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Dec 03

2020

New Hosted Game! After the Storm By Luiza Alves & Will Jamison

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Rebuild society after the climate apocalypse! Can you keep your settlement alive?

It’s 40% off until Dec 10th!

After the Storm is a 185,000 word speculative fiction interactive novel written by Luiza Alves and illustrated by Will Jamison. It’s mostly text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.

Climate change has run its course, and you have to deal with the consequences. Pick your way through a heartbreaking post-apocalyptic landscape and try to obtain some sunglasses. Gather allies or go it alone, hold on to your humanity or lose it in the directionless expanse. Establish a settlement, open up trade, defend yourself against invaders, build a better world, or just one you can stand to live in.

  • Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, bi, or asexual.
  • Go out of your way to help others, or focus on your own survival.
  • Recruit and romance a surly doctor, a talkative mechanic, a sensitive artist or a stalwart leader.
  • Turn on the stars in a long-abandoned planetarium.
  • Defeat a gang of invaders in battle, or outsmart them.
  • Bring civilization back with a revolutionary power source, supercrop, miracle cure, or strategic alliance.
  • Rise to power in your new world order, or focus on helping your community.
  • Start a family, adopt a stray cat, and write a book!

Will you create a community based on shared values, or under strict rule? Will you carve out a life for yourself? Fall in love? Start a family? Make art? Or will you fail to protect your settlement and spend your days in exile?

Luiza Alves 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.

Nov 12

2020

Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale—Get yourself in and out of another fine mess!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (1)

We’re proud to announce that Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale, 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 November 19th!

Get yourself into and out of another fine mess! As the newest member of London’s elite “Noble Gases” social club, you’ll win glory, renown, and much-needed money through various cunning schemes that will seem like good ideas at the time.

Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale is a 1.2 million—million!—word interactive comedy of manners by Kreg Segall. It’s a standalone sequel to Tally Ho inspired by P.G. Wodehouse, 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.

As the close relation of an earl, you’ve managed to join the once-rather-elite Noble Gases just as you find yourself embroiled in dreadful scandal. But surely your clever new servant ought to be able to solve this knotty problem with both elegance and unruffled grace!*

*Elegance and unruffled grace not guaranteed. Allow four to six weeks for full servant acclimation. While supplies last. Additional restrictions may apply.

Lead your new social club through a world of pranks, debts, close shaves, passions, rivalries, and untold heights of splendor and absurdity amongst the cream of society. Will you lean into your shocking reputation, fight hard to redeem yourself in the eyes of the fickle public, or just relax with a cocktail by the fire? What is most important to you: your own comfort, loyalty to your friends, or the expectations of your family? Navigate the joys and troubles of membership in your new club: planning parties, gaining new members, taking down rivals…or winning them over as friends.

But it’s not all shenanigans and hijinks—there’s also hanky-panky. Find love with a dreamy artist, a former neighbor with a taste for rebellion, a dashing clubmate with a flair for the dramatic (and for golden trousers), or even your own servant! And, of course, spend time with some old friends from “Tally Ho.”

Perhaps–just perhaps–with the tireless aid of your cunning servant, your rollicking social club, and your merry new friends, you can weather the storm unscathed and manage it all before everything comes crashing down! It seems most unlikely, however.

• Play as male, female or nonbinary; gay, straight, or bi.
• Maintain appropriate boundaries with your servant or find yourself emotionally enmeshed.
• Choose from one of five scandalous backgrounds, significantly affecting the story, including museum thievery, over-festivity, and public brawling.
• Rub elbows with a famous actor, a politician, a diva, an annoying journalist, and a renowned artist—or maintain a lower profile, eluding the police and a criminal mastermind.
• Become unwittingly or wittingly entangled in the affairs of multiple secret societies, wealthy would-be sponsors, and criminal enterprises.
• Dress as a bellhop, a parlor maid, a military officer, or in bathrobe and slippers!
• Muck about with wireless radios and experimental steam-powered printing presses.
• Triumph in boxing, swimming, cards, handball, competitive eating, and spitting.
• Break into hotels, cars, safes, bookshops, dressing rooms and art galleries, some of them intentionally!
• Ghostwrite love letters, craft speeches, and edit damaging newspaper articles.
• Smash windows, pitchers, punch bowls, expensive tables, fine art—and hearts.
• Carry your club to victory in a tournament or get rich betting on other clubs.
• Enjoy access to special features—we prefer you not to call them “cheats”—with our “Extra Helping” in-app purchase.
• Pore over a detailed hint guide, available in our “Pleasantly Tipsy” in-app purchase.

