian (m), an elusive master- thief (nb), or a treacherous rival (f).
  • Experience a hectic four thousand mile race. Go up against four memorable rivals who will stop at nothing to get to the prize first, and a shady organization who will do whatever it takes to prevent you from finding the truth.
  • Brawl in the Moulin Rouge in Paris, plan and execute an audacious heist in Venice, infiltrate Hitler’s “Grail Castle” in Germany, survive a terrifying night in a vampire castle in Romania, and discover long-lost secrets beneath the bustling streets of Istanbul.
  • Experience epic gunfights, visceral brawls, and wild stunts in vintage vehicles.
  • By plane, by airship, by train, by car, by motorcycle, by any means necessary race across a lovingly-realized 1930s Europe to get to the finish line first.

Become a brain-for-hire in this mad-science adventure!

It’s 33% off until April 14th!

Big Brains in Little Jars is a 300,000-word interactive novel by Ashlee Sierra. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

As a valued appendage at a company called Gray Matter, you’ll do the thinking, speaking, and fist-fighting for clients who hire you, all from the comfort of your jar. Along the way, you’ll start riots, solve riddles, torment party clowns, escape burning buildings, find allies among your fellow brains, and commit felonies. Not a bad gig, as long as eternal servitude is your jam.

Of course, every workplace has its downsides. Bad brains get imprisoned in dead bodies, your coworkers are tired of being science experiments, and that intern won’t quit looking at you funny. Also, the healthcare coverage is abysmal. But escaping won’t be easy. After all, you’re a brain in a jar—and Gray Matter isn’t about to let a valued appendage just roll out the door.

  • Don’t worry about gender (you’re just a brain) or sexual orientation (seriously, you’re just a brain).
  • As a brain-for-hire at Gray Matter, help your clients achieve their wildest dreams—or humiliate them in front of everyone.
  • Explore the depths of a mysterious underground laboratory known for madcap scientific experiments. (Portal gun not included.)
  • Bully scientists, befriend disgruntled coworkers, or forge risky alliances with high-ranking Gray Matter employees to learn where your brain-jar is imprisoned.
  • Choose one of four distinct sidekicks, each with unique abilities to help you navigate Gray Matter.
  • Flex your mockery muscle by increasing your dedicated Sarcasm stat.
  • Flip someone off using their own finger, start a fistfight in a corporate break room, ruin a first date, and get into general mad-science mischief.
  • Find out whether you’ve got what it takes to outthink Gray Matter—or if you’re bound to spend eternity as a brain trapped in a jar.

It’s mad science, and you’re the experiment.

Ashlee and James developed these games using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

Mar 24

2022

Vampire: The Masquerade — Sins of the Sires—In this elegy of blood, Athens is burning!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

In partnership with World of Darkness and Paradox Interactive, Choice of Games is proud to announce the release of Vampire: The Masquerade — Sins of the Sires now available on Steam, iOS, and Android.

It’s 20% off until March 31st! And Sins of the Sires author Natalia Theodoridou’s Nebula Finalist Rent-a-Vice is 25% off as well!

In this elegy of blood, Athens is burning!

Vampire: The Masquerade — Sins of the Sires is an interactive novel by Natalia Theodoridou, based on “Vampire: The Masquerade” and set in the World of Darkness shared story universe. It’s entirely text-based, 300,000 words, without graphics or sound effects, and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Athens, Greece: a city with an ancient past now thrust into the modern age. A city torn between the Camarilla establishment and the Anarchs, where everyone owes your boss a favor, and that makes you an untouchable vampire in this nocturnal society where you and your fellow Kindred must conceal yourselves from mortal eyes–the Masquerade of the Kindred.

Rumors spread of an ancient vampire, Aristovoros, intent on bringing about a new world for the Kindred, an end to the Masquerade. Why hide from mortals when you can reign over them as gods?

Who will you use, who will you help, and who will you prey on? Will you topple the old Prince Peisistratos? Will you betray your boss when your lost sire returns? What miseries will you inflict to fight for a fairer, more humane world?

• Become Clan Tremere, Ventrue, Malkavian, Banu Haqim, or thin-blooded.
• Play as a man, a woman, or a non-binary person, femme, masc, or androgynous, and as gay, straight, bisexual, queer, or ace.
• Outlast a dark tale of corruption, power hunger, betrayal, and yearning for what you once were.
• Rise within the ranks of the Camarilla, stand with the Anarchs, or forge your own lonely way ahead.
• Unmask your true sire. Is it the Prince Peisistratos? One of the city’s Primogen? Is it Aristovoros himself?

Which part will you play in this game of masks?