We hope you enjoy playing Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale. 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.

Nov 09

2020

Author Interview: Kreg Segall, Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

Get yourself into and out of another fine mess! As the newest member of London’s elite “Noble Gases” social club, you’ll win glory, renown, and much-needed money through various cunning schemes that will seem like good ideas at the time. Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale is a 1.2 million—million!—word interactive comedy of manners by Kreg Segall. I sat down with Kreg to get the scoop on his latest game.

Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale releases this Thursday, November 12th.

Jolly Good: Cakes and Ale is the first Choice of Games title to reach and exceed a million words. Tell me how you do that for a game that isn’t a sprawling epic fantasy, but in fact an homage to P.G. Wodehouse?

The trick is that as far as the characters know, they are in a sprawling epic fantasy, with the fate of the world at stake, mystical rituals that must be mastered, and grand evils that must be defeated. Only the world is the clubhouse, the ritual that must be mastered is how to placate one’s aunt, and the grand evil that must be defeated is that chap over there who insists on wearing lavender-and-yellow argyle socks with evening dress.

Cakes and Ale takes its inspiration from Wodehouse’s Drones Club series of short stories, and I tried to infuse my game with the feeling of those tales: various adventures piling up next to and on top of each other, different minor characters suddenly taking center stage for a few moments, blinking at the unexpected spotlight and then stepping back, and the setting focused upon a single clubhouse and perhaps a five mile radius around it.

Because I was based this game’s structure on short stories, I was able to be more sprawling, and I allowed myself to explore a particular story at length, even if it started multiplying into several side stories unexpectedly and ridiculously. My mental model for Cakes and Ale was for you, the player, to assemble a lengthy anthology of short stories that let you build and play your character, and get to know them intimately. Wodehouse’s stories are high comedy, but, as in Tally Ho, my goal is to walk the line between the comic and the dramatic as often as possible, dipping into multiple genres.

You’ll be spending quite a bit of time with your character over the course of the Jolly Good series, so I want you to love them and becomes invested in them and their friends. But to do that, especially to have you feel something for the NPCs, you need time with them. You need to have many scenes with these characters, in conversation, in action, in romance should you choose those routes, and in repose. So because I have a very large cast in this game, I needed to give you a lot of opportunities to hang out with these people. I want you to know and recognize all the names of your clubmates and feel things about them.

But that takes a lot of words.

Have you played any interesting interactive fiction while working on Cakes and Ale ?

Choice of Rebels: Uprising, which I played while outlining this game, is a master class in setting up a multi-part game and investing in super-branchiness and meaningful choices.

This is my third game for Choice of Games, but the first time that I have written a game that is going to have a direct sequel. Those who have played Tally Ho know that I really like to give all of the important NPCs secrets and branchy personal plotlines, and it was surprisingly challenging to set up those stories without resolving them fully while at the same time giving them a sense of completion!

Crème de la Crème, which I played a good deal as well is also stellar and should be played by everyone who likes sparkling conversation, elegant prose, and social intrigue. I am not wholly convinced that the world of Tally Ho and the Jolly Good games is a different world from that of Crème de la Crème.

Any regrets about making it so long?

To be perfectly honest, in the last few weeks before submitting the final draft I wanted to add an additional adventure to chapter five involving a bathrobe, a hotel detective, and a local magistrate with insomnia, a side story which would have added 40k more words to the game.

But then I was talked out of it by my friends and loved ones on the grounds that 1.2 million was a perfectly respectable number and that I should consider leaving some words unwritten for other people to use. And so I acceded.

What do you think players will enjoy most about this game? 

I hope that you compare notes with another player and realizing that they played through the same game but had essentially none of the same adventures as each other.

I also hope there are a few choices that make players want to step away for a bit and take a long walk around the block as they mull off a particularly tricky decision.

Finally, I very much desire for at least one player is required to send their clothing to the dry cleaners because they upset their beverage from pounding on the table in a fit of helpless laughter.

Who’s your favorite NPC?

Either Lord Chum (the main character’s uncle) or Parsnip (a charming young lady you may meet in Chapter Six)–incidentally, they are both characters whom the player may wholly miss in their playthrough–because they were both so much fun to write for and have such distinctive voices.

I hope you enjoy your time with both if you should happen to run into them. Please send them my very warmest regards.

Any personal advice for a good playthrough? You’ve added some interesting cheat mode and hint mode DLCs this time. 

Here’s a smattering of advice:

The different scandals you choose in chapter one will each give you a rather different chapter five. The various adventures of chapter six may become available and unavailable throughout the evening, depending on your relationships and previous choices, and the time.

Roleplay. Whether you play a sly opportunist, a impulsive adventurer, a wry fashionista, a good-natured nincompoop, or an oblivious intellectual, I want you to do what feels right to you in the moment without feeling like the game is out to get you. Don’t sweat the numbers. The stats are there in the background, and yes, various skills are being raised and lowered and checked. But don’t allow them to cause you the least bit of stress.

You cannot do everything in one playthrough. Pick a few plot threads and pursue them if you wish to see them through. Or dabble a bit if your character is a dabbler. That’s all right too.

There are no good endings or bad endings in the game. Every ending you get to will be able to be continued in the next game. You will not be locked out of a romance because of a choice you make here. You will not ruin your game by choosing something that you want to do but suspect that your skill is too low to accomplish. Indeed, some of my favorite parts of the game are only reachable by failing tests. You will be rewarded with funny consequence for failing things.

And, if you like, the DLC will let you mess with the numbers in a stress-free manner on the fly as you play, to experiment with different stat values and combinations easily.

Anything you care to share about what’s next in the trilogy?   

Next is Tea and Scones, where I will be drawing more of my inspiration from Wodehouse’s Blandings books. If Cakes and Ale is largely about club affairs, Tea and Scones will be much more about family, and will take place in the environs of your uncle’s lavish estate.

My sources in the Noble Gases tell me that there will be high-stakes golf, a most unsafe wishing well, a jumble sale, a variety show, a deadly treasure hunt, helpful Girl Guides, and a dramatic revelation on a rooftop under a full moon in high winds.

I would not be surprised to learn that various problems, escapades, and assorted friends, rivals, and associates from your club will be certain to follow you there, as well as a few characters from Tally Ho who didn’t show up in Cakes and Ale .

You can expect that the direction you choose to take the club in the final chapters will strongly influence the flavor of the adventures you’ll have in Tea and Scones. I can already tell that Tea and Scones will be satisfyingly lengthy, to account for all the big choices you make in Cakes and Ale.

Nov 05

2020

New Hosted Game! Score of a Lifetime by John Lance

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (1)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Money! Romance! Cars! Half a billion dollars is up for grabs. Track down the fortune without letting a new flame steal your heart—unless that’s your plan! When a vehicle with a million-dollar bounty goes missing, you and your boss know it must lead to an even bigger payday.

It’s 33% off until Nov 12th!

Score of a Lifetime is an exhilarating, succinct 43,000 word interactive adventure/romance novel by John Lance 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, or non-binary; gay, straight, bisexual, aromantic, asexual, or polyamorous.
  • Discover a hidden fortune and return it… or keep it for yourself!
  • Find romance with a charming used car salesman and/or a beautiful, high-powered personal assistant.
  • Solve puzzles to unlock the biggest possible payday.
  • Get yourself invited to dinner with the 1% or take everything they have.
  • Feel the rush of a cross-country car chase.
  • Choose the path that works for you: strive to become a novelist, take an entry-level job and climb… or stay at home and literally never leave the couch!

John Lance 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.

Oct 25

2020

Continuing Development on “Choice of the Vampire”

Posted by: Jason Stevan Hill | Comments (3)

I’m thrilled to announce that this Thursday, we’ll be releasing the long-awaited next volume in the Choice of the Vampire saga: St. Louis, Unreal City. Before continuing, let me make a note on nomenclature: I refer to St. Louis as the Fourth Volume, after The Battle of New Orleans, The Siege of Vicksburg, and The Fall of Memphis. I recognize that this is a little confusing, since New Orleans and Vicksburg were released as a single game.