We hope you enjoy playing Vampire: The Masquerade — Sins of the Sires. We encourage you to tell your friends about it, and recommend the game on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other sites. Don’t forget: our initial download rate determines our ranking on the App Store. The more times you download in the first week, the better our games will rank.

Mar 18

2022

Author Interview: Natalia Theodoridou, Vampire: The Masquerade — Sins of the Sires

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

 

Athens, Greece: a city with an ancient past now thrust into the modern age. A city torn between the Camarilla establishment and the Anarchs, where everyone owes your boss a favor, and that makes you an untouchable vampire in this nocturnal society where you and your fellow Kindred must conceal yourselves from mortal eyes–the Masquerade of the Kindred. Vampire: The MasqueradeSins of the Sires is a 300,000 word interactive novel by Natalia Theodoridou, based on “Vampire: The Masquerade” and set in the World of Darkness shared story universe. I sat down with Natalia to discuss Sins of the Sires and her experiences with interactive fiction.

Vampire: The MasqueradeSins of the Sires releases this coming Thursday, March 24th.

I’ve really enjoyed witnessing your evolution in interactive fiction, from your first game with us, Rent-A-Vice, which is a dark near-future speculative piece, to An Odyssey: Echoes of War, where you took on the Homeric myth of your homeland, to this latest, Sins of the Sires, also set in Greece. How has that evolution felt to you?

All three games are very different from each other, of course, but I think in a way Sins of the Sires combines elements from both my previous games: it’s broody and dark, like Rent-a-Vice, and, like Odyssey, it’s set in Greece and informed by both its mythology and its long history (real and imagined). It’s almost as if the two earlier games were paving the way for this one.

I also think I have a much better understanding of story structure now, which has bled into my non-interactive fiction writing too. Sometimes putting together a story is a matter of considering all the possible pathways through the narrative and picking one. Yet all those other choices are still there, invisible but present, haunting the story with all that could be but isn’t.

What surprised you most about writing in this particular fictional world that to some extent is not of your own making? How did it stack up to adapting Homer?

I’ve discovered I work well with pre-existing material. I’ve long loved having some clay to work with from the start, but I think the joy of this kind of collaborative writing goes even deeper for me. I’ve always intuited this, but working with both Homer and the World of Darkness confirmed it beyond all doubt: thinking is dialogic, and a creator is always a co-creator, even when you’re not ostensibly working with pre-existing material. Because, of course, you always are.

The plot of Sins of the Sires (no spoilers!) is chock full of the political infighting and betrayal and power-mongering that VtM promises players. Tell me a little about the themes of the game.

One of the main themes is figuring out who you are, what you are, what you stand for and who you stand with. So a core theme is identity and the stories we tell about ourselves to ourselves as well as to others. The mythologies we cling to, the masks we wear, not only as individuals, but collectively as well: nation, history, race, religion, gender.

And what was it like writing a game set in modern day Greece? I think players will find it fascinating and unusual in the panoply of VTM offerings.
It felt both easy and strange; there’s a specific kind of distancing that needs to happen when you’re writing about your own stuff — culture, history, trauma, whatever — in order to represent it for others who may be encountering it for the first time. In a way, you need to hold it up and really look at it. Before you swallow it again.

But also the setting was ideal for the themes I wanted to explore. I talked before about mythologies of belonging — questions like, who belongs here and who is an immigrant, who is Greek and who is foreign? This place is such a pastiche; you have ideas of classical Athens (and an ancient Greece that only ever existed in retrospect), fever dreams of Byzantine greatness, a long history of Ottoman rule, a mix of Balkan culture and western influences, a nation of immigrants and refugees. Take one layer of Greek history and identity away, and there’s something else underneath, and on and on until you get to the bottom and there’s nothing left. Just a masquerade.

Did combining Choice of Games style interactive game and “Vampire: The Masquerade,” each with their own form of mechanics present any interesting challenges or insights into game design for you?

I’ve always been fascinated by the idea that, when writing with ChoiceScript, with its robust ability to allow players to create very complete and unique player characters in terms of complex personalities and skillsets, you’re essentially writing about a main character you don’t know, who is in turn controlled by an unknowable player. I think that some of the most interesting narrative tensions are created from the friction between what the player believes and holds dear and what the player character chooses to do, precisely because the player’s personality need not align with the player character’s. What writing for VtM has added to this, for me, is an angle that allows me to write this unknown character controlled by the unknowable player with some amount of empathy, and that angle was the Beast. We all have it. Perhaps we all try to escape it, to varying degrees. That was a key narrative concern for me when designing the player’s experience. It raised surprisingly fundamental existential questions, like: is the Beast our common humanity, or its opposite? I go back and forth between the two, and I find both possibilities equally intriguing.