As with the release of the previous three volumes, development is ongoing. The initial release of Vampire in August of 2010 was only 137k words. It was, at the time, the longest game in ChoiceScript. It is now over 220k words. When The Fall of Memphis was released, it too was comparatively massive, clocking in at 263,000 words; it has now grown to 311,000.

What’s more, both of those numbers do not represent the full scope of the additions. With the introduction of certain code features, such as *gosub and *implicit_control_flow, I’ve made the code more efficient—I’m able to do more with less.

Thursday’s release represents a solid, playable draft of St. Louis, Unreal City, and currently sits at 300,000 words. You can see the roadmap for the addition of new content to all three volumes here. My intention is to continue to work on this roadmap over the next six months or so—while also listening to player feedback about accommodations for particular OCs—before beginning work on the fifth volume, Chicago. (As always, if your character would have said or done something different at a particular moment, take a screenshot, email it in, and tell me who/what/why!)

Structural Changes

In addition to the raw content of the game, there have been a number of structural changes to the game. For example, I’ve removed the save/restore function. I’ve done this for several reasons, but the foremost of those is because existing saves would be at a severe disadvantage going in to St. Louis because of the all the new content that has been added over the past seven years. Much of the story simply wouldn’t make sense.

There is currently a manually-implemented checkpoint system in the game. (Protip: don’t check your stats immediately after restoring to a checkpoint. There’s a UI bug we haven’t figured out that will crash your game.) The checkpoints are between each volume; there is only one “save slot.” This is intended to let you explore the different corners of a volume without having to entirely restart your game.

The game has also been converted to an IAP-style system, rather than the volumes being spread across discrete apps. I always wanted the transition between the volumes to be seamless and not interrupted by the artificiality of saving a file and then having to restore it into a different product; now, my original vision has been implemented.

This does mean that there will be some hiccups as users have to be given access to the Memphis IAP if they previously purchased the Memphis app. The good news is that we’ve done some prep work here already.

  • If you already own the Fall of Memphis Steam app, you have automatically been credited the Fall of Memphis IAP (which Steam calls DLC) within the Choice of the Vampire app on Steam.
  • If you purchased Fall of Memphis on our choiceofgames.com web site, or previously sent in your Memphis receipt, you can open the “Choice of the Vampire” app for iOS or Android and click “Restore Purchases” to access the Memphis IAP.
  • Otherwise, please contact support-vampire-transfer@choiceofgames.com. We’ll work with you to transfer your purchase into our web site, allowing you to restore your purchase in the app of your choice.

In conclusion, I hope you enjoy the game. This has been a labor of love over the past ten—nearly eleven!—years, and has relied on the support, generosity, and contributions of a lot of people. As always, if you like the game even a little bit, please go and write a review; it really helps!

Oct 22

2020

Way Walkers: University and Way Walkers: University 2 Out Now on Steam With New 150,000-word Halloween Additional Content!

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games is proud to present an update and expansion to Way Walkers: University by J. Leigh!

First, both Way Walkers: University and Way Walkers: University 2 are out now on Steam, and Way Walkers: University has a brand new content expansion.

In this massive, 150,000 word new Way Walkers Adventure co-written by Mac J Rea, unlock four new chapters to explore how the magical city of Tar’citadel celebrates Halloween–or as they call it, the Night of the Thinned Veil: when anyone can see ghosts and spirits, be they Talented or no!

It’s 25% off until Oct 29th!

The Embassy District throws open their doors to one and all on Thinned Veil Night, and you can choose to explore three of the eleven embassies– Clan Lands, with their vampiric race and the Way of Protection, Furōrin-Iki, the plant-like people who uphold the Way of Healing, and Kinawa, home to the bird-race and the Way of Truth!

Explore these with your friends Kess and Umbrave, or your roommate and fellow kinsperson. And for the boldest of you– head out with Semryu after midnight for the true meaning behind Thinned Veil Hauntings!

Way Walkers: University is a 345,000 word interactive science-fantasy novel by J. Leigh, 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.

  • Will you follow the Way of the Healer, or carve your reputation as a Warrior? 
  • Shall gossip and relationships fill your days, or shall you choose the Way of Truth and study? 
  • Will you seek fame along the Way of Creativity, or hone your Abilities under the Way of magic?
  • Will you choose a righteous path, or fall to the Way of Evil?

New adventures await you in Night of the Thinned Veil DLC! Buy now for an additional 4 chapters.

J. Leigh 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.

Oct 15

2020

Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure—Dazzle humanity or destroy it as a magic fox!

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (0)

We’re proud to announce that Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure, 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 October 22nd!

Dazzle humanity or destroy it as a magical, two-tailed fox!

Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure is a 250,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Amy Clare Fontaine, 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.

Seek the mystical Star Ball that will grant you immortality. It is hidden somewhere in Hoshimori, the human village where your family was killed.

Weave illusions, shapeshift, or control minds! Will you become a benevolent guardian, a playful trickster, or a fierce demon? Avenge your family or strive to change their killer’s heart? Beguile a human love interest or woo a vulpine mate?

One way or another, you’ll set the world on fire!

  • Play as male, female, or nonbinary; gay, straight, bi, asexual, or poly.
  • Master shapeshifting, illusions, mind control, or foxfire.
  • Make mischief, decimate foes, serve the gods, or aid the needy with your magic.
  • Get foxy with humans, foxes, or all of the above.
  • Explore the world with the heightened senses of a fox.
  • Dazzle people with fireworks, or blast them with your flames.
  • Support the human empire, or stage a vulpine revolution.
  • Achieve immortality, or destroy the Star Ball that sustains it.
  • Convince a fox-hating farmer to change his mind—or obliterate him.

We hope you enjoy playing Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure. 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.

Oct 12

2020

Author Interview: Amy Clare Fontaine, Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure

Posted by: Mary Duffy | Comments (1)

Dazzle humanity or destroy it as a magical, two-tailed fox! Seek the mystical Star Ball that will grant you immortality. Fox Spirit: A Two-Tailed Adventure is a 250,000-word interactive fantasy novel by Amy Clare Fontaine. I sat down with Amy to talk about the joy of writing about animals. Fox Spirit releases this Thursday, October 15th. Today you can

  • Wishlist it on Steam
  • Play the demo on our website
  • Pre-order the game on the Apple App Store (Note: you will be charged for your purchase now, and automatically receive the game on Thursday.)

This is your first foray into interactive fiction, but you’re a very accomplished writer! Tell me a little about your other work.

Currently, I have two published books. Mist, my young adult fantasy novel, tells the story of a group of kids who stumble into a magical forest and develop the power to turn into animals. My most recent book, a novelette called Beyond Acacia Ridge, is an animal fantasy like Watership Down with spotted hyenas as the main characters. Hyenas have a bad reputation, but they are actually amazing animals. I studied them in the wild and grew to love them, so I tried to write a book that would reflect their behavior more accurately and dispel some of the myths surrounding them.

I’ve also had more than twenty short stories and poems published in various anthologies. And although when I started Fox Spirit I had never written interactive fiction before, I enjoyed the process so much that I’ve since self-published a few text-based games on itch.io.

What inspired a story about foxes?

I’ve loved canids all my life, and foxes—both the real animals and their counterparts in folklore and fairy tales—possess a special charm. When I was growing up, I developed an interest in Japanese mythology thanks to video games like Pokémon and Okami, which featured modern twists on legendary beasts such as kitsune, or fox spirits. I read every book I could find about magical creatures, and I quickly became fascinated with fox spirits in particular.

Foxes are captivating figures in East Asian mythology. They have magical powers and long lives, and they are morally ambiguous. They can be divine servants or ruthless demons, selfish tricksters or tenderhearted lovers. I felt that their enigmatic nature would lend itself well to a choice-based game, in which you can use your vulpine abilities—shapeshifting, foxfire, illusions, and mind magic—for good or for ill, and for a diverse range of purposes.

And what is your current focus in mammalian research?

I’m actually starting graduate school this month! For my thesis, I will be studying honesty in communication—essentially, how the reliability of information encoded in acoustic signals may change as a function of social context. I will be using the singing behavior of rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) as a model to address this question. This will involve field work in Israel. I am from the United States and have never been there, so I’m very excited to go!

What was the most challenging thing for you in writing this game?

I think my biggest challenge was learning to approach a story from a nonlinear perspective. Coming from a background in traditional fiction, I tend to conceptualize a story as a journey from Point A to Point B, with well-defined characters who have distinct personality traits and goals, particular plot milestones they reach over the course of their adventure, and character arcs through which they grow and change in ways that I direct. Interactive fiction is much more open-ended. The name, personality, gender, goals, relationships, and plot milestones for the main character of Fox Spirit are all directed by player choice. Writing about a character who is more like a blank slate to be filled in by the player was a bit tough for me at first.