Do you have any personal favorite tabletop rpgs or LARPs?

I’ve talked elsewhere about how my first VtM LARP was one of the most memorable experiences in my gaming life—how using Dominate on someone made me feel both powerful and ashamed; I think that captures some core conflict that you’ll find in certain characters in Sins of the Sires. Recent favorite rpgs include Tim Hutchings’s Thousand Year Old Vampire and the aptly-titled this game contains absolutely no triggering material by PH Lee.

What else are you working on? Our readers would love to know.

I’m always working on short stories—you can read “Ribbons,” my most recent publication, in Uncanny Magazine—but I’m also currently working on a novel. It’s a Bluebeard-y tale about agency, literally toxic masculinity, complicity and abuse. Pretty dark, but then, what isn’t? If you look long enough.

Mar 17

2022

Three New Hosted Games! Grand Casino of Fortune, Dawn of the Sol Empire, and Caves and Dinosaurs

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Grand Casino of Fortune, Dawn of the Sol Empire, and Caves and Dinosaurs, the latest in our user-made “Hosted Games” line of multiple-choice interactive-fiction games, are now available on Android and iOS. All three on sale until March 24th!

As you enter the Grand Casino, you have only one goal: reach the top floor and claim unimaginable wealth for yourself. Can you succeed where many others have failed?

It’s 33% off until March 24th!

Grand Casino of Fortune is a thrilling 55,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Teemu Salminen, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

If you reach the top floor of the Grand Casino, unimaginable wealth will be yours. Challenge various gambling games – including classics like blackjack and poker. But can you avoid drowning in debt in the process?

Guide a mysterious character (non-specified gender) on their path to succeed at a divine trial

  • Challenge lots of gambling-related minigames such as blackjack, poker, roulette, baccarat and many others – even original games and modified versions of classic games!
  • Collect items that increase your luck to further improve your odds of winning at various games.
  • Use borrowed tokens as leverage to fuel wild accumulation of wealth.
  • Explore the casino further to discover special events and games.
  • The higher you climb, the more you have to win – or lose.
  • Can you reach the top floor and survive the final trial?
  • Take the chance to reach heights that only exist within the Grand Casino!

You are the leader of a space colony threatened by imminent invasion. Can you find a path to survival for your people – as well as yourself? Manage your planet, expand your space fleet, make diplomatic breakthroughs – and do whatever it takes to survive an interstellar invasion by the vastly stronger Sol Empire!

It’s free to win and 33% off “pay to turn off ads” until March 24th!

Dawn of the Sol Empire is a thrilling 35,000-word interactive science fiction novel by Teemu Salminen, where your choices control the story. It’s entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

  • Choose your gender (male, female or other).Guide a remote space colony to safety – or ruin – in truly dangerous circumstances.
  • Challenge or appease the mighty mighty Sol Empire.
  • Control or unleash the advanced AI running your colony.
  • Navigate the politics, diplomacy, internal affairs, military expansion, industry, economy and scientific research of your colony.
  • Engage in fast-paced space combat when needed.
  • Interact with ruthless AIs and cunning politicians, all with their own goals.
  • Experience around a dozen unique endings – most with a unique branching path leading up to the ending itself!
  • Show the universe your resourcefulness and unwavering resolve to survive!

Adventure awaits! Delve deep into dangerous labyrinth in search of the magical flying dinosaur’s (not a dragon) money pit. While you might seek treasure, fame, friendship, love, the past, exotic animals, revenge, trophy killing or even your birthright to the throne, you don’t know that you’re actually stuck inside a ruthless game…

Caves and Dinosaurs is 33% off until March 24th!

As a character inside a game, you are unknowingly being hunted by a blood-thirsty DM who is trying to TPK (total party kill) your plucky group of adventurers. The cards are stacked against you, and you will likely die, but with a little luck and ingenuity, you might escape with your life, and maybe, just maybe get a happy ending. If you have every played a TTRPG then you will love the nostalgia this game will bring you.

  • Play as one of the five party members (Tank, DPS, Healer, Support, and Trapper).
  • Experience all the good, the bad, and the ugly endings.
  • Roll dice just like any other RPG experience.
  • Over 400 different paths lead to a larger story hidden underneath the surface.
  • Avoid over 50 ruthless ways to die!

The authors developed their games using ChoiceScript, a simple programming language for writing multiple-choice interactive novels like these. Writing games with ChoiceScript is easy and fun, even for authors with no programming experience. Write your own game and Hosted Games will publish it for you, giving you a share of the revenue your game produces.

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