Balancing the needs of the narrative with the mechanical requirements of the game was tricky for me too. I tend to imagine that certain personality traits in characters lend themselves only to certain types of goals: a selfish character would pursue their own ends, for instance, while an altruistic one would strive to help others. But working on this game helped me to see character development with fresh new eyes, as something that’s more malleable and complex. How might a selfish character gain a heroic reputation? How might an altruistic character achieve a demonic reputation? Why would a worldly character pursue a role as a divine messenger? These kinds of questions became almost a philosophical or spiritual exercise for me at times. Playing with the advantages and constraints of storytelling in this medium was a lot of fun.

Do you have a favorite NPC you enjoyed writing most?

I’m not sure I have a favorite. They were all interesting in different ways, and they all found ways to surprise me. Rinka turned out to be battier than I expected, in a way that was creepy but fun to write. Chiyo had a tragic past I didn’t know about. Kahi’s strange mixture of ancient wisdom, playful mischief, and misanthropic pyromania was complicated but compelling.

In terms of which character I’d most likely befriend, I would go with either Ren or Kusora. Kusora cares deeply about helping others and doing the right thing, a trait I find extremely admirable. And Ren’s love of nature and art and desire to create beautiful things are qualities we have in common.

What magic powers would you deploy if you were an immortal fox?

Definitely shapeshifting! That’s always been my power of choice, as it’s really a bunch of powers wrapped up into one. Whether you need to fly, shrink, grow, dive deep underwater, see objects from a great distance, or pack a powerful punch, there’s an animal that’s got you covered. Plus, I would just love to explore the world with the senses and cognitive abilities of a nonhuman animal. You could learn so much that way! Such a shift in perspective would be life-changing.

Oct 09

2020

New Hosted Game! Too Different by Andrew Kenneth Specter

Posted by: Kai DeLeon | Comments (0)

Hosted Games has a new game for you to play!

Unravel the mysterious past of your parents and homeland while journeying through four unique lands! As you travel, you may discover friendship, love, or things better left unknown…But whatever you decide, you will change the world forever, or understand what it means to truly be too different.

It’s 40% off until Oct 16th!

Too Different is a 200,000 word interactive science-fantasy novel by Andrew Kenneth Specter, 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, or nonbinary; gay, asexual, or straight.
  • Choose the origin of your mother from one of four familiar species.
  • Romance a childhood frenemy, quiet classmate, sassy A.I. helper, forgetful priest, human-obsessed romance novelist, slam poet, or hacktivist.
  • Complete a secret poem and discover the surprising history behind the Second Capital.
  • Work with the oppressive Board or end their tyranny forever!

Andrew Specter 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.

Oct 02

2020

Crème de la Crème wins XYZZY Awards (so we’re putting it on sale)

Posted by: Dan Fabulich | Comments (1)

On Wednesday, Crème de la Crème by Hannah Powell-Smith won the annual XYZZY Awards, winning in the “Best Game,” “Best Writing,” and “Best Story” categories. (“Best Game” was a tie with Zozzled by Steph Cherrywell; “Best Story” was a tie with Turandot by Victor Gijsbers.)

To celebrate, we’re putting Crème de la Crème on sale! It’s 30% off until October 9 on Steam, iOS, Android, and on our website.

The XYZZY Awards celebrate the best interactive fiction of the previous year, and is decided by popular vote among the interactive fiction community. We’re extremely grateful to the entire community for this extraordinary recognition. This is a great honor for Hannah Powell-Smith and everyone who worked on the game, including managing editor Abigail C. Trevor, artist Paola Tuazon, and copy editor Kris Ligman, as well as the dozens of people who helped with beta testing.

Speaking personally, I have always dreamed of one of our games winning the Best Game XYZZY Award, ever since we launched Choice of Games back in 2010. Creatures Such as We won the 2014 XYZZY Award for Best NPCs, and there was the, uh, “special recognition” award for Zombie Exodus in 2011, when we almost flooded the ballot box.

Crème de la Crème has earned the highest honor from the interactive fiction community, and we are so, so, grateful for that.

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